We've noticed Murphy having a hard time going to the bathroom lately. Took him to the vet in December where they ran some tests, gave him some prescription dogfood and put him on some arthritis medication. He seemed to get a little better, but then started barking in the night to be let out which was really unusual. I took him back to the vet last week and we got some sad news.
Murphy has a tumor on his bladder. The vet seems to think that it is to big to be removed, but we are going to take him to an oncologist to get a second opinion. (We don't really trust this vet's ultrasound machines because they missed Murphy's kidney stones two years ago.) If the vet is right, then we'll have about 3-6 more months with him.
Murphy still loves to play with the dummy, go for runs and bike rides and wags his tail whenever you look him in the eye. So, we have decided not to tell the children the news yet. We're just making a point to really love on him and treating him to some Scooby Snacks (McIver picked them out!) which had been a forbidden delicacy. Please keep him (and all of us) in your prayers.