Murphy D. Subtle

Murphy was a very special Irish Setter to all who met him. I made this background after trying to figure out what would be most appropriate for Murphy. This morning it hit me -- he loved his Kong toy! Yes, that is a Kong on the border; Murphy liked the black ones the best. Many years ago when this toy first hit the market, it came with a lifetime guarantee. Since Murphy was what you could call a "power chewer", I invested in many toys that did not last more than a few days. The Kong lasted, but I believe that the company withdrew the lifetime guarantee after replacing this toy for Murphy every year.

We got Murphy from the SPCA where he was born. His mother was picked up in the street after being hit by a car. She promptly whelped a litter of ten Irish Setters. Sadly, no human responded to the notices in the paper or called to claim mom and the pups. The good news was that I had wanted an Irish Setter for ages BUT my non-dog-loving husband refused to purchase a dog from a reputable breeder. "I'm not going to pay GOOD MONEY for a DOG!" Well, we can laugh about it now, but back then I considered Murphy being born at the shelter a blessing since it got the first Irish Setter in our door!

The sad part is, when it comes to dogs the advice to get one from a reputable breeder isn't given just so you spend a bunch of money. Murphy, like most dogs from shelters, was most likely the result of someone who casually bred their Setter without testing for genetic problems or much knowledge of the breed. Murphy was cursed with epilepsy. He had serious skin and allergy problems. In later life I am sure the cancer he developed in his kidneys and liver were the result of his being on steroid type drugs as a youngster. Our vets loved this dog, I am sure he helped them purchase boats, cars and add new wings on their clinics! The investment in vet care we always joked about and felt was worth the love Murphy gave in return. He lived to be 12 years old and died in 1998 of renal failure.



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