CHRISTIANA AND MURPHY
My story begins on the first day of my training with Hearing dog Murphy, April 23, 2007. Murphy and I had met before at my screening interview; at that time, I was told that a client had already been identified for Murphy so she was just there for demonstration purposes. We hit it off immediately and I was delighted to find out that, due to circumstances, we were to become a team.
My life was never the same after Murphy came into it. I was still working full time as an HR Consultant at the time and Murphy made herself right at home wherever work took us, whether in the office or a garbage truck. Yes, Murphy was a ‘swamper’ with me during the civic strike in 2007.
Murphy was serious about her alert work. She loved those treats, which meant never having to miss a knock at the door, phone call, any alarm, or the minute my morning coffee finished percolating.
When I was outdoors and in public spaces, she gave me an identity. Hearing loss is not a disability easily recognized, but with Murphy beside me wearing her vest, identifying her as a Hearing Dog, people realized there was something different. Communication for me was made easier. Although, one time an individual came up to me and proclaimed that their dog was deaf too but did not wear a vest. After explaining that I was the deaf one and Murphy was my ears, we had a good chuckle.
How did Murphy change my life? She gave me security, enhanced my quality of life and her sense of fun provided sunshine on a cloudy day.
You may have noticed my use of the past tense in writing this. Murphy passed away on Dec 6, 2016, at the age of 11.5. Before Murphy, I had no concept of how my life could be changed. After Murphy, I am painfully aware of how one dog can change a life. RIP Murphy.