I am Pelham Medlock, I retired as the Chief Arson Investigator after I was placed on the liver transplant list at the age of 41. God blessed me early in my career in the fire service and law enforcement. At the age of 18, I was a volunteer fire chief at Possum Kingdom Fire Dept. and a full time firefighter at South Greenville Fire Dept. I trained as a fire fighter, arson investigator and instructor; I worked my way through the ranks at South Greenville to the rank of Captain. In 1992 I was employed by Anderson County Fire Dept., the sixth largest fire service in the nation, as the supervisor of training. A few months later I applied for the county fire chief’s position and was promoted to the Anderson County Fire Chief at the age of 27. A couple of years later I transferred to the Arson Unit, a love I had early in the fire service. I then had to be certified as a class 1 police officer; I had the best job in the world, a fire fighter, a police officer and arson investigator. The Chief Arson Investigator retired and I was promoted to Chief Arson Investigator, in 2006 I was diagnosed with non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver and retired, awaiting a liver transplant. I received my transplant in January 2007, God blessed me with only a 3 day stay at MUSC hospital. In June 2007 I had a chronic plural effusion and was hospitalized at MUSC for 10 days, it was there I was introduced to pet therapy. I was in good physical & mental shape, just at times I could not breath, one day a knock at the door let me know how much I missed my dogs at home. A lady with a golden retriever ask if I would like a visit and I said yes. The ole dog did many of the same tricks Chief does on visits now, he flopped down at my feet awaiting me to pet him and boy did the rest of my time change at MUSC.
My wife had wanted an English Bulldog for some 15 years, as she had one named Bubba before we met and I just never thought we needed another dog in the house. One day while patronizing Happy Cow, Tammy took a break from milking cows and said I have something to show you and Abigail, so she went and brought a small pile of wrinkles and handed him to Abigail, when Claire was told about the pile of wrinkles, Chief came into our lives and I am very proud to say he stays with me more than his Mama. I carried Chief to PetSmart for basic puppy training, Linda the instructor knew my story, she encourage me to continue training with Chief, she also stated that I should consider pet therapy. I then thought back of the day I had the knock on my door at MUSC and I said yeah that is what we need to do. Chief and I joined Paws 2 Care in early 2010. Chief has the personality to stop, drop and flop on the floor and bring a smile to even the saddest or sickest person on the visit but when his wrinkles arrives the party begins. The day of a visit is a fun filled day for Chief as it starts out with a bath to unearth all of the hidden treasures he has buried in all those wrinkles. We then must be sure his bag is packed because being Chief he has needs but most of all being sure the slobber rags are ready to go. He will work on a couple of naps during the day but when I walk over and put my hat on he jumps up as if he had just been electrocuted and runs to the back door. I open the door and he runs to his favorite spot in the back yard for a quick business stop and then sprints to the back door of the truck. Once the door is open he awaits with his front feet in the truck for me to lift his rear end in the truck. He then takes his place on the back platform of the rear of the seat and watches the road as the excitement builds. When we arrive at the visit he will mind most of my commands but is so excited his sit is sometime so quick you might miss it. Chief will then make another quick business stop and excitedly awaits his visiting attire to be put on. Chief and I know that at each visit Creating Smiles One Paw At A Time is accomplished if not by the ones we visit, definitely by us.
God Bless You,
Chief & Pel