Grateful, loving, selfless.
Those are just a few of the words Mandy Weikert uses to describe her dog Murphy, who passed away just a few weeks ago.
"He just wanted nothing more than to show us, and every single person he came into contact with, how loving he was and how happy he was to be not in this situation anymore," Weikert said.
Murphy came into Weikert and her boyfriend Chris' lives when he was abandoned on the property of BARCS in South Baltimore on a cold February morning.
"I knew he was special. He was lumpy and old and perfect," said Laura Griffiths, the volunteer manager at BARCS who took Murphy in.
BARCS named the dog Morgan, after Morgan Freeman. They guessed his age at around 13, and he had several health problems, yet he was the perfect dog for Weikert, who works as an oncology nurse.
"We're in a position where we can spoil the crap out of an older dog, who wants nothing more than a couch and a bed and lots of treats," she said.
Weikert and her boyfriend drove to BARCS from Pennsylvania, met Morgan, fell in love and adopted him. They renamed him Murphy and he instantly became part of their family.
"He was a huge baby, he always cried if he didn't get attention. It was clear he wanted nothing more than to make us realize what a good dog he was and that he deserved to be loved," said Weikert.
But Murphy's health problems were more serious than Weikert, or BARCS, realized. Within a week of adopting him, Murphy's condition grew worse and Weikert was forced to make the decision no dog owner ever wants to make.
"Either a surgery that would kill him on the table or to let him go with a wonderful week that he had and end on a high note. That's what we chose to do," she said.
When Griffiths heard about Murphy's passing, it hit her hard. But she knew Murphy had passed feeling loved and that's all she wanted for him.
"It doesn't matter that it lasted for a week, dogs don't know time, they live in the moment. He was just very special," she said, holding back tears.
Both Griffiths and Weikert know this story might deter people from giving older shelter pets a chance. Griffiths says there are many benefits to adopting a senior pet. They don't need as much exercise or training and they make the best cuddle buddies.
Weikert says she would do it all over again, even knowing she'd only have a week with Murphy.
"I truly believe these senior dogs know what you have done for them and all they want to do is please you, all they want to do is show you what a wonderful dog they are, all they want is love," said Weikert.