Saving Murphy Baker:
Nine-year-old Murphy Baker, a Black Labrador Retriever, and his owner, Claudia, who owns All Paws Gourmet Pet Boutique on Purchase Street, have had a very rough time the past eight months.
By Melanie Cane
Nine-year-old Murphy Baker, a Black Labrador Retriever, and his owner, Claudia, who owns All Paws Gourmet Pet Boutique on Purchase Street, have had a very rough time the past eight months. In June, Murphy was diagnosed with Horner’s Syndrome, a rare eye disorder. After recovering from the eye problem, he developed a hematoma in his ear in August, which was surgically drained, and, in October, he had a benign tumor removed from his paw.
Murphy and Claudia had a brief respite until November, when he started limping on his back paw. Diagnosed with a sprained knee and arthritis, Murphy underwent seven weeks of cold laser therapy. Just before Christmas, he broke his leg and was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a fast moving bone cancer. Now Claudia and Murphy are in the fight of their lives…to save Murphy’s life.
When Murphy was diagnosed, Claudia, who is a cancer survivor herself, sprang into action. She took him to Dr. Hart, an Orthopedic Surgeon at the Animal Medical Center (AMC) in Manhattan. Dr. Hart explained to Claudia that the CT scans revealed the cancer had not spread beyond Murphy’s leg, but since his leg bone was badly damaged and the cancer spreads quickly, the best treatment would be to amputate his leg and then follow that up with nine doses of IV chemotherapy. At the end of December, Murphy’s leg was amputated. He has had one dose of chemotherapy since then and is “doing fantastically,” reports Baker. He has already walked a mile! Murphy is now under the care of veterinary oncologist Dr. Nicole Liebman at AMC.
Just as amazing as Murphy’s progress, is the outpouring of love and support that Murphy and Claudia have received from the Rye community. It started with one of Claudia’s customers walking into the store and found her crying; she had just learned of Murphy’s diagnosis. The customer hugged her and offered to do anything she could to help, including running the store and donating money for the vet bills. That customer told a friend who told two friends and, “word spread like wildfire,” said Baker. These friends (and family) created Murphy’s Miracle Recovery Fund.
“Little kids bring in their piggy banks, their allowances and put dollars and coins into the jar,” said Baker. “I am overwhelmed with gratitude at the outpouring of love and generosity. So many people in Rye and outside of Rye love Murphy. Children come in every day after school to check on him, and me.”
So far, $3,500 has been donated to Murphy’s Miracle Recovery Fund. Last week, Rye High School’s Animal Welfare League Club contributed $500, all the funds they have raised.
Murphy’s surgery cost $15,000 and the vet bills, part of which will be covered by pet insurance, will continue to accumulate with his upcoming chemotherapy.
“It’s not about the money, it’s about love…the love of a pet and the love of a community. You are all forever in our hearts,” said Baker.
Donations to Murphy’s Miracle Recovery Fund can be made by cash, check, or credit card at All Paws Gourmet, 31 Purchase Street, Rye, NY 10580. You can follow Murphy’s progress on Facebook at All Paws Gourmet Pet Boutique.