OCTOBER 27, 2003 - JANUARY 30, 2012
I’ll never forget when Brillo, our first Kerry, and I met Bonnie for the first time. It was a sunny afternoon in San Bruno Park. She had traveled a long flight from St. Louis and was picked up at SFO by Eileen Andrade, a Foundation volunteer. Bonnie and Brillo met and I got to meet my new little girl. It was love at first sight. Actually, the whole experience was new for her – grass, open space, airport noise and mostly, people who were not going to hurt her. You see, Bonnie had come from a very abusive puppy mill where humans were to be feared not loved. She was rescued (The Great Escape #116) just in time it seems for that day she went into heat. Had she remained in the mill or bought by another mill, she would have been bred again. She had her first litter at one year of age.
Bonnie loved Brillo and followed him everywhere. He taught her “the ropes” of living in a house with a family. They traveled to the ranch and met the horses. One day, Bonnie disappeared from the barn and we took off after her. Kiwi, my horse, and I found her up on a trail looking quite forlorn. That never happened again.
It took Bonnie several years to trust John and Mark, the men in the family. It was probably men who abused her and it took a long time for her to warm up to men and trust them. At some point she decided that men were OK. Friends and family were amazed at her transformation from shy to friendly and loving. Our first Christmas together found her outside in the rain as she was too terrified to come in with all the people. I had to go out and bring her in and she sat next to me the whole evening.
Six months after she came, Brillo passed. She was lost without her pal. About the same time the huge Shelbina Express rescue occurred. 40+ Kerries were rescued and needed homes. Eileen once again suggested we adopt a little male ( # 126) who we named Clyde. The rest is history. They were a team, Bonnie and Clyde, always together. When he escaped, she would escape with him. When the last escape from our house (when a gate was left open) in Dec. 2011 rendered him injured, Bonnie stayed by his side. She’s the one who found me when I went looking for them.
As a family, we had 6 ½ years together. There were many miles of hiking trails where Bonnie and Clyde even wore hiking boots to protect their feet. Vacations to Gray Eagle Lodge (in the Sierra Nevada Mountains) where there was always a doggie bag from the dining room. The early morning walks to Lily Lake were special because Bonnie and Clyde would romp ahead together in search of a new smell and adventure. They would trudge along on long hikes and one day, almost met a bear. They obediently followed me out of the area to safety. They loved the vacations but were happy to sleep all the way home.
Home was their favorite place, especially when we were there. They just want to be wherever we are. Even today, Bonnie is following me around. Diagnosed 4 days ago with cancer, Bonnie’s body has deteriorated quite rapidly. On this, her last day on Earth, she is still a mother to Clyde, licking his eyes and looking after him. He will be lost without her as she was without Brillo.
Bonnie was always a beautiful girl with a beautiful coat. She had a rough first 2 years but enjoyed a wonderful life for the next 6 ½ years. We are lucky to have had her in our lives. She taught me the importance of trust and patience. She trusted me and I could never betray that trust. We understood her sensitive nature and could never put her in a boarding kennel. She came on vacation with us. One day we had a Kerry Blue reunion. There were many kerries with their owners. I think she thought that she was going back to the mill and had a bout of colitis, blood everywhere. We left the party and within a few days, she was fine again.
In recent years, Bonnie and Clyde loved their beach romp with another doggie friend, Sage. They would fly across the sand, barking and fussing with each other. Bonnie would roll around on the sand and enjoy her total freedom.
Bonnie didn’t deserve this abrupt ending. Throughout her short ordeal with cancer, she exhibited courage and a stoic attitude. Even this her last day, she came to me offering her paw as a sign of love and gratitude for a good life. I will always remember you, Bonnie Girl – the shy, frightened, little dog and how you matured into a solid, trusting companion.
Good-bye, my dear friend. January 30, 2012
Kathy & John Fehrn