This newsletter’s volunteer spotlight shines on Linda Lee from Sandy Hook, Manitoba. Linda has a long record of service to Kerries. In addition to being the Treasurer of the Kerry Blue Terrier Club of Canada since 2009, Linda has been the Vice President of the Red River Terrier Club of Manitoba and was a Rescue Coordinator for the KBT Foundation from 2007 to 2015. She was the Rescue Coordinator for Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nunavut and, at one time, for the entire US Midwest, but more recently “just” for North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota as well as some Canadian territories. She served on the KBTF Board for a period of time (2009- 2010). Linda has been involved in a significant way in the rescue and adoption of at least 25 Kerries and also assisted with the Health Survey and (with Linda Grisley and Judi Young) on a major revision of the Rescue Policy Manual in 2012.
Although Linda and her family live in Canada, she and her husband, Larry Bremner, spend part of the winter at their condo in Cave Creek, Arizona. By profession, Linda is a social researcher and program evaluator and is both a partner and Vice- President of Proactive Information Services Inc.
Linda and her husband have owned Kerries since 1995 when they became “Kerry converts,” having previously owned a Wire Fox Terrier and a Lakeland Terrier. This transition to Kerries happened after the family Lakeland died suddenly and they got a Kerry from Marilyn and Bob Brotherton (Aisling Kennel). The rst Kerry was named Casey and the second (in 1996) was Breeze, who lived to be 17 years old (there is a memorial to Breeze in the 2013 section of the “In Memory” page on the KBT web site). Currently, Annie and Kevin are the Kerries in Linda’s life.
Linda and the family spent time going to conformation trials with their rst Kerry and have shown both Annie and Kevin. Kevin is currently one of Canada’s top Kerry Blues. Linda showed him for both his Canadian and American championships – his America Championship obtained in 2 weekends with 4 majors. They are currently working on Kevin’s American Grand Championship. Husband Larry is the Manager of Team KBT. Linda says they both enjoy showing the Kerries and have met many wonderful people through this activity.
While Kerry Annie has retired from the show ring, she still makes the occasional appearance in Canada. Linda writes that Annie is the epitome of the versatile Kerry: she was #1 KBT in Canada in 2011, has a several agility titles and is well on her way to more, and she has a CKC herding title (she loves to herd sheep!). Annie and Linda have also attended a Barn Hunt clinic and hope to participate in some Barn Hunt trials this year. (For more on Linda’s show career, see “Re ections of an Owner Handler” in this newsletter’s Summer 2014 issue.) Linda says that the best thing about being a Kerry person is being involved in rescue. Rescue, she writes, is a team effort and can be a very rewarding (although often emotional) experience.
The happy endings, she says, are the best part – seeing Kerries in their forever homes! Linda still gets emails and photos from a number of the families who have adopted a rescue Kerry.
Rescue can even be funny sometimes. As she tells the story:
The very first rescue dog that came up for me to place arrived at the same time I had to y to Ontario for my aunt’s funeral. So my husband had to pick the dog up at the airport. When asked to put a value on Reily (so we could pay the Canadian Goods and Services Tax on him), Larry thought of our Kerries. So he said what he thought was a “low” estimate -- $1,000. Oops! He should have said $50. So he ended up paying $70 in tax rather than $3.50!
Then Reily came out of the crate. His face looked so much like our male Kerry who had died of cancer three months earlier that it was a pretty emotional moment for my husband. Fortunately, some friends stepped up to foster Reily, so Larry didn’t have to take him home and deal with him along with our two Kerry girls (one of whom was a puppy) while I was away. Needless to say, you need a great support network - and an understanding partner - when you’re a Rescue Coordinator!
It is no surprise that Linda feels that being a Kerry owner and KBT volunteer is definitely a good experience. There are many ways to contribute – become a Rescue Coordinator (you can just volunteer for one or two territories), offer to foster (our foster families are true gold!), help in transporting a rescue dog, put your name forward as someone who could check out a dog found in a shelter, and/or donate to the KBT Foundation.
For all her hard work and for her undiminished enthusiasm, our Cheers Salute to Linda Lee, one of the Foundation’s most dedicated volunteers!