In association with our good friends a DogHQ each month we meet Shore people who's four-legged family members add a great deal of joy to their lives. Our very own dog-lover Aidan Bennett (he has two doggies of his own he spoils – Olive a Cocker Spaniel and Maisie a French Bulldog) has been given the task of putting this feature together on a monthly basis in 2017. This month he talks with Sharon McKay about Retrodoodle Murphie, the much loved family member that loves to follow Sharon's husband Graeme around the house.
AB: How long has Murphie been part of your life?
SM: Murphie has been a much loved part of our family for around 9 ½ years.
AB: What made you decide to get a this breed?
SM: I’m not so sure we really made a decision about the type of dog bred. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time when we seen Murphie. Kind of strangely, it was my team at work who found Murphie – which resulted in a team trip to the pet shop. After the first cuddle, it was pretty much a done deal.
AB: Is he your first dog, if not tell us about your other dogs?
SM: I grew up with dogs, so they had always been in my life. My husband Graeme had always wanted dogs – his first experience welcoming a dog into our home was shortly after we were first married. We adopted an amazing Golden Retriever called Jade, and a couple of years later another Golden Retriever called Bosley. Jade and Bosley were with us for almost 15 and 12 years respectively. After we lost both of them, we were a little lost too! When we were ready, we started to think about adopting another dog, and so the hunt began. Having had pure bred dogs in the past, we really wanted to help a dog that had been abandoned. We were incredibly lucky to find an amazing dog called Bessie through the Humane Society. She was an incredible dog – even though her early life wasn’t great. Full of fun and love (and maybe a bit of mischief too). Murphie came into our home after we had Bessie for about 6 months – they were the best of mates and very different. Bessie was the boisterous bossy one, and Murphie the quiet cuddly one. We lost Bessie almost 12 months ago – which has been a big adjustment for our gorgeous Murphie.
AB: What do you love about your Murphie?
SM: He’s a pretty relaxed, easy going kind of pooch. He loves to hang out with us and we get such a lot back from having him in our family. He is ever slightly more my husband’s pooch than mine – so wherever Graeme is in the house, Murphie is not far behind.
AB: Does he have any bad habits?
SM: Hmmmm... bad habits – maybe his worst is his love of digging in the garden, closely followed by flattening lots of plants by either standing on them or lying on them. But with such a cute face – it's kind of hard to be grumpy with him for doing what dogs do!
AB: What is his favourite things to do?
SM: The retriever part of him comes out with his absolute love of food (BBQ’s are a particular favourite)! He loves getting out and about for a walk, and adores going to DogHQ.
AB: How long has he been going to DogHQ and does he love it?
SM: Murphie has been going to DogHQ for about the last 9 months. We decided to try dog day care after we lost Bessie. To say that he loves it might be a bit of an understatement. When we arrive, he’s out of the car quick as flash – all we see is his tail wagging as he races off.
AB: Does he love the beach and swimming?
SM: He absolutely loves the beach. Generally Saturday and Sunday mornings as soon we get up – we get a ‘gentle’ message from Murphie that its time to go to the beach. We think he missed out on the Retriever swimming gene – instead he’s much more of a paddler!
AB: Any words of wisdom for other dog owners or prospective dog owners?
SM: Definitely take time to think about the type of person you are and then the sort of dog that fits with you and your lifestyle. Sometimes, the best fit might be the least obvious. Dogs have an amazing capacity to give, all they ask in return is to be part of your family.