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Issue No. 24  •   AUGUST/SEPT 2019     •  DIGITAL

Oh Gibbie

A Celebration of Life and Love for One Special Girl!

Annual Adoption Promotion with Magnolia Plantation


Coping with the Loss of Your Best Friend...

Meet the Pack PUBLISHER Brian Foster CHIEF CANINE OFFICER Peanut SOCIAL MEDIA & CONTENT COORDINATOR Julie Murray COPY EDITOR Chelsea Salerno EDITORIAL COLUMNIST Alicia Williams STAFF WRITERS Izzy Selert, Intern Kelly Glasson PHOTOGRAPHERS Southern Vintage Photography Stono Tides Photography Zeppelin Studios Palmetto Coast Media WEB DEVELOPER & CONSULTANT Laura Olsen CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Allison Allen Kristin Levine

We believe that our dogs are our best friends, and that’s why we need a reliable source to turn to for information on all things “dog” in our community. Our mission is to be the number one Charleston area resource for dog owners regarding regional dog-centric and dogwelcoming events, health & wellness information, dog training, trends, and local news. We also strive to be a mouthpiece to the public for various Lowcountry-based pet non-profits, and we promote pet adoption and other responsible pet care practices. Founded in Charleston, South Carolina in 2005 as a print magazine, we re-launched in 2015 as an online publication. In 2016 we updated our website to continue our mission to be the best dog friendly resource in the Lowcountry.

Sniff Us out!



OH GIBBIE A Celebration of Life and Love for One Special Girl! FEATURES










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It's My Birthday! 's t u n Pea s Tip

2009 at the Shelter

Love the beach!

With my sis, Calliope

I turned 13 on July 29th! A teenager finally!  I pretty much have the best life ever.  Back in the summer of 2009, I was discovered at the dump on Wadmalaw Island with my 8 puppies.  Pet Helpers rescued me and my pups and I went to the shelter.  One day, my daddy came in and met me and decided to take me home.  He had recently lost his best friend, Jasmine and wasn't entirely sure about getting a new best friend but I convinced him otherwise.  See, I had a plan!  First, win him over then I would help him start a career in saving dogs.  I fostered over 100 puppies over the years and even a few cats.  After 6 years of saving lives, I talked him into buying the dog magazine he helped with and well, he named me Chief Canine Officer so that basically means I am the boss.  I have great friends and a little sister who lives in Texas.   I continue to spread the word and help rescues everyday!

I love photo shoots

One of my besties, Vixy lowcountry dog   5

Sit, Stay...Behave!

for those that hate the rain, because their dog won’t go outside

Written Allison Allen, Well Mannered Dog Training Fortunately, my dogs have always tolerated the rain. They don’t LOVE it like some dogs, but they will venture out into a downpour and take care of their business. But what if your dog refuses to go outside every time it rains? Here are some ways to make this very necessary action happen: Work on your dog’s relationship with water. Some dogs only associate water with bath time. Teach your dog that water is fun by playing in it! Use garden hoses, pails of water, baby pools, etc. and just have a great time. If your dog is fearful, work slowly and carefully. If you bring out their favorite toys, favorite treats and even a few new things, most dogs will start enjoying themselves and before you know

it, water will no longer be such a big deal. Help them learn to love the soggy grass beneath their feet. Does your dog not like the feel of soggy earth between their paws? Then you need to get them to do so by feeding them on wet grass and/or playing on wet grass. Show them that just like rain itself, this isn’t a big deal! Put a food bowl on the wet lawn. Don’t cheat yourself and give them a freebie on dry land or this won’t work. Make it enticing and super rewarding! Help them to walk it off. Walking stimulates their “go” reflexes. Walk with them in the rain to help put them in the mood. Umbrella is optional. lowcountry dog 6

Play the waiting game. Wait until you know that your dog really, really, really has to go to the bathroom and then hustle them outside. Even in the rain the urgency of their bodily function requirements will help garner the action. Don’t make your dog go out alone. If your dog is not a fan of the rain simply putting them in your yard and closing the door isn’t going to cut it, unless your goal is a full sized dog print on your door and a whiny unhappy canine. Go outside with them. Do not coddle them or pet them in the rain if they are uncomfortable or you will simply be telling them over and over again “Great Job! Keep shivering! Shake away!!! I love seeing you upset!” If you want to be encouraging and comfort your dog, show them the correct way to behave using their ritualized behavior practices. Ritualized business practices. You heard me correctly. Make their private moments a ritual act. The use of cue words can help your dog to understand what they are doing out in the rain and how to “earn” their way back inside! The use of ritual saves your dog the time it takes to search for the perfect spot to go! Give your dog the tools that it needs by being consistent. I like cues like “Hurry Up” or “Be Quick.” Do not punish rain avoidance. If your dog is punished every time it rains, it will not increase the desire to go outside. Misplaced punishment can result in a dog conditioned by you to hate the rain even more and can even result in housebreaking regression. If you are on a housebreaking 

Do not punish rain avoidance. If your dog is punished every time it rains, it will not increase the desire to go outside. schedule, be sure to stick to it regardless of the weather to give your dog a fair shot at realizing your goals. Invest in a great umbrella. This will not help condition your dog to get used to the rain. It will not teach your dog that rain is harmless. It will not adjust their perspective on the weather… but it will keep you dry and can get the business done. I do NOT suggest this method as a way of promoting healthy dog mentalities or resolving rain resistance. Is your dog still not convinced? Research and hire a knowledgeable dog trainer. A good dog trainer is sure to point you in the right direction and save your floors during storm season.

Health      Wellness

Written by Kristin Levine, East Cooper Animal Hospital

Emergency Preparedness & your Pet In our area of the world, summer marks the beginning of a long season where we sit at the edge of our seats waiting for a storm to show in the ocean.  We check in daily with our local weather forecasters and our social media feeds are plastered with satellite images of projected storm paths.  When a developed storm looks like it just might come our direction, the reality sets in.  Grocery stores frantically shock shelves of water and nonperishables while lines at gas pumps wrap around the block. Severe weather can happen at any time but being prepared in advance 

for the care of your whole family is critical. This time of year is a reminder to review your family’s emergency plan and to also make sure you are including your pets. Your emergency preparation should begin with a discussion including your whole family in regards to what you will do in the face of an emergency.  Planning ahead for a potential mandatory evacuation will ensure you have a safe place to stay until it’s safe to return.  Our community leaders have several evacuation shelters available to residents  lowcountry dog   10

evacuating their coastal homes but not all will allow pets. Check with your local emergency management officials for lists of available pet friendly shelters.  Alternately, secure appropriate lodging in advance that can accommodate your entire family or plan for a friend/relative you can stay with. Consider making reservations at a kennel or boarding facility that is near your evacuation location in the event you cannot secure accommodations to stay alongside your pet.    If evacuation is required, have your pet and your pet’s emergency kit ready to go.  Know your hurricane evacuation zone and route by checking as well as with your local emergency officials. GET READY! In addition to planning for the specific needs of the human family members, our pets require a checklist of items for their emergency preparedness kit.  Assemble these items in advance for an emergency and store in an easy to transport, water-proof container. 

Travel and Identification Items

Your pet should wear a collar or harness with their rabies and identification tags at all times. Ensure your pet’s microchip is registered with your appropriate contact information.  If your pet doesn’t have one, get one!  Your family veterinarian can discuss how to get one for your pet.  This permanent implant and proper registry with the owner’s information can help your animal be identified and ultimate reunited with you. Crate or other pet carrier labeled with your contact information.  If you have to evacuate to a shelter, your pet’s carrier should be large enough where they can move around in it as they may be confined for several days. Current photos of you with your pet in case they get lost or separated from you.  You may have to use these photos to further identify that you pet belongs to you. Pet beds and toys, if easily transportable. These can help your pet feel more comfortable if they have to stay in an environment foreign to them.

Food, Water, and Medications Sanitation One week supply of dry and canned food One week supply of clean drinking water Two-week supply of required medications as well as heartworm/flea/tick prevention Food and water bowls Dish Soap

First Aid Kit

Discuss which items would be most appropriate for your pet’s first aid kit with your veterinarian.  Most supplies will include: isopropyl alcohol saline solution towel/washcloth tweezers latex gloves bandage material bandage tape scissors antibiotic ointment

Litter, litter pan and scoop Pet waste bags Dish soap Paper towels Trash bags


Veterinary medical records and medication instructions Emergency contact list including your family veterinarian and your local emergency veterinary hospital. Also contact number for veterinary hospitals in the area you may evacuate to. Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions and any behavior problems in case you have to foster or board your pets

Comfort Items

Bedding/ blankets Toys


Get the 2019

calendar! SALES START SEPT 1st

fake news “Animal cruelty now a felony offense” – it’s a headline I’ve been seeing a lot of lately. Sure, this seems like a great step forward and the idea of it is completely appropriate. However, does this law really “mean” anything? In my opinion, the answer to this question is no. For example, Donna Lee of Florence, SC was running a commercial breeding ring (a.k.a. puppy mill). About 133 animals were seized from horrid living conditions. All animals were filthy and were never socialized with humans. During the seizure process, about 40 more animals were born. There were about a dozen deaths.  lowcountry dog   14

Vet bills to bring the animals back to health exceeded $100,000. At first, the judge wanted to dismiss the case because Lee is “an old woman” but as the case continued, it seemed like justice would be served. Lee was charged with 39 felony counts (the most in South Carolina history), but plead down to 3 counts. Her sentence is 3 years under suspension with probation. During this time she isn’t allowed to own animals or participate in the breeding business. She was ordered to pay $35,000 restitution over a span of 3 years. That’s it. No hard jail time. She’s hardly being monitored to see if she’s obeying the rules of probation. 

Some animals that were seized are still available for adoption because they are so emotionally traumatized. Some animals that were seized live with illnesses that they will have for the rest of their life. To date, Lee has paid a whopping $100 to Valiant Animal Rescue and Relief towards her restitution. The Donna Lee case is just one example of how animal abusers aren’t being held accountable. Another example is a cruelty case involving a  Berkeley County man who admitted to beating his Great Dane with a pot until the pot bent.  The dog passed away while in foster care and before his owner, Trey Phillips, would have his day in court.  Originally arrested on felony animal cruelty which could yield a 5 year prison term, Trey plead down to a misdemeanor charge and sentenced to 30 days of which he served 21 days.  His attorney portrayed him a good person who made a mistake.  Shortly after he was released from jail, Trey got another dog and posted about him on social media.  He was not given a no animal order as a part of his sentence.  He also did not have to pay any restitution for the medical bills for his Great Dane which was over $1500. 

Generally speaking, local governments and law enforcement agencies do not budget for animal cruelty investigations. In most cases, offenders are given plea deals rather than spending time and money to prosecute the crimes to the full extent of the law. While changing laws to make animal cruelty more serious certainly seems progressive, it becomes a moot point if the local government doesn’t follow through. Enough is enough. Let’s stop celebrating laws that simply instruct us to be decent human beings and start demanding discipline for those who disobey.   Left- Donna Lee  of Florence Bottom- Trey Phillips of Berkeley Cty & Michelle Reid w Rico from Valiant Animal Rescue

About the Cover

Gibbie is our 2019 Cover Model Contest Winner. She won the contest with more than 1000 votes over 2nd place.  She was awarded the crown at our May the Dogs Be With You Festival and had some pictures taken at the event.  The cover photo is from that day from Stono Tides Photography.  Unfortunately, Gibbie fell ill in June and passed away before she could have her photo shoot.  This issue is a tribute to her.  RIP Gibbie.

Oh Gibbie

A Celebration of Life and Love for One Special Girl! lowcountry dog  18

2019 Cover Model Contest Winner!

This has been a bittersweet year for the Lowcountry Dog Magazine crew. During Pet Fest, we had over 200 people enter their dogs in the Lowcountry Dog Cover Model Contest.  The dogs were all winners and it was a pleasure meeting all of their families. It was up to me and a few other staffers to narrow the field down to 25 finalists and I’ll tell you what, rarely have I had such a tough time making a decision!  It was fun to look through all the photos and to see so many animals who are truly loved. Over 6500 people voted in our Cover Contest and the winner was a beautiful and sweet white boxer named Gibbie.  We announced Gibbie as the LCDM Cover Dog at the May the Dogs Be With You Festival at Deepwater Vineyards and Gibbie and her family were SO excited.  She got her very own photo shoot with professional photographer Olivia Chewning from Stono Tides Photography. Gibbie was living her best life!!  Sadly, a few weeks later we got the devastating news that Gibbie had passed away due to complications from a splenectomy.  This news was even more shocking, considering Gibbie's prognosis was very good.     Written by Julie Murray, Head-writer Photography by Stono Tides Photography

Photos by J Michael Walker

Through our sadness for this loss, I tried to find a silver lining. This was a special victory because not only was Gibbie absolutely gorgeous and so delightful, she was also deaf. Because of a quirk in genetics, white dogs have a greater chance of having hearing deficits. Often if a breeder finds out a pup is deaf, they decide to euthanize because they see deafness as a “defect”.   In a rescue dog, this can also make it tougher to find an adopter. Luckily Gibbie met just the right person who realized her condition made her special - owner Kim Gruber. Kim told me that years ago when she decided to get a dog she knew that she wanted to rescue because she wanted to show love, care and affection to an animal that had been given up and needed a forever home.  In her search for the right dog to rescue, Kim came across Gibbie. At first she was worried about having a dog with hearing problems. So many things came to mind - how would they communicate? How could she call Gibbie if there was danger? She did some research and found out that there are trainers who work specifically with deaf dogs. They 

help owners and their dogs learn visual cues to correct or modify behaviors and to allow you to interact with your dog. Animal Lovers of Edisto Canine Rescue referred Kim to Susan at Purely Positive training. She worked with them to find a system of training that worked for the family. Other than a few caveats, training a deaf dog is very similar to training a hearing dog and both types of dogs love feeling safe and secure, cared for and being part of a furever home (all things that Kim provided in spades).

lowcountry dog 24

Kim said that after she and Gibbie learned to communicate and got to know each other better, they started doing all kinds of things together. Gibbie loved to go on long walks in the neighborhood, smelling all the smells and delighting in the sights and this encouraged Kim to do even more.  She met more of her neighbors and got lots of exercise and fresh air. One of their favorite things to do together was run 5K races, like the Hippie Dash.  They also enjoyed going to their local dog park and meeting new friends so Gibbie could run and play just like hearing dogs. Kim also found out that some of 

the minor league teams in Charleston had special nights when dogs were allowed at the games and she and Gibbie enjoyed many Stingrays and Riverdogs games together.   In 2017, Kim wrote an article on Gibbie for The Edisto News and she had some wonderful things to say about being Gibbie’s mom.  “Over the years I’ve had Gibbie, I’ve come to learn so much about not only her specific needs but about other differently abled animals and people.  Owning Gibbie has opened my eyes to a much bigger world than I originally thought existed. And now I have a dog that lavishes me with affection, and greets me at the door with absolute love and joy. Several years ago, I decided to get a dog.  Not just any dog, but a rescued dog named Gibbie. And she rescued me.”     All of us at Lowcountry Dog Magazine thought Gibbie was an amazing dog and our hearts go out to her family during this tough time.  With this issue, let’s celebrate Gibbie’s life and remember that what makes us different makes us special.

Coping with the Loss of Your Best Friend... Written by Chelsea Salerno, Copy Editor It’s the worst part about owning a dog… eventually, whether due to old age, sickness or a freak occurrence, you will have to go on without them. Losing a dog can be just as difficult as losing a relative or friend. After all, they become part of our family and a source of comfort, making the loss all that more upsetting. The pain of loss can often feel overwhelming and trigger all sorts of painful and difficult emotions. While some people may not understand the depth of feeling you had for your pet, you should never feel guilty or ashamed about grieving for an animal friend. So what are some things we can do to move on from the death of your best friend? lowcountry dog 26

1. Know when it’s time: Accepting that death is an inevitable part of pet ownership is important, but so is knowing how to make the tough decision when your animal is suffering. Some important factors to consider are activity level (does your pet still enjoy previously loved activities?), response to care and affection (does your pet still interact and respond to love?), amount of pain and suffering (is your pet experiencing hurt that outweighs enjoyment in life?), terminal illness or critical injury (is your pet facing certain death from the injury or illness?) and finally, your own feelings (is keeping your pet alive harming your quality of life as well as theirs? Does your family .

agree it’s time?). If you do decide that ending the suffering is in your pet’s best interest, take your time to create a process that is as peaceful as possible for you, your pet and your family. You may want to have someone come to the house and perform the euthanasia there. You might want to take off work the next day. Do whatever is right for you and try to remember that guilt is normal. 2. Feel the grief and deal with the guilt: The grieving process happens only gradually. It can’t be forced or hurried—and there is no “normal” timetable for grieving. Some people start to feel better in weeks or months. For others, the grieving process is measured in years. Whatever your grief experience, it’s important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold. Time heals all, and expressing your grief allows for the quickest, healthiest process. Realize that the guilt you feel is irrational in nature and is a normal part of the grieving process. Simply knowing this will not stop these feelings from happening, but it will help you to work through them when they do. 3. Don’t let anyone tell you how to feel: Feeling sad is a normal, healthy feeling. It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to be angry. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s time to move on or that you’re being too emotional. Let yourself feel whatever you feel without embarrassment or judgement. If you feel lonely in your grief and want additional support, there are online groups and message boards created for this purpose. lowcountry dog 30

The pain of loss can often feel overwhelming and trigger all sorts of painful and difficult emotions. While some people may not understand the depth of feeling you had for your pet, you should never feel guilty or ashamed about grieving for an animal friend.

Even if your friends and family don’t understand, there are other options for support. Rainbow Bridge is a free online grief support community that provides a forum, sympathy e-cards, a list of pet-loss hotlines and other resources. 4. Create a memorial for your pet: Whether it’s a plaque under a tree in your backyard or an urn on a shelf in your living room, give yourself some kind of commemorative item to display. Most vets take a mold of your pets paw print for you to keep as a memento. There are Etsy shops that will take your pets ashes and turn them into jewelry such as rings and necklace pendents. Artisurn sells beautiful urns in various sizes. Even just having a memorial where you spread your pets ashes can be 

helpful. DON’T just pretend like the pet never existed by throwing away all pictures, toys or collars and tags. If you find the grief is too raw, put these things away and deal with them when you are able to. 5. Move forward: You are not being disloyal to your pet by healing. You shouldn’t rush to replace your pet even if your home feels empty and quiet, it is still best to wait before opening your heart and your home to a new companion. With that being said, you have a lot of love to give that can now be rechanneled. It is a very individual and personal decision if and when to invite another pet into your life. Realize that sharing your love with another animal is not a betrayal of your beloved pet. Opening your home and heart to another animal can be a way to honor your past pet. If you are unable or not ready to do so, consider volunteering

your time or resources at an animal shelter or rescue. Do something to celebrate the life of your furry friend. When you’re ready to get a new pet, avoid getting a pet that looks like your previous pet or the same breed. Each pet has its own personality, and comparisons would be unfair to your new pet. A lot of furry creatures of all shapes and sizes need good homes and our hearts often need a pet to feel happy, soothed and fulfilled! There’s no shame in moving on quickly, just make sure you are ready before adopting a new family member. Losing a pet can be hard, but remember that you are not alone and every pet owner goes through this at some point in their lives. Be grateful for the time you had with your furry companion and look back on all the good times fondly. They are only a part of your life for a short time, but most of the time we are a part of theirs from start to finish!

Our August - September Animal Advocate is Dr. Henri Bianucci. Dr. Bianucci is a veterinary surgeon and co-owner of Veterinary Specialty Care, LLC.  He is quite well-known in the Lowcountry animal rescue community as a skilled vet and a compassionate rescuer. His penchant for saving animals started early.  “The earliest rescues I can remember were the live shrimp I would release from my dad’s bait box when I was about 3,” and he was constantly finding injured wildlife, dogs and cats to foster and nurse back to health over the years.  Being a veterinarian seemed to be a perfectly natural progression of those early tendencies towards animal rescue.  “When I became a veterinarian and then a surgeon, I gained the skill sets and resources enabling me to help animals in very special ways.”  And while veterinary medicine is his profession and how  lowcountry dog 32

Dr. Henri Bianucci Co-Owner Veterinary Specialty Care

Written by Julie Murray

he earns a living, he says that he doesn’t want to limit his skills to paying clients. “Rescue animal’s surgeries are in many ways the most rewarding ones I do.  Other than their circumstances, these animals are no different than those of paying clients.  To surgically restore a rescue to health and see it become the center of a loving adoptive family truly makes me feel like I’ve put at least one thing right in the world.”     As you can imagine, Dr. Bianucci has many amazing rescue stories but his most memorable is saving a dog 

named Maisey, a skinny mutt that Dr. B’s wife found walking down Maybank Highway. “It was a freezing day and the wind from a passing car blew her over into the ditch.  She was incredibly emaciated and could not get up.”  His wife rushed Maisey over to the emergency clinic in Mount Pleasant and Dr. Bianucci and the VSC team went to work saving her life.  “The dog had virtually no hair and was absolutely skeletal.  She had a large anal mass which had spread to her abdomen, and she looked very old.”  The medical consensus was to do the kind thing and end Maisey’s suffering via euthanasia.  However, his wife disagreed; she saw this dog had clearly lived a life of neglect and told Dr. B that it just seemed wrong to let her leave this world having never been giving love or care.  The team decided to continue her treatment and try their absolute hardest to save Maisey.  “Ultimately we decided to press on, and as is often the case, we were able to accomplish more than we expected.”  Maisey recovered and was even adopted by one of the vet techs who never stopped believing in the loving spirit of this beautiful animal.  She lived with her new family for 9  . 

months and then peacefully passed away.  “During that time, she got more love and care than most dogs get in a full lifetime!” I asked Dr. Bianucci what he would recommend to people who wanted to help animals.  “Become a vegetarian, or better yet a vegan.  At the very least, think about where your animal products come from and reduce your consumption.  The meat and dairy industries are responsible for the pain, suffering and abuse of animals by the billions.”  He also advocates rescue over buying pets, spay/neuter and supporting your local rescue organizations.  “There are limitless opportunities to aid in animal welfare, but you can’t do it all.  Pick an area you are passionate about and do what you can.”  Dr. Bianucci understands the plight of animal rescue organizations.  It’s often emotionally taxing and VERY expensive.  “So many of the situations they deal with are manmade, ranging from irresponsible to criminal, and often they cannot provide the care they would like because of financial constraints.”  Consider donating to your favorite rescue - even $5.00 can help. 

So what drives someone to work this hard and advocate so passionately for animals? Dr. Bianucci says he thinks the key is that he doesn’t see a difference between his own dog and a pet in need of rescue, other than circumstance. “They may be mangy, starved, scared and broken, but I know that deep inside, they are a dog or cat just like mine that can become as special to someone as mine are to me.  To be able to make that happen is just the best.” photos by

Valiant Animal Rescue





sponsored by

Eunoia Rescue

Berkeley Animal Center

June Bug








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Pet Helpers





sponsored by

Animal Lovers of Edisto

Dorchester Paws

Sweet Pea

Harry Pawter



Miss Moo Moo





Tommy Lee



Water Edge Great Dane sponsored by: Hallie Hill Animal Sanctuary sponsored by lowcountry dog 40



Ramsey Bullies 2 The Rescue sponsored by:











Carolina Coonhound sponsored by:


Slim Tucker HF Help sponsored by: TAG Gas Works





Happy's Porch sponsored by:

event calendar Sniff out all events here

08/14 YAPPY HOUR at Fuel Charleston 4 to 7 pm 08/16 RAISE THE WOOF at James Island County Park, 7 to 10pm 08/24 RESCUE THE SUMMER at Cypress Gardens, 11 to 4 pm

Adoption Event at Magnolia Plantation Sept 15  1 to 4 pm

09/07 DOG DAY AFTERNOON at Palmetto Islands County Park 09/09 DOG DAY AFTERNOON at Wadmalaw Park 09/14 TOUCH A TRUCK at Palmetto Islands County Park, 9 to 3 pm

Dogtoberfest Oct 26  1 to 5 pm

09/15 LOWCOUNTRY DOG ADOPTION EVENT at Magnolia Plantation 2 to 5 pm 09/15 The Reckoning in the Park at James Island County Park. 10/12 2nd Annual Bulls and Ghouls at Ghost Monkey Brewery 5pm 10/26 FURBALL for Pet Helpers, 6pm

Dia De Los Perros Tattooed Moose Nov 2  3 to 6 pm

Don't Suffer from FOMDE! (fear of missing dog events)

Profile for Lowcountry Dog Magazine

Lowcountry Dog Magazine- August/September 2019