Along came Murphy.

This is the unbelievable, rags to riches story about Murphy, the small border collie with a fairytale ending. that might sound a bit dramatic, but Murphy's whole story with New Leash was a bit dramatic. We'll start at the beginning.

One of the hardest jobs for our intake directors is going into ACC and choosing which dogs will be leaving with us that day. Too often, we see dogs who shut down at the shelter. It's loud and overwhelming and even the strongest of pups don't always act like themselves. When we met Murphy, this SUPER shy kid had to be coaxed out of his crate. When we took him outside, it still took him a few hours before he warmed up to the Intake Directors. We knew we were taking on a challenge of a gorgrous pup who needed to be won over, but we were ready. He quickly became a part of our NLOL family.

Every new pup has to wait 7-10 days at our vet's office to get their shots and to ensure they have been throughly checked out before they become available for adoption. During this time frame, one of our volunteers was taking Murphy for a walk when he got a little spooked and backed out of his collar. He looked at the volunteer for a second and then took off running. He was hotly pursued by the volunteer and a couple of good samaritans...but 4 legs are faster than 2. NLOL volunteers swamped the area-hanging posters and asking passerbys if they saw a black and white blur come by their area.  We were fortunate that he had on 2 collars: the one he backed out of, and the one with his NLOL tag on it.

We all went home and were so relieved to have received an email from the Chicago Fire Department.  It simply stated that NLOL dog 443 (Murphy) had been found in the river, was hanging out at the fire station waiting to be taken to Chicago Animal Care and Control, and we could pick him up there. A good samaritan who was out walking her own dog and orchestrated his rescue wrote us the next day to tell us what happened: Murphy ran almost two miles and was spotted by the good samaritan and another woman jumping the wall behind a bowling alley on Diversey...and into the Chicago River. As he swam, she called 911 and within minutes several police cars, fire trucks and 1 diver appeared.  Murphy had found a little ledge to rest on, and a fireman finally got down to the river and pulled a terrified Murphy to safety.
After NLOL got Murphy back, we got an inquiry from a Chicago Fireman about how Murphy was doing. Then that fireman showed up when some NLOL volunteers took sweets to the firehouse as a thank you for saving Murphy. Then that fireman asked if Murphy was available for adoption. And so it was that the fireman who rescued Murphy from the river, introduced his rescuee to his wife, Helen...and then rescued Murphy a second time by officially adopting him a few weeks later. To add to this story, Joel is a young firefighter and Murphy was his first "save". So at NLOL, it just reinforced a few different things. #1-Losing and then finding Murphy reminded us how big and wide our family stretches. #2-That every dog deserves a happy ending.

Murphy's new family had this to say:

"My wife Helen said she knew from the day I came home from the firehouse
talking about Murphy that we were going to be welcoming a new family
member into our home. When the alarm sounded for a person in the river,
everyone was on high alert. Once on the scene, that person turned out to
be Murphy fighting to stay afloat. Murphy's initially shy and uneasy
demeanor only made us want to give him the stability and love that he
needed. Day by day Murphy's timidness has disappeared and his true
fun-loving personality is beginning to come through. Helen and I are
thrilled that we were able to adopt such a fantastic dog, and the kindness
and support we received from Megan at New Leash on Life really made the
whole process feel right. We love Murphy and we're excited to have him as
a part of our family!"

Happy Adoption Day to Murphy and the the Rivamonte Family!