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For most of my life, I’ve had a dog by my side. All have been rescues, but I’d wager they saved me more than vice-versa. During my childhood, Terra, a diminutive and ever-patient Dalmatian, was given to my family and became my best pal. She happily complied to my many whims (from playing dress up to painting her toenails) and slept beside me most every night. Then, my senior year in college, I adopted Ojai, a beautiful flat-coat retriever who had been abandoned in the California town of the same name. Laid-back, quiet, and sweet, he went everywhere with me—classes, the beach, parties, and on hikes—and eventually became the office dog at Santa Barbara magazine.

Ojai made the huge trek East with me and quickly assimilated to life in the Lowcountry. Meeting new friends at the magazine, sniffing through the woods, walking along the Battery, and swimming in warm ocean water—what’s not to love?! After Ojai died, it took a full year for me to even ponder having another pup. That’s when I met Riley, a gentle soul from Lowcountry Golden Retriever Rescue who has been my steadfast support through thick and thin. That’s the thing about dogs: sure they require time, money, and patience, but they give us a priceless amount of love, companionship, and support in return—and hopefully even make us better people.

In the feature “Dog Days in the Lowcountry”, you’ll meet some precious local pooches who love living, working, and playing in our dog-friendly town. Read their fun-loving stories and then check out the guides on where to hang out with your own four-legged friends or adopt a new one.

Our shelters and rescues are making great strides in the effort to be a “no-kill community,” and I can attest to a lifetime of great experiences with rescue dogs, like sweet Riley. Twelve years after we met, he’s now my “olden golden,” but he has a new friend who keeps him on his toes. A year or so ago, a wayward beagle found my husband and me at a horse farm in the Upstate. Baru, named for his signature howl, is a mischievous and lovable little hound, providing endless humor and snuggles for my whole family.


Darcy Shankland

Post your pup!

Check out the feature “Dog Days in the Lowcountry” then share your dog’s photo and story at Submissions will be reviewed and added to our online feature. 

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