Help People. Help Dogs.
Maggie, Burt and Murray Mountain Goat
He has a very special brother named Murray…Mountain Goat.
Murray came into his mom’s life as an injured little puppy, and never left. Murray was attacked by a Miniature Pinscher when he was very small. He came to the vet clinic (where Maggie works) with a crushed skull, damaged jaw and other injuries. But as we have seen before in the people and dogs we love who face adversity, Murray is doing great and has become a source of laughter and inspiration to the people around him.
"[H]is head had been chomped by a much bigger dog than him. The damage was so severe that half his skull seemed to have caved in and was bleeding pretty badly. But he was a strong boy and he didn’t give in. The Vet was able to save his life. But his luck didn’t immediately turn around. After a couple of weeks at the clinic it was apparent that the people who had brought him in were not coming back to get him. So my family and I invited him into our lives and he has been a fantastic addition to our family. As Murray got older the effects of his injuries became more apparent. He was beginning to develop an under-bite and a crooked nose. Also, due to his injuries he can no longer smell or taste. His favorite thing to do is graze our lawn eating leaves and sticks and just about anything. His nickname is actually Murray MountainGoat because he literally eats everything. He does have a tendency to run his head into things. If we are eating dinner at the table he is under it begging for food and hitting his head quite often, this leads us to believe he might have lost a lot of sensation in his head. He loves people, whenever I take him for walks around my University he is always looking at everyone and craving their attention. He loves his picture taken, as you can see, he is a very photogenic pup. And although he didn’t get the best start to life he is still one of the happiest dogs on the planet."
Since all pit bull owners are social deviants, we thought we would talk to Maggie more to see what the real motive was behind giving a good loving home to Burt the bully breed, Murray Mountain Goat and all the other animals she has:
Considering Murray's traumatic beginning, do you feel guilty making him live with a known killer like Burt the bully breed?
Well, to be honest we’ve never really given that any thought. My family and I have never had any prejudices towards pit bulls or any of the bully breeds. Burt has always been the fun loving dog he is now so we didn’t worry about Burt being mean to Murray at all. Which he wasn’t, the two were best friends from the beginning.
Since all pit bulls are bad dogs, how do you think you and Murray and the rest of your family have survived this long with Burt?
Burt has been a fantastic part of our family and is a very entertaining dog to have around. He loves people very much and loves to show off. A favorite game of his is playing flashlight tag with my dad, basically he just chases the light of the flashlight around until he gets too tired. But I’ll let you know, he’s pretty quick. Burt gets along great with all members of our family, although he does enjoy teasing our two cats but they are able to tease back. Burt will sometimes appear with many scratches on his nose from teasing them too much. Burt also happens to be the one Murray and our other dog, Kramer likes to pick on while playing. For some reason, biting at his legs and chasing him around the couch is more entertaining to do to Burt than to any other dog. Kramer (our other dog) is a rescue from a local pound near where we live. He is a Great Pyrenees and (we think) English setter mix. We got him over 2 years ago when he was about 4 years old. You don’t see him in many pictures because he is very camera shy, if you bring out your camera he will leave the room.
Runner is one of our 2 cats. She is the oldest member of our animal family at 17 years old. She was one of seven kittens that was born by a stray cat that wandered on to our property. I was 5 years old when she was born and she became my cat. I named her Runner because she could run pretty fast in her younger days and, let’s face it, when you’re 5 years old that was pretty cool. (Editor’s note: Awesome.) One Eyed Jack is the other of our 2 cats and we just brought him home a couple months ago. He was brought into our clinic as a little kitten because he had an infection in his eye. When he was first given to us he was pretty wild and didn’t want anything to do with people. After a couple of weeks of staying there he finally started to tame down and he had surgery on his eye (since medicine wasn't helping it). He was given up by his original owner because she didn’t want more cats so he lived at our clinic for couple months before my family brought him home.
You seem to have a habit of taking dogs home from work. Who did you bring home first? Have you brought home any others besides these two?
My mama and I are the ones who work at the Veterinary clinic. When my mom first started working there (about 6 years ago) there was a dog that had been living there for years. Her name was Trey and she was a black lab mix. My mom first started taking her for walks at some trails near the clinic to get her more exercise during the week and just to get her out more often. After a couple years my mom finally brought her home where she lived out the rest of her life. She was already a pretty old dog, she died of cancer about a year ago but she got to live the last few years of her life comfortably on her favorite couch. Including Trey, we have brought home 4 animals from the clinic we work at. Trey being the first, Burt was the second, Murray was the third and One Eyed Jack was the fourth.
Burt has his own back story doesn't he?
He was brought into our clinic about 3 years ago with broken leg. We didn’t know the people who brought him in but our Doc saw him and decided to do surgery on his leg and put a pin in it. As we all had hoped, he healed up quite nicely. After that, we let his owners know that he would heal fine and they’d be able to take him home. After a couple of weeks of the owners not showing up a friend of the owners came in and said that they were giving up all rights to the dog and that they didn't want him back. So after about another month at the clinic my family brought him home.
When Murray started to show his growth and sensory issues, what was that like for you emotionally?
Emotionally, for me, it just meant that I got more laughs in. His facial issues are what makes him so unique and who he is. Often times, I’ll just sit there and look at him and start laughing instantly because of the expression on his face or something he is doing. He brings so much joy in my life so emotionally, I was quite happy.
How did Murray deal with it? (Was he obliviously happy like most dogs or did he have some adjusting to do?)
Murray appeared to handle it quite well, he may even be proud of his scars. He does seem oblivious to how different he is though because he doesn’t act like he is any different. He sniffs around like any other dog, although we have our doubts about how well he can smell. He also runs his teeth into a lot of things so we must always be careful when he is licking because those canines sticking out his mouth can be dangerous.
How do people react when they see Murray? Are they amazed, curious? Do they act differently when you walk Burt? Are they scared of him?
Most people laugh when they see Murray or they have a very “what is that?” type of look on their face. But Murray really doesn’t care what look is on your face, if you’re looking at him he expects you to give him your attention so he’ll make his way right over to your lap. As for Burt, people don’t really go right up to him when I take him out for walks, although he does try to go right up to people. He is always wagging his tail and I think he appears friendly but he does look to be a bully breed and I understand people are more cautious of that breed.
What does your family think of Murray? Did they react any differently when you brought home a pit bull?
No one has ever acted differently when we’ve brought home any animal; honestly no one is ever surprised by the animals we bring home. Murray got more of a reaction out of people because of his story and how he looks.
Besides your obvious need to find dogs to fight (since all pit bull owners are dog fighters) what made you want to work at a vet’s office?
I really fell into the job to be honest. My mom had been working there for a couple years and I had just graduated high school and was thinking about getting another job. I had already helped my mom out on weekend kennels stuff so I was hired to work every weekend. That's where I started off at and now, after 4 years, I work there almost every day. I love having this job because I play with animals all the time and I meet some of the coolest animals with some of the neatest owners who can have some very interesting stories. Although this has been a job to get me through my college years, it’s a fantastic one to have and I’m very lucky to have it.
Do you have long term career aspirations working with animals? Since all pit bull owners are criminals, is it difficult balancing your career with all your criminal enterprises?
Well, my major is Social Work but I do want to get into some animal therapy work once I get more established in my career. I graduate this year with a BSW and I plan on going to Grad school next year to get my MSW. My hope for the far away future is to start my own rescue. My free time is usually pretty limited these days because I do work two jobs and when the semester is in session I’m also doing an internship at a mental health center along with classes. So when I do come by free time, I enjoy it a lot. I do what most college kids do, like spending it with friends. But I also do love taking my dogs for a walk around campus when I have time, as do some of my friends who will help me walk them.
Do you have any good stories about Murray with a certain person or in a certain circumstance (other than his grazing thing)?
Murray is a pretty smart pup, despite his appearance. He works out very ingenious ways to play with his toys and to get his treats. To keep him occupied we give him this toy, it’s called a Kong, and it’s a hollowed out rubber cylinder thing that you can put a treat inside. My mama makes homemade treats and always puts one in the Kong before she heads to work and it usually keeps him busy all day trying to get the treat out. He’ll lick at it for a while then throw it down the stairs to try and knock it out. He will do this on repeat. He also loves his rubber world ball toy, or more so he loves throwing it under the couch then trying to get it out from under the couch. This usually ends in one of us getting the ball for him because he knocks it further underneath the couch. I’m also not exaggerating when I say he will eat literally anything, because he does. We’ve given him almost everything you can give a dog and Murray loves it all. Onions, tomatoes, lettuce, peanuts, peppers, mushrooms etc. The list goes on, he will eat it all.
Meeting Maggie and Murray Mountain Goat was a real treat for GDG and especially for Delta Force Therapy Pit Bulls Liam and Leonidas the Amazing 3-Legged Dog. He is a great dog and you just can’t help but smile and laugh when you’re around him. If you want to follow Murray on Facebook you can find it here.
Thanks Maggie, Burt and Murray! We hope you have a great Christmas and New Year!