by Tanya M. Jackson
Little Murray came to us on January 7th. He was picked up after a call to our animal control officer from a young woman named Alison Murray. She'd found him running (not really possible, as you will see) as a stray, fed him, and got help as soon as she could.
This little dog was NOT even recognizable as a dog, let alone an adorable and beautiful onel His coat was matted and dirty, filled with sand spurs, weed seeds and fleas. We clipped off the equivalent of two dogs his size! His feet and legs were so thickly matted he could barely walk. The fur on his back came off in one huge piece that we removed as carefully as possible with clippers. It looked like a thick felted fur coat, which is exactly what it was. Imagine what this must have felt like to this tiny little dog during the hot weather!
His little butt was so matted he could not even defecate - feces was matted tightly onto his rear end and we had to soak him in warm water and cut with scissors to 'get it off. His little face was so matted he could barely see, and we could not find his ears. In the process of trimming them, he got nicked twice, and still he did not complain. His skinny little tail curls up over his back, and I try to imagine it white and fluffy and soft and clean. He weighs about 7 pounds now, and his pink skin is nearly hairless. Thankfully, his coat will grow back in, and eventually he will be as beautiful on the outside as he is on the inside. He has a big dog heart in a little dog body - - - he holds no grudge and has nothing but love to offer.
It turns out that Murray is a white dog with a little bit of brown trim. He is probably about two years old. His very long toenails and his thickly matted coat showed that he'd had no care in a long time - probaly several months at least. Because he was not seriously malnourished, it's possible that he had owners who were feeding him, but that is about it They definitely were not petting him, loving him, and combing and brushing his long coat. He is heart worm positive, so they were not keeping him on the very important (especially in Florida) monthly heartworm treatment.. This is, of course all conjecture on our part. but its fairly obvious. A dog does not get in-this condition in a short time, and he certainly does not get this way when he is a loved and valued family pet.
Little Murray deserves much better than this! So do countless other dogs and cats. At the Nassau Humane Society the staff and volunteers do all that they I possibly can to teach about .these problems. The purpose of this article is to help get the word out about caring properly for your family dog or cat. Spaying or neutering, heart worm preventative medicine, puppy or kitten shots and rabies shots - all these things are very important if you decide to own a pet. Getting a pet is not a notion that should be decided upon without considering the cost of care and the time involved in training and loving that pet.
Murray is going to be one of the lucky ones. The young woman who found him cares about his welfare and came by the shelter to check on him. Thus he's named Murray to honor her caring. A generous donor gave the money needed to start his heart worm treatment and brought her friend who was looking for a little dog as a.playmate for her Yorkshire terrier. The friend has taken Murray home with her to foster him .through the heart worm treatment, and keep him warm and happy while his coat grows back. She bought him a sweater for the chilly days. When he is healthy again, he will be neutered, get his rabies shot, go on his regular heart worm treatment each month, and any other care that he needs. Mostly, he will have a loving home, a blanket and toys of his own, good food, and all the love he could possibly want. And he will give back double, I am certain!