There is a beach in Puerto Rico called Playa Lucia, which was once a favorite spot for beachgoers—but not anymore. It has acquired the nickname Dead Dog Beach, as it has become a place where unwanted or sick animals (especially dogs) are dumped—sad but true—and packs of dogs can often be seen roaming there.
One local animal welfare group, known as The Sato Organization, has made it their mission to rescue abandoned and abused dogs. Their volunteers, to date, have rescued more than 3,000 unwanted pups—an amazing feat. Many are airlifted to the United States to be adopted into good homes.
One puppy saved in 2013 was a 12-week-old Weimaraner named Murray, who, along with three of his siblings, had been dumped. The four were sent to the United States, where they all began to exhibit symptoms of distemper, which is a highly contagious disease that affects a dog’s nervous system. Though it can be prevented with vaccination, these stray puppies almost certainly had not been vaccinated. Sadly, one of his sisters died, and Murray was in such a bad state that the vet made the decision to euthanize him—it was the kindest thing to do, they said.
“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, told 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.”
As Murray was sitting on the bench, just waiting for the vet to put him to sleep, she changed her mind. “[H]e wagged his tail … and she couldn’t do it,” said Beckles.
The vet’s instinct proved to be a life saver, as Murray’s health dramatically improved with treatment afterward.
He still suffers from mild seizures, and his facial features became distorted due to the effects of the disease, giving him a very unusual look. Several of his teeth had rotted and had to be removed, and as a result, his tongue lolls out of the side of his mouth, making for one quaint but cute-looking pup.
Mackenzie Gallant and her family, who already had other rescued dogs, began to foster Murray in November 2013, and by Christmas, they had adopted him.
“Originally, his face was pretty symmetrical, and now … it’s kind of crooked,” said Gallant, who fell in love with him.
“Now his skull is pretty flat on his head,” she told TheDodo.
When she left home to attend college in 2016, she had to leave him behind, but the two had formed a close bond, and Gallant often FaceTimes him to keep in touch.
“It was hard to leave all of my animals … but Murray is special,” she said.
“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’s my favorite dog,” Gallant added. “I love him.”
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my sis is home from college and rocking her shirt from @popyourpup thanks so much for the wonderful gift we just love it, so awesome! 🐾💕🎁 #thedailylifeofmurray #mondayvibes #sunshineandhappiness #bestfriends #popyourpup #distempersurvivor #thesatoproject #satosofinstagram #muttsofinstagram #tongueouteveryday #doggysmile #highonsummertime #boop #modelpuppy #humansister #bestpals
Gallant has plenty of opportunities to play with Murray on her time off from college, and with such a big happy family to care for him when she is not around, Murray is sure to continue bringing joy to his household.
For cuteness overload, watch the adorable Murray in the video:
This dog doesn't look like ANYONE else — and when his family started fostering him, they knew that no one else would love him as much as they did 💕
由 The Dodo 发布于 2018年3月22日周四
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but mommmm I just want you to look at me and play with me instead of working, just want all my human siblings to be home so we can all play together with my furry siblings too!! 🐾🐾🐾 #whyyy #comehomesoon #attentionseeker #silentlooks #puppylove #peurtoricantreasure #thedailylifeofmurray #happyandhealthy #livingthebestdoggylife