This is the story of courageous cancer survivor, Lee, and her faithful companion, 16 year-old rescued Border Collie, Eddie.
This story is one of unconditional love. A selfless love that knows no judgement nor boundaries. A simple love that sees only beauty in the face of imperfection. A pure love that can overcome despair through unfaltering devotion.
Eddie was Lee’s rock through years of debilitating health battles. Now facing his own fight for life, Lee will stop at nothing to support her best friend, right to the very end.
Lee Murphy is a woman of many talents. A singer, songwriter, green thumb and all-round free spirit, Lee is also a cancer survivor. Having faced more than her fair share of health battles, her warmth, positive energy and infectious laugh gives none of that away.
Not long after her last Border Collie sadly crossed the Rainbow Bridge, Lee felt it was time to consider adopting a rescue dog. With her physical injuries and uncertainty about her future health, she believed a slower-paced senior dog in need of companionship would be the right fit.
The day Lee saw Eddie’s photo from the shelter, he’d already been there for 3 weeks. In a sorry state with his 12 year-old coat a bedraggled mess, Lee saw past Eddie’s scruffy looks to his bright eyes and gentle demeanour.
Lee was told what they knew of Eddie’s sad history; he had been a working dog for 6 years, then was adopted for another 6 years by a family who surrendered him when they decided to have kids and get a puppy.
Shortly after Lee brought Eddie home, Lee was suddenly faced with some unexpected health problems. What was to be two operations became 11, involving a series of hip replacements, life-threatening infections and six months of in-home hospital treatment.
Lee knew a long road to recovery lie ahead, but this did little to stop her living the best life she could with Eddie. They spent every waking moment together in Lee’s charming timber-panelled home, nestled in the rural outskirts of Mornington.
Despite being on crutches for 18 long months, Lee hobbled out of her house most days to walk him. With every careful step she took, Eddie stayed patiently in step beside her. His unwavering loyalty and support gave her strength and a reason to push through.
Over the years the two became inseparable and as their story blossomed, Lee’s physical health improved.
Sadly, it was to be a different story for Eddie.
Being 16 years old and prone to knee and leg problems, Eddie ruptured his cruciate ligament and had to undergo surgery. To make matters worse, Eddie’s health deteriorated further with the onset of seizures. Lee was told by the vet that Eddie most probably has brain cancer.
Despite the bleak outlook however, a course of natural therapies appear to be giving Eddie another chance. In recent weeks his health has been showing signs of improvement, and Eddie has not experienced a seizure for almost two months.
Lee’s focus now is on giving Eddie the best quality of life possible. To support him unconditionally in the same way he did her, before the time soon comes to set him free. Free from physical pain, and free from this Earth. But never free from her love.
In the grip of hope yet in the shadow of an impending goodbye, Lee took some time to reflect on her story with Eddie. Here, she writes an ode to her faithful best friend:
“Mr Eddie Murphy,
Ours is a tale of fervent love. Of provision and blessing. A great and mutual gift. Of serendipity and perfect timing. Of healing. Of interconnectedness. Of love you wish to hold on to forever in its current form, yet you know you cannot. Of a love that will not die, only change to memory and a larger heart as its legacy.
I could never have known the days and years ahead when we chose each other. When I swept you out of that cage you’d been abandoned to, by those who were blind to your worth and did not deserve you. Lucky me. Lucky you.
We found each other, finally, at the right time when I could welcome you home…your forever home. Where you will be safe and protected ‘til you draw your final breath. Such joy you have brought. Such comfort in your adoration.
So many have spoken of your love eyes when you gaze at me. And I see it. I see your loyalty and your devotion, your trust. And I know your trust does not come easily because you’ve been betrayed and beaten by those you loved and trusted before. But you know I will never hurt you. You are safe here with me, forever. And I with you.
You who were born to work and serve, you have served me oh so well. You are a credit to your breed of smart, strong, funny and crazy ancestors. You are so, so fine. When life took a terrible turn I could not foresee, you became my rock, my protector, and only companion. My only reason for staying some days.
Thank you, my moving shadow, never far from my side, who took such care not to trip me when my leg was lost. Who patiently walked at my slow crawl without complaint, while containing your vast enthusiasm and admirable athleticism. Who never pulled me over, and understood my constant apologies as I persevered. Who thought none the less of me for my incapacities, but only loved…as I do for you now. Who lay quietly at my feet when terror, exhaustion and their bleak companion, pain, all but consumed me.
We are kin and kindred. Now it is my turn to stand for you. To protect, provide and care for you with all I possess. It is my honour and privilege you great and wondrous creature. I will miss you so desperately when you fly free with my marvelous pack of border collies. I’m so blessed to have been graced by you all, all the days of my life thus far.
I love you beyond earth and sky… Xxxx.”
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