This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Murphy, an English bulldog who’s described as a “slow motion love machine” with “large, doleful, brown eyes and saggy jowls.”
Here’s owner Caroline’s literary treatise on her loyal and low-key companion.
Murphy is my five-year old English Bulldog. He’s big and white like Moby Dick, but unlike that sea-shouldering murderous beast, Murphy is a dreamer and slow motion love machine. He slowly wakes to each new day, savoring the transition from dreams of the impossible — visions of his stubby legged form running with gray hounds or leaping eight foot fences with Dobermans.
A soft yawn is all he can manage as he lounges in bed waiting for me, his mom, to rouse him fully
Then he’s up with a stretch and a shake, and we take a leisurely walk around his apartment building. On the sidewalk he looks up with large, doleful, brown eyes and saggy jowls at passersby He knows what that look will do to the hearts of those good sweet people hustling off to a day of tedious, tiring work. His eyes catch theirs, and then he stops and stands patiently as if he were a passenger waiting to board a love train. The passersby stop as well then, and smile, and ask me his name. “Murphy,” I say, and that makes them laugh: “Of course!” they chortle. “Mr. Murphy.” Then they bend low and extend a hand. Murphy stands at attention, stolid and dignified as Sir Winston Churchill. The hand strokes his head. His eyes go limpid and liquid. He turns his head to the left, begging a scratch behind his right ear. He breathes a little faster. “Big boy,” the neighbor or stranger says, “Such a good big boy.” Something in the way his hind end wags the tiniest wag tells me Murphy knows this is true
The effort of the morning works up a fierce appetite. We go back to the apartment, tired and content. A bowl of food to restore his energy, a long nap on his chaise lounge in the sun to pursue his dreams and the day passes to evening.
The people of the evening are always in a hurry — “Home, home,” their rapid pace declares, “I must get home.” But then they see Murphy and me, out for our evening constitutional along Columbia Pike.
They have no chance against the request of his bulldog eyes and delap face.
We walk back to the apartment and a meal. His is taken from a bowl on the floor, mine from the kitchen table. After dinner Murphy and I unwind on the couch. Around 9 pm, as soon as I sit down to watch a show or read a book after a long day of work, Murphy will usually experience a burst of energy! A game of tug-of-war with his green rubber ball is his favorite way to cap off the night.
He sleeps the sleep of the righteous, dreams the dreams of a bulldog, and a new day will dawn.
Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Please don’t send vertical photos, they don’t fit in our photo galleries!
Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks. Becky’s Pet Care is the winner six consecutive Angie’s List Super Service Awards, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year and a proud supporter of the Arlington County Pawsitively Prepared Campaign.
Becky’s Pet Care provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in Arlington and all of Northern Virginia, as well as PetPrep training courses for Pet Care, CPR and emergency preparedness.