Archive for October, 2011


October 8, 2011

One of my sweet fosters, Chester P squared, or Gertie Powdersville had to have surgery on Friday.

Those of you who have been reading my blog will remember that she is one of two seniors I pulled for Middle Mutts. Those of you who haven’t will be all caught up after reading this post:

Gertie had an FHO today: a Femoral Head Ostectomy. This will hopefully alleviate the pain in her left hip, caused by some sort of unknown trauma. We suspect she was hit by a car at some point between losing her owner and arriving at the shelter from which Middle Mutts pulled her.

She’s an old girl at 10-11 years, but she’s been doing great since surgery. Me: not so much. Here’s why.

From the front, Gertie looks exactly like she did before surgery! See her in the backyard, only a few hours ago, smiling as though she had been at the dog park or the puppy bakery rather than the animal hospital.

Here’s Gertie from her good side.

And . . . here’s Gertie from her not-so-good side:

A little background info about me:

Senior year. I was editor of the school yearbook, and was consumed with it, as I am with anything I set my mind to, whether it’s a yearbook, or a young Scott who is totally-uninterested-in-Nicole, or foster dogs. I attack it/him/them with reckless abandon.

As high school seniors, we were required to participate in Career Day. I was the last person to sign up to visit a local business/organization.

“What are you still doing here?” one of my teachers asked.

“My career is going to be in yearbooks,” I said, pulling out my cropping ruler to set up  a page. “I’m observing myself working on our yearbook. Great idea, huh?” — although Mrs. Dorn, the yearbook director, was all for it, the rest of the teachers weren’t. So, I half-hardheartedly scanned the list of businesses willing to open their doors, and set off for the local veterinary clinic.

I had no interest whatsoever in being a vet but thought if I had to go somewhere, at least I could see and spend time with cute animals.

I walked in and met the vet. “So, you’re interested in being a veterinarian!” she said, beaming. “Uh huh,” I lied, not wanting to hurt her feelings, since she seemed excited.

She walked me straight back to surgery, where she was working on a dog that had been hit by a car. I politely excused myself, went outside, and lost my breakfast.

Seeing Gertie made me very nearly lose my lunch. The bright red wounds. The medicated smell. The stitches. — old fashioned and huge, the kind that don’t dissolve but must be removed in 2 weeks.

She’s FrankenGert.

Yes, I had to lie down after this photo shoot. And I had to lie down again after reading in her post-op instructions that I will be applying salve to her wounds twice a day. — starting tomorrow.

It’s you and me, FrankenGert. Let’s do this. /shudder

Chester Ravenel

October 8, 2011

Pulled: Friday October 7th, 2011 from Barbara Knight

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

Meet Chester Ravenel, foster #44.

Scott has been on a business trip in Wisconsin since Tuesday. I picked him up at the airport last night.

Me: “So, we have the SAME number of foster dogs that we had when you left.”

Scott: “GOOD.”

Me: “We have a new one, though.”

Scott: “WHAT?!”

He was fine, when I explained that (1) Chester Bradley, one of Abbie Faith’s pups, was adopted (Yay for Bradley!); and (2) I got a phone call from Barbara, someone near my hometown, asking me to take in a stray.

Apparently, Ravenel wandered into Barbara’s friend’s yard and was being picked on by her other dogs. “We don’t want to take her to the local shelter, which is a kill shelter, but we also don’t want her to get hurt here,” Barbara explained.

“I’ll take her,” I said. “Of course!”

As you can see (above), Ravenel is a pretty girl, who seems to be part Golden Retriever. Arina was thrilled, since she says that she was missing Bradley (below), and that Ravenel looks like him, only bigger.

Well . . . bigger and a lot less wrinkly. But, because Ravenel is a 4-6 months pup versus a 2-3 month pup, Jack ADORES her. The 2-3 month pups are a bit too rambunctious for him now. Plus, Ravenel seems to be more of a Thomas the Train fan than the younger ones, and is content to watch Jack play for extended periods of time.

She interrupts the play only occasionally to give her favorite train conductor a kiss.

And Jack returns her affection by letting her lick the cinnamon and sugar, from his favorite Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, off his hands.

So, don’t worry about Ravenel, Barbara. She’s in good hands. Literally. And thanks for your donation towards her vetting! I thought I would have to use the money donated by my fabulous friend, Elizabeth and my fabulous cousin, Jill for that, but your donation will cover the spay and the shots.

Now I can tuck Elizabeth’s and Jill’s donations away for future fosters Chesters S and T squared. But, that will be our secret.

Shh. Don’t tell Scott . . .

The Fisk Fosters Enjoy Fall. And Quinby Uses the Toilet.

October 2, 2011

Poor Quinby. The vet warned us that because of Q’s injury, she may not be able to tell when she has to go to the bathroom. Scott and I still haven’t decided whether she knows or not. True, she often hops over to us and whines right before she goes, but that may be because she’s hopping over to us ALL THE TIME. — to be petted, to be fed a treat, to be given a toy.

So, to prevent cleaning up after Q’s “accidents,” we’ve been putting her in doggie diapers. To start with, we were paying $15 for a pack of 15. Yes. Doggie diapers are $1.00 apiece. Then, I figured out that Jack and Quinby wear EXACTLY the same size in diapers, so they’ve since been sharing, and I’ve been cutting out the hole for Q’s tail myself.

Q is not impressed.

She’s decided that she prefers to use the toilet. Scott and I watched a youtube video in which the owner of a handicapped dachshund enthusiastically described how she takes her handicapped dachshund “to potty.” Basically, she holds her over the toilet, pokes her in the bladder, and the dog goes in the toilet. “It’s easier than when she wasn’t handicapped, and I had to walk her and pooper-scoop!” she gushed.

So, we decided to try it. I held Q over the toilet, poked her where I imagined her bladder would be, and she went. Hooray for Q!

To celebrate, we went outside to enjoy the Fall day, but we had to snap this photo before going outside. See, below, Uncle Edisto and the pups, enjoying a Sunday afternoon nap:

Once outside, Q was all smiles:

Gertie ran up to greet us:

And, then, we were all mobbed by the pups:

Yes. In the photo, below, Bradley appears to be winking.

Of all the pups, B is the most fascinated with Aunt Q’s wheels and is always begging her for a ride . . .

. . . whereas Elloree, normally the go-getter of the group, hung back on the kids’ swing, unsure. Unsure, but awfully cute.

And Hilda, the smart one, decided to stay out of trouble and hang with Arina instead. — which may not be that smart, since trouble seems to find A. whether she’s at home or at school.

Finally, Arina decided to rescue Quinby by cuddling Bradley . . .

. . . and then cuddling Hilda, who needed it, because I had just washed her face, after noticing it was dirty in the photo, above.

Quinby, pup free at last! To celebrate, she strikes her most impressive pose. I’m sure she’s pretending she saw a squirrel. She’s pretending, because if she really saw a squirrel, she’d be using her wheels to run him over.

Seriously. We pup-sat for my parents this weekend. Joe and Harley were standing at one end of the hallway, Q at the other. She growled once before taking off. They scattered like bowling pins. Things were dicey, until they realized that they could get away from her by climbing the stairs.

Q’s next goal is to learn how to climb stairs. She can come down them in her chair but hasn’t quite mastered how to climb them. She already knows how to use a toilet, though, so I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

Another Memorable Mishap: Jack Feeds the “Pup Pups”

October 2, 2011

I decided to post a more cheerful memorable mishap than the last. My last lesson learned: just because dogs are good with other cat-sized dogs does NOT mean that they are equally good with cat-sized . . . cats. *sigh*

This happier memorable mishap involves Jack; foster dog Harley, Emma and Mr. Knightley; and stinky wet dog food.

I was sitting at my work desk, happily typing, and thankful that Jack was entertaining himself and not interrupting me. Then I smelled something stinky.

See Jack, with the stinkiest wet dog food we could find; if you remember, we were following Whitney’s instructions: stinky wet dog food + sick pup = sick pup eating. I had spooned out a bit for Fairfax and had forgotten to put away the can with the leftovers. I left it on the counter. Jack had apparently grown an inch taller overnight and was able to reach it.

He had left a breadcrumb trail of wet dog food on the floor. He had smeared it into the kiddie table. Clearly, he knows in this photo that he’s busted.

After I got the shot, I tried to coax the dog food and spoon out of his hand: “Come on, Jack,” I said sweetly, “just give me the pup pup food.” He squealed, ran to the kitchen, and plopped down on the floor.

Enter Mr. Knightley, and Harley:

This causes Jack to declare triumphantly that, yes, he WILL feed the pup pups, who are clearly hungry.

So, I thought “what the hell?” and snapped away. Jack took his job very seriously.

Below: He takes inventory and sees that he has more pups to feed than dog food left in the can. — too bad that he had already fed most of it to the kiddie table. Still he does what he can.

One scoop for Harley:

Uh oh. An empty can and more pups to feed . . .

So, Jack decides to let Emma lick the can:

And, then, of course, Knightley must get a lick too:

The results of this memorable mishap: a tabletop mess for me to clean (thankfully, the dogs took care of the wet dog food trail on the floor), a house that smells stinky, overly stuffed dogs, and a very satisfied-with-himself toddler.

Lessons learned: Make sure to put the stinky wet dog food out of the growing toddler’s reach.

Also: Life is messy. Life is fun.

Abbie Faith, Edisto and Kincaid: New York Bound! and an unfortunately memorable mishap

October 1, 2011

Yes! Chester Edisto the Wonder Dog will be hitting the Big Apple. I’m making an effort, at least, to honor my part of the “I’ll-get-you-a-car-if-you-start-fostering-like-a-normal-person” bargain with Scott.

So, the fabulous Last Chance Animal Rescue has agreed to feature Edisto and Kincaid, in addition to the dogs I was fostering for them (Abbie Faith and the pups) at their weekend adoption event on October 8th and 9th. My LCAR friend, Whitney, thinks that Edisto will be adopted immediately, because apparently people in NY are “crazy about Beagles.” It must be a Snoopy thing.

But anyone who is not adopted will be taken to a foster home in NY until the next weekend adoption event. And, yes, these adoption events are every week.

So, I have a week to get the pups spayed or neutered and to teach E. how not to be such a Goober.

As for Abbie Faith and Kincaid . . . well, they got out of the fence. We were surprised, since E. has always broken them out before. Because of the invisible fence, and E.’s shock collar that is connected to it, he’s been uninterested in all things fence related. All was well, for about a week.

Then, either Abbie Faith or Kincaid took matters into their own paws, and broke themselves out, without Edisto. They came back, so we were annoyed, but not worried. Scott repaired the fence. He put the shock collar on Kincaid, instead of Edisto.

“Kincaid, I’m going to light up your ass,” he said, and then pointed at Abbie Faith: “And you’re next.”

We went inside, we went outside . . . and they were gone again! Kincaid was shocked BUT KEPT ON GOING.

This wouldn’t be as much of a problem if they were just running around in the also fenced-in 11-acre walking trail behind us (we share a fence with the walking trail, so they SHOULD get out of our fence, only to be in another fence), or visiting with our neighbors who are fond of them, like we *thought* they were doing. True, one time Abbie Faith came back into our yard, pushing in a bag of trash she had stolen. But, well, we didn’t think the owners would miss it much.

But, on Thursday, we found out from people in Yorkshire, the next neighborhood over, that they had been terrorizing the neighborhood CATS! — and not just any cats, but two neighboring Senior cats: one, a deaf and blind 15-year-old named SAD FACE for God’s sake. (I suppose younger cats are too fast and too nimble for them).


We were shocked and upset, since I always tell the rescue and shelter coordinators that I can only foster dogs that are good with kids and small animals. — and by small animals, I mean not only my cat-sized mini-dachshunds but also cats and guinea pigs and anything else small that you can think of, since I never discount the possibility that I may come across something non-canine that needs Fisk fostering.

Seriously, the following guinea pig was featured on Middle Mutts recently, and I was <this> close. Scott said “NO!” Luckily, she was rescued by someone else:

I called Whitney in a panic, and she is paying to board Abbie Faith and Kincaid until they’re NY ready. So, I dropped them off at a boarding kennel yesterday. Abbie Faith was thrilled to be away from the pups. Kincaid tried to lick all the dogs in the neighboring kennels. And we (along with our incredibly patient and generous Yorkshire friends, and all the sweet Yorkshire cats) are relieved that we no longer have to worry about canine fence-capades.

I assured my new friends in Yorkshire that my goal is to do good, not harm, that I will NOT save one animal to harm another, and that unless we get a new fence made out of Kryptonite, I will hence forth only foster small dogs.  — dogs who, if brought face-to-face with a cat, will come out worse for it. (Example: Quincy the Wonder Cat vs. Emma the Mini-Dachshund = a squealing Emma with a scratched face.)

Or crippled dogs, whose “worst” would be running over a foot or tail:

As penance, I told Abbie Faith and Kincaid that they must chip-in to Middle Mutts: Operation Feline Freedom, which saves shelter cats from euthanasia.


I also thought of fostering cats from the local kill shelter, but, since I’m allergic, Mr. Davenport (Sad Face’s owner) told me not to do that.

So, I’ll close with a note to the misbehaving duo:

Dear Abbie Faith and Kincaid,

It’s been real. Best of luck in NY. And, PLEASE, be nice to the cats. — ESPECIALLY the Seniors, who are especially delicate. You need to respect your elders, damn-it (and not just the canine/human ones).


Your Foster Mom