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Beagle experiencing dog-gone good life

By Staff | Apr 7, 2015

Photo provided Deb and Wayne Stine and their beagle Fiona in 2009 after “The Blessing of the Pets” during an annual service held at the former Christ Lutheran Church in Montgomery.

MONTGOMERY Looking to have a companion in their home, Deb and Wayne Stine applied to the Lycoming County SPCA alerting them of their interest in adopting a dog. Their request was for a Benji- type dog, a terrier/beagle mix.

Eventually the SPCA phoned saying they were holding 40 some beagles rescued during a raid on a puppy mill. “Though we weren’t looking for a full blood beagle, I thought I’d be polite, drive up and look, going alone as my husband was coaching baseball,” Deb said.

Passing past the cages, Deb’s resistance weakened when one wiggled its paw resulting in agreeing to take the little beagle for a walk. Afterward, Deb told the attendant her husband would need a look too. “This was another polite way of delaying a decision,” Deb said.

Together we returned and after another walk, decided we’d take home the 3-year-ol d female who looked as though she were 15. As it was too late in the day to complete paperwork, the couple returned the next day. The third trip turned out to be the charm for the dog now homebound with her adopted care givers.

Even before meeting their new charge, the Stine’s had previously decided Fiona would be her identity. “The name came from the television show ‘Burn Notice’ and the character Fiona who we both liked,” Deb said.

And so began the process of cleaning, doctoring and introducing the little beagle into a world she’d never known. Deb said that, “Three baths were given before her gray fur was back to white. The claws on her back legs hung from her feet and had to be removed by surgery due to being housed in a wire cage overcrowded with other dogs. Also, both rear ACL muscles were torn and needed repaired.”

Through it all, Deb said, “Fiona is the sweetest dog. All our pets give us so much more than we give them.” Other companions in their family menagerie include six cats: one from the Lycoming County Protection Society, a no kill cat shelter in South Williamsport; two adopted from the county SPCA; and three strays who showed up at the Stine’s door. Each has a name and they are Marian, Suzie, Darcy, Holly and Albert. One of the strays who appeared is a kitten whose mother remains outside for feeding, too wild to enter the house. “We call her OD for out-door cat. After two years of delivering two batches of kittens annually, we finally trapped OD and took her to be spade,” Deb said.

Deb informed us that an organization in Loyalsock named “Beckoning Cat” loans traps and will then spade or neuter felines and give them a rabies shot. They require you keep the cats in the trap for overnight recovery from anesthesia, before releasing them.