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*Murphy at home in Clarecastle. Photograph: Joe Buckley

A 21-year-old rescue dog in Clare has been chose to represent the county in the Nose of Tralee.

Murphy, who is a Dandie Dinmont, had seven homes before he was united with owner Annette O’Shea from a rescue centre in Australia. Despite his age, Annette admitted that he is eager to play and full of energy. The pair came to Ireland from Australia in 2009.

In the selection process to represent Clare, three choices were narrowed down, with one judge stating that Murphy was “the cutest thing since sliced bread.”

Dandie Dinmont’s date back to the 1600s in the UK and Scotland, and are characterised as an independent, smart and proud breed. Their typical lifespan stretches from 11 to 13 years of age.

Annette informed that the breed are “extremely rare” and that when she picked up Murphy in the rescue centre he was already neutered.

Having won the Nose of Clare, Murphy, who lives with Annette in Clarecastle, is looking for public votes in a bid to take home the Nose of Tralee, a national competition that looks for the cutest dog within the country and that Annette labels “a bit of fun.” The competition, now in its eight year, is run by Pet Sitters Ireland and sponsored by Tesco.

To vote for Murphy before the deadline of August 24, visit Pet Sitters Ireland’s website.

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