A Very Happy St. Patrick’s Day…

Fifteen days ago, we lost a beloved member of the family… It was, as most of you know – many from going through the same experience – even recently so, quite painful for both of f us.There has been a great big hole in our home, and in our hearts, since then.

That’s not what this post is about…

Today, we welcomed a new member into the family! We have filled in a big part of that hole, and Judy and I are happy to say that we traveled about 500 miles round trip this weekend and adopted another Brittany!

He is either 8 years and 8 months old, or he’s 5 years and 1 month old – we’re not sure. There is conflicting information on that. We hope to clear that up on Monday. Either way, he is a very sweet dog and he is lying down right beside my chair as I type.

We found him in a rescue home in Quincy CA. He had been there for about a month after the foster “parents” rescued him from a shelter where he had been for three weeks after being surrendered by his former owner.

We discovered that he has an interesting “name” history. Apparently, he has gone by the name “Dog” for most of his life. The folks who welcomed him into their home and loved him up over the last month thought he deserved a more imaginative name, so they renamed him “Dodger”. A much better name for a dog – it makes him more personal.

Long story short, Judy contacted Louise and Derrek (his foster parents) when she found Dodger online. After several traded emails and phone calls, we all agreed to a meeting in Yuba City this afternoon to make sure everybody agreed that this was a good idea. We met, and the decision was made…

Judy had been talking with her sister, Kathy, about it and Kathy mentioned that it’s often suggested that the new owners change the name, for some reason. This kinda fit into our situation…

You see, while the name “Dodger” was a massive upgrade from the name “Dog”, I, and most of my family are from San Francisco, where the word “Dodger” is not spoken in polite company. 

This, of course, presented a bit of a concern for us because, in other circumstances, it is a great name for a dog. For instance, if you live (or grew up) in Los Angeles, or Brooklyn, you couldn’t go wrong giving your dog that moniker. But my family either all lives in Northern CA, after being born here, or they live in San Diego where the name is held in nearly equal disfavor.

Another concern was that we didn’t want to hurt Louise and Derrek’s feelings because they came up with such a good name for a dog.

Concern number two was alleviated just as we were parting company this afternoon. Louise and I had just said goodbye when she said, “Oh! By the way, do you know how he got his name?”

She related the story to me and finished up with “So you can rename him to anything you want, if you like.”

I told her my relief and the reason for it. She asked if we were going to name him “Giant”.

“No, Judy ‘s a Padres fan,” I said. “We will think of something appropriately neutral.”

With the demise of concern number two, the demise of concern number one became reality…

We had about a four hour drive home and had a great time with Dodger. He’s a happy doggie…

On the way home, we were thinking of names left and right. None of them seemed to fit. About 90 minutes away from home, Judy saw a sign with the name “Kelly” on it. How about “Kelly”? After all, it IS St. Patrick’s Day.”

I almost involuntarily changed lanes.

“YOU ARE A GENIUS!,” said I… “But not Kelly – – – – HARRIGAN!”

“We could call him “Harry,” she replied.  “Or there’s ‘Patrick’,” she went on. After all, it’s St. Patrick’s Day.”

“We could call him ‘Paddy’,” I responded. “No, that doesn’t sound like a nick name for a dog. It’s a much better nick name for a hamburger.”

We went on like this for about three quarters of an hour. Then it hit me…

“Murphy,” I blurted out… “We can call him ‘Murphy…”

It was brilliant, I know… But we were still not quite satisfied. We liked all of them – Harrigan (because it was my Irish Grandparents’ name), Patrick (because it was his day, though we couldn’t see ourselves calling a dog Patrick, or any derivative of Patrick) and Murphy because it’s a great name for a dog…

The indecision was monumental… A single decision was not forthcoming…

So here’s what we decided to go with…

Say “Hello” to Murphy Patrick Harrigan O’Kammerer…


He even looks, Irish, doesn’t he? Actually, I think he looks like Carl Malden…


One thought on “A Very Happy St. Patrick’s Day…”

  1. Murphy Patrick Harrigan, you are one lucky dog! It almost looks like you are starting to smile in this picture! Oh, we forgot to tell Bill and Judy that you wrinkle your lips up into a smile! Well, I hope you don’t wait too long to show them your adorable smile! I really miss you but I know that you have found the most perfect home! I will enjoy following your antics and adventures in Coarsegold!

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