Archive for October, 2011

Update: A-Z Where Are They Now? Chester Edisto Finds a Foster!

October 30, 2011

Pulled: Thursday June 2, 2011 from a local rescue

Rescue commitment: Friday October 21, 2011 by Last Chance Animal Rescue

Yay for Edisto, star of my memorable mishaps folder! He’s found a foster home in New York with the fabulous Lindsey Schick. — fabulous both because she is fostering Chester Edisto, the Wonder Dog and also because she is striking a pose in her facebook profile picture with none other than Daniel Radcliffe.

Yep. That’s Edisto’s foster mom, with Harry freaking Potter. Would you expect any less of Edisto’s foster mom, though?

Edisto’s SC fans read that he was without foster home via LCAR’s facebook status update:

“Edisto is sad, he is in need of a foster home and no one is able to help him out. Can you host this sweet boy?”

There was talk about starting a BEB (Bring Edisto Back) movement, and I half expected to see Ed sitting in front of the door each time I opened it. It would have been just like him, Superhero Goober that he is, to hitch rides back to the South in his own crazy version of Homeward Bound.

Thanks to Barbara Bolt, who lit candles for Edisto on St. Jude’s feast day, Edisto found foster before we had to go there or he had to come here. I’m convinced that the prayers did it, because Saint Jude is the patron saint of hopeless causes and surely has a soft spot for Ed.

Lindsey reports that she LOVES Edisto, and that if she could adopt him and still foster, she would. She hopes her neighbors will adopt him, since their granddaughter (who is normally scared of dogs) has taken a liking to him.

I had a moment of fear when I read that Lindsey’s fence blew down during Hurricane Irene and that they’ve temporarily repaired it with chicken wire. So far so good, though. Lindsey speculates that E. is still nervous about invisible bees.

She says that he has been very well-behaved (way to go, E!), though she thinks he would benefit from anti-anxiety medication. And maybe some anti-depressants too.

The depression, I’m sure, is from losing pretty red-head Ravenel.

Here’s to Ed finding a new object of affection soon. And to Lindsey for taking on this Goober of a foster dog!

Chesters Yemassee and Dalzell, and a costly memorable mishap

October 30, 2011

Pulled: Friday October 28th, 2011 from Richmond County Animal Shelter/Middle Mutts

Adoption commitments: Rescued and adopted! Zeus was adopted by fabulous Foster Mom, Trina Shealy

Meet Chester Y, my Chester Yemassee and Middle Mutts’ Yabby. I think the name Yabby suits better than Yemassee (her sister’s name is Gabby and is in foster already). Yabby is 1 year, a Hound mix, spayed, up-to-date on vaccinations, and heartworm negative. She’s an energetic, sweet dog.

And meet Chester Z, a stray named Turbo. I’ve renamed Turbo. — twice. To keep with my system of naming fosters (Chester + SC town/city/county), I named him DalZell, which is the second of only two SC towns/cities/counties that even has a letter Z. But Dalzell is a truly horrible name. Casey says that it makes him sound like a drag queen.

So, I’ve been calling him Zeus instead. It starts with Z, and I love naming such a little squirrel of a guy after the King of the Gods. Zeus is 2 years, a Yorkie mix, up-to-date on vaccinations, and heartworm negative. I’ll schedule his neuter surgery this week.

On Friday after work, Jack and I took Chesters Salley and Union Chance to Rockingham, so that they could take the LCAR van to fabulous homes in New York. Chance has a home waiting for him already, and Whitney said that she’ll find a home for Salley in two seconds. After all, Salley looks like a Park Avenue purse dog.

I told my friends at the shelter that I could take either four more puppy fosters (since 2 puppies = 1 medium sized dog) or two medium-sized/small adults. Tessie, one of the many ladies we love at RCAS, showed me two of the dogs she most wanted to see out of there: Yabby and Turbo. So, I’ll foster Yabby, since she needs a backyard to run in, and I’ll send Zeus to foster-in-crime Trina.

I left satisfied, thinking that it will be nice to have a break from puppies, since they tend to get underfoot and nip at ankles. But, I quickly learned that the good thing about puppies is that they are much more transportable. Before I was out of NC, Yabby had torn a hole in my brand new custom made dog kennel and she and Zeus were wrecking havoc on my brand new dog-friendly 2011 Honda Element.

SIGH. Remember how excited I was about my car? I introduced it here:

By the time I got to McBee to pick up Jack, who I had left with Nana and Pop, Yabby had not only chewed through the kennel, but also both harness straps on the car seats and (very nearly) one of the backseat shoulder straps. I would post a photo of the shoulder strap, which is hanging on by a thread, but it’s too depressing. And there’s a hole in one of the back seat covers.

To top it all off? I was so anxious to get them out of my freaking car, that I sped up to pull into my parents’ garage. I figured that I needed to be in the garage, so that I could put the doors down. My parents’ yard isn’t fenced, and I didn’t want the dogs to bolt. I pulled in . . . and forgot that the luggage box was on top of the car. Result: a ruined luggage box and a banged up garage for Mom and Dad.

We’ve figured it up, and the grand total is about $1000 worth of damage.

Luggage box=$600; kennel=$100; replacement carseat harnesses (which we have to buy asap)=$120 ($60×2); replacement shoulder strap (which we have to buy asap)=$70; car seat covers=$250.

I had a couple of strategies for breaking the news to Scott.

Strategy, the first: “Well, I saw a car flipped over on the side of the road on the way back. Perspective! Now we have it!” He wasn’t going to argue with that, of course, but he still looked gloomy.

Strategy, the second: “Well, we got the dog friendly car, so maybe the tears just give it character. — kind of like what Kincaid did to the doggy welcome mat.”

Scott’s response: “I would have preferred to make at least one car payment before giving it ‘character.'”

“Maybe we can do a chip-in link for the car?” I ventured. Scott rolled his eyes at me.

So, I gave up, drank three glasses of wine, and went to bed.

Lessons learned:

1) A car labeled “dog friendly” is not “dog proof.” Dog friendly means that it’s a good car for friendly, well-behaved dogs. Henceforth, I will only transport rescue dogs of destructive chewing ability in a plastic kennel with metal bars.

2) That I am, as Casey often tells me, “a hot mess.” And by hot, he doesn’t mean attractive. He means “capable of burning.”

Arina, at least, was delighted to see the new fosters. See, below, Arina with Yabby, the chewing fiend:

And, below, Arina with Zeus, Yabby’s happy  accomplice:

Message me if you’re interested in Yabby or Zeus. Yabby comes in a plastic/metal kennel.

Chester Morven, the Nanny Dog; and a memorable mishap

October 29, 2011

Pulled: Friday October 21, 2011 from Richmond County Animal Shelter

Adoption commitment: None, still available

With Morven, I may be a foster failure. I’ve been trying to talk Scott into making him a permanent member of my support staff. Why? Because Morven is an excellent nanny dog.

We’ve decided that he’s a Sheltidoodle or a Shepadoodle. — a cross between either a Shetland or Old English Sheepdog and a Poodle. I think he’s a Sheltidoodle, since the following description of the Shetland Sheepdog fits him perfectly:

“Very intelligent, lively and trainable, the Shetland Sheepdog is one of the smartest breeds. With intelligence comes the need to occupy their minds. They like to be kept busy. The Sheltie is above all an intelligent herder, capable both of commanding large cattle and holding small sheep in check.”

According to the information I’ve read, these particular sheepdogs need a job. If they aren’t given a job herding sheep or cattle, they’ll find their own job. Morven has decided that his job is Jack.

I first noticed this when I put Jack atop our very tall bed to change his diaper. I went to throw away the diaper, at which point Morven started barking, as though scolding me. The next thing I knew, he was up on the bed with Jack, bouncing from left to right, right to left, until he had herded Jack to the middle of the bed, so that he was in no danger of falling off.

Since then, they’ve been inseparable. Jack’s favorite activity is running from room to room while pushing his toy airplane walker.

Morven follows behind him, tail wagging, while carrying one of Jack’s toys or blankets in his mouth. See, below, Morven with Jack’s toy dog:

He also insists on sleeping in Jack’s room at night. He sleeps atop Jack’s chest of drawers, on the changing pad, so that he can literally watch over him.

The shelter director, Allison, told me that Morven was owner-surrendered, because he was “too protective” of the owner’s son. And, indeed, Morven takes his job very seriously. If I pick up Jack to tote him around on my hip, Morven barks. — because Jack should be on the floor with him, where it’s safer.

And Morven and my mother are constantly at odds. Mom thinks Morven should be an outside dog, since he doesn’t have the house-training thing down completely, but when she tried to pick him up and put him out, he bit her hand. I tried to explain to Mom that she was taking him away from his job, and that he can’t be separated from Jack, but to no avail. When Mom babysits, Morven goes outside and spends his day trying to gnaw his way back inside to his charge. So, Mom is Morven’s public enemy #1.

Scott is Morven’s public enemy #2, because he is similarly annoyed by Morven’s urine marking and agrees with Mom about the outside dog thing. Yes, Edisto’s old male wrap is in the washing machine as I type and is about to become Morven’s male wrap.

Poor Morven. — although I’m very sorry about your hand, Mom, and I had a serious talk with Morven. I told him that you’re the alpha Nana, not him. I think he gets it.

I find it interesting that the quality that would cause one mother to relinquish Morven is the very one that makes me want to keep him. I suppose career mothers, or those to whom mothering comes more naturally, would be annoyed by a dog that claims to know more about caring for children than they do. I, on the other hand, appreciate the advice and the help.

Morven: frantic barking

Me: “Oh! Yes, you’re right, Morven. Jack probably shouldn’t be on the kitchen counter.”

See Morven below, calling for assistance. Jack is unable to reach a toy in his toy box, and Morven is sounding the SOS.

And, now, for my favorite memorable mishap featuring Morven:

On Thursday, we were already late for school; then, on our way out the door, Morven slipped by us and starting running through Hamptonwood East. I took off after him, and was quite the sight in my pajama pants, fuzzy socks, rain boots, tank top and fancy corduroy jacket. (I count on remaining in the car and unseen when dropping off A. in the mornings.)

I chased him for ten minutes before realizing that all I have to do is put Jack in the middle of the street. (FYI: we live on a very quiet dead-end street. Trust me. There are kids in the street all the time.)

But, as it turns out, I only had to open the car door. As soon as Morven saw Jack, he jumped right in and took station by his car seat.

Good dog, Morven.

I think it’s appropriate to close with the scene from Peter Pan that introduces Nana, the nursemaid dog. This is perfect on a variety of levels, not the least of which is Mr. Darling as Scott.

Poor Nana.

Chesters Williston and BordeauX

October 22, 2011

Pulled: Friday October 21, 2011 from Richmond County Animal Shelter

Adoption commitment for Willie: Thursday October 27, 2011 by Trina Shealy

Adoption commitment for BordeauX: Saturday October 22, 2011 by Lisa Bailey

Meet Chesters W and X, squared.

Chester Williston, or Willie, is a 6-8 week old Dachshund mix:

Chester BordeauX, or Daphne, is the last pup from the Chorkie litter, also 6-8 weeks.

Yes. Daphne is the tiniest 6-8 week old puppy I’ve ever seen. And, yes, she does appear to be winking. We kept her shelter name, Daphne, to honor one of the vet techs, who is particularly fond of this sweet pup. Thank you for taking such good care of her, Ashley!

So, to recap: Scott has asked that I limit the Fisk fosters to three at a time. And, since he let me get a puppy mobile, I am really trying to stick to that limit. I had one foster when I left for Richmond County (Salley), which meant I could get two fosters for myself and two for Trina.

(Trina had been fostering Duncan and Fairfax for me and is having empty nest syndrome. And can I take a moment to say that she is the foster of my dreams? I show up with Duncan and Fairfax, and she has a clothes-basket full of supplies for me: food, treats, toys, and even puppy poop bags. I love you, Trina!)

The plan: Chance and Willie for Trina; Daphne and Timmy for me.

But then I saw Morven; and a Weimaraner with a broken front leg that was flapping about uselessly, like Isla’s; and a quarantined litter of seven puppies suffering from mange. “I’ll give you these seven if you’ll take them. No fee,” Allison said, “I don’t want to see them put down.”

I looked at Casey in desperation. “We should take the misfits,” I told him.

“And leave the others?” Allison asked. “They all need out.”

“Maybe we can take them all,” I said.

But, then,  Casey explained and Allison agreed that it wouldn’t be wise to take the seven puppies with mange along with the healthy ones we had already committed to take. And this is why Scott insists that I take Casey with me wherever I go.

The compromise: We promised Allison to try to raise money, so that she can afford to vet the pups with mange. Then, I had to choose between the Isla-like Weimaraner and Morven. Easy. Morven was scared, the Weimaraner wasn’t. — though I still want to go back for her. Get a glimpse of  how beautiful she is, below:

I thought, “I’ll only have one foster more than Scott’s limit. He has to give me an ‘A’ for effort.”

But, we had another problem. Because Morven wasn’t being very friendly (and by “not very” I mean “not at all”), we were nervous about crating him with the four puppies. Allison offered to send us with a crate, but we hated to take from her supply, since we’re sure she uses everything! Casey and I were standing there, wondering what to do, when we saw the following puppy tote bags for sale:

Only $30 for the one on the left, and $10 for the one on the right. Casey and I would have two pups each. “Sold!” we said.

Here’s Casey, with his bag of pups:

And here I am, with mine:

Neither Casey nor I will win any awards for our photography, clearly. Casey is squinting, because I told him to pose with the sun in his eyes. And there is a tiny bit of Jack in the photo he took of me. I like it, though, because you can see by the huge grin on Jack’s face that he’s a fan of puppy tote bags.

Before we left the shelter, Allison was glowing over the fact that we pulled all the Chorkies, an entire litter, even though it was a small one. “See!” she said, holding up a folder’s worth of paperwork. “Beautiful!”

Then, at that moment, a woman walked in with a cardboard box of three puppies to surrender. “I can’t have any more pups,” she said! “This is my dog’s third litter!”

I think we all heaved a collective sigh.

“Can you give a donation?” one of the shelter workers said. “We’re packed, and vetting is expensive.”

“I only have $2.00,” the woman said.

“Will you get your dog spayed?” she asked. “If not, you’ll be right back here.”

The woman said that she would if she  could, but that she’s poor.

“It’s only $37,” Allison said, “if you can provide proof of need.”

The woman was able to prove it; she had food stamps with her. She wrote down all the info she needed, but she said that she’d have to wait to see how far she could stretch her next check.

Casey and I looked at each other. 3 pups out, 3 pups in. That quickly. Allison was back at zero on the puppies.

She looked so dejected that I passed her my credit card and turned to the woman. “Bring your dog in next week,” I said. “I’ll pay for it. If you don’t come next week, though, the $37 will go to the shelter as a donation. Make sure you come!”

The woman hugged both of us, me and Casey. Like Casey said when we were leaving, “she wants to care for her dog.” But, with the economy like it is, that’s difficult for a lot of people.

So, thank you, Ashley Smith, for your recent $25 donation to Fisk Fosters. And congratulations! You helped spay a dog!

What did Mom say about the bundle of sleeping pups?

And Scott?

Neither said much, after Casey pointed out that we went for four healthy pups, and I wanted the dog that growled at everyone; the dog with a broken leg; and the seven puppies with fleas and worms and mange. — that I very nearly came back with a lot more.

And that’s why I like to take Casey with me wherever I go.

Plus, Scott’s not going to say much when there’s a dachshund involved:

Sure, he talks a good game, but he was diapering Quinby by the end of her stay with us. And I got a thank you note for a $25 donation (which I didn’t send), from Pets with Disabilities.

“What’s this?” I asked him. He shrugged. “Well, they do good work,” he muttered.


Let me know if you’d be interested in adopting Willie, who is the odd man out in a litter of Chorkies. — but an awfully cute odd man out.

Chester Morven

October 22, 2011

Pulled: Friday October 21, 2011 from Richmond County Animal Shelter

Adoption commitment: None, still available

Meet Morven, a 1-year-old Schnauzer mix.

Out of all the dogs we saw at the shelter (and there were TONS), Morven was clearly the most terrified. He was in the farthest corner of his kennel, shaking from head to toe, and growling.

“He hasn’t let anyone touch him since he got here,” Allison explained. To illustrate, she walked in, speaking kindly to him. He amplified the growling and snapped.

“I’ll take him!” I said, though he wasn’t part of the plan. We were supposed to get puppy fosters, two for me and two for my foster-in-crime, Trina. But, Whitney from Last Chance always tells me to get as many as I want (which is all of them, but alas). And, I still have a thing for Heathcliff dogs.

Casey looked at me like I was a crazy person. Allison looked at me like she’d hit the lottery.

Twenty minutes later, while Casey was snapping photos of pups left behind and Allison was up front, I walked in with Morven on a leash.

Allison: “How’d you do that?!”

Casey, underwhelmed: “It’s what she does.”

My secret? I just struck an Edisto pose (belly down, arms out) right there on the concrete in front of his open kennel door. — kind of a “put your hands up” pose, but flat on the ground. He was intrigued. I then tried to give him water and food out of my hands. He decided that he didn’t like the food, but that he liked me. Hurrah!

I still haven’t been able to give him a bath, yet. He doesn’t trust me that much. — but baby steps.

The name, of course, was a problem. His previous owners, who had surrendered him (apparently because he was too protective of their kids), named him Bubba. Casey and I agreed that he isn’t a Bubba. Plus, he’s my V. — another sad letter for naming fosters.

But, on the way home:

Casey: “I know! Morven!”

Me: “Awesome! But where’s Morven?”

Casey: “We’re in it!”

Morven is in North Carolina, rather than South Carolina, but it’s the first NC town we hit after SC, so it’s close. Plus, Morven’s a NC dog anyway. Morven reminds us both of the name Mordred, King Arthur’s nemesis, and seems to fit such a growling fluff of a guy.

We were confirmed in our decision after getting to my parents’ house in McBee and seeing the following sign about a second from my house:

This prompted Casey to roll his eyes at me and say that I’m one of the least observant people he knows.

More to come on Morven, who I’m convinced is the sweetest dog ever underneath his growl. He has taken to Jack and is napping by his crib as I type.

I’ll write again, post bath (his, not mine).

Chesters Timmonsville and Union Chance

October 22, 2011

Pulled: Friday October 21, 2011 from Richmond County Animal Shelter

Adoption commitment for Timmonsville: Sunday October 23, 2011 by Miriam Crow; renamed Scout.

Adoption commitment for Union Chance: October 21, 2011 through Middle Mutts/Last Chance Animal Rescue.

Meet my Chester T squared, who we will call Timmy:

and my Chester U squared, who we will call Union “Chance.” As my 47th foster, Chance falls victim to my unfortunate system of naming fosters (Chester + SC town/city/county). There are only two U’s (Ulmer and Union). So, his Middle Mutts/Last Chance Animal Rescue name fits him best: Chance.

Timmy and Chance are teeny tiny balls of fluff, as you can see. They’re Yorkie/Chihuahua mixes, or Chorkies, 6-8 weeks old.

My mother, who is both tolerant of and exhausted by my fostering made one request after I left with Edisto, Ravenel, and Abbie Faith’s pups: “No more puppies for awhile.”

Sorry, Mom.

After dropping the Fisk Foster pack in Chesterfield, Casey and I went half an hour north to Richmond County Animal Shelter. We met the shelter director, Allison, who we adore, and she gave us a tour of the place. She is taking in more animals that she’s adopting out, she hates to euthanize any of her “children,” as she calls them (did I say we love her?), and asked for our help. Done and done. — and we’ll be doing some more.

Here’s the Catch 22 with puppies: (1) on the one hand, they have a greater chance of being adopted in a shelter. — because they’re SO stinking cute; (2) BUT, they also have a much greater risk of not surviving to be adopted from the shelter. Like newborn babies, puppies have a much weaker immune system. So, putting puppies in a shelter is like putting newborns in an airplane (another closed, confined space) with a bunch of sick people. Not a good idea. — although Allison, to her credit, is as smart and good as they come and was separating the puppies to the best of her ability.

I didn’t always know about the newborn baby/puppy connection, nor did Mom, though it makes sense, of course.

When I was in elementary school, a stray dog had a litter of puppies by our house. Mom said that I could keep only one. And there was one that ADORED me. He would follow me around everywhere, and I remember becoming so frustrated with him at one point that I put him in a wheelbarrow and went about my business. He cried so loudly, though, that I took pity and went back to get him.

Still, I couldn’t be convinced that he was the one for me. I had my heart set on the dark, brooding dog of the litter, who wouldn’t approach anyone. — the Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights dog. SIGH. We adopted that one, an animal control officer came to get the mother dog and the rest of the litter, and the one I chose ran away within the week.

It remains to this day one of my biggest regrets, and if we knew then what we know now, I think Mom would agree that we wouldn’t have sent any of them.

So, fostering puppies from shelters is my way of paying my karmic debt.

And, when they’re this cute, it’s an easy debt to pay:

Chance has a home! Last Chance Animal Rescue posted his sweet photo, and he was requested in a heartbeat. But, if you’re interested in Timmy, his brother Chorkie, let me know!

Update: Timmonsville has a home with our neighbors, the Crows!

Update to A-Z: Where are they now? Edisto FINALLY catches the bus.

October 22, 2011

Chester Edisto was my fifth foster. Forty five fosters later, Edisto has finally caught the bus to New York and (hopefully) his forever home. He’ll be featured in an adoption event today, hosted by the fabulous Last Chance Animal Rescue, and, if he’s not adopted, he has a foster family in NY waiting for him.

“And then?” my friend Casey asked.

“And then he’ll be featured in the next weekend’s adoption event. And the next. Until he’s adopted.”

Casey and I laughed for fifteen minutes at least, imagining Edisto as the star in a sort of Doggies in Tiaras reality tv show.

We got to the bus pick-up point, Chesterfield, SC, and started unloading. Casey took Edisto, who immediately started going in the opposite direction.

Because the drivers of the bus weren’t quite ready to go, they set up some pens, so that Edisto and Ravenel, and the pups, could enjoy being outside in the sun before the 12-15 hour drive.

When they opened the door to the pen for Edisto, he went down on his belly, with his four legs spread out.

“Yep, that’s Edisto,” we said. “That’s what he does.”

He felt much better, though, once he was penned with Ravenel, pretty red-head that she is:

Here’s Ravenel, with a big grin. — and rightly so. She already has a potential adopter lined up through Last Chance Animal Rescue!

We asked that the drivers crate Edisto and Ravenel together, in hopes that her enthusiasm would rub off on Ed.

And we asked that the drivers crate Abbie Faith’s remaining four pups together:

The pups, along with Abbie Faith, will be dropped in Virginia on the way to New York. They’re going to be trained as service dogs for veterans through the organization Dog Tags. — well, all except for Elloree, because someone in New York fell in love with her photo and asked to adopt her.

Please visit the Dog Tags facebook page and give them a big thumbs up, for Abbie Faith and pups:

We couldn’t be prouder of the pups, and we think they’ll make fantastic service dogs. And yay for Abbie Faith! Tracy said that she’ll now be able to pay her karmic debt for terrorizing Yorkshire cats. Way to give back to the community, Abbie Faith.

So, to recap: Ravenel has an adopter lined up, and Abbie Faith and pups will be trained and assigned to veterans with PTSD and other disabilities. The only one who has a foster, rather than adopter, lined up is . . . Edisto. Of course. SIGH.

Still, we have HIGH hopes for today and told Edisto so before we left.

By the way: When I asked Casey the night before if he’d like to go “doggy adventuring” with me the next day, he was up for it immediately. But, when I told him that our mission was, particularly, to get Edisto on that bus to New York, he said:

“Omg, this should be ridiculously awesome.”

And it was.

Best of luck, Chester Edisto. We love you, you big Goober. I wouldn’t have such an awesome number of “Memorable Mishaps” blog posts, if it weren’t for you.

In Praise of Dachshund Rescue of North America

October 16, 2011

Hurrah for Quinby! Karen, a representative from Dachshund Rescue of North America, picked her up today. So, Q is off to Cummings, GA, to be spoiled and rehabilitated and spoiled some more.

We had all gotten so attached to Quinby. Me. The kids. The pups. Just look at Quinby and Elloree, below:

I even overheard Scott, who pretends that he’s only along for the fostering ride, tell Quinby affectionately, “Bye, Q. I really liked you. You’re a good girl.” He went so far as to say we would have kept her, if we could have given her the attention she needs, the attention that DRNA is experienced in providing.

My DRNA contact described Quinby’s new foster mother Karen as “the best” of the best. Quinby will be Karen’s second “cart” dog. Karen found a forever home for the first one, even flying with her to Massachusetts to get her there. And she’s fostered other dachshunds with back injuries, some of them improving enough to leave the cart behind.

Karen said that Q will be visiting an acupuncturist, and that she’ll have surgery, no matter how expensive, if surgery is an option. And, if not . . . well . . . Karen said Q will be a “fine ambassador” for DRNA, just as she is.

And we all agree. So, as a goodbye to Quinby, our top five favorite things about her:

(5) That she has a tongue like Mr. Winkle.

Scott and I have always been fans of Mr. Winkle, the stray that became a doggie modeling sensation after being rescued and adopted by photographer Lara Jo Regan. We buy his calendar every year. We’re convinced that he’s dead now. Wikipedia lists his birthyear as c. 1995, and he wasn’t a pup when found. But, the calendars keep coming every year. And every year we buy them.

One of the most remarkable things about Winkle is his tongue, which is out all the time because of a jaw injury. Quinby doesn’t have a jaw injury that we know of, but when she’s relaxed, her tongue will slip out, just like Mr. Winkle’s. One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t get a photo, but every time I crept up with the camera, she pulled in the tongue. If only I could have convinced her that it adds to her cuteness, I would have had the next Ms. Winkle.

So, Karen, if you can convince her to stick out the tongue on demand: Get Lara Jo on the phone.

(4) That she looks and acts like a seal.

Well, that’s not the best photo to illustrate the fact that she looks and acts like a seal, but you can kind of see how her back legs just sort of flop over, like flippers.

Quinby’s front legs are so strong that she’s able to carry her back weight easily. In the mornings, we loved hearing her distinctive “click, click, thump” keeping up speed with Emma’s and Knightley’s “click, click, click, click.”

Also like a seal, she puts a lot of expression in her neck, turning it this way and that, especially when she has an itch that needs scratching. Scratching: difficult to do if you’re a dog and your two back legs don’t work like they’re supposed to. We always knew, though, when Q needed help by the way she craned her neck. And we were always happy to oblige.

(3) That she uses the toilet. — sometimes.

I have cleaned up a lot of potty accidents since getting Quinby. Dr. Currie had warned me that “the bathroom thing” would be “the hardest part” when I took Q in. He wasn’t sure she’d be able to feel when she has to go. And, we’re still not sure if she does or doesn’t. As a puppy mill dog (yes, we’re convinced she was one), she was probably never house trained, so it’s difficult to know whether it’s (A) that she can’t feel she has to go; or (B) that she just doesn’t know not to go in the house.

Regardless, for a few days I felt like I was cleaning up all the time. Scott and Jack didn’t help. When I started fostering, Scott agreed to it, but he said  I’d have to clean up any “dog pee and poop.” And he’s taken so much delight in pointing out potty accidents and watching me get to work with paper towels and cleaning solution that Jack has gotten in on the fun:

“Mommy! Pee!” he’ll say, pointing at water from an ice cube melting on the floor. “Mommy! Poop!” he’ll say, pointing at dirt A. has tracked in.


But, just when I was about at my wit’s end, I read a blog post written by a woman caring for a similarly disabled dog. She also talked about those days of endless potty accidents, and of coming to terms with them. — which she finally did when she started repeating the following as a mantra:


And indeed there are.

Once I relaxed, Q did too. And then she used the toilet. — several times, for both me and Scott. We couldn’t have been more proud of her.

(2) That she has spunk.

Quinby’s back legs may not work like they used to, but her nose still does. And, when she picks up a scent, she’s off. — whether that means she has to hop or roll.

Jump off a couch? No big deal.

Bounce/roll down a flight of stairs? Not a problem

Knock larger, more fit dogs out of the way? Done and done.

It’s like Q doesn’t know that she’s different. Or, if she does, she just thinks it works to her advantage.

(1) That she’s a cyborg wiener dog.

Really: enough said.

Finally, I’m thankful for Quinby, because she’s the reason I met the wonderful people who work with Dachshund Rescue of North America. I sent the following email on the day I picked up Quinby, Sept. 22:

“Dear friends at Dachshund Rescue,

I’m in Columbia, SC, and I foster dogs. At the local kill shelter I pull from, they were about to euthanize an owner-surrendered 5 year old dachshund, because she has lost control of her two back legs. HOWEVER, she does not seem as though she’s in pain, and moves enthusiastically by crawling, using her two front legs. She eats and drinks enthusiastically too. I just got her twenty minutes ago, and I admit that I’m out of my league. I just didn’t want to see her put down. Please advise.”

I got a response within the week. Please visit their web page and consider donating, in Q’s honor, so that they can continue the work they do so well:

And, no offense to the handsome dachshund in the featured photo on their web page, but I think Quinby should have a turn. 😉

Until then, I’ll close with one of my favorites: Q,curled up for a nap. Her tongue is sticking out, no doubt, but she’s hiding it from me.

Thank you, Karen, for giving her a safe place, where I know she’ll thrive. — because she’s Quinby. And thriving is what she does best.

Chester Salley

October 15, 2011

Pulled: Friday October 14, 2011 from City of Columbia Animal Shelter

Adoption commitment: None; still available

Meet Chester S squared:

I’m always thrilled when I follow my system of naming fosters (chester + SC town/city/county, alphabetically) AND, in doing so, I get to name the foster after someone. There is a town in SC named Salley. Who knew? And, I just happen to have had a great great Aunt Sally who I adored as a child. So I smile whenever I say Salley’s name.

Sweet Salley, a Yorkshire Terrier, was surrendered to our local kill shelter by a couple who had recently birthed a baby. “No dogs around the infant,” they said, “time to give away Miami.” SIGH. — both for the couples’ unwillingness to commit to both pet and infant, and for the name Miami, which doesn’t suit at all.

Here’s another photo. I told Salley that her hair was in her eye in the previous photo. So, I brushed it back, and we tried again.

Ah well. Salley was terrified in the shelter, and, though she was relieved to walk through my door, she ran from room to room, looking for the owners who had abandoned her. Yet again, an example of a dog showing more devotion than a human. She didn’t find them, but she found Arina, and spent the afternoon curled up on her lap, snuggling.

So, I feel sorry for the couples’ child, who has been deprived of a lap warmer. True, infants have no need of lap warmers, but Salley is only 2-3 years, so the child would have grown into her.

And I’m reminded of the time we introduced our mini-dachshunds, Emma and Mr. Knightley, to Jack. My doula had sent a baby blanket, with Jack’s scent, with my mother, days ahead of our arrival. So they were ready. “Do you want to see the baby?” we asked, on the day we got home from the hospital. They jumped around, excited, seeming to think that “baby” was some kind of treat. — or a new blanket at the least. Knightly, who is taller than Emma, jumped up on his own to sniff and see.

Then, we helped Emma.

Both accepted Jack as a member of the pack immediately, and then they got a dog bone each, proving that babies are treats indeed.

And what did Scott say about Salley? He went straight to the backyard when he got home from work, to cut the grass. I walked outside holding her.

“Hey,” he said, smiling. “You look great.”

“Thanks!” I said, while thinking, “WOW. This is going really well. I must really look good today.”

“Why are you smiling?” he asked.

“I’m just so glad you’re not mad at me!” I said.

“For what?” he asked, suspiciously.

“Um . . . for this,” I said holding out Salley.

He confessed that he thought I was holding Lexi, a Norfolk Terrier (also available for adoption) that one of my friends is fostering for me. Scott knows Lexi and knew that we would be puppy-sitting her for a couple of days. Is it just me or do Salley and Lexi look nothing alike?

I’m now convinced of what I’ve always suspected: I could have TWICE the number of fosters that I have, as long as the first set looks somewhat similar to the second. Scott will just think he’s seeing the same ones over and over again.

Wonderfully, though, ALL of the Fisk fosters at our house, except for Salley, are committed to forever homes or rescue:

(1) Gertie went to her new home on Thursday. She’s going to be living it up with another 10+ female senior in North Carolina. — the canine version of The Golden Girls.

(2) Quinby will be going to her new home with the Dachshund Rescue of North America tomorrow. I’m hoping they’ll make her a therapy dog.

(3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 ) And Edisto, Ravenel, and Abbie Faith’s pups will be New York bound this Friday to a fabulous weekend adoption event. *Fingers crossed* for them all; if they don’t find homes this weekend, they’ll go to foster homes in NY and wait for the next big adoption event.

So, really, it’s like I currently had no fosters when I picked up Salley. At least, that’s how I explained it to Scott. And Salley is snuggled up with him as I type, so it must have worked.

Let me know if you’d be interested in adopting sweet Salley! She’s up-to-date on vaccinations, spayed and micro-chipped. And, she’s house-trained. She’s great with people of all shapes and sizes, though my friend Lisa, who puppy-sat her briefly, said that she’ll try to be alpha-dog. She started bossing Pepper (previous Fisk foster York) almost as soon as she walked through the door.

She has since tried to boss Quinby (below), but quickly realized that she’s no match for a cyborg wiener dog and desisted. Smart girl, Salley.

Calling All Puppy-Sitters

October 12, 2011

This weekend, Scott and the kids and I will be spending time with family in Charleston. Scott’s sister and her family will be visiting from Texas. Hurrah for mini-breaks! Hurrah for visiting family!

As you might imagine, though, the pet-sitting bill for a foster home full of dogs is . . . well . . . pricey: $25.00 per visit for 3-4 dogs x 3 visits = $100.

We’ll be taking Quinby, of course, because (1) she’s our handicapable dachshund; and (2) Mrs. Fisk LOVES dachshunds and anything that Scott makes. So, we know she’ll be a huge fan of Quinby and her fabulous chair.

Mom and Dad will be puppy-sitting Emma and Mr. Knightley. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

So, that leaves:

(1) Edisto:

In true Edisto fashion, poor E. keeps missing the bus to New York. Last week, there was no room for him. So, we put his racing cap and sunshades aside for another week. But, today I found out from Whitney that there won’t be a bus this weekend. That means that a very disappointed Edisto will be here another week. He may get a little cheerier if he has another less-glamorous-than-NY but still fun place to visit this weekend.

(2) Elloree:

Elloree would enjoy spending the weekend: eating, cuddling, and playing. And then playing some more. And some more. Elloree, if you haven’t figured it out yet, has a lot of energy. She may look chill in the photo, above, but don’t let her fool you. She’s trying to figure out how to swing.

(3) Hilda:

Like her sister, Hilda likes to play. Unfortunately for your pants, Hilda’s favorite game is tugging. — on anything she can get her teeth on. So, make sure that your pants are belted. Pajama pants with elastic waistbands are no-nos around Hilda, unless you’re carrying her. But, really: how can you stay mad at that half-white/half-red face.

(4) Ravenel:

Ravenel will be your best friend as soon as she meets you. She’s our newest addition. I had a momentary scare when I came home right after getting her and realized, small girl that she is, she had squeezed under the front gate. (We’ve since fixed that.) However, she was just sitting there, waiting for me to get home, and was content to follow me back inside. She’s a good, sweet and friendly girl.

(5) And, finally, Lexie:

Normally, friend and colleague Sandra fosters Lexie, but she’s going out of town this weekend too. I’m surprised that I’ve had NO emails of interest about adopting Lexie. — especially since she’s the most well-behaved of the pack! If I were the one offering to puppy-sit, I’d choose Lexie. I can’t promise that E. won’t lift his leg to urine mark (though I’ll send his wrap with him), nor can I promise that the pups won’t have potty accidents (though I’ll send wee wee pads with them). BUT, I’ll bet you $10 that Lexie will be among the most perfect, well-mannered house guests you’ve ever had. — canine or human.

Let me know if you’d be willing to puppy-sit any of the above for us, from around Friday afternoon till Sunday afternoon. We’ll happily pay you in baked goods (which Scott will bake, since we want them to be edible). Plus, we promise to return the puppy-sitting favor, no baked goods required. After all, what’s one more dog at our house?

“Where’s Gertie?” you ask. She’s going to her new home tomorrow! Yay for FrankenGert! And, no, I have not yet fainted while administering the salve. — though I’ve not yet really administered it either. I close my eyes and squirt it. Thank goodness it’s of a runnier consistency that Neosporin.