According to Cheyeanne Murphy, her furry companions have not only added value to her life but also prevented her from walking down a negative path. While her dogs may not have literally rescued her from danger, they have helped her to cope with the loss of her mother, who passed away a decade ago after being diagnosed with cancer. Before her mother’s diagnosis, Cheyeanne was working long hours at a business that didn’t align with her passions and goals. However, her mother’s sudden illness served as a wake-up call, reminding Cheyeanne of the fragility of life and the importance of prioritizing one’s happiness and well-being.
According to Cheyeanne, her mother’s passing was both a blessing and a curse. She admits that some people may find it unpleasant to hear, but she believes it forced her to live in the present at a young age. With the help of her furry companions – Cash, Notorious, and Shady – Cheyeanne eventually overcame her struggles and started living again. She made significant changes in her life such as switching careers, moving to a new location, and ending a long-term relationship. For an entire year, she focused on discovering who she truly was, what she wanted from life, and where she wanted to go. Her ultimate goal was to be happy and spread joy to other people, which she believes with every fiber of her being.
In the snow, Cheyeanne saw a small dog doing flips and circles with her hind legs not in use. The high-pitched squeal and energy of the dog made her fall in love at first sight. After her mom passed away, Cheyeanne found Notorious, who was her first rescue pet that also happened to be disabled. Although Cheyeanne had no experience with special needs animals, she decided to apply for adoption after falling in love with Notorious on Facebook. A few months later, Cheyeanne received her new pet, who is still happy and energetic despite being nine or ten years old. Notorious enjoys running 5Ks in her wheelchair in Spokane, Washington.
As soon as Cheyeanne releases her dog’s leash, the fearless pup barrels down the hill. Despite being disabled, she takes the lead while Cheyeanne simply follows. Cheyeanne chuckles at her dog’s lack of awareness towards her disability, and she has no intention of bringing it to her attention.
Cheyeanne’s other dog, Shady, was also a love-at-first-sight encounter, but in a different way. Unlike most shelter pets who require time to adjust to new owners and surroundings, Shady trusted and loved everyone right away, especially Cheyeanne. Although Cheyeanne was eager to adopt another “unadoptable” rescue, she didn’t think that the adorable Shady was the right fit at first glance.
When Cheyeanne saw Shady for the first time, she remarked on how cute and huggable she was. She believed that this pup would find a home in no time, and she didn’t need to adopt her. However, Cheyeanne was informed that Shady was special needs due to losing both of her eyes after being hit by a car. Although vets attempted to reattach her eyes, they could only save one, and Shady’s vision in that eye remained poor. Additionally, Shady was classified as a senior dog, making her even less adoptable.
Cheyeanne’s decision to adopt Shady has brought her great joy. She describes Shady as one of the most easygoing dogs she has ever had, always adapting to new situations with ease. Shady has a loving nature and gets along well with men, women, children, dogs, and cats, making her a true chameleon. Cheyeanne usually names her dogs after musicians because music plays a significant role in her life. Her other dogs, Cash and Notorious, are named after Johnny Cash and The Notorious B.I.G., respectively. She believes that music is an essential part of life and has been a source of comfort during difficult times. Cheyeanne sees her dogs as icons, regardless of their humble beginnings. These senior dogs have given Cheyeanne’s life meaning and purpose and have also inspired others.
As expected, being the owner of rescue dogs with disabilities has its own set of challenges. Notorious tends to lose bladder control and ends up urinating on the floor, while Shady needs constant supervision when near water due to her lack of direction. As a result, finding dog-sitters for them can be challenging when Cheyeanne travels. However, despite the challenges, there are some unique benefits of owning these furry companions that one might not have considered. For instance, they cannot jump on furniture, which Cheyeanne finds awesome. Notorious and Shady make ideal companions for outdoor activities such as paddleboarding, hiking, and participating in 5k (and even 10k) races, where Shady is carried in a backpack. They love meeting new people and animals. Most importantly, they remind Cheyeanne to appreciate the small moments of pleasure and that life is worth living.
Cheyeanne shares that witnessing the happiness of her dogs every morning played a major role in pulling her out of a dark place. Despite having reasons to be angry and upset with people, her rescue pets exude positivity and inspire her greatly. She hopes that her story will motivate others to consider adopting rescue animals, especially those who are older or have disabilities. While caring for these pets may require extra effort, she believes that the rewards are worth it and encourages others to give them a chance as it can greatly improve one’s life.