Search the Kerry Blues Website

  • Sign In

    Forgot password?
  • or
  • Join Now

Now entering the Kerry comfort zone!

  No


2006 Shelbina Express: Shelby


© 2016 Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation

Female #125, Shelby        

From Rescue to Adoption

The story of Shelby as it unfolded on the KB-L newslist.

Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 08:09:25 -0800
Reply-To: Tracey Fulmer <t_fulmer@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: The Shelbina Express -- comments from ground zero

I'm in tears from my experience in Shelbina and Iowa, where the 34 dogs remain, minus 9 that Mimi Wight and I dropped off at the airport yesterday. These are not tears of joy, but tears of anger, disgust, frustration and horror at the puppy mill industry and the complete lack of compassion for these living creatures. I am furious with the AKC for supporting this business. Each and every AKC delegate needs to go to an auction and see for themselves where their revenues are coming from and then think very long and hard if this blood money is worth it. They need to see firsthand at what price they maintain their museum of the dog. At what price each engraved trophy costs in terms of a mill dog's life of horror. I will write more on this later when I have time to compile my thoughts. Right now, I'm so angry and exhausted I can barely see straight.

I was totally shocked and relieved that every one of these 34 Kerries is sweet as can be and will make fabulous companions. It's clear that a few of them were actually kept in the house as pets at some point in their lives. One knew how to give paw and another had obviously been leash walked. These may have been imported from Europe. My happiest moment was when I ran with "big mama" (who was kept in milk and used as a wet nurse) and it clicked with her that she was able to run again. Compared to other mill rescues, these Kerries don't suffer from extreme timidity issues -- all of them still have the ability to wag tails, and after a few days, tails were wagging all around save a few of the more severely neglected. I didn't witness one incident of dog aggression. This puppy mill was one of the largest suppliers of Kerries to pet stores. He sold off his prime breeding stock, including two bitches that gave him 17 puppies just last January.

Unfortunately, this miller is also the devil incarnate (I am being kind) when it comes to humane treatment of his stock. One dog was so severely neglected -- used up at the ripe age of 5 -- that we can't tell if her eyes say "please help me" or "please help put me out of my misery". I can't think about her without sobbing. We named her Shelby.


Shelby at the auction

Please donate what you can. If there were ever a time to give, it is now. I beg you. Through tears of frustration and sadness.

Tracey Fulmer
back in Newton MA but wishing I were still there helping

Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 22:44:32 -0500
From: mimij5@ADELPHIA.NET
Subject: Re: The Shelbina Express -- comments from ground zero 
To all Kerry folks.

There are few words to describe the week that I have just experienced. There were moments of such horror, such sadness, that no words can express them. There were times when only humor could suffice, and I wish that I had the time and the verbocity to express them. I am just so very tired, and our work is not done, yet. I have been on the phone all night searching for a home for the most endearing, the most needy of our rescues. We've named her Shelby and she is, what can I say, the symbol of all the ugliness of the puppy mill trade.

Shelby is probably the "mom" of half the Kerries rescued on Sat. She is 5 years old, and she looks 20 years old. Someone kicked or beat or whatever in her face. There is a cravass, literally, from the interior side of her left eye to almost the tip of her nose....3" x 1" where one can look thru to her mouth. The teeth on that side of her head are missing. What do you think?...someone kicked her head in? Did someone hit her face with a hammer? Something along those lines happened to this gal who gave these SOB's thousands of dollars worth of puppies in her short life. In her condition, she has obviously been condemned by not only her human "caretakers" but also by the other dogs in her "pack". She has become the "leapor" to everyone....human and canine, alike. She haunts me....and I am determined that she knows "love and care" before she leaves us. Despite all that she has been thru, tho fearful, she manages to give kisses and express affection and graditude for every little thing offered to her. She is the true hero of this rescue, yet, we have no home for her. Shelby needs a home or a foster that is close by a vet hospital experienced with reconstructive surgery. This girl needs and deserves the restoration of her face.

Shelby after her clean up.

I can't write more because my CU battery is about to die. Please help us find Shelby a home.
More later....


Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 09:59:19 -0800
From: Tracey Fulmer <t_fulmer@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Shelby has found a home!!!! 
A quick note to say that Shelby found a wonderful home with a lovely couple in the New York area. They had contacted us about a year ago in search of a Kerry that really needed extra love and attention, and when we didn't have one at the time, they bought a lovely male Kerry puppy. But when they heard about Shelby, they knew that she was meant for them.

Thank you to Suzanne Rodda for your enormous help with finding this dear girl the best home possible.

Please keep your good wishes coming as somebody upstairs is certainly listening and watching over our beloved Kerries. Now these are tears of joy!!!


Shelby's story continues: From adoption to surgery, Life with Shelby

From Adoption to Surgery


Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 20:31:59
From: Irene <harpsichord@SUSCOM.NET>

Monday, 3/27, 7:25 p.m.


First I want to thank everyone involved in Shelby's Rescue. Tracey Fulmer was right there every step of the way helping to finalize all plans to the delivery and follow-up of Shelby's well-being. She is such a wonderful person, responsible and caring. It was such a pleasure to know her and be helped by her. One of my very good friends, Suzanne Rodda, was also instrumental in saving Shelby in a great way. She was the one in the first place who asked us if we would want Shelby and being the contact between us and the Rescue Foundation. Suzanne put in a good word for us and we will always be grateful to her for that. She is an excellent Kerry groomer and has an honorary reputation with all her clients and years of experience in grooming. I highly recommend her if you need a groomer for your Kerry, because no one surpasses the finished product she delivers. Plus, she has the best sense of humor and knows now to handle Kerries with such ease. I also want to thank everyone else who was involved in her rescue from beginning to end who I do not know, from Jan to Mimi and Carol and to all others, including all those who donated for her rescue. Without all of you, I would hate to think of where Shelby would be today. Thank you for saving her life. With the condition she was in when we received her, I do not think she would have made it if you did not rescue her when you did. Not only was she in physical distress, her spirit was bruised.

Shelby at the airport.

My mother and I drove from Brewster, NY to Hartford, CT to pick up Shelby at the airport. I did not want anything to go wrong so I called three times to make sure the plane took off as there was bad weather across the Ohio Valley that day. First they said there would be a delay, but the plane landed on time. We were really nervous that everything would work out and that we would get her as scheduled. We have never rescued an animal before in this regard so we were praying the air flight would arrive safely. They brought her out in a crate and gave her to us. All I could see was her little face and eyes, so timid and afraid. We cried when we saw her and that was not even a good view. When we really saw her face later we cried some more. It just broke our hearts to think someone could have mistreated her in such an inhumane manner as to almost kill her. We knew then that she was for us and we were in love with her. It was love at first site. We even loved her before we met her and knew she belong to us. The airport worker helped us put her crate in the car and we told her she was going home and everything would be alright. She defecated and vomited on the way home. I wanted to take her out immediately, but could not because I was driving. We just kept talking to her and reassuring her that all would be OK. We spoke loving words to her and tried to comfort her. When we got home and opened the crate she was so terrified that she would not come out. The poor thing was shivering. We carried her and introduced her to Shea, our other male Kerry. When we brought her into the house and put her down she ran away and was cowering. I could not believe it when I saw her face. I know they said there was a hole, but her eye was infected too and you could see her teeth through the hole. My God, what kind of an human animal could have done this to such a sweet dog? The pain and torture she must have gone through. You just had to take one step towards her and she ran away shivering.

I fed her a special meat dinner Saturday evening and Wellness dry food also and she ate like she had not eaten in years. She was still hungry so I gave her more. Now she eats better than Shea, our male dog. She loves to eat and we are so happy as she will get well real soon and get strong again. And I love to cook so she has fresh meat everyday, along with the dry. She has vegetables, brown rice and even goat's milk. We did not force her to do anything that night; just let her sleep on a mat by the warm fireplace. She did not want to go into the crate. Both Saturday and Sunday she would just pace the floor back and forth. She could not rest. She was too nervous. Today was the first day she actually sat on her bed and slept during the daytime. She is terrified of doors. When I take her out on a leash to walk her she cringes when she passes the door and won't come back in. I have to wait a long time for her to want to come back in so I wait until she is ready. Today was the first time she went out on a leash with me and Shea for a walk with less resistance. She loves going for a walk now. I walk her around the yard too. She follows me around now, but runs away the next minute. I just hold out my hand to her and she comes slowly toward me so I can pet her breast and thighs. Then she will let me pet her head and top of her body, but I have to go very slowly and speak loving words to her and tell her how beautiful she is. I just kneel down on the floor and wait for her to come. She circles back and forth and then comes slowly. I hug here again and pet her. Then she backs away again, but comes back for more. It will take time for her to really trust us and not be afraid of us.

Tomorrow we take her to our vet for an examination. He is a good and honest vet, Dr. Ivan Kanouse, in Patterson, NY, and we'll see how she is doing and what he thinks about her face. She is beautiful to us no matter what as her nature shines through and her gentleness. How could someone not love her? She actually is rescuing us, because was always wanted to adopt a rescue Kerry and to love one. She is really ours and we are the lucky ones to get her. I know that in time she will be running up the stairs with Shea and both will sleep in my room on their own beds. Shelby looks up at me now when I come into the room and wags her tail, something she has not done since we got her on Saturday.

I gave Shelby a bath today as she was so filthy with all the feces, urine and vomit on her. She now smells like a flower and seemed really happy afterward that she was clean. We sanitized her crate and put fresh bedding in it. She prefers her new bed though and has not gone back in the crate yet. We are going real slow and not rushing her. She has all the time in the world now to get better and finally have the life she should have had in the first place. We played ball with her in the yard while she was on the leash and she just looked at it. Shea grabbed it and brought it back. Shelby does not know what to even do with a toy. We bought her one of those sterilized bones with the peanut butter in it and she would not even take that. It is going to take her a long time to be a happy dog again, but everyday she progresses and is less shy.

Tomorrow is her birthday, 5 years old, and we are going to have a party for her. It is going to be a big day for her. We are clicker training her so she now knows to come if she wants a treat when the clicker is sounded. We give her treats for all her good deeds and praise her constantly with all that baby talk. She has her own water bottle too to get ready to take trips in the car on our local outings. She is going to have the best life ever and so much love. We bought her a matching collar and leash; a real beautiful green and blue one that enhances her light gray color. Wow, does she look like a queen now. Can't wait until she lets me rock her in my arms on my rocking chair at night as I do Shea. I think she has come a long way as both she and Shea love each other and they kiss each other. It is so cute. Shea loves her. He is not territorial. He just loves to play and is such a sweet and friendly dog. We are so happy it is working out with them too. Everything is working out for such a wonderful sweet dog that nearly did not make it if was not for such caring people like all of you.

I would like to see those people who abused her to face criminal charges, even the auction management who allows a sick dog to be sold in such a condition. I could not sleep for two nights thinking about what they did to her. It was just shocking and that affects the very being of your soul that there are people out there who could harm a helpless animal with such love.

We thank you for choosing us to adopt Shelby. I took pictures and will do so in the future to monitor her progression. She is going to be a real beauty when her hair grows back and she is happy again with a dance in her step and a twinkle in her eye. That day will be the happiest of days and it was all because of you, your big hearts and determination to rescue Shelby. May God bless you all and I know Shelby sends her love and thanks to you too.

With warmest regards,
Irene and Jeanette Mele
Brewster, NY

Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 12:53:52
From: Irene <harpsichord@SUSCOM.NET>
Subject: movie stars and update

Hi Everyone:

Was wondering if we would possibly contact some movie-star animal activists who would help? Just an idea. Guess you thought of it too. Also, may an auction. I am an artist and could donate some of my prints and I have plenty of artist friends who would do the same. Just trying to help too as much as possible.

Great news with Shelby. Took Shelby to the vet yesterday and hugged her while Dr. Kanouse was examining her so she would not be frightened. Did not her to think he was going to take her away. He said not to stitch the hole together as it would pull her eye down and then she would be prone to infections, but to do the reconstructive surgery and he can have her spayed at the same time as to not traumatize her again. It will be 2 weeks. He said he could even arrange for her to come home that night so she won't be alone when she wakes up. I don't want her to be afraid or alone so I am going to drop her off at 12:30 in the afternoon and pick her up after work and take her home so she can recover here with chicken soup. :)

He also said she has a good heart and is good shape considering the ordeal she has gone through. Wow, what good news. He is going to clean her teeth and check her organs while she is under sedation and other things. He was wondering why her nails were painted red. Any ideas from anyone? Would love to hear from all of you and I thank you that you love her as much as I do.

Real great progress with Shelby. She won't come over yet at first when I enter a room and runs away, but she looks at me and wags her tail. She knows her name and looks at me when I call her. I tell her how beautiful she is and how much I love her. Now she greets me when I come down the stairs and then runs away. I call her and she comes and then runs away, but she comes back. She is slowly knowing it is safe with all of us and is taken care of. Mimi said she would put the pictures on here for all you when I get them developed. That was so nice of her to off that. Thanks Mimi.

Oh, and when I just kneel on the floor each day and wait for her, she slowly walks over, is still hesitant and fearful, but she puts her paw up to reach me. Can you believe it? I cried when I saw that. I just gently touch the top of her paw. She runs away again, but comes back again and comes a little closer. Then I rub her side and when she comes closer I just hug her. I am so happy things are working out. Even Shea loves her and she follows him everywhere. She has her own bed and safe haven to get away from him when she needs to rest. When we first got her she paced the floor for days, just back and forth, all day long. Now she sleeps when she wants to and gets up and walks around not as fast. More relaxed.
Will keep posting how she is doing. Her birthday was yesterday so had a special dinner for her and a birthday cake for dogs. It looked so good that I wanted some. :)

Irene Mele
Brewster, NY

From: Irene <harpsichord@SUSCOM.NET>
Date: Sat Apr 1, 2006 4:59:06 PM US/Pacific
Subject: [KBL] Shelby update

4/0106 7:22 p.m.

Hi Everyone:

This is Shelby's 1-week update. Can you believe it is 1 week already. Wow. I have a lot of news to tell you. My mother and I took Shelby to our vet, Dr. Ivan Kanouse, and he examined her. Considering how much she has been through she is still fairly healthy. Her heart was good too. I was happy to hear that. I held her the hold time she was there so she would not be afraid or think he was going to take her away. She is going to have reconstruction surgery 4/12 and also be spayed at one time. He felt that would be best as not to traumatize her twice. I feel guilty even taking her there again and having to leave her. I am going to stay with her as long as they will let me and come back later for her. I want to be with her as much as I can so she won't be nervous. Dr. Kanouse is a good man and a skilled surgeon and he will give the organization a break after all we told him. He was in shock when he saw her face. He actually just looked at her for a few minutes and said nothing and then signed. Who did this he wanted to know. Then we told him. Terrible! Horrific. The people who did this to her were animals, not humans. Lock them away forever in the same cage she was in and with more humans too. I'm sorry, but this is a very emotional situation and justice should prevail.

Shelby has come a long way. I put her on my mother's lap for her birthday treat and took a picture. She and Shea sleep together once inawhile on the same bed. Is that ever cute. She follows him around all day long. He kisses her ears and loves her. We are very happy that they get along. Shea is very sweet-natured and so is she. If I am petting Shea, she comes over to be pet now also. She keeps her distance at first, but then she takes a few steps towards me and gives me her paw. I rub that and rub her body and she comes closer . Then I can hug her. She is rewarded for making in the pen with treats and praises and is making less and less on the floor. We walk her on the leash around the house and she likes that while Shea walks with us. The pen is large and she can be free there and roam as it has an 8 foot fence. It has a deck also so she sits out there on a sunny day and basks in the sun. She is not ready for the yard yet alone. That is going to take time. She is still fearful. She only comes in from the pen if I open the door wide, set it in place and then walk away. She is very fearful of doors. When she comes in I then close the door.

She is playing with toys now. This morning I saw her with a stuffed toy in her mouth. WOW! Now that was really something. For the first time she picked up a toy in her mouth. Now she has the life she should always have had. I took 2 rolls of film and am going to take them to be developed and wish I had film this morning for that. When she sees me she wags her tail. Yes, her little short tail that is shorter than a standard Kerry, wags. It is harder to see because it does not go up, but you can still see it move sideways. Shelby is very happy here. We took her on car rides and she and Shea sit in the back with the harnesses. They love it. She lets me pick her up into the car now. The first time she was fearful. She trusts me now when I tell her it is OK. She knows we love her. A girl and a boy dog. It can't get better than that.

What is really funny is Shea makes like a girl and pees on his front legs all the time so I give him more baths and Shelby makes like a boy on the pen fence. They really crack me up. Shelby barked for the first time this week. She has the cutest bark. She is sharp and smart. She is a great watch dog. She noticed the neighbors leaving for work when she went out to make. She already knows this is her house.

Friday I took her to the Feed Barn to show everyone there and they could not believe it when they saw her face. I explained about the puppy mills and they did not even know about them. Neither did I until Suzanne told me. They gave her treats and said she was doing well walking around the store and following me with no problem. The first time on the leash she would not budge. She was terrified so I had to carry her out to the yard. Now she follows on her leash.
Shelby prefers to sleep in the large metal crate we have instead of the pet porter she arrived with. We don't need the carrier any longer as we have both open for her, but she goes to the crate each time. Do you want me to mail it back so you can use it again for another rescue? It is a very expensive carrier and don't want to waste not using it. Can someone get back to me about that?

Two of my artist friends gave me two of their prints to auction off for the rescue fund. I am going to donate my artwork also. Both of my friends are established artists, the one being in Alaska magazine and others. So hopefully they will sell. I have asked a few other friends if they would donate their work for the cause also and they are going to get back to me so please let me know when you need this by. I can ship all the art work out to you together UPS.
Shelby loves it here. She has a long way to go, but in 1 week we all see a great improvement. She loves my father and son too. She looks up at us and wants to be in the same room as us. To me that shows that she is comfortable with us and knows where to get hugs and kisses. At night she gets rocked on the rocking chair and is held. I wonder how she will be in 6 months. She is the gentlest sweetest thing and we love her very much. She has gained strength and weight and can walk up the stairs now very easily.

I want to thank you all for your emails, cards, love notes, suggestions and articles and even a collar and leash on its way. What wonderful thoughtful people to go to such measures to save the lives of all those kerries. I have read all the emails and responded and hope they will keep coming.

I thank you for being there with me every step of the way as we all have a lot to learn still about rescue dogs and having you all there gives us more assurance that Shelby will make it. She will find life and love again that she and every dog on this planet deserves. All for one and one for all. I'll send you all updates so you can know how Shelby is doing. You are her family as we are family with all of the dogs you adopted. A family is there for family. A family grows and cares together.

Warmest wishes,
Irene Mele and family

From: Irene <harpsichord@SUSCOM.NET>
Date: Wed Apr 5, 2006 7:30:59 PM US/Pacific
Subject: [KBL] SHELBY UPDATE 4/05/06
Reply-To: Irene <harpsichord@SUSCOM.NET>

Hi Everyone:

Shelby with my mom.

This is a Shelby short update.

For the first time today Shelby licked me. Every day I tell Shelby I love her and pet her. Then I put my face to her face and say "Kiss". Well today she actually licked me. I was so surprised and so excited at the same time. Even though she comes and then runs away again, there are times when she will come over and let me pet her. I am slowly earning her trust. She likes to be in the same room as I am even if from a distance. We are bonding in just a week and a half and I find that remarkable. I let her come at her own pace and heal at her own pace. I know she loves us and we love her and she is ours. There is something about adoption and makes you know for sure they belong to you and you belong to them. It is a loyalty tie that makes you as one.

I especially want to thank CHELO LEWTER for sending such a lovely care package and get well card for Shelby. She even send pictures of Chanel and Lancelot with the cutest bandanas on. She sent goodies and a pick stuffed rabbit and a pick leash. Wow, that was so generous and thoughtful of her. Shelby is going to be very fashionable now. I am going to buy her a pick necklace for dogs you seen in the catalogs and with her pick leash we will have to call her Queen Shelby and Shea will have to bow down to her and serve her. He already lets her take is food, bed and toys. Shea loves her so he does not mind. :) Thanks again Chelo for your kindness to Shelby. It made her feel so loved and special and BEAUTIFUL! We don't even notice her face anymore. Her personality and sweet mannerism shine through that. Hope you all can come to visit her one day.

Warmest wishes and thanks to all of you!

Irene Mele
Brewster, NY

From: Irene <harpsichord@SUSCOM.NET>
Date: Wed Apr 12, 2006 5:38:15 PM US/Pacific
Reply-To: Irene <harpsichord@SUSCOM.NET>

Hi all my wonderful Kerry friends out there.

This is a good day. I took Shelby to the vet's office in the morning. I held her for as long as I could and comforted her. She was nervous in the office. I could tell. But when I went to hand her to the technician she was really shaking. I felt so badly and tried to tell her it would be alright and I was not leaving her. I asked if I could go in with her and wait awhile, but they said the work was going on in there and they could not be disturbed and that she would be fine in her own private crate. Gee, I felt like I was leaving my child to strangers. I knew it had to be done and was the best for Shelby, of course, but that did not ease the pain I felt for her. Thought about her all day and prayed all would go well. I hope she did not think I was deserting her.
Finally got a call this evening from the vet's office that all went well and I could pick her up tomorrow and talk to the Dr. Kanouse. Want to know what meds she will need to be on and how the blood work went. She also got a good teeth cleaning so now she will sparkle with her new face. Shea better ask her to marry him real quick before another male does now that she is smashing. :) Oh, and she gained weight. She now weighs 27 pounds. She is starting to grow a beard again. Yes, the Kerry is coming through. Our little Shelby will be the talk of the neighborhood with her new face, shining teeth, perfect figure and Kerry locks. Wow, and she owes it all to all of you for rescuing her and giving her a new life. We will all be grateful to you all forever and I know if Shelby could talk she would tell each of you that personally. As soon as she can eat solids again I am going to cook her one of my special steak dinners. Yum.

I will let you know tomorrow when I find out more information and all the details. I know how her family has been anxiously waiting to hear. You are her biggest fans and family she has so I wanted to know right away how the day went. The waiting was torture. I worked and looked at the clock in between thinking about her each moment. Can't wait until tomorrow when she can come home to us and to her bed and we can pamper her. Going to pick up some new treats for her, but she may have to be on pureed food for awhile. So glad her face will be closed now. Was concerned that when the hair would grow over the hole that it would get infected. We would watch her eat and the food would come out through the hole. She is still fearful and did not like to be cleaned up, but had to do it. Her fear is not terror any longer. She is skittish and runs away, but comes right back and does not run away as far as she used to. She likes to be in the same room as us.

Shelby taking food.

This week was a big breaking point for Shelby. She really shocked me when she came up the stairs all by herself and came into my room to see me, then sat on her bed and stayed awhile. I did not think she could climb all the way herself, but she did it. Of course I praised and hugged her. I helped her down the stairs, one step at a time, because going down is much harder and I did not want her to hurt herself. After a few days now she goes down by herself. She is feeling more and more like she is home and now after tomorrow, she'll be home here to stay. Our baby girl is coming home so get out the cigars folks!

Thanks for caring so much. I told everyone in the office who asked what happened to her the story so more and more people will be educated about what is going on. If only we could save all of them one day. Now that would be dream come true and if I ever had the money to buy a farm I could adopt so many more. OK, so keep saving up my quarters. Suzanne knows about all my quarter banks. You'd be surprised how much you save with just quarters for all the vet's bills, Christmas gifts, donations to organizations and things like that that add up over time.
If anyone is in my area, please stop in to say high to us and Shelby. You can give her a get well hug.

Warmest wishes to all you good hearts out there.
All for one and one for all (don't you just love those muskateers?)


Shelby before surgery.

From: Irene <harpsichord@SUSCOM.NET>
Date: Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:30:40 PM US/Pacific
Reply-To: Irene <harpsichord@SUSCOM.NET>


Hi Everyone:

Today is a day of victory for all of us. Because of all of your efforts you saved the innocent life of Shelby and by doing this we have all won over the inhumane practices of the puppy mills and auctions. One special life has been spared. Shelby has defied death. In her own quiet way her spirit could not be crushed. You all helped her do that. And she is home today to stay where she can start her life all over. Gee, that brings tears to our eyes.

My mother and I went to pick up Shelby at the vet's office. We were apprehensive thinking what Shelby would look like and how did she take the operation. Then they brought her in. She looked BEAUTIFUL. You can see the stitches, which I took pictures of, but the wound looks clean now and nicely put together. Dr. Kanouse did an excellent job and Shelby goes back on Tuesday to have it checked. She was spayed at the same time so she does not have to back under anesthesia again. It is all over. We kissed her and hugged her in the office and she knew it was us. The tech said she had diarrhea from being so nervous, but when she came to us and we held her on our laps she was calm and I could tell she was happy to see us. She was a little groggy, but doing very well. He said because they did not fix the hole right away that she lost the use of her nerves under her eye so she does not blink all the way, but that would not affect her terribly and thank God she has her eyesight. That could have been damaged for life. Dr. Kanouse was very happy with the outcome. He is a very good man and skilled surgeon. She has some receding gums that have to be looked at in the future, but otherwise all the tests came out negative.

We brought her home and she vomited a few times. We have medication for her to take every day. She did not want to eat yet, but the vet said she could whenever she was ready. We gave her some chicken soup that we made from scratch for her, figuring she probably could not tolerate solids yet. We put her on her bed and am letting her rest as much as possible, except to take her out every few hours to go. Tonight she is much more alert and looks up at us. She can walk, but slowly. The poor thing. She is such a brave girl really and now everyday she can start to have fun again and go on car rides with us and walks. We really missed her. The house felt empty without her and that was just one day.

Shea was so happy to see her too. He was kind of quiet yesterday after she left. But when she came home, he kissed her. They are so cute together. Shelby sleeps in my room all the time and I will watch her through the night to make sure she is OK. She has own bed in my room and so does Shea. Sometimes they switch beds. They are so funny. I get down on their bed each night and give each one a big night hug and kiss and when they wake up in the morning, which is 5 a.m. when I get up to work, but I let them go back to sleep while I work.

I want to personally thank each and every one of you for your emails, prayers, love notes and even gifts. Chelo gave Shelby a lovely guardian angel card and angel pin. That was so thoughful of her and all of you for caring so much about Shelby's welfare. And I want to thank everyone for the rescue and follow-ups and all the encouragement. Mimi is going to post the photos of when we picked up Shelby at the airport. They are a little dark because it was a dark rainy cold day. It was March 25th. I am going to send the photos of her post-operation to Mimi again when the roll is finished.

I hope and pray that we can rescue all the animals who never know what it is like to have a loving owner and to be held. Gee, that really breaks your heart. We have a friend in upstate NY, near Hudson, NY. She owns a house there with lots of land and she adopts many, many animals, but lately she has been telling us about the Amish in her area who go to the auctions and sell their mules and horses and beat them. She has been buying them up with donations same as all of you did for Shelby. We support her as much as we can and other rescue societies in our area, but not all can be rescued. No one has enough money to save them all and that is heartbreaking. The only way to really save them all is through legislation so it will stop totally. Thank you for keeping me up-to-date on all that is going on. We can each make a difference in this lifetime.

Remember "It's a Wonderful Life" with James Stewart? Who could believe just one man could affect the lives of so many. You have all done this with Shelby and all of the other rescues. Thanks again for being there and having hearts of gold. Will write again about Shelby's progress. She sends kisses to all of you and thanks you for her new life with safety, food, toys and lots of love!

Forever grateful,

Brewster, NY

From: Irene <harpsichord@SUSCOM.NET>
Date: Fri Apr 14, 2006 7:11:25 PM US/Pacific


I own the video LOVES COMES SOFTLY based on the book by Janette Okes. Tonight I decided to watch it again. This movie has always been an inspiration to me that love prevails. I hope all of you get to watch this classic Hallmark family movie with values that endure hardship and bind relationships.
While watching this movie and holding Shelby in my lap I thought of her. In the movie, Marty loses her husband to an accident. Her heart is broken, but she meets a kind man who takes her in as his wife and lets her mend slowly. He never pushes her to heal. His example and love enable her to rediscover love and to give it back.

This is so with Shelby. Each day she reaches out more and more. First a few steps towards me, then her paw and now fully in reach for me to hug and embrace her. She listens to my soft words when I tell her I love her. She follows me up the stairs, she looks up when I come in the room, she comes in the doorway now without leaping with fear. Shelby was always beautiful, with or without her wounds, because as it says in Jane Eyre, "You are not your wounds." Shelby's soul was always there for one to see. But it took a gentle touch to release it. She is a painting waiting to be unveiled for the world to see thatLove Comes Softly.

Brewster, NY

From: Irene <harpsichord@SUSCOM.NET>
Date: Tue Apr 18, 2006 5:00:03 PM US/Pacific


Tonight is a sad day for us. Took Shelby to the vet today after her surgical incision came loose and the hole opened up. It started to separate on Saturday and we had an appointment on Monday, but Dr. Kanouse was off on Monday and the associate said it would be better for him to look at it. She said it looked like it did not take, but was not oozing so we could wait until today. We had the appointment today at 3:30 p.m.
Dr. Kanouse said it still looked good and the flap operation worked well, but the problem was that Shelby did not have enough red blood cells for the wound to mesh together so it just opened. It had nothing to do with how we handled the instructions or the sutures. We felt better about that. It was so beautiful and still looked good, but would not heal together. He felt badly about this and is going to talk to Mimi about what to do next. He does not specialize in graft surgery, but says even that may not take because of the lack of vascularized red blood cells in that area. He is going to refund the Foundation for the surgical operation on her face. He realizes how much effort it took to get up that money for her and wants the Foundation to know how much he really cares about Shelby.

We still love Shelby, hole or no hole. We just want what is best for her. She shivers when we take her to the vet and only calms down when I hold her and comfort her. She is finally trusting me. I dread her having to go through more trauma alone, but that is up to the Foundation how to handle her wound from here.
We are very upset over this and I had to calm down before writing. Please pray for her welfare. I will keep you apprised as to the final outcome of her face. I know you are all with her in love and prayers and that is very comforting. When I write to you, I feel as you are there with me with support and encouragement. We love Shelby very much. If only the surgery took. We all tried very hard. We were so happy with how beautiful she looked. But we love Shelby no matter what. She is still beautiful to us no matter how she looks.

Irene Mele
Brewster, NY

From: Irene <harpsichord@SUSCOM.NET>
Date: Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:01:49 PM US/Pacific

I don't know if you know Jane Scollan from Leitrim, Ireland, but today she sent me the most beautiful get well card for Shelby with italic hand beautifully done, bisquits for us and candy bars (Yum. No, make that Yum Yum), Pedigree dog treats and food for Shelby and Shea. What a wonderful surprise from one of our nicest members. She has a Kerry named Tiny who looks woolly. I told her he'll be the black sheep of the family. :) He'll be part of the sheep herd soon. Just wanted to thank Jane and Tiny and all the wonderful members who emailed me with support and encouragement for Shelby. You all have helped me so much and I want you to know how much I appreciate that.

There is one new change that was spectacular for Shelby. Shelby and Shea sleep in my room each night on their own beds. I get up at 5 a.m. each morning to work and turn on the light. They can stay asleep if they like to, but this morning when I reached down to pet Shelby she started to lick my arm. I was so elated. What a way to start your day with a lick from your best friend? She is very quiet and expressionless most of the time, but then all of a sudden she'll wag her tail or lick me to show me she loves me. And, of course, I hug and kiss her back.

Brewster, NY

From: Irene <harpsichord@SUSCOM.NET>
Date: Fri May 5, 2006 6:21:06 PM US/Pacific

Hi Everyone:

As you all know Shelby is going to be operated on again this coming Tuesday. I am going to be with her when she is sedated as I don't want her to be alone and afraid. She was calm in the surgeon's office because I held her the whole time, even on the table, and kept telling her it was alright and continually petting her. She trusts me now and I don't want to lose that. We have a very special bond. She looks up at me with loving eyes. Shelby is becoming Shelby. Her sweet loving, gentle nature is shining through. We have her over a month now and I can see a spark in her eye. I can see her soul expressing joy. This is new for Shelby. She is slowly forgetting her horrific past and reaching for her new celebrated life with us. Each step she takes is a step closer to completeness and wholeness. Each step she takes is a renewal of life, the life she should have had in the first place. This is thanks to all of your for her rescue, her transportation to us and now her operation. I thank you for all for your prayers, love and words of encouragement. Shelby is so lucky to have such a wonderful family.

A few years ago I saw a movie called Firelight. In 1820 England when life was based upon your possessions, monetary wealth, upbringing and family you were born into, there comes a young immigrant woman into the English home to be a governness for the master's young girl. She teaches the family the importance of firelight. "What is so special about firelight?" they ask her. She explains how firelight is magical. Firelight makes time stand still. When you sit in front of the firelight there are no rules. You can be who you want to be. You can do what you want to do. All else is forgotten. The present moment stands by itself, away from the world. When the light goes out, time starts again. Those words came back to me this week while watching Shelby in the middle of the night come back to life. When it is dark in my room with the red nightlight on, Shelby can be who she wants to be. She can do what she wants to do. There are no fears or memories holding her back. There are no demons haunting her. She is free. She can come over to lick me as if no one is watching. She can bunk on Shea's bed with him and he won't mind. She can walk around the room as if there is no care in the world. The firelight glow is warm and secure. It releases her true self. It lets her know nothing can ever harm her again. It is all engulfing. Firelight is Shelby's friend. Firelight brings out her glimmering beauty. Firelight is there for her each and every night to dance in the shadows and rest in the golden glow. I softly look upon her unnoticed. I watch the blossom open and a new Shelby come to life. Firelight unveils the spark in her eye, the playful demeanor, the loving heart.

Brewster, NY

From: Irene <harpsichord@SUSCOM.NET>
Date: Tue May 9, 2006 2:35:20 PM US/Pacific

Hi Everyone:

This was a long day, but Shelby is home. I took her to the surgeon in Brewster, NY at 8:45 a.m. Dr. Wilson gave her a sedative to relax her while I held her. I did not want her to be alone and afraid so I held her the whole time and waited until she was sleepy. I kept singing to her and telling her it was OK and petting her until she started to get groggy. That was very nice of him to let me stay with her. She was shaking when I first took her into the office. She is smart and knows the office by now. I was really upset over that. Then they took her in and operated on her first so I could pick her up this afternoon. I watched the clock all day and prayed for the best. I was nervous thinking of her being operated on. I called at 2 p.m. and they said she was fine and I could come and get her. I finished work at 3 p.m. and then ran right over to pick her up. I could tell she was happy to see us and we were so happy to see her. We hugged and kissed her hello. The surgeon gave her antibiotics and I have to take her back for a follow-up visit Friday afternoon and then next week for follow-up visits. Just to be sure all is well, which I really hope will be. I carried her to the car and took her home. Now she can rest and have pureed food tonight.

Dr. Wilson with Shelby.

I am so happy it is all over and Shelby will be whole again. I want to thank you all for your emails, cards and goodies for Shelby. They really encouraged me today to be strong for her even though I felt badly I had to take her there and then leave her. Thank you all for giving Shelby a new start in life. I am going to take pictures so all can see how beautiful she is after this. Our girl will be on the cover of Ms Kerry Blue 2006 calendar. :)


From: Irene <harpsichord@SUSCOM.NET>
Date: Sat May 13, 2006 5:53:49 AM US/Pacific

Dear Friends:

Today I have dedicated this poem to Shelby. See if you can guess who wrote it. The answer appears after the poem. This is one of the most beautiful love poems ever written in British history in the 1800's by a woman, who was actually recogized for her mastery of prose. I bet you will recognize the verses right away.


How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With all my saints.
I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my life;
And, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

This is for you Shelby, the love of the life. Thank you for coming and reminding me again of a true, pure and gentle love that overcomes all turmoil and tragedy, that is victorious in the end.

The author is: Elizabeth Barrett Browning, born 1806, British romantic poet

Brewster, NY

From: Irene <harpsichord@SUSCOM.NET>
Date: Mon May 22, 2006 4:58:42 PM US/Pacific

Hello all my wonderful Kerry friends:


Took Shelby to the surgeon today, Dr. John Wilson of Brewster Animal Vet Hospital, for her 5th visit, and he said it looks well-healed and tightly secured. He used disolvable sutures so he did not even have to take out the sutures. He did the operation so clever that all the stitches were inside the mouth, attached to the muscles, mucous lining and then the outer skin. He did a marvelous job. I can't tell you how happy we were when he said those words. He kept checking on it for 2 weeks after the operation just to make sure and we have another visit this Friday again, because he really cares and just wants to see how it all healed again.



She looks like a new girl. I took pictures that are being developed right now from my 35 mm. I know I am in the stone age. I don't even know how to get the pictures onto this email so Mimi is going to put them on for me. Thanks Mimi. You are so dedicated in all you do. I want to thank all of you for sending Shelby goodies, even human goodies (Yum), cards, emails and phone calls. Because all of you Shelby has a new life. I even gave her a bath tonight so she could be the princess she is and she was a lot calmer this time and let me wash her. She now smells like an angel and with her new collar, you won't recognize her. Suzanne Rodda, one of my best friends, has offered to give Shelby her first grooming. That was very generous of her since she has to travel an hour just to get here. And we all know what an excellent job Suzanne can do making a Kerry come to life. I am going to take photos of that too. Her hair is growing in, but slowly. She has whiskers though. Starting to look like a Kerry again. Shelby is not only my best friend, she is my best girl. She is starting to have eye contact with me after 2 months of her being here with us. Yes, 2 months already this Thursday. What a difference from when we first got her and now. She can handle doors better and us approaching her while standing.

Shelby is our cinderella. She was treated badly by her stepfather and was denied all her rights and dignity because of him. She was treated inhumanely and left to die on the auction block until her fairy godmother, the Kerry Foundation, rescued her and bought back her title as Princess Shelby. She now lives in the Mele castle in Brewster, NY with Shea as her handsome Prince. She now has toys, delicious food, treats, a plush bed, diamond collar and even doggy friends who come to visit. She is our very special Cinderella, our Ever After girl, our Shelby.

Thank you again all from the bottom of my heart, from my family and from Shelby for saving her and giving her to us. She is a testimony of what dedication and caring hearts can accomplish in this darkened world. For one brief moment in time, the flames flickered again and a new Shelby was born. You have all brought magic into her life. She is our rags-to-riches girl because of your unification and steadfast alliance to each other and to Shelby. She is a new creation for all the world to see ONE FOR ALL AND ALL FOR ONE really works.

Irene Mele
Brewster, NY

Shelby's story continues: From Rescue to Adoption, Life with Shelby


Share This Article

Question of the Week

Previous Questions of the Week Ideas

Today is July 18, 2019

In this month in 1953:

Ch. Foxhill's Thunderbolt won Best in Show at the Lions Kennel Club show in Salem, Oregon

About Us

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.


Join Our Email Newsletter List.

Contact Info


P. O. Box 1495
Solvang, CA 93464

Box 109
11420 - 142 Street NW
Edmonton, AB T5M 1V1


Corrections? Feedback?

Contact the Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation