Island Vibes December 2023

24 Pet of the Month: Maggie,the purebred australian shepherd By Isabel Alvarez Arata “Maggie is the unofficial mayor of Isle of Palms,” proclaimed Sarah Daniel Parker, the proud dog mom of the purebred Australian shepherd. Parker and Maggie walk on the beach every day. Maggie greets visitors as if she’s known them forever. Parker believes that Maggie’s life’s purpose is to give others comfort and love. Parker, who currently volunteers with Australian Shepherds Furever and Carolina Border Collie Rescue, rescued Maggie several years ago. When Maggie was 6, she struggled to get along with one of her litter mates. Her former owner made the difficult and selfless decision to place Maggie in a new home where she would be more at ease. Thankfully, Parker came across Maggie’s photo and instantly knew she’d be the perfect companion. “While no dog could ever fill her paws, her story encouraged me to become a foster dog mom to many Aussies and border collies, saving lives one dog at a time,” Parker said. “With every shelter in the country at capacity and pets euthanized by the minute, ‘Adopt Don’t Shop’ has never been more important.” A senior dog at 12 years old, Maggie has adjusted to old age very well. As an Aussie, a breed known for its energy and endurance, Maggie still has a high drive and enjoys living life to the fullest. Her squirrel-catching duties, however, have been retired. Nowadays, Maggie has her sights set on her next each romp. The Caldwells The Caldwell family, led by Sally and Ryan Caldwell, is vital to the Isle of Palms community. Originally from Wisconsin, Sally moved to IOP in 1989, just before Hurricane Hugo. She graduated from Clemson University in 1996 and has been a cornerstone of the local education system, teaching at Sullivan’s Island Elementary School since 2000. Sally has also shared her passion for wellness, working as a yoga instructor at 360 Yoga Charleston since 2011. The Caldwells, including sons Davis (22), Ethan (20), and Zander (17), along with their fat cat Tubby, have called IOP home since 2000. The family enjoys the island’s lifestyle. Sally often can be found riding her beach cruiser, paddleboarding or relaxing with a book at the 25th beach access. This close-knit family’s story reflects their strong connection to the community and the natural beauty of IOP. The Kunkles Christie Kunkle and her husband Eddie, from Hickory, North Carolina, and Newberry, South Carolina, respectively, have built a fulfilling life centered around family, pets and work. They have three adult children: Eddie’s daughter, Stephanie, married to Brian with a daughter, Asher; Christie’s son, Brad, and his girlfriend Megan; and Eddie’s son, Matt, and his girlfriend, Morgan. The family is also home to three beloved dogs: Zoe, a senior Shih Tzu, and two Berkeley Animal Center adoptees, Poppy and Coco. The couple has resided in a historic J.C. Long duplex since 2010, which they acquired in 1987. Christie works in international moving for Sirva, enjoying its global challenges, while Eddie serves as the buildings division chief at The Citadel, his alma mater. Their leisure pursuits include boating, fishing and socializing with friends at local venues like The Dinghy and The Windjammer, embodying their love for the outdoors and community events. The Runzas Denise Runza, a realtor with Carolina One Real Estate, and her family have been a dynamic part of the Isle of Palms community since relocating from Des Moines, Iowa, in 1993. Denise and her spouse, Nick, enjoy an active lifestyle infused with community spirit. Their children, 22-year-old Grace, a student at Appalachian State University, and 18-year-old Gabe, studying at the University of Utah, share this love for the outdoors and IOP’s unique charm. The family is also home to Izzy, a spirited 3-year-old Boykin Spaniel, and Potato, a tabby cat, adding more joy to their lives. Denise’s favorite activities include running the trails, taking Izzy to various parks and the golf course and exploring the island by golf cart. The Runzas embody the essence of life on IOP – a perfect blend of community involvement, nature and an active lifestyle, reflecting the enriching experiences IOP offers its residents. Meet Your Island Neighbors! PEOPLE & PETS