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last updated 10/10/05

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My first dog ever...Murphy

I had always wanted a dog of my own but my parents never allowed me to have pets. It was not until I got out of college that I finally got to own some kitty cats. I did not have an adequate home for a dog until approximately 6 months ago. Two of my 8 year old cats had to be put to sleep after each had suffered from different diseases, kidney and diabetes respectively. They went to kitty heaven within a month apart. First, my precious Claire bear, then my baby boy, Casper. My home felt so empty without them. My other 8 year old cat Spirit seemed very depressed. So, I decided it was time to share our life with a needy dog. I went to the Humane Society and For the Love of Dogs, in search of a dog that would fit into my lifestyle well. I wanted a dog that would stick, because I believe strongly in commiting to animals too, "Till death do us part", I wish to G-d that everyone else lived by that same commitment.

Anyway, I later went to Arizona's Animal Care and Control. All I seemed to do was cry when I went to view the huge assortment of loving, and desperately needy dogs and cats. It broke my heart!!! I went home and cried for days. I almost did not go back because it hurt so much! I wanted to help and love them all. And the solemn truth that most die from common colds and other diseases at these animal houses was too overwhelming and depressing to fathom. But, I sat and realized that all of the tears in the world would not save one animals life... Only taking a needy animal home and caring and loving it for it's remaining days would make a difference. So I went back again. I found my little puppy faced, 3 year old dog, I later named Murphy!

However, though Murphy seemed really healthy at first, he started coughing strangely, followed by a gag reaction. I quickly took him to the vet. They did some tests on Murphy and said they thought that he just had kennel cough, which is highly treatable and common. It was not. After 3 to 4 visits and having spent almost $1000 in a two week period, Murphy was lying on death's door. He did not eat anything and I had to force feed him water throughout the day. His nose looked like dried, cracked leather. He looked like an 18 year old dog. He could not stand or move. I found out that he had the dreaded word, DISTEMPER. From what I was told, there has been no cure and most or all dogs die of this disease. I was supposed to put my Murphy to sleep, I did not want him to suffer anymore. However, the day I was going to do it, I couldn't. Three pets in 2 months was too much to bear. So, I planned on the following day if there was no change for the better. The same day I called and spoke to the manager of the pound where I purchased Murphy. Surprisingly, he said, "I think that I heard that there is a new cure for distemper that is not even on the market yet, let me check into it for you". He called me back and made arrangements for Murphy to get free treatments!!

However, my listless baby was losing his battle on the way over for his first visit. He seemed to have stopped breathing. So, as I was driving dangerously wild in thick rush hour traffic to get him to his treatment, I held his unresponsive head up to my mouth and gave him mouth to snout resuscitation! Finally, he sat up a little and threw up all over the console of my car. I prayed and cried and begged him to hang in there so that I could give him the life and good times he so richly deserved! We finally pulled up to the Animal Care and Control. I carried him inside, his full weight in my arms. They gave him his first shot and pills.

I carried him back into the car. I drove home watching him. Suddenly, a miracle happened. Murphy stood straight up in the back seat! He was alert 10 minutes after receiving his first shot! After we got back to my home, I took him inside, and another miracle happened. Murphy stood up, walked across the room, and lapped up his first drink of water in days, on his own!!!

There was an up and down time for Murphy in the beginning. I was very overly protective and fearful for awhile. However, this story has a happy ending. Murphy is the love of my life! I do and will spoil and pamper with love this wonderful dog till his last breath. He brings me such joy and is a very happy dog, he even smiles! Everyone in my neighborhood loves and knows him. He is the best friend to me and my sweetie-pie cat, Spirit! I will always be grateful to Phoenix Arizona's Animal Care and Control, for caring and saving Murphy's and millions of other injured, hungry and lonely animals lives, and getting them into good homes!

Every little bit of effort makes a difference...

Tanya L. Goldenberg
Animal Lover

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