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At one time, the oldest Kerry alive in the world.

Lived to 18 years, 3 months and 7 days (verified)


Bennie's 18th birthday, he is doing well all in all.
He knew the cake was for him. He remembered from last year!

The bandage was because he sprained his wrist but its healed now.

Bennie's 17th birthday


Died: 8/28/06 at the age of 18 years, 3 months and 7 days

Bennie was "put to sleep" on August 28, 2006, after a long battle with "Dog Alzheimer's".



Bennie was born 5/21/88. Litter # RL904485.
His breeder was Jack & Eileen Peters, Massapequa, NY.
His mother's name was Ch. Ballisodare's Spring Peeper (RA907815)
His father's name was Tantara's Tistam Shandy (RB157100).

Bennie is owned by Tim Cunningham & Nancy Hawke, Southampton, NY

Are there any secrets to why Bennie lived to be 18 years, 3 months and 7 days?

by Judith Bruno

After talking with his owner, Tim he seems to think there were several:

  1. Bennie’s breeder was very knowledgeable and had many year of experience with Kerries.
  2. A few weeks after Benny came to live with them, they has a 2 week vacation scheduled, so Bennie went back to his breeder to stay with his canine mother for an additional 2 weeks, and Tim thinks this was important.
  3. Bennie went everywhere with his owners. Tim feels because of this they were intimately aware of any changes on his person or in his personality.
  4. After Bennie’s first bout with cancer Tim prepared Bennie a strictly organic diet.
  5. Tim was lucky enough to find an incredible knowledgeable holistic vet who practiced traditional Chinese medicine.

"Bennie was so special to me, I would do anything to honor his life. I think Bennie and I may have know each other in a past life, and it is possible I was a dog.I always felt we knew other. Too much compatibility, to be a coincidence." Tim Cunningham, Bennie’s devoted owner

Bennie was born and lived his entire life on Long Island New York.

For the most part he lived in a small, somewhat rural town, where it seems everyone knew Bennie. However he was no stranger to the streets of NYC, which he frequently visited and enjoyed.

In his younger years Bennie was extremely athletic, running 5 miles a day with his owner, swimming, fetching sticks out of the ocean, or jumping off the boat for a swim. When Bennie got older, around 13, his owner was feeling a little older too, so they switched to walking.

Whatever his owners did, Bennie did with gusto.

At one point Tim was doing quite of bit of exercises to strengthen his back, some of which were done on a mat on the floor. When Tim was on the floor exercising, Bennie was beside him, also on his back, as if he were attempting to do the same exercises!

Bennie was sweet and affectionate, and became more and more dog friendly with age.

Tim also reports that Bennie did get cysts, which Tim always removed using LMX-4 (Lanacane 4%), then took them out with a sterile pin.

When Tim noticed Bennie licking one day, he took him to the vets to discover a cancerous cyst in his digestive track near his anus. By noticing the licking, a subtle change in Bennies’ behavior, they were able to respond immediately and Bennie went on to live an additional 6 years after his cancer surgery.

At this time Tim put Bennie on a diet of Buffalo meat, rice, carrots and broccoli for his evening meal, exclusively organic. For breakfast however, Bennie ate whatever Tim ate, whether that be an English muffin with peanut butter, or cereal and milk. Bennie always drank filtered water.

At this time Tim also found Dr. Jiu Jia Wen who received his degree in veterinary medicine from Beijing Agricultural University. As a veterinary student he majored in acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbal medicine. He then earned a Masters degree in veterinary acupuncture in 1987. Tim credits Dr. Wen for helping to prolong Bennie’s life.

First Bennie started to show signs of arthritis at about age 13. With Dr Wen’s herbs and acupuncture Tim said the change was instantaneous, like flipping a switch, Bennie regained his flexibility for the next 3-4 years. After about 16.5 years of age his walks were cut back to short trips around the block.

Over the years Dr Wen treated Bennie for cararacts and diminished hearing.

At about 16 years of age Bennie has a second bout of cancer, melanoma, diagnosed from a growth inside his mouth. Dr. Wen gave various herbs to help boost him immune system and helped Bennie beat cancer a second time and live another 2+ years.

Just before his 18 birthday Bennie started showing signs of confusion, and was diagnosed with Alzheimer disease. Bennie was never left alone, not even for 5 minutes, but as the disease progressed his quality of life diminished.

Tim wanted Bennie to die with the same dignity he exhibited over his lifetime, so at 18 years, 3 months and 7 days he made the difficult decision to free Bennie from further suffering.

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Question of the Week

Previous Questions of the Week Ideas

Today is October 28, 2016

On this day in 1996:

The KBT makes it on the US TV quiz show Jeopardy: "One story of the Kerry Blue Terrier is that it originated from a dog who swam ashore from a shipwreck in 1588 off the coast of Ireland. True of False?" Surprisingly, the contestants knew the answer.

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