Saskatoon

Saskatoon therapy dog's work captured in new children's book

The book, Murphy Mondays, tells the story of the English Springer Spaniel’s work at Royal University Hospital.

Murphy a pioneer in his field

Murphy the therapy dog, as illustrated by Wendi Nordell, is the subject of a new children's book. (Wendi Nordell)

Murphy knows instinctively what people need.

"Our job is to bring a smile," Murphy's companion Jane Smith said.

Murphy is a bit of a celebrity in Saskatoon. It's appropriate that there is a new book outlining his efforts to ease suffering.

He will put his head right on their shoulder and they will cry.- Jane Smith

"He loves to snuggle with the children," said Smith.

Murphy is a therapy dog, a pioneer in the field. He is the first St. John Ambulance therapy dog to work in a Canadian emergency room.

The book, Murphy Mondays, was written by Jane Smith and illustrated by Wendi Nordell. It's for children. It tells the story of the English Springer Spaniel's work at Royal University Hospital.

Proceeds from Murphy Mondays will go to the Royal University Hospital Foundation. (Wendi Nordell)

Murphy's gift

Time and time again, Smith said, she's seen Murphy meet and then ease the physical pain and emotional suffering of children and adults in the ER.   

"Murphy gets up on the bed and he will put his head right on their shoulder and they cry and talk to the dog for about 10 minutes and after 10 minutes they normally are sitting up and talking to me with a smile on their face."

Murphy extends that comfort to hospital staff who in the high stress environment.

The essence of Murphy 

Nordell, the illustrator, has not met Smith or Murphy but said she was able to channel the collective generosity and kindness of the two. 

"It's like this book was supposed to happen and it just kind of flowed," Nordell said in an interview with CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning

Smith said Nordell's illustrations were just right.

"She's really captured the essence of Murphy and she captured the essence of me so much without the wrinkles!" Smith said.

Murphy Mondays will be officially launched at McNally Robinson Booksellers in Saskatoon on November 17, 2018. The proceeds from the book go to the Royal University Hospital Foundation and the Saskatchewan St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program.. 

The real Murphy visited CBC Saskatoon along with Jane Smith, who talked about the new book and all the work Murphy does to help people. (CBC)

with files from Saskatoon Morning

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