February 2003

Is Murray still available, Amy?? just checking... have no immediate home for him, but you never know...


Yes, he's still with me. He is a typical adolescent with tons of energy. =) His fear barking is greatly diminished, which gives me hope of finding a great home for him. (That's why the previous home returned him.) He is very comfortable with his crate, so the separation anxiety will not be an issue as long as the new home continues to use a crate.

Anyone looking for a gorgeous, active one year old to get your older dogs to run around like puppies? Look no further! He is, without a doubt, my favorite foster ever. I think he's Brin's favorite, too. I will hate to see him go, but he needs more attention than he is getting here. I've had him for months and haven't bothered to teach him more than "sit" and "down" and "shake." He learns fast and is food- and praise-motivated. Please send any qualified adopters my way!

Thanks for asking about him!


I've attached a poster for my foster dog, Murray. I'm sure you'll have a lot of potential adopters there for the telethon, so hopefully someone will see his picture and fall in love! I will be out of town this weekend, so I can't bring him in for the telethon. I was going to ask if I could just drop him off before I leave on Saturday, but I decided it would be better if I can meet any potential adopters and talk with them about Murray's issues (separation anxiety and fear barking). He was already placed once and returned because of the fear barking. He had trouble readjusting when I got him back, so I want to make sure his next placement is permanent.

I am torn because I would love to keep Murray, but my "significant other's" patience is wearing thin. :( So I need to place him, but I will only let him go to an above-average home. I will be back Sunday evening and can meet any interested parties starting on Monday.

Thanks a bunch!


My name is J, and I am inquiring about Murray! Is he still up for adoption... My husband and I are looking for another "snuggley" pet, and a "buddie" for our Beagle puppy. Please let me know. Thanks,


Hi J!

Yes, Murray is still available. He is definitely a snuggler, and I'm sure he would have a great time playing with your pup! He's a wonderful dog but has a few qualities that make him a little more challenging than the average dog. He has separation anxiety and must be crated when he is left alone. This is not optional. He will chew if he is loose and unsupervised. He is very comfortable in the crate, so you don't need to feel bad about crating him.

Secondly, he is fearful of strangers. Sometimes if he feels threatened (usually happens in the house because he feels like he can't excape), he will put on a huge display of barking at your guests. He has never bitten, and I would not place him if I felt he was at high risk for becoming a biter. He has gotten a lot more comfortable with meeting new people in the past few months. Just this past weekend, I took him to visit my family. The first time he met them (several months ago), he was very shy and barked a little. This time he gave one "woof!" and went up to everyone with a wagging tail. So he just needs a little time to get used to new people.

It is possible that he will bark at people sometimes, and you can help him learn not to be afraid. I can give you some tips on things I have done to help him feel more comfortable with new people. The previous home had good intentions but decided to return him after he barked at a guest for the first time, instead of doing the necessary training and socialization. It is not a huge problem (he's a *really* sweet dog -- you'll see!) but I want to make sure you are aware of it, because I want his next placement to be his permanent one!!

I recommend a fenced yard for him. Since he was found as a stray, he apparently does have a tendency to roam if given the opportunity. If you don't have a fence, you'll need to take him outside on a leash. You should also have some sort of double-door system (for example, a gate on your porch) to prevent an escape if he slips through the door. He has never had an opportunity to get loose from me, so I can't say for sure what he'd do. He comes to his name pretty well. But I wouldn't want to risk it near a road, and certainly not without some more training on the recall.

I certainly don't mean to dwell on the negative. Murray is an awesome dog, and I would keep him myself if my boyfriend would agree! He is a typical adolescent, which means he has tons of energy and is always looking for something to do. He is very trainable (he would be a great candidate for obedience or even agility classes) and extremely playful and lovable. He is wonderful with other dogs, and even likes cats. One of my dogs is a beagle mix, so he is used to playing with dogs of that size.

If/when you meet Murray, you'll see how wonderful he is. I expect him to be a little shy with you at first, so it would be great if you could visit him more than once. We can let him meet your pup and see how they get along.

Murray is a really special dog. I have fostered about 15 dogs over the past 2 or 3 years, and this is the one that I have bonded with the most. That's why I'm being so careful about his placement. I want him to go to somebody who will appreciate how special he is, and who is willing to do a little bit of training to make him even better. Above all, I want him to go to somebody who will snuggle with him a lot, because that is what he lives for!

Where do you live? We could meet here, or at your home, or at the humane society. My favorite place to meet is at
the dog run in Frick Park, but I think the snow might make it difficult to get there! I am available evenings and weekends.

Looking forward to hearing from you!


Hello Amy! I am currently at work, and have to attend a meeting this morning! Could you please send me your phone number, or call me at work? I would definitely like to speak with you about MURRAY!!! Thanks so much, and for getting back to me so quickly! I have been out the past two days at a seminar, so that is why I haven't responded! Hope to hear from you soon! Thanks again! J

My name is E, and for the past few months my husband and I have been falling in love with Murray on the pghdogs website. We have a 1 year old female collie-shepard mix named Gracie who absolutely adores other dogs, and we have been thinking about getting a companion dog for her to have a permanent friend. I want to tell you a little about our situation and ask a few questions, and perhaps we can set up a meeting and can figure out if Murray would be the right dog for us.

My husband and I live in Bloomfield in a duplex with a totally fenced in yard, which is great for Gracie. My husband is a graduate student and I am a medical student. We are both gone as late as 5 PM on weekdays (a lot of the time one of us gets home a few hours early, but Gracie has at least 4 hours of "alone" time). During that time Gracie is restricted to the kitchen, however we do not crate her. We noticed that she had a lot more anxiety in her crate during the day than if she was lying on her bed in the kitchen.We crate her when we go to bed at night, although she's allowed on the bed to snuggle before lights go out. She takes agility classes, which she loves, and which we would also like to enter Murray into if we were to get him.We also take her to Frick Park at least 2 times a week, so she can go to the fenced-in dog area to socialize with other dogs. She is a high-energy dog who loves to play. She is also EXTREMELY submissive to other dogs, and always a target of any dog who is aggressive. For this reason, we could not have an aggressive dog. But a dog who she gets along with is her instant best friend. She is also very friendly towards other people, and I think she would serve as a great role model for Murray in this aspect

Could you tell me a little more about Murray, and, regarding the information that I have just given you, what your thoughts are about Murray's fit for our household. We are VERY interested in him, and we would like to meet him, and introduce Gracie if you think it could be an appropriate setting for him. Thanks so much for your time, I really appreciate it!



Hi J,
I wish I could give you a definite answer about Murray but I still don't know! The people who met him today really liked him, but they were not sure if their dog liked him or not. They thought that their dog was acting a little shy and intimidated by Murray. So we decided to give them a few hours to get to know each other and see if their dog becomes more comfortable. Hopefully by this evening they will have made a decision.

I'm sorry I can't tell you anything more definite! If they decide not to adopt him, you are definitely next on my list. If they do adopt him, I would be more than happy to help you locate another great dog. I have a lot of "internet buddies" who are involved with dog rescue.

I'll let you know as soon as I know anything.

Thanks for your patience.


Good Morning, Amy! I did receive your message at home over the weekend. I apologize for not getting back to you, but this weekend was a little hectic! (Did you call "after" they made their decision?) I still would like to see Murray, but unfortunately it will have to wait until the weekend! My husband is on afternoon shift, and I would really like for him to be there, too! Please let me know the status, and I will touch base with you to see if this Saturday will be okay to meet with you and Murray! Thanks for keeping me posted! J


Hi J,
Yes, Murray is still available. I left your message after he had spent several hours with the other couple and their dog. They decided he was *too* playful! The interaction between the dogs was great, in my opinion. Their dog did not seem intimidated. So I'm not sure exactly what they were expecting.

Saturday would be fine. We could meet either at your home or at the humane society. I would like to give your pup and Murray a chance to get to know each other, and I'm not sure how much space we would have at the shelter. Maybe we should plan to meet at your home on Sat, and then at the shelter on Sunday to finalize the paperwork if he is a good match for your family? Let me know what you think.

I forgot to ask -- do you have a fenced yard?

Looking forward to meeting you!


Hi Amy!
Well, should we say that we are on for Saturday? My husband and I have an appointment in the morning (9:30 a.m.), so we can meet at the house around 12 Noon. Please let me know if this is okay for you.

As far as a fence, we do not have one at the present time. Although, that is our "1st" priority as soon as the weather permits! We need one for our "little one"...his nose gets him in trouble! So, a fence has been on our list of "1st" things to do before Spring!

I do have one question for you, since you are experienced with animals. We have had Baley since Christmas. He will be...actually, he is 4 months old today!!! Well, he is very you think bringing another around will make him jealous or different? The only reason I ask, which I should have thought about this earlier...he is doing so well, I don't want to alter his personality. (I just know that he would love a playmate because he plays with all the neighbor dogs, (BIGGER) ones, too!

Let me know what you think...
Have a good day!


Noon sounds fine. Please send directions. I definitely recommend the fencing when you are able, and until then, Murray would need to be taken out on leash. He doesn't seem likely to bolt, but I'm almost certain he would play keep away.

I think Baley would be fine w/another dog in the house, and actually it is smart to introduce a new dog while Baley is still so young. If you waited until he was older, he might have more trouble adjusting. But also keep in mind that it is tough having two young ones at once! Murray is full grown but still has some puppyish behaviors (mainly, he's very active and curious). I recommend obedience classes for both dogs (maybe you and your husband could each take one dog?) because two dogs can get on your nerves a lot faster than one! Be prepared for lots of rowdy, noisy play -- but it's great if you can tolerate it, because the two dogs will wear each other out and sleep great at night! I think our visit on Saturday will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect.

Murray is a real sweetheart and I think you'll love him. He loves other dogs so I think he and Baley will get along fine. My dogs keep up with him for most of the evening, but he wants to keep playing when they are ready to nap. (They are about 5 yrs old.) So a young pup like Baley might be just what Murray needs!

Did we talk about crates? Murray definitely needs one for when no one is home, and he is much happier in the plastic type.