written by the one who was there
It’s rainy and dreary outside today as I look out from my perch on the couch. I glance down at my bright orange plaster cast on my right leg, and memories begin flooding through my mind. On the Friday of the week of the nationals In Montgomery County, I was reading our local newspaper when I noticed an ad for an estate sale near our little town. (I usually attend the Scottish Terrier nationals myself, but due to health problems, I couldn’t make the trip this year.) What caught and held my attention in the ad was the listing of four Kerry Blue Terriers! What?! I reread it. Yes, it WAS true. Then I remembered more than a year ago my husband, who is in law enforcement, had been working a double homicide/suicide case, and before the man KNEW he was the prime suspect, he had discussed his dogs with my husband. Until then, I had NO idea there were any KBTs in this area. (Even later, when I contacted our local veterinarian offices, the staff members had to do research to even know what a KBT looked like!)
Although my husband begged me to “stay out of it,” I felt I had to TRY to contact Kerry Blue Rescue to alert them of the pending sale. In actuality, I
thought I probably would NOT receive a response to my email, but I would know that I had tried, and then I could have a clear conscience. Little did
I know that Jan Joers and Diane Ewing are just as much "Terrier" as I! The Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation arranged to “bid” on the girls, as I was very
afraid that some puppy millers in this area of the state would buy them, dooming them all to a living hell of breeding, breeding, and more breeding
until their deaths. When the owner died of self-inflicted wounds, the girls were ejected from their warm house and thrown into a large fenced pen behind
the residence, and were literally left to the elements. They only saw a human once a day to have dry kibble tossed to them. No brushing, no bathing,
no heartworm or parasite prevention, and no vaccinations…and CERTAINLY no caresses or gentle touches, and very few kind words. Their life as
they had known it was over with the death of their master. They were matted to the skin, and they smelled terrible! They had every reason to be bad
of temperament, but they so longed for the sound of a kind human voice and the soft touch of a caring hand. They did not even resemble Kerry Blues…they
actually had the “corded” look of Puli!
After the Foundation was able to buy the girls, it was my “assignment” to get them vetted so that they could be transported to Atlanta. I’ve never owned any dogs bigger than my Scottish Terriers (Specialscots), so I set up the appointments, and I borrowed every large crate that I could find. When I arrived to pick up the girls, the lady who had been feeding them unlocked the many locks to get to them, and we started loading them into my van. I was still one crate short, so the lady let me borrow one that had belonged to their master. The only contact I had with the girls was in talking with them during the 25 mile drive to the vet clinic. They were petrified from having been removed from their pen, but I chatted away to them, and I watched as they began to respond to the sound of my voice. One of the girls appeared to be blind, but on closer inspection, the hair around her eyes was so badly matted that she could not see. When we carefully clipped the mats from around her beautiful dark eyes, she was fine and licked my hand as her way of thanking me for doing it. My favorite vet tech and I began to bring them in one at a time, but when they started to take blood and stool samples, the girls would try to bury their bushy heads in my lap. Remarkably, they had known me less than an hour, but they were asking me somehow to protect them from harm. The oldest girl was carsick from her fear and apprehension, so we tried to make her as comfortable as we could, and we cleaned her up as much as possible. There were NO growls, NO snaps, No nastiness at all, yet they had every possible reason to be very nasty to ANY human being after the mistreatment and the neglect they had suffered and endured. The staff of vet techs all agreed that they were very impressed with how sweet they all were! They, too, knew thes girls deserved a better lot in life…a better hand than they had been dealt.
I returned them all to the point of sale…all evaluated and wormed, and vaccinated. Jan had given credit card info to the business manager there to pay for all the treatment. The only identification on them were collars of different colors. Only one girl of the four (purple collar) was NOT infested with heartworms….probably because she was the most matted of all. Perhaps the mosquitoes could not penetrate the cords and mats to get to her skin. As I unloaded the last girl, she playfully lunged to the end of the leash, and I stepped into a hole. (The terrain there was very bad.) She lunged again, but I still held onto that leash for fear that I might never be able to catch her. This time I felt a “snap” and my foot turned over, and I suspected what I’d done. I was extremely nauseous from the pain, and it was very difficult to drive myself home. All the while, I knew I would get a “lecture” from my husband, but I knew that I had done the right thing. Yes, I’m totally out of commission for six weeks, lugging around a heavy plaster cast, and yes, it’s been very painful and inconvenient, but I know in my heart that it was the right thing to do. (No good deed goes unpunished.) I still say that it was worth it. I continue to tell myself that.
I’ve done Scottish Terrier rescue for many years, and I even have one boy here who was born here seven years ago when I did the rescue of the Tennessee Five-- five girls from a puppy mill that was broken up…such a traumatic experience!
Many of you cannot physically do rescue, but you CAN and SHOULD donate money and other support for the Kerry Foundation and the others who can and will! Get involved! Give money! Support rescue! Make sure that the Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation is specifically noted as a donee in your will! DO SOMETHING TO HELP!
I leave you with the following. I have no idea who originally wrote the piece linked below, as it has been passed around in one form or another for many years. It is entitled "Am I Famous Now?". Please read it, and don’t think this cannot happen to your beloved breed, because it CAN and DOES! If this doesn’t touch your heart, then you, my friend must not have one! Someone MUST care, and MUST help, and I certainly hope that it is YOU!
Am I Famous Now?
Linda Tubbs Bell
Specialscots Scottish Terriers