Theresa Potratz has always trained all the pups in her care to be well-behaved, obedient, and as polite and well-mannered as could be. So when her family got a new Cavalier King Charles spaniel named Murphy, she thought it wouldn’t be too difficult to do the same for him.
But it proved to be an impossible task. Murphy was extremely aggressive towards food and toys, and he constantly wanted to chew and bite at pretty much everything he saw. Theresa tried as hard as she could to adjust his bad habits, but to no avail. Then one day, disaster struck, and his chewing and eating caused Murphy to end up with something lodged in his digestive tract. He had to undergo surgery and was rushed to the vet.
Unfortunately, that marked the first of many vet visits and surgeries, which all culminated in Murphy needing to be hand fed. Theresa did everything she could in her power to alter the damaging behavior, even sending him for corrective training lessons, but it was all in vain.
As a pup, it goes without saying that Murphy didn’t understand that his actions were causing heartbreak for the family. He was only doing what he felt compelled to do. But one day, Theresa couldn’t take it anymore and broke down, frustrated with herself and with Murphy as neither of them had successfully weaned him off of his behavior.
But the next morning, a little encouragement came in the form of a surprise delivery of flowers to the Theresa’s workplace. When Theresa read the card, she teared up. It was addressed to her from Murphy – purchased on the pup’s behalf by her husband – and it said: “Sorry I was a bad puppy, I will be a better dog I promise.”
The simply gesture gave Theresa the strength and encouragement she needed to keep trying, and she knew that in Murphy’s little heart, if he understood what he had done, he would have shared the sentiments of the card. Murphy is an adult now, and although he still is fed by hand, his behavioral problems have decreased, and Theresa has never once lost faith in him again.