This poor dog was supposed to die. Everyone around him thought that he was not going to survive.
Almost five years ago, Murray was rescued along with his three Weimaraner siblings on Dead Dog Beach, an infamous place in Puerto Rico where owners dump their unwanted dogs. At that time, Murray and his siblings were only about 12 weeks old and started showing signs of distemper
“I was holding him on the exam table and stroking him, and I was feeling a click in his jaw — that’s one of the signs of distemper,” Christina Beckles, founder and president of The Sato Project, a group that saves stray dogs in Puerto Rico, said during an interview with The Dodo. “There’s no treatment at that point. A dog can then start to have seizures, and they can start to get brain damage.”
Doctors have already made the difficult decision to put the poor dog down, which they thought at that time would be the kindest thing to do. However, one vet changed her mind and decided to do everything that he can to help Murray survive.
“She took him to the table and he wagged his tail … and she couldn’t do it,” Beckles said.
One of his siblings have already passed away because of the distemper and Murray had a very slim chance of making it.
According to Cathy Meeks, a board-certified veterinarian at BluePearl Veterinary Hospital in Tampa, Florida, puppies have a slim chance of surviving when they have distemper – only 80 percent survive.
Despite the disease, Murray tried so hard to survive. He was responding pretty well to the treatment; however, doctors noticed his head grow in an oddly-shaped way.
“Originally, his face was pretty symmetrical, and now … it’s kind of crooked,” Mackenzie Gallant, the woman who ended up adopting Murray, told The Dodo. “Now his skull is pretty flat on his head.”
Murray’s teeth also rotted and doctors decided to remove them to avoid further infection, which caused his tongue to start hanging out of his mouth.
Despite his appearance, The Gallant family decided to foster the poor dog until such time that he was ready for adoption. Before Christmas in 2013, the whole family decided to officially adopt Murray.
“He’s my favorite dog,” Gallant said. “I love him. He actually sleeps in my room every night.”
“Even when I’m at school, he still gets tucked into my room — he still has a pillow and a blanket,” Gallant said. “And he knows the words. You’ll say, ‘Murray, it’s time for bed,’ and he’ll run up there to my room.”
“He absolutely loves going for walks,” Gallant said. “That’s the highlight for all three of our dogs. We say, ‘You guys want to go for a walk?’ And they all come running. One of my dogs will start howling, and Murray will start howling.”
“He’s thriving and he’s just happy all of the time, and he’s wagging his tail all of the time,” Gallant added. “He loves all dogs and all people.”
Beckles still remembers the young Murray with distemper when he was rescued by volunteers, and she’s happy to know that he is living at his forever home with a loving family.
“This dog looks different than all the other doggies,” Beckles said. “But he’s not — he still loves to go on walks and he will hike. They don’t treat him any differently than the other doggies.”
“Kristina [Mackenzie’s mom] and her family have been incredible, right from the get-go,” Beckles said. “I could not have wanted a better home for him.”
We love you, Murray!
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H/T: The Dodo