About Murphy

About Murphy

Isn't she cute?

It's what keeps her alive!

WARNING! What follows is a lot of text from a doting puppy-owner. If you're looking for puppy links, please skip to the bottom of the page. And if you're looking for some photos of our Murphy please go here: Murphy's Photo Album

Murphy is a relatively new addition to our little family. We picked her up from the Sterling Animal Shelter on February 1, 2002. She arrived from Virginia with 30 other puppies the day before as part of the Homeward Bound Hounds program. Most of the puppies were gone by the time we got there after work but there were still a few to choose from. We had planned for awhile to get a puppy but wanted to get the right one for us. Fortunately there she was :)

Kris is really the one who found her. I had my heart set on one of the yellow labs and was looking at those. But Kris had stopped halfway down the kennels and was staring in at a litter of black labs and shephard mixes. There were about 6 puppies in there. One was way in back too shy to even look forward. Four of them were barking for attention and following anyone walking by. And one was just waiting quietly by where the door opens. "See," Kris said, "She's the only one smart enough to know the way out." And sure enough when we left to look around and came back, she was waiting patiently by the back door of the kennel. Kris called to her and she came dodging the others also trying to get his attention but she had already won all of his. We had found our puppy.

For a mere $200 and another $100 for a HUGE crate, we had a puppy already spayed and vaccinated and ready to go home with us and completely change our lives. And change it she has. Our house now smells of doggy drool and peanut butter and has little pieces of string all over the place. But she's fit right in from day one. She was housebroken in the first weekend and has had very few accidents since. She loves to sleep in on weekends and go for rides in the car. Even if it's to the vet. I'm hoping that doesn't change ;)

Murphy got her name from me just saying a bunch of names out loud to myself in the car. I wanted an "M" or "R" name and not anything too silly or effeminate. Originally our roommate wanted to name her Madeline but the name Murphy won out. It's the name of our favorite beer :) She has indeed learned her name. She's just sometimes selective in responding to it. Smart dogs can also be very independent dogs. And clever dogs can spell trouble. But so far she's been pretty good. I'm waiting for the day she can open her crate from the inside. She's almost got it from the outside. Oh, and door knobs. She knows how that work but damn those thumbless paws!

Murphy has started puppy training at NEADS up in Princeton, MA where they train various assistance dogs for the disabled. There she is learning how to be a real puppy. She's quite the social butterfly of the group and she is now good with most dogs and pretty much any person who says hi to her. Very friendly. She just needs to learn 4 paws good, 2 paws bad and she'll be all set :) The class is awesome and has a huge range of puppies in age and size. The biggest is a mastiff named Aster with whom Murphy has formed an alliance and the smallest is a little yorkie who could probably fit in my hand.

Everybody who has met Murphy so far has said she is a "nice dog." She is quite the sweetie pie and we love her. Someday she'll grow up to be a great dog. Maybe as good as ole Fizz-gig :)

Murphy's Links:
Murphy's Photo Album
Sterling Animal Shelter
NEADS (National Education for Assistance Dog Services, Inc.)
Dog Owner's Guide

I also recommend getting the Puppies for Dummies book before getting a puppy and use it throughout. It's a great reference for EVERYTHING and has a positive reinforement method of training Kris and I both enjoy.

Murphy's Vet:
Westside Animal Clinic
Elizabeth Vooys, DVM
546 Mill Street
Worcester, MA 01602
(508) 756-4411


Katie Horning
Last updated April 5, 2002