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Murray The Basset Hound: Eight Years of Service To Elizabethtown

Feb 22nd, 2012 | By | Category: Front Page, People

Murray the Basset Hound is a familiar sight to many Elizabethtown residents.  He’ll be 10 years old this June, and is slowing down a little on his daily walks, but he hasn’t slowed down in the services he provides to the Elizabethtown Community.

Murray has been a therapy dog with Keystone Pet Enhanced Therapy Services for eight of his 10 years. Although many opportunities for therapy work exist outside of Elizabethtown, Mary Gottfried, Murray’s owner, decided that ‘giving back’ to their neighbors made the most sense when choosing volunteer activities with Murray.

Murray was a twice monthly visitor at Elizabethtown’s Manor Care for several years. As he’s gotten older, it’s harder for him to do the walking necessary to visit all his friends there, but he still helps Mary evaluate dogs and handlers hoping to become KPETS teams at this facility. When Mary helped to set up a KPETS Home Vist  Progam for Autistic children, Murray’s gentle laid back personality made him the perfect dog to interact with several Autistic children in our community.

He has helped with educational presentations at the Elizabethtown Lions Club and the Masonic Home, has helped Education majors and Occupational Therapy students at Elizabethtown College learn about pet therapy, and has participated in a program for homesick students through the Counseling Center at the college.

For several years Murray and Mary organized an educational summer event at the Elizabethtown Library called “The Dog Suitcase” which teaches children about basic dog care . Most recently, Mary started a reading program for grades 1-4 at the library called  “Dog Tales With Murray”.  This program allows children to practice reading skills with Murray as a non-judgmental audience.(For more information on signing up for this program, please contact the Elizabethtown Library)

As Murray enters his 10th year, he still enjoys meeting his Elizabethtown neighbors and hopes to continue serving his community for many years to come.

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  1. Hi Mary and Murray
    I had to let you know I think you are doing an amazing service to your community. I have worked with children and young people with Autism for over 20yrs, both in Nursing and Education.I have also used pet therapy in my caring profession and it was a very valuable aid .Keep up the good work.
    Yours Sincerely
    Marjorie Irving
    Cluden Lodge
    Dumfries DG2 0JB

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