Friday, November 6, 2009


When the people in my area in Florida realized that I was running an animal shelter, often the unwanted were just dropped off in the neighborhood for me to find, sometimes thrown over my fence with no concern for where they would land. Once I found one attached to my gate. My dogs had been kicking up sand all morning and when I went to check, there was a dog tied to the gate post.

Ok, for a moment, I was really angry. On my own, I found more than enough dogs to rebuild along the side of the road. Dogs that were thin enough to read through. I really didn't need home delivery. Yes I actually had those angry thoughts and no, they didn't last long.

He was a young, all white male pit bull that was covered in wounds. His short white hair accentuated the red gaping holes in his skin. His sweet expression told me there was nothing to fear so I examined him. His wounds were too deep and wide to be from another dog. Because some one cared enough to seek help for him, took him out of the fighting dog category. He most likely had been turned loose on a wild hog long before he was old enough to handle one.

Some of his wounds would needed stitches but none looked mortal. Attached to the rope around his neck was a note. In child like scrawl were the words, "My name is Murdock, please fix me up."

With a huge sigh and knowing I would somehow find room for one more, I led Murdock to his new temporary home. He needed quite a few stitches to close up the wounds, worming and antibiotics. Some of this I could do, some Jim the vet had to do. Then I isolated him for 10 days in case he had any diseases.

Dogs that are all white in color often have hearing , vision or skin problems but Murdock seemed in good shape once his wounds healed. He was about 6 months old when he was dropped off and he rapidly gained weight and muscle as he healed.

Murdock was going to be hard to find a home for as I had to be very careful not to let him go to people who fought dogs. These creeps would come to my gate with their children looking for all the world like they wanted a family pet. I really had to carefully screen where my dogs went. I also had to make sure he went to a home with a fenced yard, no other dogs and no small children. This would not be easy so he stayed with me longer than most.

Murdock grew into a massive , broad headed, well muscled beast, topping out at 58 pounds. He was mostly well behaved. However since he had gotten into a fight with one of my dogs, I had to kennel him when I was not right there with him. He was going to be a problem adoption.

I had become friends with the girls who worked for my vet and they always gave me medicines, shampoos, snacks, etc that were close to expiration dates to help out. They were also great in helping me find homes for my animals.

One of the girls had really liked Murdock and told me she had a 12 year old son looking for his first hog dog to hunt with. I knew her boy Keith and liked him a lot. He was one of those really good kids so I told Karen to bring him out to look at Murdock and see if he would like him. I knew he would have a good home with them and he would be doing what he was bred to do, hunt.

Hog hunting is different from a lot of hunting. The hogs are not killed,at least not right then. The dogs grab the hogs by the ears to occupy the lethal end of the hog. Those tusks are razor sharp and can really cause damage. This frees the hunters to grab the hog by the hind legs, tying them up and muscle them into a cage in the back of the pickup. The hog is then taken home to be fattened up. Wild hogs destroy pasture lands so the ranchers give the hog hunters free rein to help control the problem.

Now I wish all animals could live unmolested but realize that just isn't going to happen till we all get thrilled with veggies only on our plates. I am not there yet myself. Bacon is still one of my 7 deadly sins and on my last meal request list . Thank God I don't have to look where my food came from in the eye before plopping in the frying pan. I know that would finally cure me.

The day Murdock and Keith met is still fresh in my mind. Disney would have loved it. Dog and boy immediately became oblivious of the rest of the world. His mom, dad and I disappeared to Keith and Murdock the moment they met. Their eyes locked and Murdock stood up on his hind legs and gently placed his front paws on Keith's shoulders. He was just as tall as Keith in that position. They stayed like that a long time with Murdock's head in Keith's hands as he spoke softly to the giant animal. His mother and I just smiled at each other and knew we had a perfect match.

Murdock did become a hog dog for Keith but he and his father did it responsibly and the dog was never cut up again. He slept with Keith and was even taken to school for "show and tell." When he got in high school Keith drove a jeep and I would see the two of them everywhere. Murdock sitting ramrod straight in the seat beside him. His mom told me that Murdock even went on dates. It was literally "love me, love my dog" with Keith.

Because his mom worked for a vet, she was able to notice when Murdock developed testicular cancer. Now I must explain that country men as a rule do not neuter their dogs. They are proud of their dogs being intact, the bigger the better. They don't want any girlie looking male dogs. I was so proud of Keith for while he is as country as you can get, he never hesitated and had Murdock's testicles removed, saving his life.

Keith had been out of school for a couple of years when Murdock passed. As far as I know, he never got another dog.

This was one of my successful adoption stories that keeps me warm on a cold days. Wish they could have all been like that.



  1. My name is Murdock too! That was a wonderful story Patti! So well written! :)

  2. Such a heart-warming story. These 'style' of dogs get a bad press, but it is usually the owners that create how the animal behaves.
    Thanks for telling this.
    Love Granny

  3. Your stories about animal rescue are so touching and sweet. I just love reading about them all. What a gift you have with animals and for storytelling!

  4. What a neat story, Patti... AND--it had a great ending. So many animals don't get that second chance at a good life. God Bless people like you who save them....

    Have a wonderful time with your company.

  5. Roger had a favorite dog once named Murdock. Those Murdock dogs can really warm your heart. I'm glad this one had such a good, long, and well-loved life. Another success story, patti.

  6. A wonderful story, Patti! I am very much "put off" by pit bulls, but Murdock sounds so lovable. I'm very glad that Keith and Murdock found each other; good for both of them.

    Enjoy your company! See you later.

  7. What a lovely story, Patti. Murdock was a very fortunate dog and it sounds like Keith was a lucky guy too.

  8. Finding a good home for a pit bull is a very hard task. You did really well.

    I've notice men think there is something macho about not neutering male dogs, but is ok for females.

  9. You are truly a dog's best friend Patti...I live close to a farm that takes suitable strays in to train them for service dogs. Have you read "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle"? You would like it...lots of information on the breeding, raising and training of dogs.

  10. Enjoy your company, Patti!

    I admire your way with animals, and that you are so compassionate.

  11. What a touching story. I'm so glad Murdock and Keith found each other. You are wonderful for caring about needy animals and making an effort to save them.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.


    Thank you all so much for stopping by and leaving such nice comments. Been really busy with company and having a grand time including being hit on by a good looking younger gentleman. When you are a senior and a man 8 years younger hits on you, are you still a cougar or does a few years even matter at out age?
    Anyway, thank you so much for stopping by when no one was home. Will try to get caught up this evening, tomorrow for sure.
    Missed you.

  14. I love reading your stories. They always keep me rivoted to your post.
    A great love story.
    You did good once again.

  15. What a wonderful happy ending to the story. Hope you're enjoying your company. First I have had time to visit since earlier last week. We've been busy, busy, busy getting things ready for winter and we're not as fast working as we use to be. LOL

  16. Thanks GQ, I get the same effect at your site.

    Hope you all are all set for winter now. I know what you mean about things taking a wee bit longer these days.

  17. I was gonna visit your page to officially lodge my complaint - Lack of Arakansas Patti's presence on my page! ;-)

    Luckily I read the entire post first.
    Superb story. Congrats on the success. You're incredible!

  18. lostworld,
    Thank you so much. Murdock really was a success story. Not all turned out so well.

  19. This story is so great! I was very touched by it. Thank you for this splendid tale!