2 Million Dogs – The Blog

Cancer. Touches. Everyone.

A Letter for 2 Million Dogs’ Executive Director

Posted by Erich Trapp on October 30, 2011

Murphy and Ginger

I’m often asked, “How do you do it; work tirelessly for the cause and the mission?” And, “Why did you get involved in the beginning?” The truth is, in the beginning, I just wanted to make sure that Hudson and Murphy arrived in Boston safely. And if Luke got there safely, too . . . well, that would be an added bonus.

I watched over Hudson, Murphy, and Luke from the fateful day they walked into Memphis in August 2008, to the time they took their final steps into Boston on June 19, 2010, and I learned. I thought I knew that one out of three dogs get cancer in their lifetime and that one in four die from it. I thought I understood the meaning of “Puppy Up!” Then in 2010, I lost eight close canine friends to cancer, including my very own Pete. The numbers are just numbers until one of your own is one more. When I heard Pete’s diagnosis, I wept silently in a friend’s arms. I prayed to God that if he was truly merciful, he would take Pete and not make me have to make the decision that every pet parent dreads.

My prayers were answered.

Then, weeks after getting the news about Pete, our very own Murphy was diagnosed with nasal cancer. My cries were not silent this time. I wailed, kicked, screamed, and cried on the floor for hours. Not Murphy, my God, not Murphy. It was sick, unbelievable, that Murphy’s cancer had been growing while he walked all those miles to raise awareness of canine cancer. There must have been days he didn’t feel good. As Luke tells the story, Murphy was always the first one wanting to start the day, always the first one out of the tent in the morning. He never wavered.

That same strength is what kept Murphy going through eighteen rounds of radiation at CSU. He came back to Memphis, full of life, running in the back yard, taking down my Lilly and holding her there with that big Pyr paw. Sure, there were times he slept more than not, wouldn’t eat—or only if I hand-fed him. But there were also times he was all Murphy, and then some, demanding belly rubs, dinner. I had hope.

Those last months, there were times we danced, times we snuggled, times just shared. In the end, there were times we leaned into one another to just “be.” And then time ran out.

Time is what we have. One week before our Puppy Up! Walks, we’ll be walking in unison across the country in nearly twice as many cities as last year. For some of you this is your city’s first walk. You may get the same questions I get. “How do you do it? Why did you get involved to begin with?”

I can’t answer that for you. But personally and as the executive director of 2 Million Dogs, I’m asking that you take a moment before your walk begins to remember and dedicate each step to the one who was always the first out of the tent, who walked thousands of miles, always smiling, for others though he suffered himself; the one whose courage and strength will always lead the way because he embodied our rally cry and our song, “Puppy Up!” And I have my answer. He is still my reason. Murphy.

Puppy Up!

Ginger Morgan

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3 Responses to “A Letter for 2 Million Dogs’ Executive Director”

  1. Denise said

    Tears are flowing! Must have been hard to write this due to you being so close to Luke and Murphy!

  2. Crystal said

    I am weeping too. What a profound message! And those of us who have loved a four-legged companion so deeply understand the feelings you expressed.

  3. Patti Best said

    Ginger….. thanks for writing this. We love you.
    Patti and Blogging Bob

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