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The phone call that changed everything.
On Sept. 28, more than a year after Murdock entered the shelter system, Ed picked up the phone and called the shelter. To his delight, a volunteer told him that Murdock has been adopted out. Not long after hanging up and telling Cheryl the good news, the phone rang again. It was the volunteer. She had made a mistake: Murdock was still available for adoption but had been transferred to Last Hope. "If she hadn't taken that extra step, this would have never have happened," Ed tells us.
The pair got in contact with Last Hope and began the process of bringing Murdock home.
"I have never met so many compassionate, completely dedicated animal lovers, every single one of them was just amazing to talk to, one in particular was John Esposito," Ed says. "John was a real keystone in the visibility that Murdock received and ultimately us adopting him."
Esposito knew that Murdock was a special case and took a hard look at Ed and Cheryl. Through the screening process he learned that not only was the couple dog lovers, but they were experienced, dedicated owners. Their previous dog, Lexie, had been returned to the shelter five times before finally living out her last years at their Phoenix home. "She had very unique quirks and things about her that if you want a dog to fit into your ideal world and be what you expect it to be, then I just think you are setting both the animal and yourself up for failure," Ed says.
In the 20 or so years owning dogs, they also had an Alaskan malamute, a breed not for the novice owner, a rottweiler mix (some may believe a "dangerous" breed) and had trained one of their dogs to be a wilderness search and rescue dog. "We had a lot of experience with a variety of dogs and training," Ed says.
Esposito was candid about Murdock, explaining to the couple his past, his limits (must go to an only-dog home) and the fear aggression he has towards some dogs. His background didn't faze the couple.
"We knew in our hearts that when we adopted our next dog, it would one that didn't get all the attention, like some other dogs, and it would be a special circumstance," Ed says. "Somebody that other people would just pass by. And with Murdock's physical scars, I bet a lot of people would shy away from him."
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