Pet of the week: Murphy, the happy and playful hound

Cheryl Wakeman, an animal caretaker at the Shenandoah County Animal Shelter, shows Murphy, a 1-year-old hound mix that is available for adoption. Brad Fauber/Daily

EDINBURG – Like any good dog, 1-year-old hound-mix Murphy will sit on command. He will offer his paw for a treat. He does well with children and other dogs, seems to tolerate cats and would be a good fit for practically any type of household, according to Cheryl Wakeman, an animal caretaker at Shenandoah County Animal Shelter.

But Murphy ended up at the shelter on April 17 as an owner surrender because of one minor flaw common to nearly all dogs.

“He came to us because he liked to chase the chickens,” Wakeman said, “and chickens aren’t good play toys for dogs.”

Chalk that one up to Murphy’s eagerness to make new friends. After all, it takes merely seconds to discover what Murphy truly is – a 50-pound bundle of affection and energy.

“Happy and playful, that is him,” Wakeman said. “He’s going to need exercise whatever home he goes to to calm him down, but that’s typical with any larger breed.”

At 1-year-old (a best-guess estimation by Wakeman), Murphy still packs plenty of puppy-like energy under his white, black and brown coat. But that doesn’t mean he’s a handful.

Murphy already understands some basic commands, including sit and shake (which he will perform rather enthusiastically if there are treats involved), and he seems to be able to grasp more complex tricks based on information Wakeman gathered from his previous owners.

“They had a bell attached to their door and he would ring the bell with his nose when he wanted to go out,” Wakeman said. “And I’ve actually not heard of that trick. That, to me, was real interesting.”

Murphy’s high energy level will require his next home to offer plenty of exercise opportunities, however. Wakeman said Murphy’s previous home was located in a rural setting.

“A house with a yard would be great too,” she said. “I wouldn’t recommend an apartment, although as long as he got the exercise, as long as someone was willing to do that he could probably handle it. But I don’t think there’s that many people who would be that committed.”

Wakeman said Murphy is “good on everything” in regards to his medical care. He is up to date on his rabies and distemper vaccinations and wormer medication and he’s also been treated for fleas and given a bath (Murphy is still getting rid of his winter coat, so shedding is to be expected).

The next step for Murphy is to find a good home.

“He does good with kids. He does with pretty much anybody. He’s just a people dog,” Wakeman said. “And he does good with the other dogs. He would kind of fit anywhere, you just have to make sure that he steers clear of the chickens.”

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com