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In Memory of Murphy

Born August 1, 1996 and Died March 11, 2011

In Memory of Kerry Blue Terrier
Champion Executive Recruiter (aka Hunter and Murphy)

Hunter’s World

In June of 2005, our 14 year old West Highland White Terrier, Mactavish, passed away. Heartbroken, on September 27, 2005, nearly six years ago, Kathy and I acquired a “rescue dog” known as “Murphy”, who was a beastly looking, nine year old male, Kerry Blue Terrier (KBT). Murphy looked like a rescue dog when we got him, as he had not had a hair cut for ages, but he was certainly not your typical rescue dog.

Murphy was really Champion O’Mara’s, Executive Recruiter (aka “Hunter”). Under this illustrious identity, Hunter had an elite three year history, both being a fancy show dog and performing in dirty sheep herding trials, all for his owner, Ms. Diane Lee.

Hunter’s two breeders were Ms. Diane Lee (Pittsburg, Ca.) and Ms. Michelle Alameda (Sacramento, Ca.). Diane Lee was the owner of Hunter’s mother, Champion O’Mara’s, Joy of Connemara (aka Joy). Joy was fairly famous in the KBT world as she held significant canine titles in the three different and diverse disciplines: (1) confirmation, (2) obedience, and (3) agility. Michelle Alameda was the owner of Hunter’s father, who was Champion Ballymoon’s Syndication (aka Conner).

Hunter was definitely a handsome guy but he was not really into dog beauty pageants. After some time, the outdoor oriented Hunter grew tired of the Cow Palace dog show dog circuit and became anxious while attending such events. Also, Hunter’s fur coat was a little light for a Kerry Blue, even though he had top KBT confirmation in every other way.

Murphy’s World

After his show dog days were over, Hunter went to his second owners, Jeff and Karen Kacirk (Corte Madera, Ca.). They kept him for six years as a family pet. These new owners renamed Hunter as “Murphy”, this being the most popular Irish name and Kerry Blue’s being from Kerry County, Ireland. Unfortunately the Kacirk’s ended up getting a divorce and their housing situation would not allow them to keep Murphy.

Ms. Eileen Andrade (Richmond, Ca.), of the Kerry Blue Terrier Club of Northern California, and the Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation, contacted us about Murphy’s adoption availability. She was wonderful and accurate in explaining Hunter/Murphy to us.

Hunter is a bit pushy. He is not a good dog for people who are wishy washy. He needs rules, and he needs the same rules all the time. You always have to be the one in charge with Hunter. Yes, Hunter is pushy, but he also is silly and fun. He needs to know where you stand and he needs to know this all the time. He will bark at other dogs, but he is not overly aggressive.”

When Kath, my 90 year old mother, and I showed up in Richmond to see Murphy for the first time, he looked like a big bear with all his untrimmed black hair. He looked much larger and more imposing than his actual 40 pounds.

I came prepared to meet Murphy and his owner with a three ring binder full of research on Kerry Blue Terriers and I had plenty of questions. On my binder cover, I had unknowingly chosen a picture of Hunter’s beautiful mother, Joy, running out of an agility tunnel. I had unwittingly down loaded this picture off of a KBT web site. Murphy and I being together seemed to be our destiny!

Saint Murphy’s World

On the first week that we had Murphy we began to help fix him up. He had over a $1,000 in surgery performed that week to (1) remove a big growing mass over his right eye, (2) pull one of his rear teeth out that was infected and had an abscess, (3) remove four other large masses all over his body, (4) clean his teeth, and (5) pull hair out deep within his ear canal.

When Murphy came home from this surgery we felt so bad. He had one eye swollen shut and he was limping around on pain medication and antibiotics. However, within one day his tail was wagging and he was raring to go on one of his super walks.

We could never have obtained such a well confirmed KBT anywhere else. All of Murphy’s handling in his younger days paid off in his old age as he was extremely well behaved and socialized. Murphy demonstrates what great family pets these retired KBT show dogs can make and how great it is to adopt these retired champions in their later years. We were so proud to be the owners of Murf.

Murphy loved two things, walks and his biscuits. Murphy loved nothing better than a long walk. He would use the backyard if he needed to but he preferred to do his “business” on the trail. He only missed one daily walk when we were home with him, in nearly six years with us, and that was the day before he passed away. Also, Murphy only stopped eating his biscuits that same one day before his passing.

Murphy had a GPS in his brain and he was great with directions. He could remember every turn of our different walk routines and he would lead the way making the turns before I got there. He once left the house on his own and did the entire one mile walk with a dozen turns in it himself and he ended back on our front porch waiting for us and wondering where the heck we were.

We were totally amazed at Murphy’s energy level at nine (9) years of age when we got him. He still seemed like a young dog at nine. Murphy was strong to literally the last day of his life. He had extraordinary strength for his size and age. Murphy was a pretty tough guy and was only down off his feet that one day in his six years with us.

Murphy was a complex and charming. He did not like cats, he was not a digger, and he would not chase a ball. He was extremely smart and affectionate. While he was calm and gentle, and well behaved, he would not back down for anything or anybody.
Murphy was highly disciplined and he had good manners. He could even be quite mellow. He was generally sweet and good with people.

Murphy was the smartest dog we have had. When we first got him, and he could still hear, he would be responsive to our voice commands. Later, when he lost his hearing, he would still respond to our body signals. I remember taking him on a three mile cross country hike in the mountains off leash and he stayed by my side the whole way.

Murphy was particularly fond of girls, such as Kathy. Murphy was such a good looking guy.

We loved Murphy very much. Murphy was a great dog. In fact, he was the best dog I have ever had. A very loveable guy. He was an angel most of the time.


Murphy was not a one person dog as he seemed at peace with the wide world and many people. Murphy was a dog for many occasions and for many different people. He was a dog of the universe as he loved so many folks and families. While he was not a one person dog, he was extremely loyal to those he was with at the time. We would like to say that Murphy lived in “Murphy’s World”, as he adapted easily to new circumstances.

Our veterinarian always told us that Murphy hit the lottery when he got us because of all the care and attention we gave him and that we allowed him the run of our entire house. He slept right by our bed side nightly for six years.

In the end, we feel that we hit the lottery when we got Murphy because he was such an exceptional guy. We have never had such a good natured dog. He was Saint Murphy to us from beginning to end. He parachuted in from heaven for us and now he has returned. We could not have found a better dog anywhere, young or old.

Champion Executive Recruiter, or Hunter (as in Head Hunter), who later became Murphy; in the end was our Saint Murphy. Three years as Hunter, six years as Murphy, and then six more years as Saint Murphy. What a great life of 15 years. Yes, Murfo saw many good days! We will miss him deeply.

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Today is July 21, 2019

In this month in 1926:

The Kerry Blue Terrier Club of America established the first standard for the Kerry Blue Terrier in the US.

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