Quincy Zikmund

Saying goodbye to our pug Murphie

Quincy Zikmund

Late last Monday night / Early Tuesday morning, our pug Murphie passed away. She went on her own in our arms, and my wife and I are completely heartbroken.

She was 14 and incredibly healthy her entire life. She was diagnosed with Addison's disease at age 7, but that's not what took her life.

This past winter a small mass was discovered on her spleen. They weren't looking for it, but found it by accident while doing an ultrasound to look at her bladder. She had a tricky UTI, but nothing the right antibiotic couldn't take care of.

Even though the mass on her spleen was "tiny" we were advised to consider having her spleen removed. When a mass is on the spleen it can't be tested without removing the entire organ. And even if it was benign it could still rupture one day.

So, Murphie had her spleen removed on February 27th.

And she recovered beautifully. Seriously, within 3 days we were trying to keep her from running and jumping up onto the couch.

A week later we got the results back and the mass came back benign. We were so thrilled and relieved.

Then a few weeks ago we noticed that Murhpie's breathing was a little off. It wasn't all the time, but occasionally her breathing was shallow and rapid.

Right about that time we had a vet visit scheduled anyway, so we had her lungs checked out. They did an x-ray and sent them to a specialist. They also tested some bumps that had popped up all over her body since having her spleen removed.

Then last Monday afternoon we got the results. The x-ray and biopsy of the bumps confirmed that she had cancer. It was a rare type and extremely aggressive.

It seemingly came out of nowhere. The breathing was due to the cancer having reached her lungs.

Less than 12 hours after receiving the results Murphie passed on her own in our arms at home.

It's an understatement to say that Murhpie was one of the most well monitored dogs I've ever seen. For the last 7 years she has gone to the vet every 6 - 10 weeks to receive a hormone shot for her Addison's. And every time she went she had lab work done.

She had even had x-rays done the day of her spleen surgery in February and nothing could be found at that time.

Murphie was "that dog"

I think every person that has pets has had "the one" that completely changes their life. Their "heart dog," as some call them. For us, that was Murhpie.

We got her as a puppy just a few months after we were married in 2009. Not only was she our first dog together, she was my first dog ever. I didn't have pets growing up, but I always thought if I ever had one it would be a pug.

She was named after one of our favorite bands, Dropkick Murphys. We spelled her name with "ie" to make it seem more feminine. Ironically, we actually saw Dropkick Murhpys play in our hometown the day she had her spleen removed.

Murphie affected my life in so many ways. Shes's the reason my wife and I got into pug rescue for a bit, both fostering and adopting. She's the reason we became interested in dog and cat nutrition and the reason we own an independent pet store.

She had such a profound impact on nearly everyone she met, especially those that really knew her. From family members and friends, to our customers and the workers at vet offices we went to, she was so deeply loved. And she had all the love in the world to give.

Our home and family will never be the same thanks to her, and they'll never be the same without her.

Thank you for everything, Murphie. I'll miss sharing my bananas and blueberries with you. I'll miss taking you to work. I'll miss your spunk and your sudden bursts of energy. And I'll miss the way you would just melt into our arms.

I love you and I'll miss you forever.