He's annoying. He's pushy. He's always got some new challenge for me, and that's on top of his allergies and ear infections that cost me another two hundred bucks at the vet today. What benefit do I get in return for all of this?
Well tonight, a friend stopped over. Someone Murphy has never met before. Murphy gave him the usual "welcome" from his perch on the deck, but even once the friend was inside, I noticed Murphy had an eye on him all night.
When the two of us went upstairs to the gun room, Murphy came upstairs, too. He never left the two of us the entire time. Belle was around, and she got her share of petting and playing, but Murphy was clearly on watch. He was looking out for me the whole evening, even though I didn't need him to. He wasn't up in our business, and he didn't make his presence known, but he was never more than ten to fifteen feet away from me the entire night, always awake and alert and always watching that friend.
You can't bribe a dog into being that loyal, and I don't even think you can train it into a dog that doesn't already have it. Murph's a jerk in a lot of ways, but there's one thing that he's very, very serious about and that's watching my back. And he doesn't do it because I make him--he does it because he wants to.
I love this dog.