More Murphy…the Superstar and Centerfold!


So, Murphy, my Giant Schnauzer, the best thing to ever happen to our family…has been made World famous…or at least famous in South Barrington.  Thanks to my friend, Lee, who recommended Murphy be featured in  the South Barrington Life magazine (yes, it’s really a “magazine”), and Voila…Murphy was the Featured Pet!  So, very, very exciting!




A Reprint of Meet Murphy…as featured in South Barrington Life

This is Murphy.  The newest addition to our  household.  Bear with me and this blog while I give you a little history about her (yes she’s a her) because I want everyone to know why she means so much to our entire family….and not because she happens to be ever so cute and cuddly!

Murphy came into my family’s life back in 2007 when my father was thinking about getting a dog, because his dog Bailey, a Giant Schnauzer, passed away earlier that year.  My family always had Giant Schnauzer’s, but my father  thought he would get a small Scottie dog, since it’s a more practical than a 125 LB Giant Schnauzer.  I happened to be doing a little internet perusing and found a Giant Schnauzer rescue site and saw a giant, named “Miss Murphy” who was looking for a family to adopt her.   As soon as I showed my Dad her picture, he wanted to meet her and the rest, as they say, is history!

Murphy was 3, almost 4 when my dad adopted her.  I remember receiving an email from the woman who arranged the adoption after she dropped Murphy off at my Dad’s house, “it was wonderful to see how happy Murphy was playing on the floor of your dad’s house, with her squeaky toy, because when we rescued her she could barely lift her head off the floor”.   She was 45 pounds, had been abused and didn’t appear to have been well taken care of.  🙁  That changed when my father adopted Murphy.   My father loved Murphy.  Murphy loved my father.  He took care of her.  She took care of him.

This past summer when my father was sick, which we wrongly thought was a flu or virus, he got into bed at 7PM on a Saturday night and Murphy got into bed with him.  My father was so ill, he couldn’t get out of bed (and neither me nor my siblings knew how sick he was, but Murphy apparently did), and Murphy did not leave his side.  She lay in bed with my father from 7PM Saturday night, until my brother Mark went to my dads at 1130AM on Monday.  She didn’t get out of his bed, didn’t  try to get something to eat, drink, nor try to go outside to do her “business”.  She never once, even for one minute left my father’s side.  40 hours she lay by his side watching over him.  That’s remarkable.  Murphy is remarkable.  And fiercely loyal.

Sadly, we lost my father a few weeks ago, and the only bright spot in this very tough time is Murphy gets to live with me and my family.    While still heart-broken over the loss of my father, we are quite fortunate to have a daily reminder, of my dad…and one who follows me, Everywhere, around the house.  I’m now her person…except she isn’t allowed in my bed.  🙂

I’m still trying to get the Lay of the Land as a dog owner.  While we always had dogs growing up, I’m beginning to realize they my Mom probably did most everything for our dogs (and my brothers quite possibly picked up all their business).  Thankfully, Google and many friends who are dog owners have proven to be a wealth of information and support.  Because we don’t have a fenced yard, Murphy needs to be walked outside so she can do her business.  I feel like I live in Lincoln Park with all the dog walking we are doing.  Happily we are having the electric fence installed, which will help cut down on the numerous walks we take each day, and with the winter weather coming, that should come as a welcome relief.  I also plan on having a special collar put on Kevin as well. 🙂  Oh and one other bright side,  due to the numerous daily walks we take each day, both Murphy and I have been able to drop some greatly needs LBs!

Murphy appears to be adjusting just fine.  She’s made friends with the neighborhood dogs, and delights in walking with them all in line, as she’s now part of a “wolf pack” and she even has a new best friend…Sampson, a Golden Doodle, who is a gentleman 8 years her junior, and both seem to be just fine with that!  She has had a bit of trouble adjusting to the daylight savings time-change, as she thinks we need to do our “big walk” at 7AM, instead of 8AM…but we are working through that with treats and affection.  🙂  (Side bar: she’s a magnet for men, btw, especially at gas stations when we go on our field trips to fill the car with gas…note to file for you single gals out there). 😉

Halloween was our first holiday together and it did not disappoint.  And not because Murphy isn’t fond of scary masks (she’s not but was fairly well-behaved for the Trick or Treaters)…but because I was able to Dress her up!!…For one brief moment, Murphy was a Pumpkin.

Then I thought better of it, because I knew she deserved better and understanding she is also a Bears fan, initiated a costume change and dressed her as Sweetness!  They have a lot in common, as they both like to run, and are both very sweet!!

Patrick was mortified when he saw her saying , “That’s a $100 jersey…”.  I quipped back, “Not anymore”. 🙂  Just kidding.  Jersey looks good as new and Walter’s autograph was barely smudged!

Speaking of looking good as new… Murphy is a girl.  I mention that as she’s “larger” than your normal canine…(125 LBs but dropping) so people automatically think she’s a boy.  She is not.  She’s a girl.  People also say, “Murphy is a boy’s name”.  It is not.  Actually it’s a last name, and the only Murphy with a first name that I’m aware of is Murphy Brown…and she’s a girl.  To cut down on the misreads of her gender, I’ve gotten her a bright Pink Collar (no bling as she’s Not a poodle).  She also sports a girly bandana.  Her small “business bag” which holds bags to pick up her business, is a small, pink purse.  It clips to her lease, as I’m a courteous and considerate dog owner, picking up after my dog, and the pink purse surely tells those that glance at her she’s a girl.   I like to think of it as Dressing her to a T!  We have 2 holders for the business bags, because Patrick doesn’t like to walk Murphy with the pink purse attached to the leash.  He actually said when he saw it, “you didn’t”.  Yes, Paddy, I did!


Some tidbits heard around town about Murphy:

David reassuring me when I was concerned Murphy was sad and missing Pop:  Terry, she won the dog lottery…seriously. (editor’s note…I think We won the lottery, not the other way around).

Z commenting on Murphy to Susan:  She’s a very civilized dog.

Mark to Megan when Megan told Murphy to sit:  You’re confusing her with an obedient dog.  (editors note…we are looking into obedience classes).

David playing the Dog Whisperer:  Exercise.  Discipline.  Affection…in that order.  Ter…you’ve mastered the exercise and affection…not sure you’ll ever master the discipline and not sure you can ever be the pack leader. (editors note…we’re okay with that).

Susan to Murphy:  Murphy, you need to stay on your leash, as you’ve proven to be a flight risk.  (editor’s note…that’s another blog).

Meredith commenting that Murphy gets more comments and likes on Facebook than she or Patrick:  Murphy is a Super Star!

My dad whenever I asked him about Murphy:  She’s a prize.  She’s perfect.  (editors note…Yes, she is).

Meredith recently said, “We are so lucky we get to take care of Murphy for Pop”…Yes, Mer-Mer, we are.

Our next project will be figuring out how to work Murphy into the Christmas card…Neither Kevin or I have ever graced a holiday photo, but I’m guessing that won’t be the case with Murphy!  I’m shopping for a festive bandana as soon as I’m done penning this blog!

We have been delighted at the attention Murphy has gotten since being “published”.  And, btw…Murphy has made the Christmas card both years she’s been with us.  Kevin and I, have never graced a Christmas card, btw, since I’ve been recently asked about that.  Why don’t we appear in the Christmas card?  The kids and Murph are so much cuter, and no one wants to see Kevin and I!

Christmas Card 2012 005 use this one

winner winner murphy dinner

So…the only thing that has changed since I wrote the original blog in November 2012 , is we love her more and fall in love with her more, every single day.   I’ve cancelled social plans, business trips, left functions early, cut trips early, skipped errands, all to go home to see and spend time with Murph.  And I will never regret that, because she always put my father first, and I want to spend the rest of her life, showing her our  love and appreciation.

My friends have remarked, “you were never a dog person, until now”.  Not true, I was Always a dog person, and grew up with Giant Schnauzers, but we (The O’Brien’s) never had one, since Kev and the kids are allergic…but funny enough, whatever allergies they suffered from when we visited my Dad, are no longer.  And Kevin, who truly was Never a dog person…certainly is now.  He also loves Murph, and has woken in the AM, with Murph standing above him,in bed,  all 98 pounds of her (we’ve trimmed her down from the 125LBs…wish I could say the same for me), and all he’ll say, “oh boy”… But no worries, she snuggles up to him, and he can’t help but pet her. 🙂


Here are some newer pictures of “The Murph”, as she’s now referred by us.  Sorry for the plethora of pics, but we are rather Obsessed with her, and like new parents with pictures of their children…we have as many of Murph.  This, is a small sampling:

Murphy laying out

Likes to lounge in the sun…

Murphy April 1

Will always sit on the lounge chair.  Always.


Santa on her back lasted all of 4 minutes.


Never met a chair, she didn’t like.018b254a213fa850735daaa968287ed7bc4010c734

Loves, loves, loves rolling around in the grass!


Protesting my trip

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There is obviously someone or something out there, that she wants to be hanging with…

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Yes, the flag is up for service.


The cone of shame!


Loves the trunk show!012a28f4cdff149d286de7ae7c3294fcc56eed1690

Snowy Deschanel


Murphy is a Hoarder…of bones.  We probably have 60+ around the house.  I’ve put them in cute containers, in different rooms, and she takes them out, and I put them away.  Kinda like having a toddler around the house.  #stillneedtopickupbeforeMariacomes


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She’s a “Ragamuffin”.  And a lounger.  We happen to like Ragamuffins and loungers.  Make that Love, Ragamuffins and loungers!


Her Christmas Bone…014932e41fca47363e78560e240bd7c07b52e1617c

Ruining the plants at Mark and Shannon’s… but they’re okay with it.  Really they are!

murph and rhonda

Rhonda and Murph…it went “viral” on Facebook!


Always waiting for me, no matter where I am.

Song of the day…Get Lucky…by Daft Punk…see, how “current” I am?  Album of the Year…:) Funny, because I am anything but “current”, but I do like “catchy tunes”.  Today’s song  was gonna be Sugar, Sugar, by the Archie’s, but I caught this last award, coming home from the Black hawks game with Patrick (Thank you Hyatt O’Hare)…and Thank you American Airlines, for being one of the handful of flights, not cancelled from Cali back to O’Hare, so we could arrive on time at United Center.  Go Hawks!  Sadly, they did not win, but we had a fabulous time!

Welcome back, Polar Vortex.  Not sure what is going to happen with the Super Bowl in New York…but, and this coming from a girl from Chicago…Why in the world would the NFL pick a cold-weather city for the Super Bowl, only to say, “if it’s too cold or snows, we’ll have to reschedule”.  Really?  Reschedule the Super Bowl?  I’m sure that will go over well.   If you pick a cold-weather destination, you need to be aware, that if may  actually, snow, or be cold!  Good golly miss Molly!!  Use some hand-warmers, wear a hat, scarf and mittens, put on your Uggs, and you’ll be just fine!

Go Bronco’s!  And I’ll pen something re: Super Bowl parties later this week…along with a blog of Things that tickle my fancy!





    • And thank you for the “never too long comment”… you must know, by now, I always think of you when I see the word count.
      Thank you for being my most loyal comment-or!

  1. Terry I am totally a dog stalker. I got my 1st golden retriever with my dad after my mom died. Clancy was the best thing for him, and for us, because it gave me more opportunity to bond with dad. We went to obedience classes together and he swore he got a diploma for attendance, not intelligence. They were inseparable and I knew my husband was a keeper when Clancy took to him. Clancy was part of the package! We are on our 4th golden that we got for our daughter Elizabeth’s golden birthday. We love Bailey to bits, and our dogs have always been in our Christmas cards.

    Stay warm and be safe. All the best to your crowd!
    Mary Clare

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