Current fosters (as of 8-26-2011)

Well, Scott found the dog I hid in the backyard. — not because he saw or heard Chester Kincaid. He snuck up behind me while I was writing Kincaid’s blog post and said, “Where’s that dog?!” I just looked at him. He said, “Oh. In the backyard.” Then he asked if I cared if he “vegged out” for a bit. “I got a new dog,” I reminded him. “That’s right!” he said. “I’m going to veg out for a bit.”

So, Scott took it amazingly well as always. He got more upset about the cheap pencils my mother got Arina from the Dollar Store, because they kept breaking when he was trying to help A. with her homework. As soon as A. walked away, S. issued a string of curses, broke all the pencils in half, looked up “The World’s Best Pencil” and bought a bunch of them from Amazon. Seriously. They’re called “The World’s Best Pencil,” and he’s so ridiculously excited that he’s told me about them five times.

He gets stressed over pencils. Not dogs. And that’s why I married him.

He did say, though, that we’re at the “we have to find homes for our dog pack” part of dog rescuing. So, here are our current available fosters. Please email me at fisknp@gmail.com if you’re interested in any of them.

Foster 5) Edisto. 2 years. Fully vetted and neutered.

Poor Ed is the only foster out of my first 26 who hasn’t been rescued or adopted. “What’s wrong with him?” I’ve had people ask. And I don’t really know what to say. There is much that is right about Edisto: he’s a young, healthy, neutered and microchipped Beagle. He doesn’t bark unless provoked (he’s not the initiating type), and he’s great with children and other dogs.

But, he’s afraid of butterflies, and he urine marks when he’s anxious. When is Edisto anxious? On the 4th of July and whenever his dog friends disappear from our house. Ed thinks we send dogs “to the farm” and is always worried both about the ones who leave, and about himself. This makes Edisto not the best foster dog for us but probably a great dog for anyone who could offer him a more stable environment.

Warning, though: Edisto will try to charm any female dog in your house. In the photo, below, he is trying to give pretty Isla a toy rabbit but somehow manages to fall asleep in the process. Because he’s also a Goober.

Update! Rescued! Friday October 21, 2011 by Last Chance Animal Rescue

27-33) Chesters A-H, squared. Chester A. is 2 years, and her pups are 2 weeks.

Technically, Chesters Abbie Faith and her pups Bradley, Cayce (who has an adoption commitment), Duncan, Elloree, Fairfax, Gaffney, and Hilda have a rescue commitment. — the life-saving Last Chance Animal Rescue. BUT, going to a forever home is better than going to a rescue, and I know my friend Whitney would appreciate having less dogs to find homes for, so that she can rescue others. — because she’s like the superwoman of dog rescue.

I tried to get a good photo of Abbie Faith, but the puppies are getting bigger by the day, which means they’re also getting hungrier and more mobile. She looks tired.

“You look tired, Abbie Faith!” I said. “Let’s try again.”

Then, I gave up taking photos of Chester Abbie Faith and gave her a nice, relaxing bath instead. She enjoyed it very much.

Here are some close-ups of some of the pups:

Duncan, below, was the first to open his eyes. Yay for Duncan!

And here’s my current favorite, Fairfax. I think he’s striking in appearance now that his eyes are open.

Below is Elloree, who wins the distinction: chubbiest in the litter.

And, because the previous photo is so flattering, here’s another of her with sister, Gaffney, so that you can appreciate how chubby Elloree really is:

Now, granted, Gaffney is TOO skinny. She’s the runt, and my next door neighbor, Miriam, told me that she read puppies 1/2 the size of their litter mates should be removed from the mother and hand raised. And then Miriam found someone willing to hand raise Gaffney for me. Because I have the most awesome neighbors ever. Here is sweet Gaffney swaddled in a washcloth.

And here’s another of Gaffney, with a full belly at last.

Miriam’s friends report that she loves her bottle and is thriving. Today, she opened one eye! — so she looks a little like a pirate but will hopefully open the other one soon.

Having a petite daughter who is always behind on the growth charts means I’m not as anxious as I should be about too-little pups. “She’s just petite!” I thought. “Like Arina!” Or, at one point, I thought, “I’ve heard that a mother can have a litter sired by different fathers. Maybe Gaffney’s father was a mini dachshund.” And I just tried to make sure she was able to nurse unmolested by siblings while I was around.

So, in short, a special yay for Miriam and friends, who were better able to tell the difference between “petite” and “in trouble.” Gaffney’s foster parents, Sandra and Mark, are the best. Mark lets Gaffney sleep around his neck and sets his alarm to feed her a bottle every few hours. So, yes, it’s like having a newborn in the house. — except for the sleeping around the neck part.

Update on Abbie Faith, Duncan, Fairfax and Hilda: Rescued! Friday October 21, 2011 by Dog Tags

Update on Bradley: Adopted! Wednesday October 5, 2011 by Bryan Germann and Catherine Eisner

Update on Cayce: Adopted! Sunday October 2, 2011 by Lauren Eyler and Dawn Perry

Update on Elloree: Rescued! Friday October 21, 2011 by Last Chance Animal Rescue

34) Chester I, squared. 6 years. Fully vetted and spayed.

I adore Isla. I’ve loved all my fosters, but there’s something about Isla. I think part of it has to do with the fact that I was so horrified by her leg when I first met her. I knew that she had a hurt leg, but I just assumed it could be fixed. I didn’t know that it was an old break, past the point of fixing.

I didn’t know that she’d look like Sophia from the Golden Girls and that she would hobble, rather than walk, with one front leg flopping about uselessly. One of my neighbors said that she’d be more adoptable with an amputated leg. 3-legged dogs are common enough, and charming to boot. As Isla is now, she makes most people, including me when I first saw her, want to look away.

But amputations are traumatic, and her leg doesn’t seem to bother her, only others.

And, now, as Henry Higgins would say, “I’ve grown accustomed to her look . . . accustomed to her face,” and I wouldn’t have her any other way.

What’s so special about Isla? She’s so smart, and so eager to please that the dog has yet to do a single thing amiss. — not that I wouldn’t love her if she did, but it’s uncanny. She’s like the doggie version of Jesus.

She hasn’t had a single bathroom accident. She doesn’t bark or whine. She doesn’t run away.

We’ve let her outside before and have forgotten about her, since we’re so used to our spoiled mini dachshunds screeching whenever they want to come inside. (Someone on the phone once asked me if I had a parrot; yes, Emma’s bark is that shrill.) Isla, on the other hand, sits patiently at the door until we remember her.

She expects nothing and is grateful for everything.

And, most admirably, she doesn’t let her disability get her down. She’s not handicapped; she’s “handi-capable.” Thank you, Sue Sylvester. Example: she clearly wanted to walk with me to pick up Arina from the bus stop, and I wondered: Will it be too far of a walk? Will it be too much for me to have to carry Isla and A.’s bookbag? Isla seemed to sense that I hesitated, and as if she was proving her worth, she lifted her useless leg as high as she could manage and hopped not beside me, but, at times, in front of me. When A. got off the bus, Isla outstripped me in her eagerness to greet her.

I LOVE listening for her distinctive footsteps every morning, because the first thing she wants to do when she wakes up is to come and see me.

Best. dog. ever.

Update: Adopted! Saturday September 3, 2011 by Krystal Branch

Renamed Lucy.

36) Chester J, squared. 2 years. Fully vetted and neutered.

Because I have a house full, I rescued Chester James and then took him to John, who was suffering from empty nest syndrome now that Chester PaXville is adopted.

John decided that James looks like a Mickey, as in Mickey Goldmill, as in Burgess Meredith. So, Mickey it is. And now I have to watch the Rocky movies.

I’m assuming, though, that Mickey must be a scrappy little guy. — like Chester J. squared. When I dropped him off at John’s he had a busted lip and a scratched ear, because he tried to challenge Chester Abbie Faith, even though we told him that lesson #1 at the Fisk house right now, and in life, is: Do NOT mess with any Mama Dog. Mr. Knightley, Emma, Isla, Edisto, and new foster Kincaid understand this well. But, after winning a puppy wrestling match with Edisto, Mickey thought he had progressed to Round 2 with Big Mama. That’s so not how it works, Mick.

Needless to say, Mickey’s better off at John’s until Chester Abbie Faith goes to rescue.

You can tell that Mickey is a bundle of energy, because I literally had to hold his head to get a not-blurry shot.

And, then, I managed to get another. I’ve since trimmed his beard, so he won’t become a canine mop for dust and dirt after he drinks water. And, I’ve also trimmed his bangs. But, I love his straight-from-the-shelter shaggy dog look too.

John’s discovered that, like Mickey Goldmill, Mickey the Chester dog has a soft side too. He loves to nap on John’s chest nearly as much as he loves walks and puppy-against-John wrestling. And if John is ever too tired to walk him or to wrestle with him, he just imagines him saying, “Get up you SOB ’cause Mickey loves you.”

And then, he gets up.

Update: Adopted! Friday September 9, 2011 by Amy Bolger

Renamed Murphy.

37) Chester K, squared. 1 year. Fully vetted and neutered.

My friend, Lillian, described Chester Kincaid well when she said that “he’s the best mix unimaginable.” He is part Pit Bull Terrier (the head part), part Basset Hound (the body part), and part tiger (the striped part).

We think Kincaid would be perfect for a Clemson fan, since he was born to be a tiger mascot. We have to say, though, that he also fits in well with what is obviously a Gamecock household. — mainly b/c he flops over on his back and licks Abbie Faith’s feet whenever she takes a break from her pups.

He’s spent the past two days playing with Edisto, charming the kids, and trying to make friends with the small dogs who turn their noses up at him. — especially when he tries to lick them affectionately.

His zest for life is contagious, most notably in Edisto, who is always smiling when Kincaid is around. But E. may also be smiling, because K. is so darn funny-looking. Maybe Ed’s laughing on the inside, because he thinks we’ll have a harder time placing K. than we’ve had placing E. After all, at least E. looks like a dog. Welcome to the Island of Misfit Pups, Kincaid.

Update: Rescued! Saturday October 15, 2011 by Nuts for Mutts

Now: If you’ve made it through this entire post, you MUST have seen a dog that you, or someone you know, wants to adopt!

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