Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Meet Big Murph

Manfriend is the proud owner of a Chesapeake Bay Retriever named Murphy.  When I first met Manfriend two and a half years ago, he was waiting for Murphy's litter to be born.  He had a friend who had a female Chesapeake Bay Retriever for a hunting dog and this dog apparently was The Greatest Dog Ever.  Manfriend concluded that the breed, in general, must just be THE dog to have if you are a big, macho hunter, like Manfriend aspired to be.  

Manfriend did his research and found a Chesapeake Bay Retriever breeder and forked over big bucks so he could have first pick of the litter.  The first picking was to be done through pictures over email, however, since the breeder was not local. 

When Murphy's litter was born, Manfriend decided that he wanted a male dog because they are bigger than females and surely much more valiant.  Manfriend needed a dose of viril masculinity in his life, as he spent many afternoons playing princesses with his daughter, Cinderella.  

He knew he would feel manly with this ginormous, masculine hunter. Myself, being a lover of the chihuahua, did not necessarily feel that having a bigger dog is a desireable thing.  I also tried to warn Manfriend of the dangers of a male dog.  You see, they also come with slimy, pink male dog parts which they like to leave poking out.  My childhood dog's part never fit properly in it's holder, so he was constantly exposing himself.  

If you do not recall the horrifying tales of my childhood with a male dog and his companion rug, please refresh your memory.  Manfriend did not listen to the sage advice of his girlfriend.  He had visions dancing in his head of the regal, dignified and stoic hunter that his male pup would surely be. 

I went with Manfriend to pick up his new puppy from the breeder. When we walked into the breeder's home, an adorable little puppy ran straight into my arms.  I loved it!  I picked the pup up and gave it kisses all over its little puppy face.  Maybe this giant dog wouldn't be such a hinderance after all!

On the way home, we discussed names for Manfriend's new companion.  He liked "Spranky", which I vetoed immediately after the name passed his lips.  I suggested "Luther" which I felt would be a fine name for a stoic animal.  Manfriend was not too fond of that and we settled on "Murphy Manchester."  I would like to suggest to you that a dog named "Luther" would not have had near the behavioral issues that Murphy has exhibited over the past two years. 

We first began to notice that maybe Murphy was not going to be as courageous as Manfriend had hoped when we took him to the dog park the first time.  This was also the first time we realized that he had a problem with incontinence. 

Manfriend and I were harboring some lingering fears that, although Murphy came from a fine line of highly intelligent Chesapeakes, his canine lineage had been perhaps polluted.  Murphy was exhibiting some signs of  clumsiness and incompetence.  Manfriend wanted to see how good Murphy was at taking direction, so he allowed him to follow him to his truck after leaving my apartment. 

Manfriend rushed Murphy to the emergency vet because he was yowling at the top  of his little dog lungs.  Manfriend was sure he had broken his legs.  By the time Murphy got on the examination table, he had miraculously recovered from four broken legs.  Twenty minutes and $400.00 later, Manfriend and Murphy were on the way home.  Manfriend vowed to never take Murphy to the vet again.  He claims that he didn't know Murphy well enough to know he was such a pussy.  (As in cat.  We don't use vulgar language here, Mother.)

Murphy loved to chew.  He could not be left alone.  He chewed on the house, he chewed on the deck.  He chewed up Cinderella's outdoor toys.  He chewed on me.  Manfriend tried to give him rawhides to chew on instead, but after he chewed those up, his bowels became constricted and Manfriend made another trip to the emergency vet. 
Murph with his rawhide before the emergency vet.

When Murph chewed up Manfriend's father's shoe, Manfriend decided to have a talk with him. 

Manfriend:  What the hell do you think you are doing?  Huh?  Answer me! 

Murphy: ......

Manfriend:  Who do you think you are?  Huh?  Who!? 

Murphy: .......

Manfriend:  Do you think you are the type of dog that can chew up shoes?  Huh?!?  Do you?!?  Is that the type of dog you think you are?

I think that Murphy thought that he was exactly the type of dog who could chew up shoes, but at least he had the sense not to answer Manfriend. 

According to the American Kennel Club, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are said to be equally proficient on land and in the water.  They can withstand the most adverse weather conditions and are made to hunt waterfowl.  Manfriend decided that Murphy's water training was to begin.  Surely his lack of motor control would not carry over to the water since he has webbed dog toes.  We packed up both Lucee and Murphy and went to the lake. 

This was the first time, but not the last, that Manfriend has considered using Lucee as his hunting dog and leaving Murphy at home.

Then next summer rolled around and we decided to give Murphy another shot at swimming.  We invited four of our good friends and their two canines and took Murphy and Lucee to a local lake.  Fortunately, this time he took to the water with much more ease.  Everyone was having a jovial time, dogs included, until we noticed Murphy.  Pooping. Under. Water. 

He was up to his chest in the lake and decided that it was a fine time to take a dump while under water.  The people cleared the water.  The crowds watched from the beach.  Manfriend considered drowning him.

Murphy has embarrassed Manfriend in darn near every social situation that they are in together.  Manfriend began to get anxiety, then he started to have nightmares the night before he was to take Murphy out somewhere in public.  His worst fears were confirmed after Murphy's latest visit to the kennel.

Manfriend and I take Lucee and Murphy to Camp Bow Wow on occasion when we have somewhere to go.  At Camp Bow Wow, all the "Campers" get to play in large play groups all day.  It is just the type of thing that an energetic dog like Murphy would love.  After Murphy's latest trip to Camp Bow Wow, however, he was asked not to return because of "excessive mounting" which made the other campers feel "uncomfortable."  The Camp Counselors at Camp Bow Wow, after all, just want everyone to have a good time.  Here is Murphy's report card. 

We will probably be enrolling Murphy into a Mounting Training class shortly.  We have little hope that he will graduate, but one can always dream.  Manfriend has decided that Murphy will be the last male dog he gets.  As for me, I am going to enjoy the hours of entertainment he is providing.


  1. HAHAHHAHAHHAHA oh maaaan. That is a great post. The pooping-in-water part cracked me up. Love it. Poor failing puppy.

  2. I love this post. This is my first visit to your blog, and this post is PERFECT. I have a chessie too. He'll swim for hours, but he wouldn't retrieve a thing if all of our lives depended on it. I kind of love your Murphy.

    1. Hi Stephanie! Glad you found me! I just went over to your blog and love your stuff! I have a feeling I will be a faithful follower now.
      Yes, Murph is really something. He is a good boy. I just wish he would stop acting like such a....boy.

  3. haha this is hilarious! You should make a book about him! :-)



  4. Poor Murphy, is he smart about anything? Have you tried teaching him simple tricks?

    I have a labrador retriever and she's really clever, but only when there's food to be won. She's clever enough that he's not going to work for no reward! Maybe try finding a treat Murphy goes wild for and take it from there?

    1. He actually does sit, stay and he will retrieve things, not necessarily birds like Manfriend wants him to, but toys. I guess he "flushed" a bird once too. I am not sure really what that means, but I don't think it is what it sounds like. Sometimes I think he is really smart, but then he poops in the water and humps all his peers. Who knows?

  5. this is my first visit here. i came over at the recommendation of clay baboons.
    i love your murphy story! i'm glad he's not my dog, but it pleases me to read about him. now i'm going to go read your story about the dog of your childhood.
    boys in generally are entirely too secure in their male parts, aren't they?

    1. Hi! So glad she told you to come over!

  6. So funny! Sounds like an amazing dog to me!

  7. Sounds like every dog I ever had. I couldn't love them more.

  8. As one of the friends that joined Erica at the beach, the pooping was seriously gross. I will say however that I really enjoy Murph. Funny post Erica, why haven't you updated this blog lately.

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