'Bad' Puppy Proves He's Worth the Hassle in Video of His BFF With Disabilities

Hugh Murphy
Facebook/Happy Little Hugh

There's good reason why dogs are man's best friend. They're loyal, loving, and are true companions for life. Which is why one mom from Birmingham, England decided that her 8-year-old son Hugh needed a pup of his own. Hugh suffers from a rare genetic neuro-developmental disorder, which impairs his physical development, and his mom Emma thought that a puppy would be just the pal her son needed to brighten his day. On Sunday Emma shared a heartwarming video of the bond that has formed between Hugh and his new pal, Barney; showing just how deep the love runs between a boy and his dog.

  • It wasn't always the obvious choice for the Murphy family to get a dog.

    According to Emma's blogLittle Mama Murphy, Hugh suffers from FOXG1 syndrome, a condition that Genetics Home Reference explains is "characterized by impaired development and structural brain abnormalities. The condition is associated with a particular pattern of brain malformations that includes a thin or underdeveloped connection between the right and left halves of the brain, reduced folds and grooves on the surface of the brain, and a smaller than usual amount of brain tissue known as white matter."

    FOXG1 impacts most of its sufferers intellectual and physical development. Emma explained that means Hugh will most likely never walk, talk, be able to eat without a feeding tube, and suffer from seizures for the rest of his life.

    Emma had been toying with the idea of getting her son a dog as a companion, but because of Hugh's disease she was torn about whether or not it was fair to bring a dog into their "chaotic life." In a post on her Facebook page, Happy Little Hugh, the mom admits that while they hoped that a puppy "would be good for Hugh," she wondered if she could handle both a dog and the frequent hospital trips that her family needed to take to care for her child. But Emma decided to risk it, banking on the fact that a puppy would be the pal that her sick son desperately needed.  

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  • The family decided on a 12-week old Springer Spaniel named Barney, and the mischievous pup has brought pure joy to Hugh's life.

    As Emma predicted, there was definitely a learning curve when it came to juggling both her son's many needs and a mischievous young puppy. And Barney had certainly brought his fair share of trouble.

    "So far Barney has learnt how to unscrew the lid off the medicine port on a feeding tube, mid-feed, so that Hugh’s milk leaked all over the floor. He then licked it up," the mom wrote on Facebook. "He won’t walk straight and keeps getting in front of the wheelchair wheels. And on the nights that Hugh sleeps through, you can bet that Barney will wake up and need to go outside." 

    "A puppy isn’t easy and, I’ll be honest, I want sure if we’d made the right decision getting one."

    It was only after Emma started to see the bond that was growing between her son and his dog, like Barney tolerating Hugh's swinging legs or Hugh tolerating Barney licking his feet, that she realized "despite the craziness, it might work out."

  • Now Barney and Hugh are the best of buds. So much so, that Emma was able to capture this now viral video of the two pals. 

    The video, which was posted on July 29, has already racked up thousands of views on Facebook where Emma has shared it. Over 244,000 people have watched Hugh and Barney sharing a seat together, as Barney curls up in his owner's lap and puts his paw out to meet Hugh's hand. 

    "My house smells a bit of dog, he gets so excited when he sees people that he wees on the floor, he thinks it’s ok to sleep on the settee (it’s not) and he runs around like a lunatic, chewing shoes and eating Hugh’s toys... but then this morning, this happened... and I admit, it brought a little tear to my eye," Emma captioned the post. "I defy you not to get choked up watching this."


  • Commenters on the video are smitten with the connection that Hugh and Barney share.

    "You can buy carpets, you can buy shoes you can by air fresher, you can't buy that," one user wrote.

    "We would love a dog for our son to keep him company. This is just so lovely," wrote another. 

    And one user said it best, Tthe unconditional love a dog brings outweighs the wee! 💕❤️💕 this is beautiful."

    Emma agrees,  ending her post noting that "having a puppy isn’t easy (it’s way harder than I expected), but it’s definitely worth it."

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