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volume 7, issue 6



october/november 2011

the mermaid’s eye:

a spooky spot ghost story

loose leash fall walks peace of mind for pet-owning hospice patients

+dental & heart health

Publisher Leah England (843) 478-0266


Advertising Brian Foster 843-732-0412 Communications Intern Gillian Nicol Online Contributor Leah Nicole Hawkins Guest Journalist Stratton Lawrence Staff Photographer Laura Olsen Guest Photographer Julia Lynn Accounting Carrie Clark Financial Services (843) 367-9969 Lowcountry Dog Magazine PO Box 22 Mt. Pleasant, SC 29465 Web: Twitter: Facebook: This magazine is printed on 100% recycled paper. Continue the green process by recycling this copy. Lowcountry Dog’s mission is to be the leading local resource for dog owners regarding regional events, health and wellness information, trends, style and lifestyle choices. We also strive to be a mouthpiece to the public for various dog related non-profits and promote pet adoption and other responsible pet care practices. Dog lovers can pick up the bimonthly magazine for free at most area veterinarians and pet stores throughout the lowcountry, as well as numerous restaurants, coffee bars and retailers. A full distribution list is posted to the magazine’s web site, Subscriptions are also available. Please call 843-478-0266 for more information.



october/novemeber 2011 fido’s friends 4 Andrew Peterson top stories on 8 pet peace of mind 11 critter from another litter 14 calendar of events 21 health and wellness 22 Dental and Heart Health training 24 Loose Leash Walks adoption 26 Lowcountry Lab Rescue

The entire contents of this magazine are copyrighted by Lowcountry Dog Magazine with all rights reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue is expressly forbidden without permission of the publisher. Lowcountry Dog Magazine does not endorse or guarantee any product, service, or vendor mentioned or pictured in this magazine in editorial or advertising space. Views expressed by authors or advertisers are not necessarily those of the publisher.

Cover photo by Julia Lynn. 1st & 2nd Table of Contents photo above by Olsen Imagery. 3rd Table of Contents photo by Julia Lynn


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F ido’s Friends

ANDREW PETERSON Occupation: International Makeup Artist for Cos Bar of Charleston Dogs in Household: ONE Na med: Napoleon Lives: WEST ASHLEY 1. What’s the best thing about owning a dog?

Unconditional love plus if they are cute like Napoleon, dogs are huge date magnets!

2. What do you find the most frustrating about your dog, or struggle with as a dog owner ?

Lots and lots of drool. There is always guilt when I am trying to enjoy a meal and Napoleon is looking at me like he is starving. And he has a serious need to devour designer shoes. He has the best taste of any dog that I’ve ever met.

3. All time favorite memory of your dog?

The very first moment I picked him up as a tiny little bundle of love, it was love at first sight. I couldn’t go to work that day because I couldn’t bear to leave him!

4. Favorite place to hang out with your dog in Charleston?

Cuddling on the couch and our Lifetime movie Sundays.

5. With what aspect of your dog’s personality do you most identify?

The need to be the center of attention.

6. In your opinion, what’s the one item all dog owners must have?

Baby wipes!!!! Those little wonders clean up all the drool and the mud tracked in by dirty feet.

7. If your dog were some other sort of animal, what would he/she be?

A little piglet that devours every morsel of food put in front of him...without chewing!

8. How does your dog inspire you? Or what has your dog taught you about life and work? He’s helped me become a more responsible person, and at the end of the day he is the most non judgmental soul that I have ever met. All photos by Laura Olsen Imagery.

9. How do you KNOW you and your dog are best friends? Because I get trampled every time I walk through the door, and I feel so guilty when I am not with him.

10. What’s your favorite thing about Lowcountry Dog Magazine? Reading about the impact a furry companion can have in someone’s life. photos by Olsen Imagery



Photos by Tiffany Benford Photography

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national initiative that May, in just the first two weeks there was an overwhelming response of 110 hospices from around the country. The outcry of support is not surprising when taking into account that in 2010 62% of homes in the US included at least one pet. Underwritten by the Banfield Charitable Trust, the PPOM program is growing across the country. Dealing with the fact that two thirds of the country owns a pet is a very real daily struggle for hospices nationwide. Not only are there physical concerns of taking care of the patient’s dog or cat, but hospice staff must also consider the psychological effects of pets on patient care. The Lutheran Hospice is currently the only non-profit hospice in the Charleston TriCounty area to offer this program to its patients. “As a pet owner myself, I know how important my relationship is with my pet,” observes Katherine Barham, Volunteer Coordinator for the Lutheran Hospice in the Lowcountry area. “At the end of their life, hospice patients often feel isolated and alone. Family and friends have fallen away due to fears of their own, or just a lack of what to say. A pet loves unconditionally, and will be there when no one else will.” The Pet Peace of Mind program takes a holistic view of patient care that includes

Love Until the End text & photography by Laura Olsen

With life spans that seem to stretch only long enough to mark an era in our human lives, conversations about death and dying often refer to our pets. But what happens when our pets outlive our ability to care for them? After seeing the heartbreaking result of a pet being removed from the care of their elderly owners, veterinarian and Chaplain Delana Taylor McNac decided to answer that question by creating Pet Peace of Mind in Tulsa, OK in 2009. The Pet Peace of Mind program provides the guidance and support needed to care for the animals of patients in hospice care. Volunteers assist with pet care tasks ranging from routine vet and grooming visits to regular exercise and food delivery. When the program launched its 6


the patient’s emotional and spiritual wellbeing. That includes keeping the pet and patient together during active hospice care. A pet being near the ill patient at this stage in their life is highly beneficial, especially when the patient know their pet is being cared for. Patients who know the family dog is being walked regularly, even when they cannot physically do the task, are more relaxed and at ease. As is the case with Mrs. R who walked her two dogs until she was no longer physically able to make the daily routine of 3 – 5 miles. “It became clear that her concern was not about dying, but that her dogs would not be cared for and walked as she had done. When she saw that I was walking them regularly, her fears were alleviated.” recalls Kathy McDuffie a PPOM volunteer. “It felt really good knowing that by taking her dogs for long walks we all won. She could relax and focus more on caring for herself, the dogs loved it, and I enjoyed some healthy exercise!” Keeping the pet with the ill patient can be also helpful to the daily caregiver and family. Constant support of an ill patient can be taxing. Routine walks relieve stress for caregivers resulting in better patient care. For the family, having the pet to talk about can be a needed break from the ominous topic of illness and death. Pet Peace of Mind answers the overwhelming needs of people in final stages of life. Roger Caras once said, “pets are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole.” This program does what is best for their pet-owning patients by allowing those patients the gift of spending their final days with the animals so devoted to them. If you are interested in donating to or volunteering with the Pet Peace of Mind Program in Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester or Colleton county contact Katherine Barham, Volunteer Coordinator of Lutheran Hospice. 843-856-4735 800-940-9177


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The Mermaid’s Eye

their fate. The Oscura Niebla was flying false colors. No quarter would be granted, not even to a sickly woman and a young girl. The gunfire stopped as suddenly as it began. Jane’s ears roared with that empty silence, then voices she did not recognize filtered down from above. Jane’s instinct to survive took control. She would mourn her dead parents later. She grabbed her dagger, a blade her father had given her years ago on the island, and with one swift slice, cut off her braid. She gave her hair a few additional sloppy chops to finish the desired effect, and tucked the *attn parents: rated pg-13 braid & blade under her belt. She pressed her body flat against the wall, slowly creeping across the hour glass insignia on the flag confirmed what breadth of the lower deck to the she already knew. They were under pirate crew’s berth. Once inside, she scanned the attack, and not just any pirate attack. The room for signs of Tommy’s hammock, a young combat ship was the dreaded Oscura Niebla steward of about 10 years of age who had died captained by the notoriously terrifying William of scurvy a week earlier. She spied an Irish flag Muskgrave. on a trunk and knew she had found the right Growing up in Antigua, Jane knew a thing hammock. Poor Tommy Jane thought. You or two about pirates. She understood the so wanted to get home to Ireland. Pushing jolly roger flag indicated the pirates would aside sentimentalities, Jane rummaged in the give quarter, showing mercy as long as no trunk, finding a pair of trousers and a shirt. one resisted as the ship was robbed of what She changed into the dead boy’s extra clothes, ever wealth it and its passengers held. Jane tucked the dagger into the lining of her boot, was petrified, but thankful the ship was not ran to the nearest porthole, and threw her hair flying the bloody flag. Things could have been and favorite frock out into the deep. much, much worse. She backed away from -----------------------------the porthole, heart beating like mad as she Jane went over her plan a thousand times listened to the rushing whiz of ropes being as she listened to the pirates ransacking the thrown aboard and the stampede of feet ship for its bounty. Going through the logical overhead. The Seabreeze had been boarded. details was oddly calming despite knowing the Jane slowly walked the edge of her bed and men would eventually venture into the berth sat down. This would all be over soon. Her to steal from even the poorest seamen’s chest. family would arrive in Charles Town frightened They would most certainly find her. She was and penniless, but alive. She breathed in and prepared for this. But as mentally ready as out, panicked shallow breaths turning into she was, she couldn’t stop from shaking in fear deeper, calmer intakes of air. She remembered when Muskgrave and his horde of angry men what her father taught her should they come burst in upon her. under pirate attack. Stay calm. Stay hidden. Muskgrave was as physically horrifying Wait for me to get you when it’s all over. as his infamous deeds. He was a huge man, The stomp of feet above grew quiet, then out 6 pistols (all stolen, no doubt) strapped into of that eerie moment of noiselessness came the bandolier slung across his muscular, barrel shockingly prolific gunfire. What seemed like chest. His long black beard was in several an eternity lasted only a matter of minutes as braids and wound into coils like venomous Jane sat frozen, fists pressed against her ears snakes waiting to strike. His face was pitted to block out the sound of carnage. Oh Mum, and cracked by the harsh sun, his left eye Father… please Lord…” But Jane already knew

a spooky spot ghost story by leah england Jane defiantly stood before her father, arms crossed, toes angrily tapping sea salt covered floorboards. “Dearest. I know you love Antigua. I understand you’ll miss your friends, your life there. But your mother is ill. Her health will improve in the climate of Charles Town.” Colonel Edwards playfully wiggled his daughter’s nose. “Just wait until you see your grandfather’s indigo plantation. The entrance avenue is lined with the most beautifully enormous trees, with branches that dip to the ground then sweep to the skies. And they’ve been waiting all these years for a little girl to climb them.” Jane flipped her chestnut braid to her back and put her hand on a hip. “Oh Daddy. You’ve been away with the army too long. I’m 12, not 7. I’m too grown up to climb trees.” “Well, I’ll have to climb them alone then,” he said with a mischievous grin. Jane’s lips curved into a slight smile. “The Captain requests our company at dinner. When you’re finished sulking, please join the rest of the grown ups in the galley.” -----------------------------Jane was laying on her bed, picking at the pitch on the walls of the Seabreeze, considering obliging her father and attending dinner when she heard a warning shot. She scrambled over to the porthole and gasped. An inky frigate was at their starboard, and from that dark, hulking form protruded more cannons than she had ever seen on a ship. The jolly roger and winged



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ringed with kohl to intensify the effect of his nearly black iris. His right eye was missing, only a grotesque, sunken hollow remained. No eye patch for this pirate. When Muskgrave grabbed her, the point of his cutlass thrust against her neck, Jane watched his thin, spittle-covered lips twist into an evil grin. Oh yes, this man’s actions lived up to his fearful image. He would fully enjoy killing her. Even though it was her own, Jane was surprised by the clear, composed voice that stopped Muskgrave from slicing her head off. “Spare my life. Give me employment as your cabin boy, and I’ll give you the Mermaid’s Eye.” Appealing to Muskgrave’s greed was part of the scheme, as well as to his supernatural beliefs in the mystical. “The Mermaid’s Eye is an enormous sapphire of such deep, perfect blue it rivals the beauty of the very ocean itself. Coughed up from the bowels of earth from an underwater volcano, discovered by a mermaid, and given to her human lover in Antigua as a gift to remind him of her loving gaze, wise men believe that whomever holds the stone against his person will always meet the winds of good fortune.” The pressure of the cutlass on Jane’s neck lessened. She persisted. “Kill me, and you will never find the stone on this ship. Spare me. Give me employment as your cabin boy, and the stone is yours.” Jane stared into Muskgrave’s good eye as he weighed the options; her intense gaze did not waiver. Jane knew her plan had hit the mark. “Aye. Take me to the stone, boy. If it’s as ye describe, you may keep your wretched life. And I’ll take you as my cabin boy, but after naught a week at sea on the Oscura Niebla, ye shall wish for the death!” Sword end pressed into her back, and perhaps a pistol or two pointed at the back of her head, Jane led Muskgrave and his first mate into her parents’ cabin. About halfway down the interior wall, she began knocking on the wood, listening for the tell tale hollow sound indicating the hiding place. When she located the spot, she motioned for the first mate to pry the wallboard loose with his sword. She was nauseous watching Muskgrave arrogantly walk to the hole, peer inside then pull out her mother’s necklace, and she had to refrain herself from rabidly lunging at the man when from his gaping mouth rang greedy, excited laughter. Of course the stone was as



she described. The gorgeous orb had been passed down in her family for years, and was as lovely as the generations of women it had adorned. The supernatural aspects were fabricated to appeal to Muskgrave’s mystical obsessions, but the sentimental value made it truly priceless. Jane’s jaw dropped in disgust as Muskgrave pried the stone loose from its gold setting, brought the stone to his head, and pressed the orb into the sunken cavity that once held his eye. When he removed his hand and looked at Jane, her mother’s beautiful stone now implanted into that terrible cavity, the room began to spin. As she collapsed into the darkness, Jane pleaded with her dead mother to forgive her treachery. -----------------------------A sooty voice reached through the murky veil and jerked Jane back into consciousness. “What I don’t understand, boy. Is how a lowly steward like ye knew about this stone in the first place.” Jane sat up, blinked several times and rubbed her aching head. She wasn’t quite sure where she was. Her eyes cleared, and she focused on the murderous looking man hovering over a plate heaped with food, juices running down his nasty beard. In the corner, snarled an angry dog. Clearly malnourished and beaten, Jane felt pity for the poor mangled creature that barely even resembled a canine. No doubt it followed his master’s commands out of pure fear. “And ye never gave me your name, so now I’m skeptical as to who you really are.” The earlier events of the day washed over Jane like a flood. She looked around the dimly lit cabin and realized she was no longer aboard The Seabreeze. She was in the belly of the dreaded Oscura Niebla. “Answer me boy!” Muskgrave barked. Frightened, Jane quickly muttered a well thought reply. “My name is Tommy, sir. The Colonel and his wife had a daughter about my age. We grew acquainted on the voyage. Her parents didn’t know she ever lowered herself to speak to me, but she often bragged to me about the stone. I didn’t believe that haughty petticoat, until she proved it to me by showing me the stone in its hiding place.” “We din ‘na find a wee lass on board,” snarled Muskgrave. The pirate was quick, but Jane was equally sharp.

“You wouldn’t have sir. The Colonel and his family were moving to Charles Town to improve the girl’s health, but she died two weeks ago. She was buried at sea.” -----------------------------Muskgrave was right. He treated Jane so badly at times she did wish for death. Swabbing decks, peeling potatoes, fetching the men rum, were heavenly tasks compared with the daily beatings from Muskgrave. The man received much pleasure from inflicting pain upon those smaller and weaker than himself. Jane quickly identified with that starved, beaten dog, and the two formed a tenuous relationship. It started, of course, with food. Despite having to pull her belt several notches tighter since becoming Muskgrave’s ward, Jane couldn’t help but feel sorry for the beast and share part of her daily ration with the creature. Over time, the dog began standing near her waiting for a piece of stale bread, and he would often follow Jane around watching her complete her daily tasks. That growing relationship with the dog, and knowing they were still on course for Charles Town, were the two things that kept Jane from throwing herself overboard. Surely once they were in Charles Town’s port she would have an opportunity to swim for shore. She smiled for the first time in weeks when the dog gave her a warm, appreciative lick after a slice of potato. And her heart felt like it would burst with happiness when the dog allowed her to briefly pet his head. It was good to have a friend. It felt wonderful to be kind to something amongst all the darkness. Jane pondered her escape, and felt pangs of guilt at the thought of leaving the dog behind. Meanwhile, Muskgrave had been carefully studying The Seabreeze ledgers. Half of his men and his trusted first mate were sailing the captured ship a few leagues in front of the Oscura Niebla. They would use the two ships to first blockade the city of Charles Town. Then they would use the vessels as a staging ground from which to kidnap and hold ransom the sparkling city’s most privileged of residents. Muskgrave’s grubby fingers stroked the sapphire stone in the hollow of his head as he thought about the riches and women of the night that awaited him in Charles Town. After a moment, he refocused his energies on work. He must study The Seabreeze ammunition numbers in preparation for the blockade. His index finger left a dirty smudge as it pressed

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down each line of purchase, barter and loss then stopped short at the line indicating the intake of a new steward. Name: Tommy Murphy. Country of Origin: Ireland. Muskgrave looked from the ledger to Tommy, who was hastily cleaning up the night’s supper plates. The boy was thin. Small boned. His chestnut hair was oddly cut. His skin was an unhealthy pallor, but still fair and clear. The boy’s hazel eyes were unusually beautiful. Muskgrave’s hand returned to the orb and fingered it gently once again. There’s not a drop of Irish blood in that lad, he thought to himself. -----------------------------It happened a few days later when Jane was pouring Muskgrave his evening tea. He was a pirate, but even pirates needed a bit of elegance, and the luxury of tea was a splurge he would not give up. In mid pour, Muskgrave firmly grabbed Jane by the wrist, pulled the tea pot out of her hands then turned her palms over to inspect them. Jane tried to keep herself composed as the man ran his filthy fingers up and down her palm, then ever so gently up her wrist and onto her forearm. “You’re no lad. I can’na believe I didn’t see it before. Who are ye, wench!” Jane pulled away, reached down into her boot, pulled out her dagger and impulsively thrust it at the pirate. “I’m Jane Elizabeth Edwards. You killed my parents, and I’m going to kill you!” The pirate swatted the dagger from her hands as if it was a buzzing fly. “ You think you are a match for me, lass?” Jane turned to flee, but the pirate grabbed her roughly from behind. “It’s to the ship brig with ye, till sunrise. Then I shall personally bind your hands and send ye down the plank at first light. I want ye to see the sharks while they’re eating you alive.” Jane sobbed in the dark dampness of the brig. She had failed. There would be no escape now. She consoled herself with the thought of seeing her parents in the hereafter, though she was terribly frightened of drowning, or worse, being eaten by a shark. She was startled out of her malaise by a low whimper from outside the cell. It was the mangy dog, hunkered down low, barely visible in the dim light. Jane smiled. He had come to comfort her, and it meant the world to her. She glanced out the porthole above her and into the night sky. It was a calm night, and things seemed still. The boat was rocking, but from the movement of the clouds



it seemed as if they had anchored. Perhaps they were not too far from the coast of Charles Town. How bittersweet, to be so close to the only family she had left in the world. The clouds parted and moonlight filtered down into the cell. The dog growled for attention again, and she turned from the night sky to look at her only friend. Jane gasped. In the dog’s mouth was a key! Had the dog brought her freedom? She scrambled over to him, and took the key from his mouth, all the time praising him as a good dog and ruffling his mangy head. How in the world had he stolen this key from the wall of the night watchman’s post? “Stay quiet,” she told the dog as she fumbled for the lock. With a simple nod of the head, the dog knew to follow her. The dog made one growl of objection when they began heading back to Muskgrave’s cabin, but Jane argued with him. “I’m finishing this.” Per usual, Muskgrave had over-imbibed. He was still fully dressed and snoring loudly on his bunk, cutlass recklessly thrown onto his desk. Jane noiselessly tiptoed to the sabre, picked it up off the desk, and motioned for the dog to stay down. She stood over the sleeping pirate for a moment, clutching the sword in shaking hands. She said a mental prayer for strength and sureness of aim, then plunged the saber into Muskgrave’s black heart. The impact of the sword and the jerking of Muskgrave’s body against the blow popped the blue sapphire orb right out of Muskgrave’s eye socket like a bullet from a gun. Jane released the sword and deftly caught the stone mid air. Black, tar-like blood erupted from Muskgrave’s mouth and his eyes opened then rolled to the back of his head. He groaned in agony and tried to pull the sword from his chest, but was too weak to pull the instrument of death from his person. His eyes focused on Jane; he grabbed her around the neck attempting to strangle her. “Give me back my Mermaid’s Eye!!!! ” Despite gasping for air, Jane managed to yell a response. “Go to the depths you scurvy…” Jane quickly glanced down at the dog. “…you scurvy APE!!!!” Jane began to succumb once again to darkness, then felt a sudden flood of oxygen. Muskgrave was no longer strangling her because the dog had the awful man on the floor by the throat. The dog had rescued her. Muskgrave was quickly bleeding out, and

was no match for the dog who was hell bent on protecting the only person who had ever shown him kindness. As he began his final death throws, Muskgrave reached out for Jane once more, bitterly claiming, “I will forever hunt down you and yours. One day, at your weakest moment, you, or your children, or your children’s children will barter for life again and give me the stone.” There was another volcanic rush of black blood from Muskgrave’s mouth, a final heave of that mighty chest and then a rush of air. He was dead. Jane looked down at the stone in her hand and considered leaving it with the corpse. After all, it was just a thing, and there were many more important things in life than precious gems. But she thought about her changed appearance and wondered how her grandfather would recognize her without the stone. She decided to keep it. She could always sell it later. Jane looked at Muskgrave one last time and shivered. He was intimidating even in death. She turned and fled to the nearest dinghy, her faithful dog at her heels. -----------------------------Jane couldn’t believe her good fortune when the first person she encountered on the beach was a kindly preacher giving a dry run Sunday’s sermon to the seagulls. And she was even more flabbergasted when he not only knew of her grandfather, but was often a guest minister at her grandfather’s chapel of ease. He offered to take her directly to her grandfather. Perhaps the stone did bring good fortune. The plantation on Wadmalaw Island was just as her father described. As Jane passed below the huge avenue of live oaks, she couldn’t help but sob over her dead parents. She had never really mourned them, and was unsure of how to go on. The warm embrace of her grandfather gave her hope and the encouragement to take it one day at a time. Though the loss of a parent is a wound that never heals, Jane thrived on the plantation. She was keenly interested in the business of indigo, and by the age of 16 Jane was running her grandfather’s plantation when he was away on business. To remind herself to always persist and overcome hardship, she wore the Mermaid’s Eye on a chain around her neck, but hidden beneath her dress. She was comforted by the coolness of the stone against her skin; it felt like the sea, and the gem made her feel close to her mother. The dog likewise, continued to heal. He

was ever by Jane’s side, even during those first few weeks when picked the mangy knots from his hair. Over time he became a different dog. Gone was the dog reacting out of angry fear in the corner. His spirit matched the lighter, happier moods of his mistress, and she gave him his first real name: Contego, a latin term meaning “to save,” in honor of that fateful night when he chose to protect her. -----------------------------Despite the growing happiness, the darkness lingered. Each night, as Jane slept in her warm, peaceful bed, Muskgrave’s ghost would rise up from the marsh and travel down the avenue of oaks to the front door of the plantation house, intent on stealing away Jane’s life and reclaiming the Mermaid’s Eye. Contego, always alert for Muskgrave’s returning spirit chases the pirate away from his mistress and back into the marsh each night. It’s believed that after many years, Jane buried the Mermaid’s Eye along with Contego when he died as a very old dog. In fact, Jane’s ancestors who still live on the plantation claim to still see Muskgrave’s ghost occasionally. Frightful as the pirate is, they are never truly afraid because the spirit of Contego also lives on. From time to time, they see the faithful ghost dog patrolling the grounds, ready to chase the pirate back into the murky depths. Other times, Contego is seen resting in the family cemetery beside his mistress’ crypt, but always on the watch.

the haunted porch a real charleston doggie ghost story The most haunted place in the city of Charleston is a little yellow Charleston single house turned restaurant called Poogan’s Porch. For nearly 40 years, diners have reported seeing the ghost of the restaurant’s namesake, a West Highland Terrier named Poogan who lived in the home during the early 1970s. In 1975 Poogan’s owners sold the house and moved about 4 blocks away. Every morning at the new house when they would open up the back door to let Poogan out, he would run right back over to his original home and settle down on the porch. Despite being busy turning the house into a restaurant, the new owners would do the right thing and take Poogan back to his rightful home. And that lasted for about a week and a half. That little, down-home Southern dog


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Clifford the Mastiff and Sophie the Cockatiel make an unexpected but super cute pair.

On the next few pages, we take visual pleasure in unlikely friendships, where there’s no shortage of familial love despite a lack of genetic kinship. If only we could all be so accepting of those different from ourselves.

Bruiser the yellow lab is friends with a menagerie of animals on the family homestead: Chubs the baby pot belly pig, a chicken hilariously named Bach Bach, and a young wild pony named Salty rescued from Chincoteague Island in Virginia.

Let’s play chicken.



Cricket (top) and Parma (bottom) are both mascot dogs at Maybank Animal Hospital and since the hospital often nurses injured wildlife back to health for Keeper of the Wild animal rescue, both gals come into contact with a variety of unusual critters. These days, Cricket and Parma are taking care of baby squirrels and are very patient as these furry tailed patients climb all over them! For more info on Keeper of the Wild’s work preserving our area’s wildlife, visit

Murphy, 10 months old and Sully, 5 months old, are two Golden Retriever mixes with a fondness for feline friends. Here they snuggle with their buddy Mulligan. See, dogs and cats CAN get along.

seemed determine to stay. As far as he was concerned, the porch was his. After all, he’d been a neighborhood fixture for years, wandering from porch to porch, in search of back scratches and table scraps, endearing himself to all. So the restaurateurs had a talk with Poogan’s owners, and all decided Poogan could say on his porch for as long as he wished. From his proud perch, he served as official greeter, and it seemed only right to the name the restaurant after him. Poogan died a natural death in 1979. However, even today, Poogan’s ghost remains on the porch. When the weather is nice, people often report they feel Poogan brushing up against their leg as he wanders around the porch looking for a pat on the head or a table scrap. Many people have dropped a napkin or a piece of food only to look down and not be able to find it. So next time you’re on Queen street, make sure to look for Poogan on his porch. Provided by Catherine Wilhoit at Bulldog Tours, which was founded in 2001 in effort to raise money for the preservation of The Old Exchange, one of our country’s most historical buildings. To date over $1.7M has been raised for The Old Exchange,and various other historical landmarks.

Lowcountry Focus Photography Pet Portraits Weddings Commissions




happy hounds




cooper rocky luna

Upload photos of your happy hound at All breeds and mixed breeds accepted.


biscuit & pigs



Izzy Bee


moultrie ollie

marty dolly

reba red pepper

maggie 20


upcoming events ONGOING every saturday in october and november charleston animal society at the marion square farmers market. august 11th and 25th and september 8th and 22nd 5:008:00pm gas light art and wine gallery yappy hour. Benefits Carolina Coonhound Rescue. $5 raffle for a half a case of Lost Dog Wine and each ticket gets a free glass of wine.

october 9th noon the fore! paws! charity golf tournament begins with a shotgun start at 12 noon at the Miler Country Club in Summerville, SC. It’s a Captain’s Choice tournament with all proceeds going to the Foster Medical Fund at the Frances R. Willis SPCA. Registration fee: $60 per golfer before September 1. After September 1, registration fee is $65 per golfer. Registration fee includes goodie bag, cookout, soda and water. Visit www. for more info.

october 6th & 13th 4:00pm-7:00pm charleston county parks yappy hours! Dog lovers, reward yourself and your pooch after a long day at the office! Bring your favorite furry friend to enjoy live music and beverages at Yappy Hour at the James Island County Park Dog Park. Event is free with your park admission. Outside alcohol and coolers are prohibited. For More Information call (843) 795-4386 or email

october 15th 9:00am paws in the park and walk for the animals is an all day event featuring a fun walk team fund-raiser, games, food, live music and activities for pets and their families. The walk will take place around North Charleston’s Park Circle and will feature all the teams that have raised funds for the Charleston Animal Society as well as their furry friends! There will be local animal experts, educational exhibits with animals of all kinds, vendors from all around the Lowcountry, and lots of

treats for animals and their owners. This one day festival atmosphere will raise money to save countless animals lives, provide a day for education and family togetherness and bring the community together toward a common cause. Click to

for more info.

october 21st–23rd 9:00am charleston dog training club akc agility trials. Dogs will compete on courses including jumps, tunnels, weave poles, seesaws, and tires. Park admission is $1, spectators and well-behaved leashed dogs are welcome. Visit or call (843) 696-2892 for more info. Wappoo Shelter at James Island County Park, 871 Riverland Drive, Charleston.

october 22nd 3:00pm-6:00pm dogtoberfest at Freshfields Village, Kiawah Island Rescue. Meet n’ Greets, Animal Costume Contest, Vendor Booths, Live Entertainment, Wine Tasting, Activities, and Giveaways. All profit benefits participating animal rescues. The adoption process may be started, but there will be no on-site adoptions. Pets are welcome on leashes. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 on day of event and include a wine and seasonal beer tasting along with a commemorative wine glass. Vendor booths are $20. To purchase tickets, register for the costume contest, or reserve a booth, contact the Sandcastle Community Center at all 843-768-3875 or

october 22nd 12:00pm-4:00pm pet helpers adoptions at old navy at Mt. Pleasant Towne Centre. Find your newest FURever friend! Visit www. for more info.

october 23rd 2:00pm-4:00pm my three dogs doggie daycare & spa annual howl-o-ween party will take place October 23rd from 2-4 pm. Join us at our new location for our annual Halloween party! Tricks, treats and prizes galore! Best costume contest, photos, food, and more! 1606 Hwy 17N, Mt. Pleasant. For

more info email

october 29th 6:30pm the pet helpers 7th annual fur ball (disco inFURno) will take place at the Marriott Hotel on Lockwood at 6:30 pm. This year dogs are invited too! Doggy day care available during dinner and the live auction! Tickets: $150, Dog tickets: $75 Visit for more info.

october 30th 12:00pm-4:00pm the pet helpers/hairy winston howlo-ween pet costume contest will be taking place at the Towne Center Mall. Trick or Treating for Dogs and Kids from 12:00pm-4:00, Costume Contest at 1:00pm. for more info. November 4th -6th Humane NetCommunity Adoption Event at Summerville PetSmart

november 9th 9:00am mindful manners control unleashed workshop is designed for dogs who suffer from a lack of focus, overstimulation or reactivity. Contact Cindy Carter at or visit the website www.mindfulmanners. net for locations and pricing.

november 6th 1:00 pm mindful manners triebball workshop is perfect for herding breeds! This sport originated in Germany to give bored herding breeds a job. Think of it as urban sheep herding without the sheep. Dogs are taught impulse control, directional cues and how to drive the ball straight. Basic obedience is a prerequisite. Contact Cindy Carter at or visit the website www.mindfulmanners. net for locations and pricing.

Questions? Comments? Call 843-478-0266. Want to submit event information? Visit and click on Add an Event. We will do our best to include your event as space allows. Our online calendar lists all events in full.

Dental & Heart HEALTH by Jacqueline Brewer, DVM Photo by Flickr user The Giant Vermin, creative commons

As a veterinarian, something I hear from almost every pet owner is that their pet has bad breath. Anyone who has ever been woken up by a cat yawning in their face or greeted with happy puppy kisses can attest to that. What many pet owners don’t know is that this can go beyond the simple “smelly” factor of halitosis. Bad breath in a pet can be indicative of underlying bacterial infection, which can lead to significant cardiovascular disease. The good news is that this serious, potentially fatal consequence of dental disease is largely preventable, and it only takes a trip to your veterinarian to significantly reduce your pet’s risk of developing these complications. There’s an old wives’ tale about an animal’s mouth being cleaner than a human’s mouth. In reality, though, everyone has a mouth full of bacteria. With good oral hygiene, the levels of these bacteria can usually be kept to a minimum, and aren’t dangerous. Problems arise when the amount of bacteria increases. This is a natural process, but also one with potentially serious consequences. Bacterial infections of the mouth, or periodontal infections, are most often caused by anaerobic bacteria, which do not require oxygen to survive and reproduce. Because the bacteria aren’t limited by oxygen requirements, they are able to 22


flourish in small spaces and cavities where they may not be easily detectable, such as between teeth or under the gum line. As the bacteria reproduce in the mouth, it feeds off of your pet’s saliva and the bits of food that remain in his/ her mouth after eating. Thus fortified, the bacterial population is able to continue growing on and around your pet’s teeth, forming a build-up known as plaque. This plaque mixes with the natural calcium salts in the pet’s mouth, which leads to accumulations known as tartar; tartar, in turn, allows more bacteria to adhere to the teeth. This vicious cycle of plaque and tartar formation is ultimately driven by the continued growth of periodontal bacteria; unless the factors which enable bacterial growth are interrupted, this cycle will continue and result in the development of periodontal disease. This may manifest in your pet as bad breath, sores or abscesses in the mouth, broken and/or lost teeth, and red or inflamed gums. Often, people first notice a change in their pet’s eating habits or that the pet is having a difficult time chewing food or toys as they normally would. This apparent discomfort alone is a problem for your pet, but it’s the less obvious conditions that are even more concerning. Bacteria are not static – that is, they grow, reproduce, change, and

travel throughout their host. This means that bacteria may start out in your pet’s mouth, but can move to other areas of the body through the bloodstream, including the kidneys, pancreas, liver, and heart. As this happens, the bacteria are also recognized by the body as a foreign substance, which leads to activation of your pet’s immune system. While the immune system is designed to rid the body of infection, large quantities of bacteria can actually lead the immune system to do more harm; by inducing activation of chemical signals known as cytokines, the body initiates a widespread inflammatory response. What started as bad breath now has the potential to cause fatal damage, particularly to your pet’s cardiovascular system. Cardiovascular disease involves several mechanisms of pathology involving the heart and blood vessels, most often atherosclerosis, endocarditis, and myocarditis. Atherosclerosis, as in humans, involves the narrowing of blood vessels due to deposits known as atherosclerotic plaques. As the vessel’s passageway is narrowed by these buildups, less blood is able to pass through and therefore less blood is able to reach the heart muscle to which the vessels are traveling. This blood flow insufficiency leads to degeneration of cardiac muscle and loss of cardiac function. Endocarditis, or inflammation of the tissue lining the chambers and valves of the heart, is often infective in origin, as is myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle itself. Bacteria travel via the bloodstream to the heart, where it attaches and continues to grow. The presence of bacteria alone causes the previously-discussed inflammatory response, which itself is extremely damaging and can cause chronic degeneration of heart muscle. Cardiovascular disease is most often first detected in the form of a heart murmur. A murmur is the abnormal extra heart sound caused by turbulent blood flow. Blood normally flows through vessels without disturbance, which generates the ‘2-thump’ healthy heartbeat. When the vessels become narrowed due to atherosclerosis, blood cannot flow

smoothly. Cardiac valves, which normally keep blood moving forward through the atria and ventricles of the heart, may become weakened by infection and resulting inflammation, as in endocarditis. When these valves are unable to function properly, there is backflow of blood. The resulting turbulence from both pathologies creates an additional sound, or murmur. Therefore, by the time a new murmur is detectable on physical exam, it is usually indicative of some form of cardiovascular disease. A murmur itself is not a diagnosis, but a clinical sign; further testing such as an echocardiogram is required to determine the cause of the murmur, and further physical examination will likely reveal evidence of dental disease. Periodontal disease can easily be identified by your veterinarian at an early, manageable stage, as long as your pet is seen by a vet regularly. Your vet can help you identify methods of preventing worsening dental disease. Most veterinarians recommend having your pet sedated and given a full dental cleaning; like a human dentist visit, this involves using high-powered tools and water-driven picks to clear developing tartar and plaque, and allows more thorough detection of bacterial infection. Pre-anesthetic bloodwork provides additional diagnostic indicators for possible underlying infections that might otherwise go undiagnosed. Your vet may also recommend an oral hygiene regimen for your pet to maintain periodontal health between cleanings, including special chews, toothpastes, and water additives available only through a veterinarian, which are much more efficacious than the products available over-the-counter at pet stores. These routine procedures greatly decrease the risk of periodontal disease in your pet and subsequent cardiovascular disease. By paying careful attention to your pet’s oral health and hygiene, it is possible to almost fully eliminate this cause of massive infection, allowing you and your pet more healthy quality time together. Dr. Jacqueline Brewer is the lead veterinarian at Maybank Animal Hospital. Learn more at their website,

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Teaching Loose Leash Walking by Kristie Allen

photo by Flickr user geekstinkbreath, creative commons

Many dog owners come to me for help because their dogs pull very badly during walks. Proper leashed walks don’t happen on their own. Your dog doesn’t know what “Sit” means until we teach him, so why should we expect him to know leash manners before those manners are taught? I recommend teaching “Loose Leash Walking” which means there should always be slack in the leash, what I like to a call a ‘J’ shaped leash. The most effective way for your dog to learn this skill is to teach him that walking on a loose leash is more rewarding than pulling. Thanks to the Positive Reinforcement Movement, we have learned many effective ways to teach our dogs commands and skills without using harsh collar corrections. We teach the dog that being on a loose leash is far more rewarding than pulling. We do this the same way as teaching any other cues, such as Sit, Stay, Come, etc., we reward the dog for giving us the desired behavior. For these exercises your dog should be wearing a flat collar. For dogs or puppies that have already learned that they can pull you, I recommend a front clip harness or head halter, whichever the dog responds 24


to most. These training aids will not allow the dog to pull you if he tries, and are not painful. You should also use a standard 6 foot leash. Do NOT use a choke chain, prong collar or retractable leash. They are not necessary and quite frankly, can be dangerous and counterproductive. Another thing to keep in mind is that this is a training exercise. It will take patience, persistence and practice. With a very young pup that has not yet learned to pull, the training will typically not take as long as it may with an older pup that has been pulling you for years, but with both, the goal is certainly attainable and the rewards will be like no other. I also recommend, as with any other training, that you begin the training exercises inside your house with little to no distraction, then slowly add in distance, distraction and duration, working up to outside in the back yard, then down your driveway, down your street, and so forth. Also keep sessions short and fun! Four or five 3 minute sessions will be much more productive than one 30 minute session. 1. Pick a side to teach your dog to remain on – left or right. You can eventually teach him to walk on the other side after

he gets one side down pat, but don’t let him crisscross in front of you because this could trip you up. 2. Be prepared to stand still if at any time during the exercise your dog pulls. Don’t let your arm extend out either. Your dog is pulling to get somewhere else, to smell a spot where another dog has been, to get to another dog or person, etc. If you let him pull you towards these things, then you just rewarded him for pulling. I see this happen when owners are attempting to socialize their pups. They want the pup to meet new dogs and new people, so they allow the dog to pull them to the new “thing,” inadvertently teaching the pup that pulling gets them to where they want to go. If the leash is tight, the dog is pulling, no matter where they are in position to you. So it doesn’t matter if the dog is physically able to pull you or not – tight leash equals pulling. 3. Walking on a loose leash can be quite difficult for your dog, so make sure the rewards are what the dog deems as high value, not what you think he should deem as high value. If your dog is food motivated, use high value food rewards; if he is not food-motivated then use a toy he

really likes and only pull this toy out when playing the “loose leash walking game.” Most dogs are food-motivated, especially if you take the time to find out what he deems as a high value food reward. Some examples are turkey, turkey dogs, liver, cheese and chicken. 4. Have the dog’s leash in your right hand and treats in your left hand. Say your dog’s name to get his attention, and using the treat lure him to your left side with a loose leash. Say “Yes”, “Good” (or Click if you are using a clicker), to mark the behavior and give him the reward. Luring is holding the treat between your fingers so the dog can smell it, but not get it. The dog should follow your hand until you get him into the position you would like. For shy dogs who may back away or stop when you move the treat away, you may have to back up a step and practice luring alone before you can practice the loose leash walking exercise. 5. Now, as long as the dog is still standing near you with a loose leash, lure him forward a step or two with your left hand and as long as the leash remains loose, give the reward marker (“Yes”, “Good” or Click) and reward him. Take a few more steps, give your reward marker, then reward again and repeat for as long as he is walking with a loose leash. Some dogs may lunge forward after getting the reward – if this is the case, do not move an inch. Stand still, and when he stops pulling, get his attention as mentioned earlier, and lure him back into position beside you, then take a couple of steps, give the reward marker, and reward. 6. Work up to 3 steps then reward, then 4 steps then reward, and so forth. Work up the amount of steps before rewarding gradually. Even if you are up to 8 steps before the reward marker and the release of the treat, every now and then, reward at 2 or 3 steps to keep it fun, rewarding and create that jackpot mentality. Still continue to work up to more steps before rewarding, but don’t hesitate to reward for less every now and again. You will soon have a dog that walks nicely with you on a loose leash. Remember, you can never let your dog pull to get what he wants, and a tight leash is pulling, even if the dog is on your side. Kristie Allen is the owner of The Learning Canine dog training,

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Lowcountry Lab Rescue Lowcountry Lab Rescue (LLR) is a 501© 3 animal welfare organization that rescues and rehomes stray and unwanted Labrador Retrievers from lifethreatening situations. LLR promotes responsible Labrador ownership through breed education and spay and neuter advocacy to prevent abandonment and homelessness of Labrador Retrievers. LLR takes in Labradors from animal shelters that are going to be euthanized because that are determined to be “unadoptable.” This could mean that the dog needs more medical care than the shelter can afford, or that the dog needs obedience lessons or simply that the dog is black in color. Black dogs are the last dogs to be adopted in animal shelters. We are in desperate need of foster homes. Foster homes are crucial to our efforts to save Labradors that would otherwise be put to sleep. Often we are unable to pull a dog from a shelter because we do not have a foster home in which to place the dog. Most of the Labs that we get into foster care are wonderful Labs that need love, structure, and attention.

Dodge is a 4 yr old neutered, male, yellow lab. He loves to run & play and lives to retrieve! High energy with a gentle spirit -- he’s a real ‘people dog.’ Great with other dogs & is even friendly to cats.

Jesse is a big black Labrador! Anyone looking for a big, block head Lab will love Jesse! He is great with kids and other dogs, but best in a home without cats. Jesse is about 5 years old and is great in the house and on a leash. Consider adding Jesse to your home today!.

Hogan is a 2 year old black male. He is just finishing his heartworm treatment and ready to go to his forever home! Hogan’s foster mom says he is a great protector. When someone comes to the door he lets out a deep woof to let them know he is watching over his foster family. Hogan does well with cats, kids & other dogs! He would be a great addition to a young family looking for the perfect pet!

Bear was dropped off at a shelter with a note on his collar that said “My name is Bear. I am 4 years old and I am blind. My family is moving and can’t take me so please find me a good home.” LLR got poor Bear out of the shelter and into a loving foster home. His disability does not slow him down. Does well with other dogs, cats and kids! He needs a wonderful family to give him a chance!

If you can foster, volunteer or donate, visit our site at

Zeus is a great family pet! He was surrendered to the shelter because his family could no longer care for him. 100% house trained, no crate needed. Although Zeus is 4, he is a puppy at heart! He loves to play and retrieve. Zeus is great with other dogs and cats. Adores children and loves to lie next to you and take a nap! Zeus does well on a leash and likes to take daily walks!



Brewer is 8 years young! A chocolate male weighing in at 100 lbs he is a gentle giant. Brewer needs a home with kids and other dogs to play. He loves to be around people and will let kids crawl all over him! Brewer would be a wonderful, low maintenance addition to any home!

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Lowcountry Dog October/November 2011  

Interspecies Friendships, Dental and Heart Health, A Spooky Spot Ghost Story, Loose Leash Walking and Pet Peace of Mind for Hospice Patients

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