MurphySo many of us know the wonderful and healing “medicine” that our canine companions can be.  Therapy dogs help those who are hurt in many different ways from physical to emotional to psychological, to heal or sometimes even just cope with every day life.  Sometimes though, two injured souls find their way to each other and help each other to heal and sometimes one of these is canine and the other human.  This is the case of Murphy, an injured stray basset-pit mix and Brycen Roberts, a young teen dealing with being mercilessly bullied at school.

Brycen had become the target of some jock types at middle school, being beaten, bloodied and bullied all too often and the design of the school made it impossible to really escape, “People would just run up to me, push me over and run down the hall,” he said.

Brycen’s aunt who volunteered with the Salt Lake City shelter’s pit program got together with his mother, Cassie Roberts, and thought that a dog might be good for him.  It didn’t take long to zero in on Murphy, a basset-pit mix who was also the object of a bit of canine bullying at the shelter.  The little stray has been injured by his kennel-mate and suffered some injuries, open wounds requiring drains and weekly vet visits.

“We felt like we needed to get him out to a foster,” volunteer coordinator Kiera K. Packer said. “This seemed like a good fit. A kid who was bullied needed someone, and here [Murphy] got bullied a little bit, too.”

Murphy n BrycenMurphy was transported and made it to Brycen on Christmas Eve, they hit it off and spent the holiday getting to know each other, cuddling and snuggling.  Two lost souls finding themselves and in each other a missing piece.

Brycen made it through eighth grade, through the unceasing ups and downs with the help of his new friend, Murphy. “He’s always there,” Brycen said. “He  doesn’t judge. He’s not capable of it. Even if you’ve done something bad, he’ll be there.”

In high school Brycen is doing better, things are going more smoothly.  Murphy has also recovered from his physical wounds but still has some behavioral issues to deal with.  Strange things send him cowering and recently while at the family farm one of these issues took a scary turn.  When Cassie removed Murphy’s collar for a moment to scratch his neck, something set him off and he ran.  The family going after him only panicked him more.

For days family and friends searched and drove around looking for the little scared dog.  Brycen, waiting at home, realized how important Murphy was to him, how much his furry friend had helped him and tried not to think about what could happen if Murphy didn’t make it home.

“I was not doing well without him,” Brycen said. “When I figured we had lost him last weekend, our family kind of fell apart. If somebody pushed me too far, I would have started swinging at them.”

Five days after Murphy’d gone missing, Brycen was attempting to do some homework when he heard a scratching at the door. All the driving and searching for the missing dog did no good, but Murphy found his own way home… home to the young man who became his best friend.

Little worse for wear, a bit thinner, very thirsty and tired, he was home.

“We gave him kisses and lots of hugs,” Brycen said. “I’m so, so happy that he found us.”

“They healed each other, and they’re going to be together,” Cassie said. “They’re just the perfect match.”

Some things truly are meant to be and obviously Brycen and Murphy were meant to be together.

I just love a happy ending… <sniff, sniff>



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