In 2013, a group of rescuers stumbled upon Murray and his three Weimaraner siblings at Dead Dog Beach, an infamous Puerto Rican spot notorious for being a dumping ground for unwanted pets. The poor pups were just about 12 weeks old at the time of their rescue, but they showed symptoms of distemper soon after. This virus can be catastrophic for a dog’s nervous system.
While holding Murray on the exam table and giving him a gentle pet, Christina Beckles, the founder and president of The Sato Project, an organization dedicated to rescuing stray dogs in Puerto Rico, noticed a distinct clicking sound in his jaw – which is one of the signs of distemper. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for this disease, and dogs that contract it can experience seizures and severe brain damage. Sadly, Beckles and the veterinarian made the difficult decision to euthanize Murray to prevent any further suffering. However, at the last minute, the vet had a change of heart.
Beckles recounted how she brought Murray to the table and he excitedly wagged his tail, but she couldn’t help feeling worried given his slim chances of survival. Sadly, one of his sisters had already succumbed to the same condition. As per Cathy Meeks, a certified veterinarian at BluePearl Veterinary Hospital in Tampa, 80% of dogs infected with distemper do not make it. The best way to prevent catching the disease is through vaccination. Unfortunately, Murray and his littermates had not been vaccinated since they were street dogs.
Regardless of his health condition, Murray’s condition has shown improvement after receiving treatment. However, he still suffers from some health issues, such as moderate seizures, which may be attributed to his skull’s unusual growth due to distemper. According to his adoptive mother, Mackenzie Gallant, Murray’s face was once symmetrical, but now it appears crooked because his skull is flat on his head.
Murray had faced teeth decay, resulting in the removal of most of his teeth and leaving his tongue hanging out of his mouth. Despite this, Gallant and her family, consisting of her parents, two younger brothers, two rescue dogs, and a cat, welcomed Murray into their home in November 2013 as a foster dog. Shortly after in December, Murray was officially adopted just in time for Christmas.
Gallant expressed her fondness for Murray by saying that he is her most beloved dog. She simply loves him and even mentioned that Murray sleeps in her room every night. Despite leaving for college in 2016, Gallant still tries to keep in touch with Murray as much as possible. It was hard for her to part ways with all her pets, but Murray holds a special place in her heart.
Gallant revealed that Murray is so close to her heart that they FaceTime each other every day, and he still sleeps in her room with his own pillow and blanket. Even when she is away at school, Murray has a good understanding of commands like “bedtime” and rushes up to her room.
Gallant loves spending quality time with Murray whenever she’s at home. Among her most cherished activities is taking Murray, Pili, and Fox on long walks. According to Gallant, walking is the highlight of their pets’ day. They all get excited and start running around when asked if they want to go for a walk. What’s more, Murray would even join in howling if any of the other dogs started howling.
Gallant shared that Murray is thriving and always in a cheerful mood, loving both dogs and humans. It has been four years since Beckles rescued Murray, but she still remembers him with affection and is delighted that he found the perfect forever home.
Beckles noticed that this particular dog seemed to stand out from the rest, but in reality, he is just like the others and loves going for walks and hikes. There is no special treatment given to him compared to the other dogs. Beckles expressed gratitude towards Kristina and her family for providing such a wonderful place for the dog, saying that he couldn’t have asked for a better home.