Lady Love had promised me a dog for my birthday April 10th. However she was going to wait until I had recuperated from bladder surgery and I could handle the care of a dog. During my recuperation I was on the look out for “a small,female poodle ,terrier type”nothing seemed to be listed in the Tribune or the Thrifty Nickel
Lady Love and I went “dog shopping” on Tuesday May 2nd.
We visited the Greeley Humane Shelter around 10 am and found that they had had an adoptathon over the weekend and there was nothing but BIG, BUTT-UGLY, FIERCE dogs---not what we were wanting.
There was a volunteer named Pam that had a private shelter and she took us outside and talked to us about a Bichon that she had just received. He was a male,all white , neutered and was brought to her because the mother had paid $800 for the dog and the adult daughter “didn’t like the dog”. He weighs about 15 lb. She would sell him for $85.
I asked Pam ,”What was wrong with the dog?”
Her answer was “Nothing that I can see. he has papers I’ve had him for three days and he is just a happy little guy and is really sweet. He’s housebroken and he knows how to heel. I just think they don’t know how to train a dog. They left him in the laundry room all day long and then never paid much attention to him. The girl’s live in boyfriend use to play real rough with him. He told me that .”
Lady Love ask me if I would like to see him---reminding me that I had been looking for a “small female,poodle.” My response: “I know but my nephew had a Bichon and it was such a nice dog. It would not hurt to look at him.”
Pam told us she lived by Platteville and she would be home about 1:30. She gave us directions to her “Heart to Heart Shelter”. We were on time and she brought this sweet,energetic bundle of joy out of her truck and he ran to us like he had been waiting for us.
Lady Love smiled and said, “I think Jean wants him. Do you?”
I quickly answered ,”Yes!”
While Lady Love wrote the check for him. Murphy and I jumped in the back seat of our coupe and he settled in the car,again like he was waiting for us.
Pam told us his name was “Nemo”. I told her I was going to change it to Murphy Muldoon (a sweet and lovable character in a Nora Robert's book that Lady Love and I read to each other.) I told Lady Love all along that if it was a girl or boy I was till going to call the dog Murphy Muldoon. Pam thought that was great since he never responded to “Nemo” when she called him.
I sat in the back seat holding Murphy Muldoon on the ride from Platteville to Greeley telling him his new name over and over. Of course we had to take him to “Pet Smart”, Lady Love said we needed to have some dog food and some new toys. Murphy Muldoon excitedly watched all the other animals in the store that day--including a goat on a leash! He smiled all the way around the store.
When we arrived home Lady Love made an appointment with the vet the next day. Murphy had a physical. The vet said he was in fine shape and we certainly got a “good dog”.
The following Saturday I took him to the groomers. The groomer said he was easy to groom. She added we certainly got a “good dog”.
It is obvious to me that the vet and the groomer know what to say to parents of a new dog and that Murphy’s reputation as a holy terror had not yet reached Greeley.
Oh,and the name change from “Nemo” to Murphy Muldoon came easily--you hear “get out of there”,”put that down”, “stop that”,”don’t chase the cat” ,etc, etc.,all proceeded by “MURPHY!” I think the neighbors dogs began to know Murphy’s name also or thought their names had been changed.
With the arrival of spring Lady Love and I had a variety of projects that were already in full swing before Murphy ever arrived--replacing our back yard. Our pure white Bichon had to be kept under control for a little while. Lady Love rigged up a tethered line so he could run back and forth from the patio and to grass and not be in the large amount of mud in our back yard.
We had read that Bichons like to sleep in a bed--preferable yours.
We were trying to decide where Murphy was going to sleep --in the dining room or our bedroom. Lady Love was tired and she got ready for bed and stretched out while we were still discussing where he should sleep when Murphy jumped on the bed and put his head on the pillow next to Lady Love. I thought she would be so mad that she would knock him to the moon! Instead she laughed so hard at him because he REALLY thought he was going to sleep there! I took him to the dining room ; tied him to the door knob and he cried for an hour until he went to sleep.
The second night we decided we would try putting him in a portable kennel we already had ; he cried for an hour and went to sleep. He finally goes to the kennel each night but not willingly--he must make a game out of it. He is still sure that he should sleep on or under our bed.
We recognized that he liked to be played with very rough and we refused to tussle and play tug with him. He would run,growl and bite at our clothes. He found out soon that his was unacceptable in his new home but he continued trying for about two weeks and then stopped.
We had read that Bichons have “BUZZES”. This means that your Bichon will start to run very hard in a circle, while making a low growl . He is merely telling you that everything is all right in his world. Murphy had a buzz every evening for several days in our dining room. Had we not read this we would have been alarmed. First we scolded,then we tried to stop him. Nothing worked so, we ignored him. Night after night we sat watching tv or reading books what ever our current activity was and let him go around the room like a maniac dog. If any one had walked into our home they would be sure that we were the craziest two old women they had ever seen. He soon tired of us ignoring him and stopped doing it in the house. One thing with Murphy, he does not like being ignored. Lady Love and I enjoy watching him “buzz” outside.
Murphy’s next big adjustment was the cat.