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The Kerry Blue Terrier—the most tailored of terriers!

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Promoting Kerry Health: Terry Nooyen-Coyner


© 2015 Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation

In this newsletter, Cheers salutes a very special member of the KBT Foundation family: Terry Nooyen- Coyner. Terry has just retired from the KBTF board, making it an especially appropriate time to honor her long and effective service to the breed and to the Foundation. 

Terry and her husband Michael live in the state of Washington, where they have been involved with Kerries since 1977. Terry showed Kerries until the mid-1990s and has had a total of five of them.

Terry says that her favorite activities with Kerries have been logic games, walking, car rides, traveling, cuddling and just experiencing life. Soon after its development, she connected to other Kerry owners through the listserv and web site, which is how she initially learned about the opportunity to serve on the Foundation’s board. A past member of the board recommended her, and she was appointed as Health & Genetics Director because of her interest in the health and mental soundness of the breed. In that role, Terry worked to identify genetic- and health-related projects, to organize research on them, and to answer health-related questions for the public.

When Foundation President John Van den Bergh learned of Terry’s background in organizational issues and team building, he asked her to serve as Vice President, a position she has filled since March 2013. In that capacity, she worked to help improve administrative processes within the Foundation, coordinated the team effort for rescue processes and researched and made recommendations for insurance products.

Terry has seen her board experience as an opportunity to help the breed. She says that since the numbers of Kerries are so small, those of us who understand and love the breed need to help ensure its continuance through encouraging the breeding of healthy and mentally sound dogs, caring for the ones who are here and educating the public on their value and how to live successfully with them.

Sweet and loving Darby, also a champion, was rescued from a neglectful breeder at four years of age but suffered lifelong health problems from extreme neglect in those first four years; he lived to age 17. Jake's daughter Jezebel, lovely and funny, died of cancer at 13.5 years. Another of Jake's daughters, Elvira, just made standard height-she died at 14 from pancreatitis. Those long lives say a lot for Terry's loving care of her Kerries, don't they?

Terry feels strongly that the best thing about her board experience was the chance to have a positive impact on the breed and people interested in breed. Terry heartily recommends this experience to others as a great learning experience as well as a chance to do something positive for our very special dogs.

Rourke, Terry's companion and supporter through the deaths of parents and brother-in-law, is familiar to most of us from her posts to the KB-L as extremely intelligent, with a wonderful sense of humor. His death from dementia at age 14 and a half was chronicled movingly in the Fall 2014 issue of this newsletter. Here is Rourke and Terry's husband Mike.

Foundation President John Van den Bergh cites Terry’s acute business sense, both strategic and administrative, shown in her understanding of what administrative issues needed to be tackled to have a smooth running operation. John also lauds Terry as the diplomat on the board: whenever discussions got heated, Terry would come up with a win-win idea. She tackled practical projects as well, such as updating all the KBTF forms (about 12). Her lasting legacy, he says, will be her work on the thyroid study ( and click on “health”), the cyst survey report (in the Summer 2014 issue of this newsletter) and her numerous original articles for this newsletter and the KBTF website.

Although Terry is retiring from the board, she will continue to answer any health and genetics questions from the KBT community, to work on the cyst survey and to contribute articles to the web site. All of us in the Kerry community are very grateful for her past service and her willingness to remain involved as a volunteer.

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Today is July 21, 2019

In this month in 2010:

Martha Stewart and Home Depot came out with a paint color called "Kerry Blue Terrier".

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The Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation is a nonprofit charity dedicated to promoting the welfare of the Kerry Blue Terrier breed in the areas of education, rescue and health & genetics. Learn More.


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