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Happy Tail: A Dalmatian goes from shelter dog to spokesdog


Murfree is for real. When Sandy Gower of Moundsville, WV, showed him off at a 4-H program for kids about dog safety and care, one little boy was amazed. “He thought Dalmatians were fictional characters invented for stories about firemen,” she says. Sandy is the leader of 4-H Dog Projects in her county.


Read Sandy’s description of how she met and adopted Murfree.

Things weren’t always going so well for the dog who was once called Hondo. The 5-year-old was with Dalmatian Rescue of Southwest Virginia and was suffering from heartworm.

Sandy had always had Dalmatians and had recently lost her last one. “I often check Petfinder to see Dalmatians that are up for adoption through the various rescues and shelters,” she says, and when she saw Hondo, she sensed he was the one. Unfortunately, when she inquired about him, he had already been spoken for.

Somehow, though, Sandy still believed he was the one for her and, sure
enough, three days later she heard that his potential adopters had taken
a puppy instead. “He was mine,” she says.

“He had a very rough time with the medication [for heartworm], but
pulled through. After a long trip to Elliston, VA, I got to hug my dog,
and it was an instant bond,” she says. She changed his name to Murfree
after Murfreesboro, TN, where he was originally rescued.

For many of the children in the 4-H group, he was the first Dalmatian
they’d ever seen, let alone pet. Thanks to Sandy, the once-homeless dog
not only has a home but has become a spokesdog for his breed.

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