Archive for September, 2011

Current available fosters, as of 9-24-2011

September 25, 2011

1) Chester Edisto, the Wonder Dog: a 2 year old male Beagle

Pulled: Thursday June 2, 2011 from local rescue

Up-to-date on vaccinations, heartworm negative, neutered, microchipped, and on heartworm/flea preventative.

To read more about E., visit:

Just make sure you go to the oldest entry and start reading there, because E. is tagged in A LOT of posts.

I thought a local rescue was reclaiming E., but I think they changed their mind. ūüėČ

Update: Rescued! Friday October 21, 2001 by Last Chance Animal Rescue

2) Chester Abbie Faith, the Mama Dog: a 2 year old female Pit Bull mix

Pulled: Wednesday August 10, 2011 from the Marlboro County Animal Shelter/Middle Mutts

Up-to-date on vaccinations, heartworm positive (undergoing treatment), spay scheduled, and on flea preventative.

To read more about A squared, visit:

Abbie Faith and her pups have a rescue commitment in New York, but, if I find a home for them here, we’ll send other needy dogs in their place.

Abbie Faith loves to be loved. And, now that her pups are weaned, she has only one request: a home, free of pups.

Update: Rescued! Friday October 21, 2011 by Dog Tags

3) Chester Duncan, the Laid Back Pup: a 6 week old male Pit Bull mix

Pulled, in utero: Wednesday August 10, 2011 from the Marlboro County Animal Shelter/Middle Mutts

Up-to-date on vaccinations, heartworm negative, neuter scheduled.

To read more about D squared, visit:

Duncan is the laid back pup of the group, who LOVES his naps. Some friends came over to see the puppies. Duncan came to say “hi,” but then managed to sneak off. When we found him, he was snoozing in Arina’s playhouse. Too cute.

Update: Rescued! Friday October 21, 2011 by Dog Tags

4) Chester Elloree, the Go-Getter Pup: a 6 week old female Pit Bull mix

Pulled, in utero: Wednesday August 10, 2011 from the Marlboro County Animal Shelter/Middle Mutts

Up-to-date on vaccinations, heartworm negative, spay scheduled.

To read more about E squared, visit:

Elloree is the go-getter of the group, so she’s also the chubbiest, which is unsurprising. — since she “goes and gets” the food.

Update: Rescued! Friday October 21, 2011 by Dog Tags

5) Chester Fairfax, the Sweet Pup: a 6 week old male Pit Bull mix

Pulled, in utero: Wednesday August 10, 2011 from the Marlboro County Animal Shelter/Middle Mutts

Up-to-date on vaccinations, heartworm negative, neuter scheduled.

To read more about F squared, visit:

My new friend Trina took this photo of Chester Fairfax. She’s fostering both Duncan and Fairfax for me. You’ll see Duncan on the right, no doubt looking for a place to nap. Seriously. Here’s the next photo Trina sent:

Fairfax, on the other hand, would much rather be staring at his person with puppy dog eyes, begging for a cuddle. I’m sure Trina obliged.

Update: Rescued! Friday October 21, 2011 by Dog Tags

6) Chester Hilda, the Smart Pup: a 6 week old female Pit Bull mix

Pulled, in utero: Wednesday August 10, 2011 from the Marlboro County Animal Shelter/Middle Mutts

Up-to-date on vaccinations, heartworm negative, spay scheduled.

To read more about H squared, visit:

Hilda is always the first pup to figure things out. She figured out how to push the playhouse door open, letting out herself and all of her siblings when we were trying to contain them. She figured out how to climb stairs and immediately climbed the stairs on the wood deck and stole the adult dogs’ food.

Hilda is just like her Uncle Edisto. *sigh*

Update: Rescued! Friday October 21, 2011 by Dog Tags

7) Chester Kincaid, an 8-month old male Pit Bull/Basset Hound mix

Pulled: Thursday August 25, 2011 from City of Columbia Animal Shelter

Up-to-date on vaccinations, heartworm negative, neutered, microchipped, and on heartworm/flea preventative.

To read more about K squared, visit:

Kincaid loves toys, and takes equal delight in playing with and destroying them. And he loves kisses. And pretty much everything else you can think of.

Update: Rescued! Saturday October 16, 2011 by Nuts for Mutts

8 ) Chester Lexie, a 1 year old female Norfolk Terrier

Pulled: Friday September 2, 2011 from City of Columbia Animal Shelter

Up-to-date on vaccinations, heartworm negative, spayed, microchipped, and on heartworm/flea preventative.

To read more about L squared, visit:

Friend and colleague Sandra is fostering Lexie and reports that she’s never had such an affectionate dog. And I’m guessing that she’s never had a dog with such pretty eyes either.

9) Chester McBee, a 4 month old male Rat Terrier

Pulled: Saturday September 3, 2011 from Melissa Ann McLaughlin-lein

Up-to-date on vaccinations, heartworm negative, neutered scheduled, and on heartworm/flea preventative.

To read more about M squared, visit:

Friend and colleague John is fostering Mac, nicknamed Roo, and reports that he is the easiest foster of the three he’s had to date. That’s mainly because Roo thinks he’s a human, so he doesn’t like any of those doggie thinks like leashes and obligatory walks. He would rather run outside off leash, use the bathroom, and run back to jump on the couch. Actually, he’d probably rather use the toilet, but he hasn’t figured that out yet.

10) Chester North, a 3 year old male Shih-tez, or maybe a Tibetan Spaniel

Pulled: Monday September 12, 2011 from City of Columbia Animal Shelter

Up-to-date on vaccinations, heartworm negative, neutered, microchipped, and on heartworm/flea preventative.

To read more about N squared, visit:

My mother is fostering North, nicknamed Harley, for me. Yay for Mom! She reports that he is a loving, playful little guy. And that he prances.

Update: Adopted! Friday October 21, 2011 by Frank and Dianne Plyler

11) Chester G. Olar, a 6 year old male Beagle

Pulled: Friday September 16, 2011 from Marlboro County Animal Shelter/Middle Mutts

Up-to-date on vaccinations, heartworm positive (undergoing treatment), neutered, and on flea preventative.

To read more about O squared, visit:

Poor Olar, nicknamed George. He looks so much older than he is that I aged him to be 10-11 originally, like Gertie. We noticed that he seemed awfully spry for such an old man, though. He LOVES to eat and has a definite pep to his step.

Then we found out from his eye doctor that he’s only 6 or 7. Oops. Now that his cherry eyes have been fixed (those two red bulges in the corner of each eye), he looks much younger. He still has the ulcer in the left one, an old scar, but that’s okay. I think we should get him a patch and pretend he’s a pirate.

He’s being fostered in Charlotte by a wonderful family. They adore Beagles and George met them and his two Beagle foster brothers today.

Update: Adopted! Monday October 17, 2011 by Jacq McConkey

12) Chester G. Powdersville, a 10-11 year old Collie (?) mix

Pulled: Saturday September 17, 2011 from Scotland County Humane Society/Middle Mutts

Up-to-date on vaccinations, heartworm negative, spayed, and on heartworm/flea preventative.

To read more about P squared, visit:

To be honest, I have no idea what sort of dog Powdersville, nicknamed Gertie, is. Because her thick, luxurious fur reminds me of a Collie, I’m going to say Collie. — although I would be interested to hear any guesses.

What I do know is that she’s a super sweet old girl who is curled up at my feet while I type, snoozing away.

Update: Adopted! Thursday October 13, 2011 by

13) Chester Quinby, a 5 year old Miniature Dachshund

Up-to-date on vaccinations, heartworm negative, and on heartworm/flea preventative.

To read more about Q squared, visit:

We adore Quinby. She’s sweet. She’s happy. She’s one tough pup. And, now that she’s on wheels . . . look out world.

Quinby didn’t just try to jump in the video. She did jump.

My favorite comment about Quinby: I introduced her on facebook and friend and colleague Chris gave her a big thumbs up, and then explained:

“I will always ‘like’ cyborg weiner dogs.”

Me too, Chris. Me too.

Update: Rescued! Sunday October 16, 2011 by Dachshund Rescue of North America


If you, or if anyone you know, is interested in adopting any of the current Fisk Fosters, send me a message!

Quinby gets a new ride. And I do too!

September 24, 2011

Today, Scott is awesome, because he made a wheelchair for new foster Quinby.

Parts include: 1 doggie harness, which we had; 2 wheels from an old umbrella stroller, which we had; unused velco car seat strap padding, which we had; 2 velcro straps from an old pair of Arina’s knee pads, which we had; lightweight aluminum piping and bolts, which we bought.

At first, Quinby wasn’t too sure . . .

. . . but, once outside, she learned how great doggie wheelchairs really are.

She ran from one side of the yard to the other, standing at attention whenever she heard a noise she thought merited investigation.

And then she’d investigate. I took so many photos, but most of them are blurry. Finally, I managed to get her to hold still by holding her.

And she indulged me by posing for a profile shot.

Well done, Scott! And S. is doubly awesome, because he got me a new ride too. — a 2011 Honda Element! This was the first (and probably the only time in our lives) when we drove a car out of the showroom, but the Element at Midlands Honda had all of the dog friendly accessories that we couldn’t resist.

We managed to get a good deal, because (1) the car is orange, and we pointed out to the salesman that no one in Gamecock Country will buy an orange car with a dog paw emblem that could be mistaken for a Clemson tiger paw (my plan is to get a big Gamecock sticker for the back window, by the way); and (2) who else would want dog bone floor mats, seat covers with dog heads, and a custom built dog kennel in the back? No one but me.

We had been looking at cars for awhile, since we outgrew the little Toyota Corolla we bought pre-kids by 2 more people and a pack full of dogs. The Element is perfect for us.

BUT, before Scott signed the papers, he asked that I slow down a bit. I agreed, since he said, “Maybe only three fosters at a time.” Originally, his rule was one. He pointed out that getting this car would make me slow down. The Toyota was paid off; the Honda . . . um . . . is not. And, even with the generous donations I’ve received so far, I’m nowhere near the amount I’ve put into pulling and vetting.

Still, I’m super excited and you can see that I’ve been putting the new ride to good use. The pups approve.

As for the latest foster, rescued post new car and when we’re already past our 3 fosters-at-a-time limit . . . well, Scott says that we’ll make an exception for Quinby.

Chester Quinby

September 24, 2011

Pulled: Thursday September 22, 2011 from City of Columbia Animal Shelter

Rescue commitment: Sunday October 16, 2011 by Dachshund Rescue of North America

Meet Chester Q, squared. There is only one “Q” town in SC (my system of naming fosters), but since it’s a name I like, I’m going to have more than one Quinby foster. Q2 is a very special Quinby.

She is a 5-year old paralyzed mini-dachshund. I didn’t intend to get a dog on Thursday. I was at the animal shelter to pick up Kincaid, not to get another dog. In fact, I made a deal with Scott (that I’ll write about soon), and part of the deal is to slow down with the fostering.

I was in a different section of the animal shelter than I normally visit, the lost and found/relinquishment part of the shelter, rather than the adoption part, waiting for one of the shelter workers to bring me Kincaid.

A man walked in with Quinby.

Me: “Oh, you have a mini-dachshund! I have two at home!” [See our Mr. Knightley and Emma in the photo below.]

Man: “Yes.”

Me, noticing her back legs: “Oh no. What happened?”

Man: “I don’t know. She was already crippled in one leg. Then, she got into a fight with another dog, I guess. She’s suffering. Time to put her down.”

Me: “How old is she?”

Man: “Five.”

I looked at Quinby. She was using her two front legs to crawl around on the floor. She kept crawling to the man, trembling and whining. I kept expecting him to pick her up and comfort her, but he either ignored her or told her to sit still. To me, her suffering seemed to be more emotional than physical.

Emma is seven and Knightley is six. I looked at her and saw a slightly younger Knightley looking back at me.

“I’ll take her,” I said quietly, not sure how the people at the lost and found/relinquishment desk would react. I explained that I work with rescues, some of which focus on dogs with disabilities.

The man looked at me in surprise. “Okay. Yeah. I’d rather give her to you than euthanize her if you think you can help.”

One of the shelter workers overheard us and told us that we’d have to go outside “to talk about that.” So, we did. Once outside, the man confessed that Quinby didn’t get into a dog fight, that she was “run over” two weeks ago.

He didn’t take her to the vet after it happened. She was infested with fleas, and her nails look like they’ve never been cut. She looks like she’s had litters of puppies, and I wonder if the man was breeding her to sell the pups.

He had cared enough to wrap her most injured leg, but he hadn’t changed the wrapping in two weeks, so Quinby smelled like rotting flesh.

When I walked in holding Quinby, my mother and grandmother, who were visiting, assumed she was Knightly. — until I put her on the floor.

I immediately launched into an explanation and concluded by saying “Maybe she’ll have to be euthanized, but she at least deserves a vet visit. And to be rid of fleas. And to have a good meal and to be treated nicely before she dies.”

They didn’t argue. And my sweet grandmother slipped me a hundred dollars to pay for her vet visit.

Mom and I took her to our vet, Dr. Currie, who prescribed steroids and antibiotics but doesn’t hold out hope that she’ll regain feeling in her legs. Still, the vet tech said that Quinby was trying to wag her tail when I was speaking to her. Dr. Currie agreed that Quinby’s young and strong and isn’t in pain, so that helping her is worth an effort.

The effort hasn’t been quite what I’d expected it to be. — but in a good way. I put her outside when I got home, and she escaped from the fence. Being so small, she managed to slip under the front gate.

I saw her out my window, went to get her, and realized how quickly she can hop on her two front legs. Every time I almost had her, she’d hop under a car. When I finally got back with her, I was wet and muddy from what was left of an earlier rainstorm.

Mom: “What happened to you?”

Me: “The handicapped dog got away from me.”

Mom: “She only has two legs!”

Me: “Two legs that are faster than mine.”

And before the end of the day, she had climbed the stairs on the wood deck (how, I don’t know) AND escaped from the fence AGAIN. The second time, Miriam, my next door neighbor, and I chased her all the way down the street.



Finally, though, I think she’s realized that she doesn’t have to run away, that I’m not going to take her back to the shelter, or back to be poked and prodded by the vet (at least not immediately). Instead, she gets a nice bed, a dog bone, and a purple hippo. And, Scott’s working on her doggie wheelchair as I type.

And, in return, we get a big smile.

Favorite moment so far? Yesterday, Edisto jumped off the picnic table onto Kincaid. He did so accidentally, but Kincaid was startled from his nap, and attacked Edisto in retribution. The result: Ed has a scratch on one of his legs.

E. refused to eat, insisted on sleeping/pouting in the armchair upstairs, and came down at one point for sympathy, lifting his leg (the wrong one, that wasn’t scratched, by the way) for us to see.

Quinby hopped in the room, dragging her back legs behind her, and flashed a big doggie grin.

Ed looked at her legs, looked at his, and went back upstairs.

Good girl, Quinby.

Memorable Mishaps, continued: The Return Of Kincaid. And Edisto Learns His Lesson. knock on wood. fingers crossed.

September 24, 2011

Hurrah! Kincaid is back!

For those of you following my blog, you’ll remember that foster Edisto the Wonder Dog keeps breaking out of our backyard fence, and taking friends/sidekicks Abbie Faith and Kincaid with him on adventures. Kincaid is a bit of a dunderhead, though. He’s like the dog in UP, constantly distracted by squirrels, and once separated from his friends, was unable to find his way back.

Luckily, he’s microchipped.

On Wednesday, my friend Howard, from the City of Columbia Animal Shelter, called to tell me that Kincaid had been . . . um . . . apprehended by Animal Control. This was poor Kincaid’s FOURTH time in the slammer, since he had been adopted and returned three times before I pulled him. Needless to say, he was VERY happy to see me.

And the pups were very happy to see him. See Fairfax, climbing in bed with Uncle Kincaid, and napping contently beside him. Hilda (not pictured) was running in circles.

Those of you following my blog will also remember that I was contacted by someone in local rescue, demanding that I return Edisto. Edisto was pulled from a local rescue rather than a kill shelter, and they keep strict tabs on their dogs. After someone in the neighborhood called to report Edisto roaming (b/c I stupidly left the tag with the rescue organization’s # on him), they said that I could not have one of “their dogs.”

There was a public outcry among my friends. My favorite email was from Casey, who often pup sits for me. Casey was the first person to dub Edisto a Goober, and he subsequently has a soft spot for him.

I’ve roped Casey into countless dog-rescuing adventures. During the summer, I was trying to talk Scott into buying me some land, building Casey a tiny house (see below), and letting him live there rent free if he agreed to feed all of my dogs. I thought the idea was brilliant. Both Scott and Casey rolled their eyes at me.

Casey’s email: “I JUST READ YOUR BLOG!!!!!¬† IS THE RESCUE TAKING BACK EDISTO!?!?!¬† WHAT THE HELL!?!?!¬†¬† Fine.¬† I agree.¬† Get me a tiny f**king house and a parcel of land.¬† He can sleep on my tiny f**king bed.”

I decided to take my mother’s advice and tell them to come and get him, rather than return him myself. Knowing Edisto, he would curl up and die if put in another kennel. Or break out.

Surprisingly, I haven’t heard from them in over a week! Scott thinks they found my blog and read all about Edisto and have decided that they’d “prefer not to,” to quote Bartleby.

So, our problem became: how do we keep Edisto from breaking out of the fence? A friend of mine came up with the solution. She offered to donate an invisible fence. I hesitated at the idea of shocking Edisto, but Scott was delighted. He installed the fence, put the collar on Edisto that administers the shock, and said, “Edisto, I’m going to light up your ass!”

Note: I only agreed to this, because I realized that getting shocked is better than getting hit by a car. And Edisto was putting not only himself in danger, but Abbie Faith and Kincaid as well. Scott held the collar and touched the fence, before putting it on Edisto, to make sure that the voltage (shudder) was perfect.

Poor Ed.

The next morning, Scott and I watched Edisto and Abbie Faith and Kincaid from the breakfast table. As soon as we let them out, they took off for the fence, Abbie Faith and Kincaid sitting beside it and waiting patiently for E. to work his magic.

As soon as E. touched it, he ran away. Then, he stood and stared at it, with his tail sticking out straight behind him.

Score 1 for the fence.

Abbie Faith and Kincaid looked back at him like he was crazy, so Edisto went to the fence again. And, then, he ran all the way to our wood deck, jumped up on our picnic table, and stared straight at the fence for a full twenty minutes, trying to figure out what happened. We think he thinks he’s being attacked by invisible bees.

Score 2 for the fence.

Scott, of course, was laughing like a crazy person. E. hasn’t ventured out of the backyard again, but the fence has become his new nemesis, and he’ll spend hours a day watching it from atop our picnic table.

Abbie Faith and Kincaid have finally given up on outside-the-fence escapades, since Edisto now refuses to break them out. The result: Kincaid looks for things to amuse him inside the fence, and, being an 8 month old, that mostly involves tearing things up. See my new doormat below:

Welcome back, Kincaid! *sigh*

Chesters O and P squared: George Olar and Gertie Powdersville

September 18, 2011

George O: Pulled: Friday September 16, 2011 from Marlboro County Animal Shelter/Middle Mutts

Adoption commitment: Monday October 17, 2011 by Jacq McConkey

Gertie P: Pulled: Saturday September 17, 2011 from Scotland County Humane Society/Middle Mutts

Adoption commitment: Thursday October 13, 2011 by

Chester George Olar:

I know. Poor George.

And Gertie Powdersville:

I’m keeping the names George and Gertie, their Middle Mutts names, because my system of alphabetically naming fosters after SC towns/cities/counties just doesn’t work for letters like O and P. — not much to choose from. I have to admit, though, that I think Powdersville is a perfect surname for Gertie with her white, aged face.

George and Gertie are my first senior dog fosters. They both have a larger rescue group than Fisk fosters committed to finding them homes. Yes, the fabulous Last Chance Animal Rescue in New York. But, both George and Gertie need surgery (George on his eyes; Gertie on her leg/hip) before they’re adoptable, and surgery, along with everything else, is much less expensive in South Carolina than in New York. So, they are our house guests for awhile.

My friend Kerri had asked if I could foster George for Middle Mutts at the end of August, but then she remembered that I’m fostering Chester Abbie Faith and her six for Middle Mutts and said that I had my hands full and that she’d try to find someone else. I thought she had and George slipped from my mind.

To find a home for George, Kerri and Whitney had to find another person willing to foster. And they have. Trina in Newberry! So, I pulled George, hoping that Trina will be able to take him. She’s coming to see me today at 10:30 to meet my pack. Yay for Trina!

I have to say, though, that George has been a pleasure. He’s a beagle, like Edisto, but at 10-11 years old, is the anti-Sto.

I don’t know George’s story, though I do know Gertie’s. — or, at least, some of it.

Gertie was found by family members at the home of a deceased relative. They didn’t even know that he had a dog, and they took Gertie to the shelter. Shelter workers say that Gertie has been in obvious mourning for her lost owner since she’s been there.

But here’s the mysterious part. Somewhere along the way Gertie was hurt. The vet speculated that she was hit by a car, although I don’t know when that could have happened. But she has a scary-looking wound on one side and a limp.

We’ve fixed up a place for her in Scott’s shop, so that she can go out to use the bathroom when she needs to, without worrying about steps. The puppies are ecstatic to have a housemate. Their mother has been staying as far from them as possible, since she’s trying to wean them, so they snuggle up with MeMe Gertie, which I think is good for all involved. Photos of that to follow.

In true grandmother-fashion, she’s more tolerant of the pups than their mother is, but she gets tired more quickly. At one point, she was ready to curl up ALONE on her blanket, but Fairfax was in her spot. She looked at Fairfax and looked at me. Looked at Fairfax and looked at me. I moved Fairfax. And, I could have sworn I heard Gertie sigh contently.

George and Gertie have been life-savers, because they’ve kept me from fretting over Edisto and Kincaid (see previous post). Edisto is still here, and I’m thinking of taking Mom’s advice and telling the local rescue that they can come get him if they want him. I shudder at the thought of taking him myself. I don’t want him to think that I’m the one taking him to a kennel by choice. — even if he is a Goober.

And Kincaid is still MIA. Scott has been walking around saying, “Yay! Kincaid found his forever home! We should let ALL the dogs loose and see what happens.”

Then, I look at him in a wounded way, and he stops. One thing that he pointed out does make me feel better, though. Kincaid is micro-chipped with all my information (phone number, address, etc.). So, if he’s in TROUBLE, I’ll know. I’ve watched my friends at the City of Columbia Animal Shelter read countless microchips, and I know that vets do as well.

So, Scott thinks that friendly boy Kincaid is inside a home right now (in either Hamptonwood East, where we live, or in neighboring Yorkshire or Kings Grant) and is licking his housemates to death. I hope so.

And Scott was sweet enough to post some advertisements about Kincaid on local community web pages.

In the meantime, Scott is convinced that he has finally fixed the fence. Attaching chicken wire to the chain link didn’t work, so he went and bought much more expensive rabbit fence ($25 per 10 feet).

I’m sure that chicken wire keeps out chickens, and that rabbit fence keeps out rabbits, but I won’t be convinced that our fence is Edisto proof until Scott finds some Edisto labeled wire or fencing. I suggest Kryptonite as the material for Edisto fencing.

At least new fosters George and Gertie are totally over breaking out of backyards. This is only one of the many wonderful things about senior dogs. To close, I’ll paste part of an article I read recently, “Older dogs make great pets too” by vets Dr. Henri Bianucci and Dr. Perry Jameson. In it, one of the docs compares his young rescue dog, Flipper, with his old rescue dog, Ariel.

“Ariel sleeps a lot and does not move too quickly because of her arthritis. She was house-broken and never goes to the bathroom inside. She loves us and wants to be with us constantly, but most of the time, you do not even know she is lying beside you until she groans as she shifts positions.

She still likes to swim and fetch but usually only if we prod her. She is not constantly begging for our attention. She never buries her bones in the yard like Flipper.

There is something nice about an old dog. Their gray muzzles are like our gray hair. They have experienced life but are better at learning from it than we are. Old dogs are well-behaved and rarely get into trouble.

They hardly ever get under foot, as that one time they were stepped on was enough to teach them for the rest of their lives. They maintain that love for us they had as a puppy but do not need our constant attention any longer. Just napping beside us seems to be enough.

They listen better as long as their hearing is still good. That 15 minutes of fetch is enough for them to sleep hard all night when it used to take two hours to have the same effect. They roam less so are less likely to get bitten by a snake or hit by a car. They do not pull on their leashes but are content walking at our pace.

I love both my dogs, just like I love both my kids. Ariel and Flipper are different, and I love their differences.

When I am at the shelter, I see puppies being adopted but fewer older dogs. People will pay to get a puppy. (At CAS and Pet Helpers, the “cost” is more of a donation to help offset the cost of keeping them until a home can be found.) Older dogs often have to be given away (nothing is free, so they depend on donations to break even).

Everybody wants a puppy, and it’s easy to see why. They are adorable and cute. Full of energy and constantly changing as they grow. But after having Ariel, I can see that older dogs are great, too.

I have learned from Ariel that life is more about being quiet and enjoying the moment rather than searching for the next thing to do. I realize Ariel will not be with me as long as Flipper, but all the pleasure her company brings me will outweigh my grief at her loss.

So from now on, I will always have an older dog. First, because there are always older dogs who have been abandoned or lost and need a home. Second, because I need them to remind me it is OK to just slow down and enjoy the people and the place where I am.”

If you would be interested in adopting one of these fabulous seniors, let me know. I would love to free up their spot with Last Chance Animal Rescue for another dog!

“Give [them] hell from us, [Edisto].”

September 16, 2011

Oh, Edisto. You’ve really done it this time. See below:

Those of you who have been reading my blog know that Scott and Edisto have been battling for control of the backyard fence. Scott says Edisto must stay in and fortifies the fence accordingly; Edisto says he must get out and destroys Scott’s fortification. Every time.

I’ve cut and pasted my record of previous battles:

Battle, the first: E. dug under the chain link fence. S. stacked rocks under the fence. E. moved them. ‚ÄĒ who knows how. He‚Äôs a Wonder Dog, after all.

Battle, the second: S. attached chicken wire to the bottom of the chain link fence, stapling the wire to a buried piece of wood. E. pulled out the staples with his teeth.

Battle, the third: S. attached chicken wire to the bottom of the chain link fence, NAILING the wire to a buried piece of wood. E. stretched the chicken wire with his teeth and squeezed through.

And here are the recent editions:

Battle, the fourth: I enter the fray, stacking¬† 3 planks of wood longways between wooden stakes S. put in the ground. The fit is super tight. I actually had to jump on the planks to get them wedged between the stakes. Success! — for a week!

Today, Edisto stretched another section of chicken wire with his teeth and slipped out.

Battle, the fifth: I mend the hole in the chicken wire and plan to have S. drive in more wooden stakes when he gets home.

E. makes quick work of my temporary fix, escaping again.

Battle, the sixth: Scott mends the hole in the chicken wire fence and sets to work burying the fencing more deeply into the ground. — a foot and a half deep.

While he takes a break, E. stretches another section of chicken wire and escapes again. Yes. Three times in one day.


As if escaping isn’t bad enough, E. takes pals Abbie Faith and Kincaid with him. Abbie Faith is a smart girl and always comes back with Edisto . . . but Kincaid is a dunderhead. I don’t care what S. says. K. is a dunderhead. I had to pick him up after someone found and dropped him at a local vet today.

The poor guy was thrilled to see me and licked me the entire way home. “Kincaid, you can’t listen to Edisto,” I said, “He’ll get you into trouble. Every time.” And, no, K. still hasn’t made it back from the latest escape. I only hope that he’ll slip in the yard during the night, or that someone will let him crash at their place and give me a call tomorrow. He’s micro-chipped, thank goodness.

Little Hilda is beside herself, though, since Kincaid’s tail is her security blanket and she needs it to sleep.

As if all this isn’t bad enough . . . I received a call from someone at the local rescue, where we got E. Normally, I pull my own fosters from kill shelters throughout SC, and sometimes from NC. However, Edisto was pulled from a rescue, because Mr. Boise (a potential adoptive parent) wanted a Beagle; the Beagle I pulled from the kill shelter passed away from distemper; and a local rescue happened to have one in need of a home. I paid $150 to pull Edisto from them, but they maintain the right to reclaim their animals if they feel they aren’t being cared for.

I answered the phone.

Lady: “This is _____, from _____.”

Me: “Oh. Hi. How are you?”

Lady, in a snappy voice: “NOT well. Where’s Willie?” (Edisto’s name before he became Edisto).

Me: “Here.”

Lady, surprised: “Oh. Well, we received a call from a woman who was very upset and says that she has seen Willie running around off leash and unattended several times.”

Me: [explaining Battles 1-6]

Lady: “You cannot have a dog from us. What if he gets hit by a car?”

Me: [beating my head against a wall]

So, basically, Edisto is being rescued from us, the rescuers. And Kincaid is MIA. Here they are, in happier times of puppy wrestling.

And here’s another, this time with Hilda joining in and Edisto escaping the frame.

Hilda loves her uncles.

Scott says that he will win the fence battle and that I should fight to keep Edisto. Mom says that I should get his microchip with the rescue’s information removed and a new one put in.

I’ve thought many things. — about making them stay inside, even though they love to go out. I used to make Edisto and Kincaid at least sleep in the house at night, until they started whining to go out to Scott’s shop with Abbie Faith and the pups. And, then, once they made that move, I have to admit that I embraced it, since it allowed me to rescue more: a pack inside and a pack outside.

But, I realize now that I’d be terrified to adopt out E. anyway, for fear of an Ellen DeGeneres style snafu:

The rescue group did call me once before to find out how E. was doing with Mr. Boise. I told them that E. was difficult for Mr. Boise to handle but talked excitedly about the possibility of my parents taking him. — something that they were considering before we realized that E. would have a mini heart attack every time the hail cannons went off in the nearby peach orchards.

Lady: “You can’t do that.”

Me: “Oh?”

Lady: “If your Mom and Dad adopt Willie, you’ll have to bring him back to us, and they’ll have to pay another $150 pull fee.”

Me: “I’ll just keep him then,” while planning to give him to Mom and Dad anyway.

So, after the call today, I’m thinking it’s too risky to find him a home myself.

My consolation is that the rescue wants him back, because they think that I’m not the best parent. And while I admit I’m not perfect (ideally, I believe that all dogs should be “inside” dogs), I trust that this rescue will have him under surveillance. Forever. And, for Edisto, that’s not a bad idea.

Still, I question their decision to take back Edisto, who is being cared for to the best of our ability, rather than give his spot to an animal literally on death row.

And, I have to admit that I read a part from Harry Potter to Ed tonight. — the part from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when Fred and George leave Hogwarts. And I made the following revision:

Rather than “Give her hell from us, Peeves,” I said, “Give them hell from us, Edisto,” and I hope that Edisto gives them at least a taste of his very best Wonder Dog behavior.

And, I’m sure that Edisto, “whom [we] [have] never seen take an order . . . before,” would sweep off his belled hat if he had one and would spring to a salute if he could.

I imagine him doing it now, although after such an adventurous day, he’s WAY too tired to really do so.

Chester Fairfax Pulls Through. And Edisto Apologizes to the Neighbors.

September 16, 2011

On Tuesday evening, around 6:30, I went outside to feed the pups. All seemed to be doing well . . .


and Cayce Truman:

and Duncan:

and Elloree, who was doing so well that I didn’t get a photo. (Remember, Elloree is the go-getter of the group and is always going and getting. She reminds me of Edisto, since she is able to break out of the pen I’ve set up in Scott’s shop for the pups. None of the others have figured it out and will complain loudly every time Elloree is out running with the big dogs while they’re stuck at the proverbial kids’ table).

and Hilda:

But one pup, Fairfax, was missing in action. I finally found him in Arina’s playhouse. He had green and yellow snot running out of his nose and was breathing rapidly. He saw me and began to whine. Alarmed, I took him inside, wiped him off, and tried to give him food and water. He refused to eat or drink. So, I bundled him up and set off for the emergency vet.

The vet took xrays of his lungs and saw that they were full of fluid. She said that she suspected canine pneumonia and put him on oxygen immediately. “But he was fine this morning,” I wailed, “even this afternoon, when I checked on them before going to work.” “Canine pneumonia can develop rapidly,” she said, and she recommended aggressive treatment with antibiotics, fluid, and an overnight stay.

I called Whitney, from Last Chance Animal Rescue in New York, since I’m fostering mom Abbie Faith and the pups for her. When I told her how much the recommended treatment would be ($700+), she verbalized what I was thinking: “OMG, those are New York prices.”

“Exactly,” I said.

“What if the other pups get sick?” Whitney said. “We can’t afford that for all of them!”

“Exactly,” I said.

We decided to ask for two bags of fluid, a shot of antibiotics, and any other at-home care they’d help me provide (we were hoping nebulizer, but that didn’t happen).

And even that was $300+. The vet made me sign an AMA (against medical advice) before she let me leave with Fairfax, and told me that he may not make it through the night.

I gave him a pep talk on the way home.

It must have worked, because the next morning he was breathing much more easily, and he was famished. I was prepared to force feed him with a syringe. Whitney had told me that the most important thing was to get him to drink/eat. “I don’t care if you have to feed him the stinkiest wet cat food you can find,” she said “I’d rather him get SOME nutrients and an upset stomach than nothing.”¬† (Apparently, dogs refuse to eat if they can’t smell the food; enter stinky wet cat food.)

But, see below, Chester Fairfax the Wonder Pup eating dog food like it’s going out of style:

And look who’s feeding him:

Why, hello Mr. My-wife-fosters-dogs-while-I-roll-my-eyes-at-her.

Fairfax drank. And ate. And drank. And ate. And then he peed on my kitchen table, which I’m counting as Memorable Mishap #I don’t even know anymore b/c I’ve lost count.

We’ve all been amazed by Fairfax’s progress. Whitney had warned me that he had a 50/50 chance at best, that she’s lost entire litters to canine pneumonia. Knowing this, and watching Fairfax struggling to breathe, has confirmed two things for me: (1) that life is precious; and (2) that those who are doing it (“it” being the sometimes hard work that is living) deserve to live fully. I’m reminded of the 22+ dogs that were shot by Chesterfield county shelter workers and wonder how many of those healthy adult dogs were little Fairfaxes who had beaten the odds, only to be killed in a shelter.

So, yay for Fairfax! May he live a happy, full life. Let me know if you’d be interested in adopting the little trooper.

And, now, for the latest installment in The Adventures of Chester Edisto:

I woke up at 1:00 am on Thursday morning to frantic crying. — what sounded like puppy wails. I honestly thought it was Fairfax, who was sleeping in our 1/2 bathroom. Feeling better, Fairfax had been pestering us to let him rejoin his puppy pack, but we were insisting on extra days of rest and relaxation. “Go to bed, Fairfax,” I said, and closed our bedroom door. The closed door didn’t help. I put my pillow over my head and prepared myself for a sleepless night.

Then I realized something about the noise. It wasn’t coming from INSIDE, but from OUTSIDE.


I jumped out of bed. Abbie Faith and Kincaid were in their dog beds on our wood deck, the puppies were asleep in Scott’s shop, but I saw no sign of Edisto. “Edisto!” I whispered sharply. “Be quiet! Go to bed!”

The whining stopped; then, as I got back into bed, started again.

I know that keeping the neighbors happy is what will allow me to continue to foster. And, for that reason, I’m VERY sensitive to noise. I jumped out of bed again, got on my shoes, and went to find Edisto.

And find him I did. He had tried to sneak out and his collar was hung on the chain link fence. He couldn’t move and was panicking in true Edisto fashion. I don’t know how he did it, I was never able to free the collar, and I finally just unsnapped it from Edisto’s neck; yes, it’s still hanging on our fence.

Oh, Edisto.

I told him he must apologize to the neighbors. See below:

Dear residents of Hamptonwood East,

I’m sorry I’m a sh*t show.


Chester Edisto.

Chester North

September 12, 2011

Pulled: Monday September 12, 2011 from City of Columbia Animal Shelter

Adoption commitment: Friday October 21, 2011 by Frank and Dianne Plyler

Meet Chester N squared, or Chester North:

Chester James “Mickey,” who John Muckelbauer has been fostering for me, found his forever home on Friday with new friend Amy Bolger. Yay for Mickey, renamed Murphy.

And yay for John, who is now fostering Chester McBee. John met him last night and decided that Valentino suits him better than Mac. And, once I read about Rudolph Valentino, dubbed “the Latin Lover,” I agreed. Poor Chester Lexi. — see previous post for her encounters with prepubescent Mac.

John started calling him “Tino” for short, but this didn’t work, because Mac thought he was in trouble every time John said “Ti-NO.” And Mac’s a jumpy little guy already. So, John started calling him Rudolph, Valentino’s first name, then Ruddy for short, and then Roo. We’ve decided that Roo is perfect, because of both the nod to the Latin lover and to Kanga’s son Roo, of Winnie the Pooh fame. — because, well, Mac is a jumpy little guy.

John opening his door to Mac “Roo” enabled me to open my door to Chester North.

I think Chester North is part Ewok and submit the following close-up as evidence:

However, his paperwork lists him as a Pekingnese/Shih Tzu mix. I looked this up, and apparently, he’s a “designer” mix:

And, so far, he hits all of the Shih-teze characteristics: Check for loving, smart and friendly; check for easy to train (he paws at the door when he needs to go out); and check, especially, for the “mighty heart for small size” part.

He’s 3 years old, fully vetted, neutered and micro-chipped.

Scott asked me last night if there would be another dog when he got home from work today, after making a point of showing me how low our checking account is. (He does that so often, though, that it has sort of lost all effect.)

“I don’t know if I’ll get a dog tomorrow,” I said honestly, because I’m sane enough to know that I’m at my limit. — that at this point, I can only get smaller dogs that are easy to place.

He sighed. “Yes there will be. Because that’s how you roll.”

But, I did call the shelter first to see if they had such a dog, one that needed out and that would be relatively easy to place.

Enter North. The designer mix. Poor North was relinquished by his owner, who was moving and unable to take him. Foreclosure perhaps? The owner seems to have loved him, and stressed to the shelter workers all she could think of to make him desirable: his breed, the fact that he’s housetrained, etc. She had given him his monthly flea treatment. She left his orange and black Harley Davidson collar. And then she had to go. North was heartbroken, of course.

Yes, we’ve seen lots of puppy-dog-eyes in his quiet moments:

So, to honor his first owner, his nickname will be Harley. That fits him better than Chester North anyway. My system of naming foster dogs, alphabetically, after SC towns/cities/counties sort of falls apart with some letters. — like N, and especially X and Z.

One more thing: I’ve taken to hiding dogs around the house, because I like to make life fun for Scott. Before I left for work, I put Harley behind the closed door of our bedroom. Scott didn’t see him when he went to change clothes, but he left the bedroom door open and came back from the kitchen to find Harley, sprawled out on the couch.

Then, I got home from work.

Me: “What’s that?! Did you get a dog?! I thought we didn’t have any money!”

Scott: “You got the dog.”

Me: “No. Today’s my long day at work. You know that. I wouldn’t have had time to get a dog.”

Scott: “Bullsh*t.”

Harley: “Woof.”

Featuring Current Fosters (9/11/2011): Chesters Lexi and Mac. And the Pups.

September 11, 2011

Chester Lexington; Pulled: Friday September 2, 2011 from City of Columbia Animal Shelter


Chester McBee; Pulled: Saturday September 3, 2011 from Melissa Ann McLaughlin-lein

Adoption commitments: None; still available.

Sweet Norfolk Terrier, Chester Lexi (see above), is currently being fostered by colleague and friend Sandra Keller. I was anxious to get Lexi into another home not because she’s too much trouble but because she’s much too sweet to have to deal with Chester Mac’s shenanigans (see below).

Yes, Mac seems to be cute and calm and free of all shenanigans. But, he’s a crazy man. He’s 4 months, which must be adolescence in dog time, because he is an 8 lb bundle of hormones. He can’t see Lexi without jumping on her back and bouncing against her obnoxiously.

Lexi has tried running away from him, growling/snapping at him, and simply ignoring him. But he’s been driving her and all of us crazy.

My vet recommended getting dogs spayed/neutered at 5-6 months. But, if I bring in Mac and put Lexi in front of him, I think he’ll agree to a 4-month old emergency neuter.

In the meantime, Lexi is getting the peace and quiet she deserves with Sandra, who she adores. Sandra came to get her this past Monday, and Lexi happily followed her to the car and jumped in, without a look back.

When I called Sandra to see how Lexi was doing, Sandra gushed about how well she was settling in. “But, she misses you, I’m sure,” she said, seeming to think that my feelings may be hurt otherwise.

No, Sandra. I KNOW that Lexi is right where she should be, and she knows it too!

And Arina is enjoying Mac, because she can carry him around so easily.

And I know that’s not the best photo of Mac, but he’s almost impossible to photograph. Sometimes I think he has more ferret in him than dog. His long legs enable him to run so fast and jump so high that, more often than not, he somehow ends up around your shoulders or on your head rather than in your lap.

Luckily, he’s a devoted little guy and doesn’t even have to be on a leash. He will stay beside you wherever you go. And we can let him outside and trust that he’ll sit, sunning, on the front porch. And I say “luckily” because with his energy and those legs, he could easily be in another state if he so chose.

And, in puppy news, Bradley has been spoken for! He’s the brown sweetie with the chubby cheeks. See him, below, giving still available sister, Hilda, a kiss. Bradley’s the sweet one, and Hilda’s the social one. She’s in the most puppy photos, because she’s the one who goes from pup to pup, cuddling and playing with ALL multiple times a day.

So, our four still available pups are:

From left to right: Fairfax (male), Elloree (female), Hilda (female) and Duncan (male).

Fairfax, my favorite, plays with a toy fox in the photo below. He’s the chatterbox of the bunch, vocalizing via whine whenever he wants something. — “something” being, most of the time, food or a cuddle. He has a super cute small brown spot where his tail starts (not pictured).

Elloree, often referred to as “the cow one,” is the go-getter. She plays to win, nibbling ears if the need arises in games of puppy wrestling. If we hear Hilda (Elloree’s favorite playmate) screech, we say, “play nice, Elloree” without even looking.

And Duncan is our laid-back pup. He rarely whines, and he’s the pup who can sleep anywhere, whether he’s surrounded by brothers and sisters or not. One day, I found him curled up in Scott’s toolbox, perfectly content. Unsurprisingly, here he is, giving in to Elloree’s bullying. “Whatever,” he seems to say.

If you’re interested in Lexi, Max, Duncan, Elloree, Fairfax or Hilda, contact me!

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

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

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

The Adventures of Edisto the Wonder Dog (i.e. his memorable mishaps). And Uncle Kincaid and the Pups

September 10, 2011

Chester Edisto

Pulled: Thursday June 2, 2011 from a local rescue

Adoption commitment: None; still available

We were worried about how Chester Edisto would react to losing pretty Chester Isla, renamed Lucy, who has found her forever home with Krystal Branch and family. E. has taken it surprisingly well, though, since lately he’s turned his attention to looking-better-by-the-day Chester Abbie Faith.

I watched them one morning. E. is an expert at breaking out of our backyard fence. There has been quite the battle in the Fisk household, between Edisto and Scott.

Battle, the first: E. dug under the chain link fence. S. stacked rocks under the fence. E. moved them. — who knows how. He’s a Wonder Dog, after all.

Battle, the second: S. attached chicken wire to the bottom of the chain link fence, stapling the wire to a buried piece of wood. E. pulled out the staples with his teeth.

Battle, the third: S. attached chicken wire to the bottom of the chain link fence, NAILING the wire to a buried piece of wood. E. stretched the chicken wire with his teeth and squeezed through.

Edisto seems to be breaking out to impress Abbie Faith. She always follows, and he always waits for her on the other side. But, she’s bigger than he is, and often has more trouble getting through. I’ve watched E. on the other side, digging to help her out, while she digs from inside the fence. As soon as she’s through, E.’s tail starts wagging and they’re off.

We’ve gotten several calls, thanks to E.’s “home again” tag, so S. has made several trips to pick them up at whichever house they decide to crash. One day, he had all three of them (Ed, Abbie, and Kincaid) in the bed of his pickup truck, when E. decided to try for the ultimate romantic expression. He jumped from the moving vehicle and waited on the side of the road for Abbie to follow. Smart girl that she is, she did not. So, E. is left with asphalt scratches on his knees and chin. And wounded pride.

Still, Scott admits it was quite the sight. — seeing, from the side view mirror, E. flying through the air, ears flapping in the wind.

Oh, Edisto. You’re such a Wonder Dog. And a Goober.

And, Chester Kincaid

Pulled: Thursday August 25, 2011 from City of Columbia Animal Shelter

Adoption commitment: None; still available

See Kincaid, above, sad because he got in trouble for pulling on and tearing a hole in S.’s hammock. We can’t stay mad at Kincaid, though, because he’s become everyone’s favorite uncle.

Now that Edisto and Abbie Faith have teamed up, Kincaid is left to tend to the pups. — a job he takes very seriously. See, below, his morning ritual of checking on and being mobbed by the youngest six Fisk fosters.

The pups LOVE Kincaid. He’s much more patient with them than their mother. They always seem to hope that he’s developed teats filled with milk during the middle of the night, and Kincaid always stands patiently until they figure out that, no, that did not happen.

Well, he stands patiently until one of them inevitably mistakes his . . . um . . . masculinity for a teat, and then he moves very quickly.

Poor Kincaid.

I always try to come to the rescue quickly with some puppy formula: 1 can of evaporated milk, 1 can of water, an egg, a dab of honey and wet puppy food.

Never being much of a cook, I’m proud of myself for being able to make something that someone seems to think is delicious. And, I’m saving¬† money in the process, since the puppy powder formula I was buying at the pet store was $25 a can and only lasted a few days.

So, Kincaid stays with the pups while I fix breakfast. Then, they eat. Then, they play and sleep for the rest of the day, with me or Kincaid or the kids or Emily (our fabulous neighbor from across the street), checking on them periodically.

Relieved to be off duty, Abbie Faith avoids them as much as possible and growls at them if they try to nurse . . . which makes Kincaid bark at her angrily . . . which makes E. dislike Kincaid. So, yes, lots of Fisk foster family drama.

Remember: Nearly the entire pack (Abbie Faith, Edisto, Kincaid and 5 of the 6 pups) are available for adoption. Scott says “Remember, PLEASE.” And so does pretty blue-eyed Hilda, below, who would love a forever home.

Upcoming post will feature other current fosters, Chesters Lexi and Mac.