At Sara Morrow’s house in rural Oregon, Murphy is the boss. The mild-mannered golden retriever is in charge of five cats, 21 chickens, two pigs and a rabbit — and makes sure everyone gets along.
“Murphy loves to chase the birds, he loves to swim, he loves when we have baby chicks, to snuggle with our cat Toodles and go hiking,” Morrow told The Dodo. “He and our rabbit, Delilah, love each other so much that they each dug a hole on either side of the fence to get to each other. He’s a gentle giant who loves all.”
But when Morrow brought home an English setter puppy named Archie, Murphy’s job keeping the peace got a bit harder.
Luckily, he loves his rambunctious little brother.
“Murphy and Archie hit it off right away,” Morrow said. “Archie follows him everywhere, and Murphy plays hall monitor. If Archie is playing too rough with one of the cats … [Murphy] steps in the middle, lays down and lets Archie have at him.”
Occasionally, Murphy has to lay down the law when his little brother’s puppy energy gets out of control. Golden retrievers are known for having “soft mouths,” and can even pick up and carry raw eggs without damaging them.
And when Murphy has to calm his little brother down or distract him, his big, soft mouth comes in handy.
Morrow wasn’t worried for a second when she saw Murphy swallow Archie’s head. “Murphy is gentle with every animal we have,” Morrow said. “He’s never shown any aggression.”
Now that Archie has grown up, Murphy can’t fit his brother’s head in his mouth anymore. But that doesn’t stop him from making sure Archie stays on his best behavior.