Back in 2013, rescuers found Murray and his three furry Weimaraner siblings on the infamous Dead Dog Beach in Puerto Rico. This beach is known to be a dumping ground for unwanted pets. Unfortunately, the pups were only about 12 weeks old when they were rescued, but they started showing symptoms of distemper. Distemper is a debilitating virus that affects a dog’s neurological system.
According to Christina Beckles, the founder of The Sato Project, a non-profit organization that rescues stray dogs in Puerto Rico, while holding Murray on the exam table and giving him some affection, she heard a clicking sound in his jaw, which is a sign of distemper, and unfortunately, there is no cure for it. As a result, dogs may start having seizures and eventually develop brain damage. Beckles and the veterinarian made the difficult decision to euthanize Murray, as they believed it was the most compassionate thing to do. However, the veterinarian eventually changed her mind when the time came.
Beckles recounted how she picked up Murray and brought him to the table, while he happily wagged his tail. She, on the other hand, couldn’t contain her emotions knowing that his condition was dire. His sister had already passed away from the same illness, leaving little hope for Murray’s survival.
According to Cathy Meeks, a veterinarian at BluePearl Veterinary Hospital in Tampa, Florida, distemper is fatal in 80% of puppies that contract the disease. The best way to prevent it is through vaccination, which unfortunately wasn’t an option for Murray and his littermates since they were strays and hadn’t received any immunizations.
Nonetheless, Murray’s condition has shown improvement after undergoing medical intervention, although he still experiences some health problems such as occasional seizures. His skull has developed an unusual shape due to the effects of distemper, resulting in a crooked appearance on his face. According to Murray’s adoptive mother, Mackenzie Gallant, his features used to be symmetrically aligned, but now his head appears flat due to the changes in his skull structure.
Murray’s dental health also declined, resulting in the removal of most of his teeth and his tongue hanging out of his mouth. However, Gallant and her loved ones – consisting of her parents, two younger brothers, two rescue dogs, and a cat – didn’t mind. In November 2013, they welcomed Murray into their home as a foster pet, and before Christmas the following month, he was legally adopted by the family.
Gallant expressed her fondness for her beloved dog, Murray, stating that he is her top pick among all her dogs and that she absolutely loves him. She further revealed that Murray has a special place in her heart as he used to sleep in her room every night before she left for college in 2016. Despite being away from her pets, Gallant makes it a point to stay connected with Murray whenever possible, emphasizing how much she values him.
Gallant keeps in touch with Murray through daily FaceTime sessions, and interestingly, Murray still resides in her bedroom. Murray even has his own pillow and blanket, and he comprehends commands like “it’s time to sleep” and rushes to Gallant’s room.
Gallant loves spending quality time with Murray when she’s at home. Her favorite pastime is going on long walks with her furry companions Pili and Fox. She’s noticed that walking is the highlight of their day, especially for Murray. Whenever she asks them if they want to go for a walk, they all excitedly run off. In fact, Murray even joins in if one of the other dogs starts howling.
Gallant shared that Murray is thriving and always in a good mood. He has love for both dogs and humans. Beckles remembers Murray with affection and is thrilled that he found the perfect home, even though four years have already passed since his rescue.
Beckles noticed that this particular dog looks distinct from the rest, but in reality, he has the same fondness for walks and hiking as the other dogs. This dog is not given any special treatment compared to the others. Beckles expressed his gratitude towards Kristina and her family for providing a wonderful home for the dog. They have been supportive since the beginning, and he couldn’t have asked for a better place for the dog to be in.