Second story in a children’s series featuring our new puppies, Murphy and Maggie.
Murphy was the new puppy of the house. He was scared but he was curious too. While Susan hugged and carried him around, he peeked at his new home and family. Murphy sniffed and licked hands and faces as everyone greeted him. First he met John and Scott, then Kyra and Matt. He gave lots of extra kisses to Matt. He would never forget that young man who chose him as a surprise gift for Susan. His family were all so gentle and spoke so kindly that he didn’t feel as scared anymore. He started to relax and explore a bit. Aha! There were puppy dishes and a nice little puppy bed! He wagged his tail happily. This place was awesome!
Susan carried Murphy outside into a beautiful spring day and placed him on the soft grass. He stood and looked and looked then took a big, deep breath. The yard was huge with lots of trees and bushes. So many things to explore, and oh, what delightful smells!
“Do you have to pee Murphy?” Susan asked as he looked up at her and wagged his tail. “Then we’ll look for Kyra and Lilly – they’re out here in the yard somewhere.”
Suddenly something small rocketed around the corner of the house and came right at him! What was that?! Murphy yipped and backed up against Susan’s legs as it stopped right in front of him.
“Hi! I’m Lilly,” she said.
Murphy stared in wonder. “You’re just a little puppy – how can you run so fast?” he asked.
“I’m not a puppy! I have babies of my own!” Lilly said.
“But I’m bigger!” Murphy said, “How can you be a grownup dog?”
“I’m a Dachshund. My back is long but my legs are very short!”
“We are so different! Do you know what I am? I’ve always wondered,” said Murphy.
“You’re black and white like a Border Collie. See how big your feet are? That means you’ll grow a lot bigger than me,” said Lilly.
“Wow! Then I’ll be able to run fast like you!” Murphy said happily. “Do you live here?”
“No, just visiting!” and off she ran. He tried to follow her but his puppy legs weren’t as strong or fast as hers.
“Wait, wait!” Murphy whined.
“I’m not slowing down for you!” Lilly puffed. “This is fun! I’m usually on a leash!” and she ran away so fast that Murphy just stood and watched. She ran around and around the trees and the house, again and again. She grinned as she ran with her tongue hanging out the corner of her mouth. Why didn’t she get dizzy? How could those short little legs go so fast?! Murphy watched in amazement.
When Lilly stopped for a rest Murphy ran over to play. He wanted to wrestle so he tackled her like a football player, knocking her over into a big somersault. She leaped up and growled!
“That’s not how you act to a stranger! You need to learn some manners,” Lilly snapped. “You need to show respect.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know,” Murphy yelped. He backed away and laid down.
“You need to go slow at first, bow or keep your head low, sniff, and wag your tail. Show that you aren’t going to fight,” Lilly instructed. “And when you play fight, you don’t bite hard!”
Murphy was starting to learn. Lilly was patient and played gently with him. They jumped, chased, and rolled over and over. When Murphy chewed too hard on Lilly’s ears, she growled and nipped at him. After that he was very gentle. He was learning his dog manners.
Finally Murphy’s mouth opened in a wide, noisy yawn, “Aaaaaa-eeeeeee-oooowwww!” and he laid down on the grass. He was ready for a puppy nap.
The whole family took turns cuddling Murphy in the living room while he slept. When Murphy finally woke up, he was delighted to find two more puppies watching him curiously! Murphy wagged his tail and bounced towards them. He was so excited that he forgot to show his manners like Lilly taught him.
“Hello! I’m a Border Collie. What kind of puppy are you?” and Murphy ran right over the biggest one, knocking him over.
The big orange puppy rolled back onto his feet and made a horrible hissing noise, “I’m a cat!” and he quickly swatted Murphy with his front paws over and over until the puppy scrambled out of reach.
Murphy backed into a corner, eyes wide, yelping, “Sorry, sorry, Cat!”
“I’m Taz and I’m the boss around here. Don’t mess with me!” and he stalked away with his tail twitching.
What a bad time to forget his new manners! Murphy wanted Taz to be his friend but how could that ever happen now? What should he do? Murphy peeked at the small grey and white puppy hiding on a chair. He appeared to be enjoying the show!
“Are you a cat too?” Murphy whispered.
“Yes I am,” said Jasper. “I guess you’ve never seen a cat before.” He stood up, stretched, and started licking his front paws. “Don’t worry about Taz. He’s not that bad once you get to know him. Best thing is, you’ll probably be bigger than him some day.”
“I just want to be his friend,” said Murphy. “Do you want to play? I promise I won’t knock you over.”
“No!” said Jasper.
“Please?” whined Murphy. He jumped up against the chair to peek at him, “Maybe later?”
“Maybe,” Jasper teased, dangling one paw over the edge.
Just then Susan walked into the room and said, “Here Murphy! It’s time to go outside again. Maybe Kyra and Lilly will come too!”
Kyra said, “Of course!” and she patted Murphy’s head and called to Lilly.
Lilly and Murphy chased each other around the yard, chewed sticks, and wrestled. During a quiet moment Murphy said, “Lilly, what should I do? Taz hates me. I forgot my manners and knocked him over.”
“You need to try again. And do it right this time,” Lilly scolded.
“I’m afraid. He has sharp claws and he told me to stay away!” Murphy whined.
“You have to do it sometime. The longer you wait the harder it will be,” Lilly said.
“Maybe not. Jasper says I’ll get bigger than Taz, then I won’t have to be afraid anymore!”
“That’s not the way to make a friend Murphy! Wouldn’t it be better to be friends now?” Lilly asked. “Oh it looks like I have to go, Matt and Kyra are packing up.”
Murphy thought about what Lilly said while everyone hugged and waved goodbye.
“Don’t worry Murphy. Matt, Kyra, and Lilly will be back for a visit again soon,” said Susan. She didn’t realize what was really bothering Murphy.
At the end of such a busy first day Murphy was ready for a long nap. He curled up with Scott while Susan and John pulled out their old puppy crate from the cellar.
Scott could see that his Mom was tired so he said, “I’ll stay tonight and help look after Murphy.”
“That’s wonderful, thank you!” Susan said. “Tomorrow I’ll make a place for his crate in my room.”
Susan took Murphy outside for a pee then handed the sleepy puppy back to her son. Gently Scott placed him in the little crate on the spare bed and stretched out beside him. To Murphy’s surprise, Taz walked into the room too, jumped onto the bed near them, and started purring loudly. Maybe Taz had forgiven him! Murphy wagged his tail then laid down to sleep with his nose tucked under his paws. But he couldn’t sleep, not yet. He missed his brothers and sisters; he needed to cuddle and feel a soft, warm heartbeat. Murphy started to whimper and cry.
“It’s ok little guy, I’m right here,” Scott said and put his fingers through the door of the crate.
Murphy stopped whining, gave a big wide yawn, and curled up against Scott’s warm fingers. His first day had been scary but now he felt safe. He had new friends and learned new things. Best of all, he felt like an important part of his new family. Feeling Scott’s soft heartbeat, Murphy drifted off to sleep. Whenever he woke, Scott was there for him. In his dreams he raced as fast as the wind around and around the yard.
But Murphy might have been too excited to sleep if he had known about the next surprise. John had already arranged with Bur Hill Border Collies for a special playmate for Murphy in those romps around his new home.