Murphy is one of the hardest working dogs I have ever known. He is truly a terrier - a word that literally means "dog of the earth." Murphy begins his days by walking the entire perimeter of our property, nose to the ground, making sure nothing has changed while he slept. There is nothing behind our house but the mountain forest, so Murphy has plenty to police. We have all manner of wildlife that visit our property, especially our pear and apple trees. Murphy knows it is his job to make sure no intruders put his pack or his humans in danger.
Murphy is the alpha male of our pack - which contains our other three dogs. It doesn't matter that he is the smallest, he is in charge. The other dogs obey Murphy. Murphy is fierce in his defense of his property and his humans. He bears the scars of a coyote attack that the vet still doesn't understand how he survived. One Sunday afternoon he was out in the yard. Three coyotes came into the yard and attacked him. I ran out in time to see them run off, leaving Murphy bleeding and covered in mud. They had torn his throat, the vet said a quarter of an inch from his jugular vein, and a hind leg trying to drag him off with them. He healed and the hair eventually grew to cover the Z shaped scare they tore into his throat. His leg was not broken, but from time to time, he limps from the injury.