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

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.

2 Responses to “Chester Fairfax Pulls Through. And Edisto Apologizes to the Neighbors.”

  1. Mae Kilker Says:

    I adore reading about Chester Edisto. I wish I could have a dog at our new place, because I would take him in a heartbeat. He has so much personality!

  2. fisknp Says:

    I wish you could have a dog too! We’d take a road trip to get Ed to you! He’d love to be a Kilker/Higgins. — but who wouldn’t? Miss you guys!

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