Friday, June 11, 2010
Did someone say it's my Burfday??
It's time to celebrate the Murphsters birthday. On 9/6/2010 he turned a big thirteen years of age (or 68 in dog years). Murphy has a pretty laid back life these days. He still loves to go for a "run" with the other dogs but really is quite happy to trot along with me. Sleeping on his favourite bed is another popular past time and after a trot around the block in the evening it is always where you'll find him. His eye sight and hearing are definately not what they were but I'm fairly sure that there is plenty that he hears but chooses not to respond to. Unfortunately he does get knocked over every now and again by the sillier dog members of the house because if they are coming at him at full speed down the track he just can't get out of the way in time. He does of course enjoy the attention and cuddles afterwards when we rush over to make sure he's OK.
Out herding in 2002
Murphy was my very first border collie. Back in 1997 when I was ready to get a pup I saw an ad in the paper for an expected litter of chocolate and white border collies. I had always loved the colour so I contacted the breeder and went over to meet her dogs. As Leanne brought each of her dogs up to the house to meet me I was impressed how wonderfully happy and friendly each one was. I really liked Murphy's mum Rosie and the father, Clancy, was a well known dog from NSW. So I put my name down for a boy and went home hoping to hear some good news very soon. When I got the phone call that Rosie had given birth to six pups, five of which were boys, I went down and picked out Murphy. My method of choosing him was very scientific. He had a cute "thumbprint" mark on the middle of his head like his mother...
Murphy at two years of age
I started out with obedience first as soon as Murphy was old enough and joined a few different clubs around Perth. Not long after I discovered agility and began Murphy and mines education on teaching the equipment and putting it all together. Back then there was pretty much no instruction available. Everyone just figured it out for themselves as best as possible. No one had heard of a "two on two off" or even a "front cross". You pretty much ran a course and hoped for the best. It wasn't until a few years later, probably early 2000 that a few people started to take note of what was happening overseas and adopted some of those training methods and styles. I worked through to CDX in obedience with Murphy. I started training both Soda and Murphy for UD but as Soda just picked it up so quickly I decided to continue with her rather than try and train both of them.
National Agility Trial 2003 Melbourne, Victoria
Murphy loved his agility. Although he won many classes over the years he was never a speed demon like Soda. Everyone knew him as "Mr Consistency" as he would get clear round after clear round. He never won as much as Soda but he had twice as many Q cards in his collection. He was a brilliant teams dog and was on the winning team for all the big events including multiple Western Classics and Royal Shows. He was also selected on the State Team for the 2005 National Agility Trial. I ended up retiring him from agility after being on the winning Royal Show Agility Team in 2007. He had tried his heart out for me that day but I could see that although his mind was willing his body wasn't holding out so well. I still did a couple of Not For Competition jumping runs over the following year with him jumping a much lower height but they were kept to a minimum. I know he would love to have continued but his long term health and well being is the only thing that is important to me. He certainly had nothing left to prove, I knew how awesome he was.
Our first big Team win, "BC Bandits" Western Classic 2002
L-R Helen & Dee (RIP), me with Murphy & Soda, Rod & Bundy (RIP)
Murphy also sired a few litters of pups in his prime. One of which is Am Ch Borderfame Choc Chill (Sprint) who won extensively in the US breed show ring and then went on to be a prolific sire in the US. Sprint is stunning and was used as the foundation dog at Hot Shot Kennels.
Snoozing in the sun - VERY popular past time
Even in his twilight years Murphy is still my main man. I have no doubt that he would protect me with his life if he had to. Out of my three boys, Murphy, Riot and Sonic he is the only one who truly means business when push comes to shove. He is incredibly protective of his "pack" (even Riot who I'm sure he doesn't like all that much!) and if another dog tries to infiltrate and harass one of his pack he will deal with it very swiftly. The other two boys will stand there trying to look impressive with lots of posturing and posing but Murphy just goes over and "bang" it is dealt with, no mess, no fuss.
The gang 2005 (pre Sonic)
Hopefully with continued good health and a good lifestyle I will have him in my life for a few years to come.