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….