In memorium

Spike Marie Gordon Murphy the fiercest, most loyal Rat Terrier in the world died today at the ripe old age of 13 and a bit. He is survived by Sasha and Art Rat the Dog and his people.

Spike in his prime

He was a stubby legged, barrel chested horror for anything not invited into his territory. He was the scourge of rats, mice, voles, moles and baby rabbits at our house until the degeneration of his tendons forced him to stop patrolling for varmints.When we gave our neighbor permission to graze his cattle on some of our property a few years ago Spike liked to go sit on the hill and watch them. I have no idea what he was thinking but he seemed particularly at peace then and quite happy to look at the bucolic wonder of cows and waving grass.

He became great friends with Sasha his adopted sister, he would lick her ears and she wouldn’t insist on herding him everywhere and let him play with  toys. Sasha is very Germanic in her outlook regarding unauthorized fun so this was quite the accomplishment for him. Other dogs were toothily scolded when she thought there too much tomfoolery going on. He tolerated Art Rat and allowed him to stay when he came to the pack in 2007. Tolerated means he mostly ignored Art.

In early 2008 we noticed he was walking strangely and that his front wrists or whatever the doggy equivalent is were taking more weight than his paws were.

His tendons staring failing

A few thousand dollars later he had new steel legs and some snazzy casts.

Then his back legs failed and he never recovered from that surgery. He became less and less active and more dependent on us to take him to his food or outside as he couldn’t do much more than prop himself up. As time went on he had some stomach trouble and at the last pneumonia.

In spite of everything life threw at him he never lost the joy that the best of dogs show you.  Spike you will be missed and his pack will howl his passing for a long time to come.

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