My adolescent golden retriever, Murphy, can be such a knucklehead that I occasionally look him in the eye and say “I know why your people left you at the rescue.” Even though he’s a handful, here are some reasons I am not giving up on him. These are the ways he has worked his way into our hearts and why if his original owners showed up on our doorstep, they couldn’t have him back.

  1. He sleeps late every morning. No one in our family is a morning person so Murphy fits right in. He doesn’t bug us for breakfast at the crack of dawn the way most dogs do. I’m pretty sure you can’t train a dog to do this so we are very thankful on lazy Saturday mornings.
  2. He keeps us entertained. His goofy antics make us smile, even if we know we need to reign in some of those habits. He drinks out of the shower if the bathroom door is ajar!
  3. He sleeps upside down. Don’t ask me why but it’s adorable. His legs splay out in all directions and he looks so incredibly relaxed.
  4. He is pretty. His brown eyes and golden fur give me a lot to work with in photographs. We didn’t see a photo of him before we met him at Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies. He had only been at his foster home a few days and they hadn’t put anything online yet. I wonder how his bio would have read? I guess it doesn’t matter because he came home with us that day so they didn’t have to waste their time writing his story.
  5. He is puppy-like. He still tilts his head when he sees dogs on TV. I admit, I checked out Snow Buddies from the library just to see his expressions. After watching our two labs stiffen up from age old, it’s refreshing to see Murphy roll around on his back when he plays with his toys. And, boy, does he love his toys!

It’s been said that “you get the dog you deserve.” I think that means that the energy you put into loving and training your dog can turn them into a great dog. Murphy is definitely going to make me work for it! He isn’t as compliant and easy to train as our past dogs. We are halfway through his second obedience class. Our goal is to pass the Canine Good Citizen test. Some days I think he will pass and other times I think he will be 10 years old by the time he masters “down-stay with distractions.” I guess it doesn’t matter because I will love him either way.