MY TWO INSPIRING PETS
is Carla Murray, and this is my story of how my two amazing
dogs, Boot and Joshua, have helped me through some of the
toughest times in my life.
the most inspiring stories for me started back in 1999, when
I received a terrible phone call telling me that my husband
of 23 years, and Battalion Fire Chief in Pomona, CA, was
killed in the line of duty in an airplane accident in
Gorman, CA. He was en route to Sacramento, CA when they hit
bad weather and were forced to land in Bakersfield, CA.
After waiting three hours for the weather to settle, he
decided to fly back home, but hit bad weather and ended up
crashing into a mountain side. To make this tragedy even
harder to bear I was restricted to a wheelchair due to a
neck injury I had suffered earlier that year. I was now
faced with the difficult reality that I was going to have to
manage without my husband, and the doctors had told me that
I would never walk again, let alone work.
into the story, Boot, my husband’s amazing Dalmatian. Boot
was like my husband’s shadow. He loved us with such
ferocity that it was incredible to see how much love could
come out of that little body. My favorite memory of Boot is
when he would spend the days with my husband down at the
fire hall, and even go out on call and ride on the ladder
trucks!! Now with my husband gone, and my struggle to walk,
Boot focused all his love and attention on me.
my loss, I became determined I would walk again, regardless
of what my doctors had told me. I searched for new medical
opinions on my condition, and eventually found a
neurosurgeon that told me, "Carla, I think I can get you out
of that chair some of the time". I was filled with joy! He
sent me to receive treatment at one of the best
rehabilitation facilities in the state and it was not long
that they had me in braces, using a long walking stick, and
by golly, I learned to walk with them. I used them for two
years. All the while, I still had my faithful dog Boot,
pouring on me his sincere love.
two years, I developed a knot in my heel and went to a bone
specialist, and he told me I had to get out of the braces
and back in my wheelchair or I would destroy the bones in my
ankles. I was so frustrated and angry; I refused to accept
his decision. I went straight home, threw my braces in the
trash and started walking around solely using my walking
stick. Was that humbling…I fell down a lot. The scary part
was that I had been told that if I fell and hit my head, my
neck would break and I would die. I continued to refuse
their advice and with the emotional support of my family and
Boot, I persisted. Even though I fell, somehow I always
fell on my bottom. I think God was protecting me. After
several months, I gradually started walking without my
walk really well, and am so inspired by my pets that I’m
starting a part-time pet-sitting business. But, alas, after
14 ½ years of devotion, I had to put down my faithful dog,
Boot, because arthritis began to ravage his body.
the companionship, I decided to get a yellow lab. His name
is Joshua and he is the light of my life. We are totally
bonded to each other, and he is my best friend. I trained
him both in a novice class and in an intermediate class, and
he won first place in one event and second in another! I
walk him and play ball with him every day. I even taught
him how to fetch. One of his favorite activities is
swimming in the children’s pool I purchased for him and just
plain loves water.
I still miss my beloved husband of 23 yrs., but I'm content
and happy now. God has been good to me. I have had two
inspiring pets, so I am a lucky person.
Murray, Murray’s Wet Nose Pet Sitting.