Dogs come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and personalities. There’s something for everyone, whether you prefer the affable ENFP golden retriever or the alert, laser-focused herding breeds.
There are big dogs and little dogs, furry dogs and hairless dogs, dogs that have long noses and dogs who look like they’ve run into a wall.
And then there’s Murray. He’s a bit different, and doesn’t quite look like the typical representative of his breed.
He has the classic short, grey coat and piercing blue eyes of a Weimaraner, but his tongue tends to hang out and his profile is a little unusual.
At a tender three months of age, Murray was rescued from a beach in Puerto Rico known as “Dead Dog Beach.” He and his siblings had been dumped there, but fortunately, some caring rescuers snapped them up.
Though they were given love, care, and a new shot at life, the pups have already picked up the deadly distemper virus.
Distemper is commonly vaccinated for in the United States and is fatal in 80 percent of cases found in puppies. It’s one of the reasons you shouldn’t take your puppy out before it has gotten all its shots.
The vet soon noticed the telltale signs of the disease, and Murray’s prognosis didn’t look good.
“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,” said Christina Beckles, the founder of the rescue group that found the puppies.
“There’s no treatment at that point. A dog can then start to have seizures, and they can start to get brain damage.”
In most cases, the most humane thing to do is to euthanize the dog and save them from a steep downhill battle. But as they got ready to put the sick little pup down, the vet noticed something that stopped her.
Murray was wagging his tail. If he still had some joy and fight left in him, why shouldn’t they help him try to beat the odds?
With lots of treatment, Murray pulled through. He even found a forever home with a loving family. But the disease had changed him.
His face is very oddly shaped, and he deals with seizures.
“Originally, his face was pretty symmetrical, and now … it’s kind of crooked,” his owner, Mackenzie Gallant, said. “Now his skull is pretty flat on his head.”
His teeth rotted, too, and he had to have all of them removed. Without his set of pearly whites to keep his tongue caged, he now has a “signature” look with his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth.
But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and his family loves him dearly. “This dog looks different than all the other doggies,” said Beckles. “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.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.