I found Murphy and two of his litter mates abandoned in the local rubbish dump in September 1995.

They were only around 8-10 weeks old, starving and practically hairless from mange. I brought them home and began treating their conditions. All three made a full recovery. All were happy little puppies finally enjoying life.

While I was out at work one day in January 1996 Murphy and his sister Riva were stolen from the kennels. For the next twelve months I searched high and low for them, I made contact with a few decent `dog men` who helped me in my search. I left photos every where I could think of.

Eventually, a year and a week after they were stolen, I got a call from one of the men who told me that he had seen Murphy at another dog man's kennels. I had been on so many wild goose chases, that I almost didn't believe it could be true, but off I went one cold January night, and knocked on this person's door. The man who 'tipped' me off was with me, and so I was allowed to go in and look at the dogs. I all but fell to my knees. There was my boy! He still remembered me, and tried to jump into my arms. The man who had Murphy insisted that I pay him, if I wanted my own dog back! It wasn't right, but I gave him the money he asked for. I would have given him anything to get my precious baby boy out of there.

On the way home, I could barely drive the car as I was shaking so much, not only with relief, but also with disbelief in my good fortune. That night Murphy slept beside me on the pillow, with me holding his paw all night. He was home, and he knew it.

I decided to 'turn detective'. By back-tracking, I discovered just what my boy had been through. He had changed hands five times in a year, not one of his 'owners' had even remotely resembled `good`. It didn't take long to find out that Murphy's spirit had been destroyed. He was mortally afraid of men and would shake uncontrollably if he even heard a man's voice. His legs would buckle and he would lose control of his bladder. God only knows what those people did to him. Now, at last, he was home, and safe. That was the main thing.

I continued my search for his sister for some time, but there was never even a trace of her. I was told, a while later, that she had been 'done away with'. Although I will never know how true that was, it is something that still haunts me to this day.

Murphy has remained here with me, as rehoming was out of the question. He has improved greatly through the years, although many things still frighten him. I even had to locate a lady vet to have him neutered, and then have the surgery cleared of men until he was sedated.

He is now 14 years old and still the apple of my eye, a true gentleman.

Four years ago, he discovered how to open the fridge and help himself to anything tasty in there. He is very crafty about it. He hangs back when the other dogs are coming in. He knows I am distracted by them. That is when helps himself from the fridge! Sometimes, he opens it and there is nothing 'interesting' in there. He just stands looking in with disappointment written all over his face.

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