If you were to meet Super Murph under normal circumstances he would probably look like a regular, albeit adorable, French Bulldog. If you’ve seen Super Murph, however, normal would probably not be the first phrase that comes to mind. Usually found riding through the Atlanta area atop a one-wheel electric skateboard and decked out in one of his stylish outfits, Super Murph and his owner, Blake Goodman, turn heads everywhere they go. HotSpawts wanted to know more about this eccentric local duo, so we interviewed Blake to get the full story.
Super Murph is, at the time of writing, a 7-year-old French Bulldog that Blake took home when Murph was 14 weeks old. Why the name Murph? Well, a couple of reasons actually. “First of all, I like one syllable dog names,” Blake says. “Another reason is that one of my favorite bands is Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) whose lead singer was David Murphy, but he went by Murph. Whenever the Murph would have short monologues during the live shows, they just labeled the short tracks, ‘Murph’. Therefore, I had hundreds of tracks just labeled Murph on my computer, so the name was already in the back of my mind.” Blake also had one final reason for picking Murph’s name. “Lastly, I thought the name Murph would also be a good way to honor my lab, Dale, whom I consider to be my first born, since there was the famous Atlanta baseball player named Dale Murphy.” Blake feels Murph’s name suits him perfectly, and if you saw Super Murph in person you would probably agree.
Murph’s most eye-catching feature would have to be his ability to ride an electric skateboard, which he happily does with Blake by his side. However, dogs are not born with skateboard in paw. How did Blake teach Super Murph how to ride? “Teaching Murph to skateboard was a several year process,” Blake says. “At first as a puppy, I thought it would be neat if I could train him to ride a normal skateboard.” In due time Blake was able to teach Murph to skate for short distances, but Murph would inevitably hop off and come sit at his master’s feet. Not wanting to force Murph into something he didn’t enjoy doing, Blake benched the idea. A few years passed before Blake stumbled upon a solution to the problem; electric skateboards. Electric skateboards allowed Murph to ride with his master and not by himself, which was Murph’s main problem with skateboarding before. “The first electric skateboard I had was a very large 70lbs one that was large enough to hold 2 people,” Blake says. “He loved riding it from day one; I think he realizes riding makes people smile and he likes to see people looking at him with happy grins on their faces. From his original very large board we have slowly evolved over the last couple of years through several boards, each one smaller than the previous one.”
Super Murph is also known for the stylish outfits he often wears while cruising around town. Where does Blake get these doggie duds? “Murph primarily gets his outfits from a small company in Tucker, Georgia called Mister Migs,” Blake says. “They make dog clothes and accessories using primarily recycled denim. Not only is Mister Migs a green, sustainable business, they make a difference in the community as well, a value that HotSpawts shares.. “Mister Migs also works with and mentors special needs adults that are given the opportunity to work in a safe environment that is still a real job,” Blake says. “These individuals are able to gain valuable employment experience which will equip them with skills they need to pursue their passions in life.”
From teaching him to skate to dressing him up in cool clothes, Blake goes through a lot of effort to not only make Murph happy, but also put smiles on the faces of those who meet Murph. What makes Blake so passionate about showing off Murph to the world? Blake himself tells the story best:
About a year after teaching Murph how to skate, a man stopped us for a second while we were riding around one random afternoon. He explained to me that he had a really bad couple of weeks and that he was depressed and sad lately for various reasons. However, he told me that seeing Murph riding around on the skateboard wearing his jacket and sunglasses brought the biggest smile to his face and completely changed his mood. He was so sincere and appreciative of seeing us riding around that it really left an impression on me. After this day, I have made a conscience effort to share Murph with more people as he has a special ability to make people smile.
Since that day, Blake has made an effort to get Murph out and about in order to brighten up people’s days around the city. Blake says that people stop Murph and him on the street all the time to let them know how much seeing Murph makes them smile. But Murph doesn’t just entertain random passersby; he is also a registered hospital therapy dog, making visits to those in need. Blake hopes to be able to share Super Murph’s uplifting charisma with many more people for many years to come.
HotSpawts has one final question for Blake and Murph: does Super Murph ever use dog boarding or grooming services? “While I am at work, Murph goes to doggie daycare a couple days a week,” Blake says. “I typically try to keep Murph with me as much as possible, and therefore I do my best to travel with him whenever I can. However, there are times when I have no other option but to find somewhere for him to stay while I am out of town. I would love it if there was a service that made it easier to find someone to keep Murph, as he is a little high maintenance.” Blake typically handles Super Murph’s grooming himself, however he does bring in a professional for special occasions. “About once a month I like to get him properly groomed, which can be a little challenging trying to find a good quality groomer that is able to be there when we need them,” Blake says. You can use HotSpawts for your doggie daycare, boarding, and grooming (both on-demand and scheduled) needs when we launch our open Beta in Spring 2019. Sign up on our home page for future updates!