Introducing Murphy

We never planned to have three dogs. Two seemed just right, and it was for a very long time. But time and chance don't always line up to your plans.

When Gus died in 2008, we went rather abruptly from two healthy dogs with a perfect age difference of five years to one young dog. And then Jax fell into our laps a few months later. Since then, we've had eight glorious years of hikes, therapy dog visits, and all kinds of adventures. But while we never planned on three, suddenly Jax was eight and Comet 9, and our friend Jill offered us the extraordinary gift of a gorgeous puppy whose take-home day was the first day of my April break. So we decided there would never be better timing for a perfect puppy to have two veteran mentors who were still young enough to run circles around him.

And so, enter Murphy, PoeticGold Murphy Oil Soap. Yes, we couldn't resist continuing the cleaning product names.

We drove up to Maine, played with the puppies, evaluated them, and talked them over with Jill. As a responsible breeder, she had a dossier on each puppy, noting all of their conformational strengths and weaknesses, observed personality traits, and reactions to new experiences like their vet visit, their first bath, meeting new people, etc. Murphy was Purple Boy, an outgoing, inquisitive, smart, beautifully proportioned puppy, and our hour with him and the other puppies confirmed Jill's notes to the letter.

He alternated between squirming and napping in Andy's lap for the four-hour car trip, never barfed (you'll know how lucky that is if you've ever picked up a puppy and had to drive for hours right off the bat), and settled in really fast.

And not only is he obscenely cute, as all Golden puppies are, he's got beautiful proportions and a gorgeous head, so we have a good shot at a major looker when he grows up.

Jax took right to him, doing his best to teach him how to play, though he's having mixed success, as he tends to bow and then jump away so fast that Murphy's puppy attention span can't keep him in the game. They're learning pretty fast how to play together, though.

Now I thought Comet would take a little while to warm up to the puppy. Comet typically isn't interested in puppies and will generally walk off and do his own thing when puppies irritate him. So we had a whole plan to give Comet the chance to get away from the puppy when he wanted, either by going on a couch or leaving the puppy's area.

Instead, when we have Murphy on the couch, Comet comes over to snuggle with him. He's gone full-on paternal. Photo evidence provided to the right.

So now we are three. A veteran snuggle expert, a play coach, and a puppy that breaks my heart every ten or fifteen minutes with his cuteness.

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