Beyond Appearances: A Dog with a Daunting Look Finally Finds a Family Who Sees Him as Perfect

Rescuers in 2013 came across Murray and his three Weimaraner siblings on Dead Dog Beach, a notorious Puerto Rican beach where people throw away unwanted pets.

When Murray and his siblings were saved, they were only a few weeks old and already showing symptoms of distemper, a terrible virus that kills a dog’s nervous system.

The founder and president of The Sato Project, a Puerto Rican organization that rescues stray dogs, Christina Beckles, told The Dodo, “I was holding him on the exam table and petting him, and I felt a click in his jaw – that’s one of the indicators of distemper.”

“There is no therapy at that point.” The dog might then start having seizures and develop brain damage. Murray was put to death because Beckles and the veterinarian decided it was the most humane course of action. But the vet changed her mind when the time came.

Beckles said, “She carried him to the table and he wagged his tail but she couldn’t.” Murray, however, had a very slim chance of surviving because one of his sisters had already passed away from the illness.

80 percent of puppies who contract distemper die, according to Cathy Meeks, a board-certified veterinarian at BluePearl Veterinary Hospital in Tampa, Florida. The best method to prevent distemper is vaccination. However, Murray and his siblings had not received any vaccinations since they had become stray.

Murray still has some health issues, such as mild seizures, but he got better with treatment, despite this. He developed a peculiarly shaped skull as a result of the distemper. His face used to be very symmetrical, but now, Mackenzie Gallant, Murray’s adoptive mother, told The Dodo, “it’s sort of crooked.” The skull on his head is now fairly flat.

The bulk of Murray’s teeth had to be pulled due to gum disease and tooth decay, which left his tongue protruding from his mouth. But for Gallant and her family—which also comprised her mother Kristina, father Dennis, siblings Wesley and Eli, two rescue dogs named Pili and Fox, and their cat named Daphne—none of this mattered.

Murray was placed into foster care by them in November 2013, and the following month, just before Christmas, he was officially adopted.

Max

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