Since Seabass burst onto the scene in May, it’s pretty routine for us to get the question, “How’s Murphy taking all of this?” This is a valid concern. Little Murph used to be the apple of my eye and that of every man, woman and child in the greater Central California region. Men fought for him. Women swooned over him. He was the mascot of our community and his banner over us was love.
I recall staring deep into his perfect, furry face about a year ago and thinking, “I could never – NEVER – stop loving you this much.” And that remains entirely true. But I’d be lying if I said Murphy hasn’t been a little clingier since Seabass was born. A little stinkier. And – how shall I put this? – a little more annoying.
It stands to reason that if you use a sing-songy baby voice with an animal for six years and then introduce a small human for whom you also use said sing-songy baby voice, the animal will become mightily confused. “ME!” he seems to say with his perked ears and sparkly eyes as I coo at the baby during a diaper change. “It’s ME you love! Right? Right? ME! ME? ME!” He is constantly on alert, unable to relax, under my feet, in front of the moving stroller, on my heels - WHEREVER I DON’T WANT HIM TO BE - and it’s taking its toll on both my sanity and his.
That’s not to say he isn’t great with the baby. He totally is. The first thing Murph does every morning after a long stretch and tongue-curled yawn is lick Seabass’ toes. Who knows why? It’s just how he rolls. Murph also loves all the walks he gets because of Seabass’ need for fresh air. And who said acid reflux was all bad? Seabass has baby-birded quite a few meals for Murph that I haven’t been swift enough to clean in time. At first I gasped in horror. Then I considered that I didn’t have to bend down to wipe it up. It’s sort of like symbiosis. Or is it co-dependence?
Anyway, I bring all of this up because something happened recently to remind me of how special our cast-aside little dog really is. By way of explanation, I’ll share with you an e-mail I received via YouTube:
PLEASE RESPOND ASAP — DEADLINE IS TODAY!!!!!!
Animal Planet is interested in your video
WE WANT TO PUT YOUR VIDEO ON TV!!!!!!!!!!
Julie Cresswell here, with Animal Planet’s television show, “America’s Cutest Dog.” A team of us are currently searching for the cutest dog videos to air on our second special. I came across your video “MURPH THE COWBOY” during my search and absolutely loved it. Your video is really amazing, and perfect for our show. Please get in touch with me at [email address] to discuss how we can get him on the air.
The video to which Ms. Cresswell refers is from several years ago when I adorned poor Murph in a cowboy costume.
Let me clarify. I did not seek Animal Planet out. They found us. That’s how cute our dog is. Cute enough to be featured on America’s Cutest Dog II (which would, I suppose, make him America’s second-cutest dog after the previously-aired America’s Cutest Dog I). It’s just too ironic that in the midst of all this fussing and fretting over the baby, our precious little Murph is the one kicking butt and taking names.
Of course, Jake’s first question was if there would be any money involved. I haven’t heard back yet, but I kinda doubt there’s more reward for this than that of getting to own America’s Cutest Dog (II). Which is too bad, because we could really use a few extra bucks around here to pay for Murph’s dental appointment next week, which will remove a couple rotting teeth and hopefully put an end to his one flaw: Repellent breath-of-death.