Fostered in Massachusetts
Rescue Coordinator: Tracey Fulmer
Sullivan's original name was Scalawag.
Scally, short for Scalawag, is a 4.5 year old, 38 lb. male Kerry. His story is a sad one – the Foundation found him advertised by his owner as needing a home. When our volunteer picked him up, he found a Kerry in desperate need with a horrible flea infestation and hair loss, a staph infection, skin and bones and running a fever. The Foundation stepped in to help Scally none too soon. After a month in loving foster care, he has turned around completely and is now a happy, healthy, delightful, charming Kerry. His coat was shaved to help his skin heal, but that will grow back. Thankfully, his Kerry spirit bounced back quickly.
Scally is good with other dogs and has been running around with male and female foster siblings, playing with a 4 month old male puppy and sharing toys. Like any Kerry, we won’t back down from a fight but he will easily co-exist with a female assuming the owners are terrier experienced (and don’t take anything for granted). Although a bit guarded and timid with men at first, he quickly developed a lovely bond with his foster dad. He's particularly fond of having his belly rubbed and scratched. His foster home glows that Scally is simply a wonderful Kerry.
Scally is housetrained, crate trained and recently neutered. Like all of our rescues, we are looking for a fantastic home for this boy – one where he’ll have the human companionship he craves during the day and perhaps a female dog to pal around with. He will soak up all the attention you can give him. Children over 12 who respect dogs would be fine. A fenced in yard is a must. Scally is located in Oklahoma, so homes within driving distance will be given preference, but we will consider flying him home at the adopter’s expense.
8-Jan-08 update by Tracey Fulmer:
Scally was renamed Sully for Sullivan.
I was thrilled to learn that Sully is clicker savvy. He was clearly clicker trained by his previous owner. He has been taught to sit and "target" (touch your hand) when asked. We've started on some basic agility and this boy learns FAST and is very hungry to learn. He could make a wonderful agility partner for the right owner.
Sullivan, or Sully, is a stunning 5 year old neutered male Kerry Blue Terrier with a lovely pedigree (mostly Louisburgh). He is being fostered in MA. Sully was bred in Hungary, imported to the US as a puppy, spent a year in a puppy mill and then was purchased as a pet. Although we don’t know much about his past four years, we do know somebody invested a lot of time training him. He has lovely manners, knows basic commands, walks beautifully on a leash -- sitting and looking at you when you stop -- and is ever so happy to please his human. He’s perfectly housetrained and loves his crate. We were also told he loves cats, although that hasn't been tested. Besides being beautiful, this boy is strong and healthy, smart as a whip, has wonderful attention and eye contact and is incredibly happy, especially when he knows you’re going for walkies. Pull out that leash, and you've never seen a happier dog! I taught him to jump a hurdle, go over the A-frame and through a tunnel in just a few tries. (He's very motivated by that clicker.) He gets along well with dogs when he’s been properly introduced, is not dominant nor does he have any food issues. And his eyes would melt the hardest heart. He's an absolute delight.
Mr Sully needs a very special home to work on his fear issues. He needs a job -- obedience or agility -- to keep his mind occupied and to build his confidence. He bonds extremely quickly and closely with his humans and needs a very committed owner to modify his reaction to new people, e.g., when somebody comes to the house or when somebody approaches you. This will require lots of controlled socialization with lots of positive reinforcement. In the short time his foster home has been working with him, he’s already made dramatic improvements and is very manageable. This boy WANTS to do the right thing and needs owners who will help him get there. This is not a quick fix, but one that will be rewarded for years to come. I have never met a Kerry Blue as smart and devoted as Mr. Sullivan. He's very, very special (but don't tell my Kerries I said that!).
We will only consider experienced dog owners who are interested in and committed to working with Sully to modify his behavior using positive clicker training method. The "nothing in life is free" approach was recommended by the behaviorist who evaluated him. An adult-only home and a fenced yard is a must as he loves to run at top speed. Another dog – a female who is outgoing – would go a long way toward showing him there is nothing to fear in meeting strangers (especially when they have cookies.)
Subject: [KBL] Breeders Beware
Date: February 2, 2008 6:44:21 AM PST
I need to share Sullivan and Reilly's story in the hopes that by telling it, other purebred pups won't be dealt the same fate.
I am currently fostering a beautiful, extremely bright, very special Kerry boy named Sullivan. He's an incredibly happy Kerry, but every once in a while, his eyes are so sad, unsure and fearful. He didn't start out that way.
Sullivan and his littermate Reilly had the best start in life -- lovely sire and dam with fabulous pedigrees on both sides and a reputable breeder in Eastern Europe who placed the pups on contract. The sire competed in agility. At three months of age, two male pups were sold to a nice family with kids who came and visited the pups a few times. The breeder kept in touch with the new owners until a year after the sale, when he found out their phone number had changed. He never heard from them again until recently, and then he learned he'd been duped. The "nice family" was actually working for an Eastern European puppy broker. At seven months, the pups were transported to a US puppy mill where their pedigrees would fetch high stud fees. Their lives had changed forever.
Three years pass and the Foundation picked up one of the male pups at the Shelbina auction. Reilly was an exceedingly handsome but terribly scared Kerry who Mimi Wight and I fell in love with. At that auction, the bidding for all the Kerries was extremely low, so low that they were originally pulled off the auction block. When Reilly was put on the table, his bid price was also low, so low that the puppy miller refused to sell him at the auctioned price -- his pedigree was far too valuable. We had to negotiate for him separately. Reilly was placed in a family that stuck with him and worked through his fear issues.
Another year passes and the other male littermate turned up in a local Missouri paper as a "house dog" who needed a new home. (Judith Bruno spotted him while scanning internet sites for Kerries.) Sully was purchased for $2000 in 2003 at a dog auction by a woman in MO who wanted a pet (and probably the stud fees to go along with him). It's amazing how the Kerry market dropped off in a few short years, once the Mick phenomenon died out. But that isn't the reason for this story.
I'm sharing this in hopes that breeders will be extra cautious when placing pups, here in the US and especially in the Eastern European countries where the price of young, quality breeding stock could pay the rent. This is not just happening with Kerries as other somewhat rare breeds are experiencing the same problem. People are willing to pose as "nice families" to essentially steal the dogs. And unfortunately, this isn't just an Eastern European problem. We have heard of unscrupulous puppy millers in the US trying to appear legitimate -- showing one dog in conformation (usually a low maintenance, under the radar, toy breed) in an effort to secure the trust of the reputable breeder community. In fact, a well known terrier breeder was recently duped by such a puppy buyer. I am hoping this story will be shared with the Kerry breeding community across the globe, and that they will tell their fellow breeders in their countries to be very, very cautious when placing pups.
Google the phone numbers and e-mail addresses of potential buyers. If nothing pops up, or there's conflicting information, be suspicious. Leverage the breeder networks to perform home visits to see first hand where the pup will be living. And if a European breeder is sending any Kerry pups to the US, they should ask for help from the Foundation or Kerry club members to check out the buyers in person and ensure their pups won't suffer the same miserable, horrible puppy mill tragedy that Reilly and Sully did. Their story could possibly have been prevented by erring on the side of caution, knowing that the puppy farmers will lie, cheat and steal to get a well bred pup. The purebred dog has become a very lucrative business.
I see such an awesome ghost of a Kerry in Sully and will forever wonder what he would have been if he hadn't landed in the wrong hands. What a shame, what a shame, what a shame.
Tracey Fulmer in Newton, MA
Subject: [KBL] Adoption Announcements
Date: March 2, 2008 7:37:28 AM PST
My own foster, Sullivan, or SullyBeans as I call the goofball, was placed in the dream home we were waiting for. A third HUGE THANK YOU TO AGATHA HUGHES, who spent a weekend day driving to the prospective adoptive home for a meet and greet with her "ambassadors of charm" (Agatha's own Ricky and Lily). The family decided that Kerries were the breed for them, having recently lost their beloved Bouvier. Sullivan's situation was unique as he had fear issues, requiring an adult only home that wanted a "project". He landed in a close knit family of dog-savvy dog lovers who are committed to rescue and behavioral rehab and where Sully will continue with the training he needs and craves. The adopters drove up from NJ to spend the weekend in Boston, allowing Sully to meet them at his own pace. Thankfully, Sullivan is incredibly charming himself and wicked smaaht (as they say in Boston) and I will anxiously wait to hear how he's progressing.
Stories like Sullivan's are truly gut wrenching -- this dog came from top Kerry lines and landed in a mill when he was a puppy. On his breeder's website, there is a video of happy, playful Kerry pups romping in the yard and I will forever wonder what Sully would have been like had his breeder not been so careless with his, and his brother, Reilly's, placement. Hopefully tragic stories like Sully's, Reilly's, Gigolo's (Great Escape rescue) and countless other unfortunates of countless other breeds has spread like wildfire across the European breeding community and will never be repeated.
While we can all celebrate in adoption successes, the bills for these rescues still need to be paid. Our adoption donations don't cover their expenses so it is up to the Kerry Community to foot the bill so we can continue our top notch rescue operations. The special needs dogs like Sully and the seniors like Andy are worth the extra expenses to ensure they will be forever loved and never discarded again.
In addition to donations, we can always use help with foster care, transport, meet and greet requests and all of the other components critical to a rescue operation. Without each of these contributions -- no matter how large or how small -- the circle breaks and it's a Kerry that loses out.
KBTF Rescue Coordinator, Northeast
Subject: [KBL] Update on Sullivan - milestone achieved!
Date: September 5, 2008 1:18:48 PM PDT
I've been pinching myself all day. Mr Sullivan, a Kerry I fostered for several months, fell in love with and placed last March, has graduated from obedience school. From what I understand, this was a very challenging obedience course, with one of the tasks requiring the dog to down/stay 50 ft away from the handler, then approach an object and down/stay within inches of it.
Sullivan had spent his first few years in a puppy mill, having been imported from a lovely eastern European kennel who was duped into selling him and his littermate, Reilly, to a dog broker as a puppy. He had fear issues and needed the right owners who not only wanted a project but were willing and able to put the time into his training. This boy is very special to me -- he is smart as a whip but lacked confidence -- and although it took a while to find his "angels", come they eventually did. (They actually drove up from NJ in a snowstorm to spend the weekend in Boston with me and Sullivan to show how committed they were to his rehab.)
Here's a note I got today. As soon as I get the pictures, graduation cap and all, I will get them posted.
"I am so proud of Mr. Sullivan; he has done so well in training. When he graduated today I cried, they had to bring me tissues. He is such a delight, and has come so far. Everyone in the class was so happy for him, they just came up and hugged and kissed him. He was so proud of himself, waging his tail and looking right in my face."
God bless these lovely adopters for adoring this wonderful gift of a Kerry!
Tracey in Newton, MA
KBTF Rescue Coordiantor, Northeast
Subject: Liberty & Sullivan :)
Date: Sat, 06 Dec 2008 18:53:42 +0000
Sullivan continues to amaze us. He has adapted to having Jeff, Anita and Miss Liberty living with us unbelievably. This house if full of laugher 24/7. He is learning to play with his cong, and nylabone, still wants no part of a ball. We thought Liberty would be the dominate one, but they seem to share that spot. They just let each other know what is acceptable and move on. If Liberty is corrected by Jeff or Anita, Sully runs to her side and licks her face to reassure her that she is fine. The leather sofa in the sunroom is a perfect size for Sam, Sully, Liberty and me.
Sully is really my ray of Sunshine.