April 2003

I left a msg on your machine that Murray was going to be adopted today by the people who met him at the bingo event. The woman decided she is allergic to him, and she can't take allergy medication because she is pregnant. So Murray is still with me. This poor dog has some kind of evil curse on him, I think.

If we can get an ad in the paper this week, I'll try for another week. If I still have him after that, I'll return him to the shelter and see if he has better luck there. I've never had this much trouble placing a dog and I just don't understand why. It's extremely frustrating.

Thanks for your help.


Murray is going to be in the paper for the Pet of the Week. I believe C is also going to highlight him on the radio. Again, please feel free to bring him to as many off-site functions as possible. The exposure may definitely help get him adopted. Thanks for hanging in there :)

Murray was adopted this evening! They saw him on the web and then saw his poster at the shelter. He seemed very comfortable with them. So hopefully this time it will be a permanent placement. The best part is that they live about 10 minutes from me!

I'm taking a break from fostering for a couple weeks, but I'll be ready to foster again soon. So keep me in mind! Submissive males generally fit best with our dogs.


Hi G,
I already sent the good news to B but forgot to CC you -- Murray was adopted yesterday! They saw him on the web and came to meet him, and they loved him. Yay! Hopefully it will be a permanent placement this time.

Thanks for your help! I already told B I'll be ready to foster again in a few weeks. I'm a glutton for punishment. =)


I am so glad you are a glutton for punishment! You are a saint! Take Care!


I just wanted to check in and see how things're going with Murray. I figure no news is good news, so hopefully he's settling in okay.

I felt so bad for Brin. He was depressed that his little brother went away. I'm not kidding. He sat around here looking all droopy. That first evening, he kept asking to go outside, and then he'd just sort of stand there and look around. I swear he was looking for Murray. :-( He was always glad to see the other fosters go away. But he seems to be doing better now.

Let me know if you would like to get the "kids" together for a play date. I'm generally available anytime on weekends, and weekday evenings.


Hi Amy!

Glad to hear from you. I've actually been composing an e-mail (mentally) to you for the past few days but have been unable to find the time to actually sit down and write.

Let's see...Murray's transition was actually really quick and pretty trouble free. He made himself at home rather rapidly and accepted us just as quickly. The only problem we had initially was getting him to stay in the crate. He would go in willingly--both on his own and when he was told to do so. However, when we shut the door and left him in it, he'd whine and bark. We live in a big victorian which is split into three separate apartments. Since I'd prefer that our neighbors NOT hate us, we realized that we couldn't leave him alone if he was going to bark like that. We practiced a little...leaving him alone (in the crate), we'd leave the room and tell him "quiet!" when he barked. This usually worked but not to a point where we were totally comfortable. We then tried using a baby gate in the kitchen. The first time I left for work (while Murray and P were in the kitchen), he heard me open the front door, then swiftly jumped the gate and tried to follow me. Finally, we decided to do some trial runs with him left alone in the house. We're lucky because every room on the first floor (except for the kitchen) has a door, as does the second floor. So, this left him with the run of the kitchen, as well as the first floor hallway. He actually did really well. We have to be diligent about locking the office door, the living room door, the bathroom door, the door to the second floor, the pantry door, etc. but he's done well. There have been a few casualties--a small broom, a plant that was knocked over, etc.--- all of which were our fault for not properly securing a door. We just make sure he has a rawhide, his kong, his rope toy, etc. I think he entertains himself pretty well (fortuantely, with suitable items) while we're gone. There has been no destructive chewing or anything like that. No issues with bathroom habits either. I figure as long as he's happy and safe, I have no problem with him not using the crate. At this point, I think that we have "Murray-proofing" down to a science.

What else? As I said, he seems really comfortable in our house. As long as one (or both) of us is home he pretty much has the run of the place. This isn't a problem because, as you know, he is always in a room with someone---never alone. We take probably 4 to 5 walks per day at this point. We've also discovered a park just a block down the street from our house. There is a large portion (half grass, half concrete) which is fenced, save for one area where a gate used to be. We run around down there, play ball, etc a few times a day. He's been extremely solid on coming when called, so much now that I'm comfortable letting him run off leash down there. In addition, he's discovered playground equipment---he'll go up the stairs, crawl through the tunnel and run down the sliding board. Completely fearless and incredibly confident. I think we may have an agility dog on our hands!

He's been learning pretty quickly, too. He definitely understands "no!". He picked up on "leave it" almost immediately. He's even figured out that he has to "wait" when we open the door or are leaving without him. We're still working on "off!". I know he knows what it means but he doesn't always listen, likely because he loves to jump up on us. He hasn't been destructive or aggressive at all. He's still in the mouthing stage but he does stop when told to.

We're going to start dog school in a few weeks. I don't think he needs a basic class since he seems to know most of the stuff covered there. I think we'll start him in a novice class---get him solid on stay, come, heel, etc and then, hopefully move him into an agility class. I think he'd do really well at that.

Allright...sorry for my long-windedness. I could probably go on some more but I'll spare you. All in all, Murray is doing very well. We're happy with him and I think he's happy with us---but you can ask him the next time you
see him. By the way, I think it would be great to get all of the dogs together to play. My schedule is a little goofy...I typically work evenings, Tuesday through Saturday. Generally off on Sunday and Monday. Perhaps we could do a Monday evening? Or, actually, I think this coming Sunday would be good for us, as long as it's after 5:00 PM or so. Let me know what you think. You can e-mail me back or just give us a call at the house.

Thanks for writing, Amy. Please do keep in touch. And, more importantly, thank you (and Warren) for taking care of Murray for so long and for making him a part of your family. I truly believe that his adjustment and behavior here have been so great mainly because of the care that you guys gave him.

Take care and hopefully we'll see you soon!


Hi L,
Wow, you have no idea how great I felt after reading your message! After having him for so long, with so many failed attempts at placement, I was starting to think there was no home out there for him. This is better than I could have imagined. I debated many times over the past six months about whether I should just find a way to keep him, but I knew that I couldn't give him the attention that he needs and deserves. You are doing so much more with him than I was willing/able to do, and I just think it's awesome.

I'm glad you've been able to wean him off the crate. I noticed that he really only did the barky/whiney thing when he knew one of us was close enough to hear him! But if you don't need to use the crate at all, that's great.

I'm not at all surprised that he shows an aptitude for agility. He has the right build for it, and he certainly has the energy! I always meant to start him on weave poles (yes, I have some in my living room) but somehow never got around to it. I mean, he was *only* here for six months. ;-)

Sunday evening would be a good time for a play date. I'm totally free that day, so any time you pick should be fine. Monday evening would be fine too, after about 6:30 or so. We can meet at Frick. We usually go to the fenced area in upper Frick. Let me know what works for you.

Thanks so much for taking such good care of "my" boy!

P.S. Don't feel bad for writing a lot -- I live for this stuff!


Hi S,
I have some wonderful news! Murray has found a permanent home. He was adopted last week, but I wanted to wait and make sure it was for real this time. Bonus: They live just a few minutes away from me. They take him to a nearby park several times a day, where he likes to play on the playground equipment. He will be going to obedience class and possibly agility classes after that.

He was actually almost adopted the day before L met him. A family brought their dog to meet him, and then took him home for a short trial. Within an hour or so, the mom became terribly allergic to him, and they returned him in tears. So I guess it's not so strange that D had some trouble, because this woman isn't allergic to their other dog.

Anyway, Murray is doing great! I'll be sure to say hi from you next time I see him, which might be this weekend. (We are planning a "play date" at Frick Park.)

Thanks for your good vibes and prayers -- it's definitely a happy ending for Murray!


Dear Amy,
I am so happy to hear Murray's good news. You made my week. He is such a sweetie, I am thrilled for him and for you. Thank you for hanging in there with him so long! Your dedication is incredible.

Diamond went on vacation with us last week to Charleston, South Carolina. We drove there and stayed with my parents. She was so good!! My parents said they would love to have another dog if it was as precious as Diamond.
She loved the ocean!

Keep up the good work.