I’m still trying to digest what happened with Murphy while visiting theabused and neglected
children this week for Gabriel’s Angels
. I’m still looking at her with amazement.
I propped myself on my elbow next to her on the floor and had three teens petting her and learning about her; the rest of the children busy with craft projects, babies or simply watching from the comfort of the sofa and chair, waiting their turn. A staff member stepped outside the door to speak with a driver who dropped off one of the children. Two others popped in and out of the room, monitoring our visit and a Halloween craft project that Karen set up. Pretty quiet, normal evening with a surprising lack of drama.
Suddenly Murphy whimpered loudly twice (Murphy never makes a sound…ever!), leapt to her feet and dashed behind my back where a toddler stood shaking and choking on water from his bottle. No one could have seen the child, as I was blocking the view, and he made no sound at all. Even I didn’t realize he was standing behind me. Murphy nudged him in the tummy and knocked the bottle out of his hand with her nose. I followed with a thud between his shoulder blades and water flew from his trachea and he took a huge, deep breath, coughing up the rest of the water. Murphy sniffed the evil water on the carpet, nudged the little one again, and his mother flew by his side and took charge.
The entire incident didn’t last more than a few seconds, but Karen and the older children witnessed it entirely. The kids ran to the staff shouting, “Murphy just caught the baby choking!”
It was over as quickly as it started.
Murphy comforted three other children who were in pretty severe emotional distress that night and snuggled and cuddled with everyone including staff. She enjoyed treats and brushing, hugs and pets from the kids and getting a drink from one who’s normally too shy to participate. With tears damp in her soft coat, we packed up our brushes, treats and paraphernalia and let the kids all say good night to my gentle giant.
Since we left, I’ve asked myself so many questions! How did she know? Did she sense the baby’s distress even though she couldn’t see him? Is that whimper her distress signal? Thank God the little toddler’s okay. Thank God for my mastiffs. They’re truly angels with paws.