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  •  Three years ago, we made the best decision in deciding to adopt another ESS.  Zoey then came to us and is the BEST dog ever.  She is not only beautiful but so well behaved and is loved by everyone. We can't thank MAESSR and Debbie enough for giving us Zoey.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Judy Minnick, NJ              

Customer Testimonials
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Murphy 17

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Entered: 06/03/2021
Status: On Hold
Age: 2
Color: Liver/White
Weight: 45 lbs.
Gender: Altered Male
Location: Madison, VA
Health: UTD, HW-, treatment for upper respiratory infection completed
Temperament: Good with adults, not good with children because of resource guarding, good with other dogs, probably not good with cats because of a strong prey drive




Murphy 17's Story . . .
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Update 08/10/2021:  “He LOVES to cuddle and greatly benefits from all over massages…especially Ttouch,a very simple massage technique.”

This very energetic bundle of love continues to provide endless entertainment for his foster home and himself.

Murphy’s foster family recently moved to the country, where he has much more room to expend his energy. It’s rare for him to be without a toy or ball in his mouth, sometimes even while he’s sleeping. He still won’t relinquish a toy upon request – even with treat training – and, in fact, is very adept at retaining the toy in his mouth while grabbing the treat. 

His love of squeaky toys became a problem as he’d immediately tear into the toy, find the squeaker, and then swallow it whole. Very fortunately, the squeakers made their way out of him from one end or the other with no harm to him. A quick switch to Chuck-It balls and Tuffy toys, along with increased exercise, has greatly diminished this problem. Anything on the ground continues to immediately go in his mouth, which included yanking the six-foot downspout extension and dragging it around the yard. It was one of those moments when one wants to madly scream at him but instead hysterically laughs. Murphy is quite the juggler, easily carrying multiple toys, balls, and/or frisbees simultaneously. He is amazingly talented and comical.

Murphy’s stealing of his siblings’ toys has subsided as has his resource guarding. His foster mom continues to work on his lack of toy relinquishment. She uses jaw massaging techniques, and he now allows her to touch toys while in his mouth and a (very) few times has released them. This is a work in progress as is his understanding the “off” command from the couch or foster mom’s bed. Although usually very prompt on getting off, he has snapped a few times recently.

This super sweet wild man has matured in the past few weeks, due mainly to his resident siblings giving Murphy’s in-your-face exuberance for life a few hard lessons; two were semi-serious dust-ups – very fortunately without injuries.

While it may sound like Murphy is all trouble, he’s quite the opposite. He’s an extremely intelligent pup whose mind seems to be in continual motion as to his next move. He LOVES to cuddle and greatly benefits from all over massages…especially Ttouch, a very simple massage technique.

Murphy’s adoptive home will need to keep him mentally and physically stimulated to avoid unwanted behavior. In return, he will provide endless laughs and love, as well as excelling at whatever sports/games he pursues.



Original: “Although two years old, Murphy is still very much a young pup in almost every way.”


Sweet Murphy was surrendered by his owners to a Pennsylvania shelter, who contacted MAESSR for help.  Although loving and very energetic, he reportedly was a resource guarder and bit the owner  who was attempting to retrieve an item being guarded.  Because of this bite incident, and with a toddler in the house, his owners surrendered Murphy to the shelter.

Murphy may be English by breed yet is a wild Irishman in personality and handsomeness.  True to his breed, Mophead Murphy’s goal in life is to have as much fun as possible no matter the consequences.  And fun he has!  Once in his foster home, he wasted no time stealing every toy from the three resident MAESSR siblings, flying through the house tossing, pouncing and squeaking to his heart’s delight.  While some of this was surely pent up energy from shelter living, it continues to be his sweet, lovable, goofy and very energetic personality.  Although two years old, Murphy is still very much a young pup in almost every way.

The first two days in his new surroundings, Murphy had the expected “oops accidents inside his foster home.  He’s now on a regular schedule without any problems.  His only signal for a needed potty break is looking back at his foster mom while standing at the top of the stairs.  Given his energy level, his water intake is more than his resident siblings; ergo the need for more frequent potty breaks.  He has free run of his foster home 24/7. 

Lovable Murph’s house manners were non-existent and are a work in progress  – surfing counters, tabletops,  begging – all were fair game.  He dove right onto the couch when first entering his foster home and then sneakily joined the resident pack on his foster mom’s bed at night.  He clearly knows off though often takes his time recalling the requisite action, usually responding with his hysterical “really?  But I’m so comfy here” look.  He has quickly learned his spot on the bed, though.  Like his sibling pack, he’s an excellent watchdog and especially loves to jump up on the window sills to scan the neighborhood. 

Murphy loves car rides and is a dream traveller.  Leash walking is quite the opposite – loves his walks yet forcefully pulls in every direction with excitement.  Squirrel sightings combined with his high prey drive make walks an extra challenge. Murphy will be a good candidate for obedience classes when he is adopted.

Murphy has made good progress in his short time in foster care; much more still needed.  Initially, he wouldn’t allow his foster mom to touch his collar or go anywhere near that area without snapping/growling.  Using TTouch and massage techniques all over, combined with gentleness and calming words, he has learned to trust her and is now more open to being touched on and around his collar.  Walking him on a harness has also helped greatly, and should be continued by his adoptive family.  Like all untrained puppies , Murphy is a very mouthy dog and thinks fingers/hands are also toys.  Although he initially sits, putting on his harness is a game all its own as he rolls over to grab the straps and hands for play.  While it could easily be mistaken for biting/snapping, this type of his soft mouthiness is all play. 

While Murphy has made  progress with his resource guarding of toys/other items, more is needed before he can be considered for adoption.  If approached by his foster mom and/or resident dogs while holding an item in his mouth, he initially growled rather fiercely, sometimes snapping.  As he’s become more comfortable in his foster home, and with continual training, he is learning to  understand that this is unacceptable behavior.  His resident siblings would initially let him steal their toys without a hassle; the two females recently had enough.  His stealing attempts with each evolved into a hilariously raucous game of tug-of-war, and decidedly advised Murphy who truly rules their house—the girls!  He is fed  several feet from his siblings as he needs his space.  Once he’s done dining (and dine he ever-so-gentlemanly does), he’s now fine with the canine make-the-rounds-to-ensure-nothing’s-left-behind dish roulette.

This mophead often emits what sounds like low level growls.  While admittedly leery at first, his foster mom and siblings have learned that this is his way of expressing happiness/playfulness.  It usually happens when meals are being prepared or he’s ready to play.  While the resident pack vocally disapproves at their meals being prepared much too slowly, Murph takes to the stage with his toys, entertaining himself tossing, shaking, pouncing and running around – hysterically exhibiting his rock star head-banging demeanor.

Stay tuned for future updates and adventures with Murphy.