Category Archives: Dogs

How Murphy Got His Name

Those of you who know Daphneyland the Basset Ranch might remember Sinthia’s Basset/Irish Wolfhound mix, Charm. He’s mine now, but I had to rename him.

Murphy FKA Charm

All of my dogs have had liquor names. Thirty years ago, my first two puppies were Champagne colored, so the wolf hybrid was Moet, and the Golden Retriever was Chandon. When Moet was undergoing chemo for lymphoma, she was a real handful at the vet, so I gave them all t-shirts that said, “I work for Moet.”


Moet Wolf

When Moet died, the Champagne’s parent company was Moet Louis Vuitton Hennessy. That’s how I knew I was getting a Basset Hound—what else would be named Hennessy? Hennessy lived a long, colorful life. The best part about her name was that you could so easily modify it. We had CrazyNess, MessyNess, HappyNess, BossyNess. Didn’t matter, she never answered to it if she didn’t feel like it.


When Chandon died, I wanted another Golden. So I stood in the liquor aisle at the grocery store and started looking. Bailey turned out to be a lovely old lady.

One day a huge Chow/Great Pyrenees mix walked up to me on the hiking trail. He was an amazing guy. I met him hiking, and he was a redhead, so obviously he was Johnnie Walker Red. One day I was at the dog park and some little girls came over to meet the dogs. They introduced Hennessy, Bailey, and Johnnie to their dad, who said, “Mom likes to take a little nip now and then?”

Hennessy, Johnnie, Bailey

When Hennessy died, I adopted a Basset/Springer mix from Daphneyland. I had just been to a barbecue where they served Belgian beer, so she became Stella. Which certainly suited her oh-so-dramatic nature. I also like the Stella Artois slogan: She Walks in Beauty. She did indeed.


When Johnnie passed, I found a gorgeous Golden who needed a special home because he came into the shelter with severe chemical burns all over his body. I drove across LA to pick him up. Along Sunset Boulevard they were setting up the Sunset Strip Music Festival, and every sign, banner, truck, or ad was for Jack Daniel’s. Jack is now healed, with a beautiful thick red coat that covers his scars completely.

Jack FKA Malec

After Stella, I knew exactly what I wanted—a 2-year old purebred female Basset. Until I saw Charm at Daphneyland. He’s got a Wolfhound face and coat, and a Basset’s body and long ears. He looks like a Basset in a wolfhound costume. Yes, he’s charming, but I needed a different name, something Irish. I did some research (no, I’m not going to yell “Bushmills” or “Jameson” at the dog park). Turns out there’s a Murphy’s Irish Stout. Perfect.


Jack and Murphy are great friends, and they’re both hospital therapy dogs in Santa Monica. We go hiking every morning in the mountains. I’m running out of liquor names, but I’m sure I’ll be inspired when I need another one. Many, many years from now, right?

Or maybe I should go do some more research….


Bye Bye CBC

It may not surprise you that at one time I had a bit of an eBay problem. Well, “problem” is a strong word. Then again, maybe not. I decided to buy a few vintage Basset Hound collectibles.

Lotta CrapTurns out eBay has all kinds of Cheap Basset Crap, I mean Cherished Basset Collectibles. There are planters, cookie jars, banks, bottles, just about anything you can imagine. And a few you probably can’t. Continue reading

An Inspirational Rescue

Julie Klam asked me for a rescue story for her blog. This story originally appeared there.

It was August 25, 2001. I was hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains with my Basset, Hennessy, and my Golden, Bailey. At the top of the hill, at Inspiration Point, a huge Chow mix without a collar approached me. I was a little nervous, but he politely accepted some water and let me put a leash on him. Back at the ranger station was a note that some hikers had seen the dog put out of a car in the parking lot the night before. The rangers were busy, so I volunteered to take him down to the shelter. Halfway down the hill, he put his elbow on my shoulder, and I headed to the pet store to buy him a collar. Surely one of my friends would take him. He’s a redhead and I met him hiking, so I called him Johnnie Walker Red (yes, there’s a theme to my dogs’ names. The first two were Moet and Chandon). Continue reading

2011 blows into LA

It’s snowing in Southern California! Not at my house, where we’ve had heavy rain all winter. We need the water, but could do without the mudslides and fallen trees.

The big dog and I spent a week in Santa Barbara before Christmas. It rained every day, so he never got to go to the beach. However, he found a coonskin cap in Fess Parker’s hotel gift shop. (Fake) dead animals for sale in a hotel!

New Year’s Eve I went up to Malibu and took a little hike in Solstice Canyon. Gorgeous sunny day. The porpoises were leaping in the Pacific off the beach at Topanga. That’s how I like my winters, hiking at the beach with the snow-capped mountains far off in the distance. Continue reading

Nepal Day of the Dog

Michelle Page runs Danger Dogs from Nepal. You send her a photo of your dog, then Nepalese artists paint metal signs with the slogan of your choice. She usually has three different artists paint each dog. Any signs you don’t purchase are sold in museum gift shops. It’s a good deal for you, the artists, and the museums. Those are my dogs above, Stella and Johnnie.

Michelle’s in Nepal right now, and today is the Day of the Dog. She told me to drape my dogs in marigold garlands and give them treats. Treats? No problem. Unfortunately, marigolds are out of season here in Los Angeles, so we had to improvise. Continue reading