Shelter Pet of the Day


Scout is a super-really-great dog available for adoption in SC.

Today’s Shelter Pet of the Day comes with a personal seal of approval!  Scout is the dog abandoned by our neighbors last year and left starving, trying to feed her litter of pups.  The good people at the Animal Protection League (APL) captured her pups, took them to the shelter, got them vetted and ready for adoption.  We fostered Scout for a bit and got her vetted and spayed before taking her to APL where she has been waiting for someone to come along who doesn’t mind being full body snuggled by a 35 pound dog.  Some of her pups have been adopted but there are a few still available.  Scout is really a terrific dog and had we been able to make it work with our pack, we would have loved to keep her ourselves.

Animal Protection League

Street Address: 6080 Old Leesburg Road, Hopkins, SC

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 5354, Columbia, SC 29250

(803) 783-2119

APL is a no kill shelter.

Could You Foster a Shelter Pet?

When shelters like this one in AL and this one in NV send out emergency pleas for foster homes, do you immediately think, “I couldn’t do that”?  I always did.  But now I’m reconsidering.

I get attached – as perhaps you could tell from the recent rescue of Jennie (thank you Jamie!).  In that case, all it took for me to feel a vested interest in the dog was a photo – no description even.  So the idea of taking a homeless pet into my home and making her part of my family temporarily never seemed all that feasible to me.

About 20 years ago, I worked in a veterinary clinic owned by a heartless vet.  A man abandoned his kitten at the clinic one Friday and the practice owner was determined to kill the cat immediately.  The associate vet asked me if I could take kitteh home for the weekend to save his life and by Monday we could figure something out.  Of course by Monday something had been figured out – the kitten would be living with me permanently.  Foster fail.

When APL rescued Scout’s puppies this summer, they offered to take her as well.  By that time, I’d spent so much time sitting out on the porch with Scout, I had fallen in love with her.  I knew it would be a challenge to introduce a new dog to our home because of Linus’s anxiety issues but I decided to give it a try and APL offered to take her at a later date if needed.  Ultimately it didn’t work out and we had to bring her to APL.  It was a sad day (and it happened to be my birthday which was definitely not good timing) but when I look back, I really feel good about the time we spent with Scout.

We got her fully vetted and spayed, house trained, fed her good food to get her to a normal weight and spent many nights cuddling with her on the couch and in bed.  We learned lots of useful things about her personality that will be helpful in matching her to the right owner.  Basically, I feel like we gave her a leg up on finding a permanent home.  And I know we allowed APL to spend resources on other pets in need during the time we had Scout with us.  When I think about it in those terms, it makes me want to consider fostering another dog.  I’m not sure I’m up to it right yet, but I’m keeping myself open to the idea.

Scout’s Pups at APL

Here are a couple pix of the Scups that Kristine at APL sent last week.  She reports they prefer sleeping under the dog houses as opposed to in the dog houses.

Scout: What Are You?

When I took Scout for her first vet visit, I filled out her new patient paperwork and listed her breed as “Little Brown Dog”.  The lady behind the desk seemed unsatisfied with this and stuck her head out to see if she could come up with something more definitive.  Ultimately, she entered Scout in the computer as “Mixed”.

We’ve had several suggestions from people on possible breeds in Scout’s family tree:  Lab, Beagle, Pitbull…  And as I mentioned previously, her behavior is much like a herding dog.

I won’t be paying for any DNA tests to get any official answers but if you’d like to toss your hat in the ring for what mix of breeds Scout might be, please feel welcome.  I’d love to hear your ideas.  I took some photos of her playing in the yard today and put them on Flickr.  They may be useful in gauging size. (She weighed 34 pounds at the vet’s office this week.)

Scout: Not a Retriever

Whatever Scout’s lineage may be, she acts like a herding dog.  That is to say, not only does she like to herd things, she also plays with our other dogs in a lot of the same ways that a Collie puppy we had for several months did.

Outside of the Collie, I’m not very experienced with herding dogs.  So I’m hoping for some suggestions on how to keep her out of trouble.  She loves her stuffies and her bones, but she also loves chewing rugs, shoes, and doggie steps.  I give her a cup of kibble in the Kong Wobbler every afternoon and she’s very excited about that.  Unfortunately the kibble runs out pretty quick.  She doesn’t like to be left, inside or outside, by her humans, even though she has doggie company.  She’s escaped the yard many times but we keep blocking her escape routes as we find them.

I realize many of her behaviors are probably due to her age and her history.  She’s very young I think and obviously she’s never been in anyone’s home or fenced yard before.  All things considered, she’s doing really well.  Very few housebreaking accidents, good sleeper, and only one Really Super Major Incident – eating my gelato which I left unattended briefly on the table.  (Since it was technically my fault, I decided to spare her the death penalty.)

I know some of you will have good insights and suggestions on things I can do to help Scout continue her transition to life as a pet.  We are taking her for her first vet appointment this afternoon.  I’ll report back afterward.

Update: Scout did great at the vet’s office.  She has been vaccimilated, her blood work was good and her heartworm test was negative!  She’s scheduled for spay next month.  On top of all that good news, I found out my vet gives a 25% discount for pets taken in off the streets.  Bonus!

Saturday Scout

Her Ears are an Endless Source of Entertainment

When she’s sleeping they stick up like devil horns.  When she’s looking down they form the top of a capital T.  When she’s jumping around playing, random snickering.

Scups at Animal Protection League

Kristine at APL sent me some photos of Scout’s pups settling in at the shelter:

They have been named Romulus, Rowan, Rin, Rinji, Ripley, Reece and Rafi.  Kristine told me APL tries not to repeat names for dogs at the shelter and, like many breeders, they use themes of one sort or another when naming litters.  Obviously Scout’s pups are an “R” litter.  (Can you believe no dogs at the shelter have been named Romulus before now?!)

Scupdate – ALL SAFE!

APL came out today and rounded up the last 3 stragglers so all of Scout’s puppies are now being cared for by loving, responsible people.  Kristine says that the first 4 are already allowing people to pick them up without screaming or snapping so that’s very encouraging.  I hope things continue to go well.

I did get a few shots of the 3 pups from today:

Scout is currently laying on the bedroom floor, alternately chewing her bone and one of Graham’s stuffies.  Graham is displeased.

Scupdate – Puppy Edition

So a couple of the fine folks from my favorite no kill shelter, the Animal Protection League, came by yesterday to check out the Scout situation.  Scout was very friendly with both of them and that was my first time seeing her with strangers so that was good.  They managed to catch 4 of the 7 puppies and take them back to the shelter.  The remaining 3 found a safe spot inside a drain and went into we’re-not-moving-an-inch-we-don’t-care-what-you-do mode.  So the gals from APL will be coming back to catch those 3 sometime soon.

The puppies screamed as they were caught but then settled down pretty well.  Seeing them up close for the first time, they were not so big as I had judged from a distance.  I would guess they’re about 5 or 6 weeks old.  They are all cute as little buttons.  (I’m sorry I didn’t think to take pictures!)

I wanted to make special mention of Kristine and Sonya’s efforts in catching these pups, lest anyone think they just put out a crate, gave a little whistle and the puppies came running.  No ma’am.  The gals were out in the SC August heat for a good while, scrambling in and out of ditches, laying on their bellies in the mud, and sticking their arms into dark places where who knows what might be lurking.  And this was their day off!  When they left, instead of saying “Well we’re never doing that again!” (probably what I’d be saying), they were already coming up with a game plan for the return visit.  These gals are my heroes.

Later in the day, Billy and I were sitting on the porch with Scout and she seemed depressed to us.  Maybe she was just tired from all the excitement of the day but in case she was feeling down, I reassured her that her pups were in good hands.  I told her that only people who really loved dogs would go through so much effort to rescue the pups from someone’s discarded dog.  She seemed cheerier by the time evening came around.

I can’t tell you what a relief it is to know at least 4 of the pups are safe now.  As soon as the other 3 get caught, I won’t have to leave Scout loose anymore to feed them and that will be another huge worry off my mind.

If you’d like to donate to help APL care for Scout’s pups, or just to fund their good deed doings, here is their info:

Animal Protection League
P.O. Box 5354
Columbia, SC 29250

Paypal donations can be made via the button on the right hand side of this page.

Thank you APL!