Anne Corke, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada is a name with whom many of us involved with the Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation are familiar. A retired IT professional by training, Anne puts her IT talent to work in one of her many post retirement avocations as Keeper of the List.
No, it's not the list of the saints waiting to enter the Pearly Gates (although some of us might be tempted to think that.) It is the list associated with the Foundation. As Keeper of KBL, Anne monitors and administers the list. Every month, she selects a post for our Best of KBL and writes an intro for it.
A Kerrie owner for over 40 years, Anne has fond memories of Peg O 'My Heart, Suzy Q and Peggy Two (litter sisters), Cassie, Tristan, Dickens, Lexie. Currently she shares her time with two Lakeland terriers, Sophie (7 years) and Danny (4 years). Her favorite activity with her terriers has been sharing long walks in the country.
How did Anne become involved with the KBL? The answer can be summed up in one word:Involvement.
Anne had been a long-time subscriber to the list. When Foundation President John Van den Bergh was looking for someone to take over the day-to-day maintenance, he asked Anne if she would like to do it. Anne continues her volunteer story by telling that she knew from her work with other volunteer organizations that there are always a handful of people that do all the work, so she was happy to help John out. So Anne has been working with the list for the last four or five years. She says that the best thing about this experience is that the KBTF is such a great organization with the interests of our special breed at heart.
Anne further points out to all of us that the website contains a wealth of information for anyone interested in Kerries, adding that "KBL is a great way to share information, too, and to get to know other Kerry people. And of course, the Foundations efforts in rescue and health/genetics are priceless. But possibly the best thing is the wonderful people you meet! They're almost like a Kerry support group, helping out when someone has a problem or is looking for information, applauding your accomplishments, holding your hand when you have a sick Kerry, and supporting you when you lose a beloved friend. Anne says that she has made so many wonderful friends through the list.
There is one part of the job that isn't Anne's favorite and that is refereeing, which Anne adds is "the only part that I dislike! Anne explains, "Sometimes people get very worked up about certain topics and then they start to take opposing views personally." When this happens, Anne's role is to try to defuse the situation as best she can. Sometimes she has to "call in the cavalry and ask John (Van den Bergh) for advice. Fortunately this doesn't happen very often, Anne concludes, adding "...In the end, its all about the Kerries and when the dust settles, were all friends again!
Because her overall experience with the Foundation is so very positive, she heartily recommends volunteering. "There is something really satisfying about volunteer work, about working because you care about the cause, not because someone is paying you. With volunteer work, you can pick the sort of work you want to do, and the organizations you wish to serve in your community."
A few more tidbits about this person that we who use the website owe so much: She dabbles in photography, gardening, family research, writing prose and poetry, and blogging (www.cavanreflections.wordpress.com). Of course, Anne spends a lot of time with her dogs! She says that she is still learning to groom a harsh coated terrier "very different, and more difficult, than grooming a Kerry!" Those of us who have learned to groom Kerries can only sympathize, and recognize that this dedicated volunteer is certainly willing to take on a variety of difficult tasks.
Additionally, Anne is the Director, Evaluator and Website Administrator of the East Central Therapy Dogs and is involved in various other community volunteer activities. She shares her life and home with her husband Gary, son Jeremy, and the two Lakeland terriers, Sophie and Danny.