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2011 Rescue Kerries Placed: Houston


© 2016 Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation

Rescue Coordinator: Sharon Arkoff

Rescue Write Up

Houston, a 6-8 yo male in a Chicago shelter. Houston was picked up with no background information and turned in to Chicago Canine Rescue looking thin and bedraggled, but with his kerry dignity very much intact. He appears to be a purebred kerry and his tail is correct, but his ears appear to never have been set. He has shown no negative reactivity toward other dogs or around food, and has behaved like a gentleman during his vet exam and other evaluations. He has what appears to be an infection on one toe, which may require amputation. He walks nicely on a leash, doesn't jump, is friendly in a quiet way, enjoys playing with his toys, and is ready for a wonderful home.

We are grateful to Chicago Canine Rescue for their care and attentiveness to Houston, and for their willingness to work with us, and we are grateful for all they do in trying to give a second chance to dogs like Houston who, because of his age, was considered "unlikely to be adopted."

November 23, 2011

Houston was placed through the help of the Foundation.

November 24, 2011

From: Anne Thomas
Sent: Thursday, November 24, 2011 2:38 PM
Subject: Houston


I seems that my home review was excellent - she did not even go upstairs.

9:30 AM was the home visit; 4:30 PM I picked up Houston with many instructions and medications. Pain killer for his surgery - RIMADYL - for 5 days, as needed. Is that really a painkiller - my other dog took it for arthritis - I thought it was an anti-inflammatory. I did realize what she was giving me or I would have asked - she just called it a painkiller. BAYTRIL - an antibiotic for 10 days. An ointment for his "dry eye" she was concerned I would refuse to take him because of this condition (My Airdale had a similar condition and treatment)

I would appreciate your thoughts on RIMADYL as a pain killer. I still have TRAMADOL (filled 8-15-11) that my vet gave my other one as a painkiller.

My friend drove me as I did not know his condition after surgery. He was very alert. I put his seatbelt on and placed him on a comforter; I sat beside him in the back seat. He sat up and watched traffic for awhile and finally went to sleep. I had dinner at my friend's home, kept him on a short leash beside me. He was extremely interested in her tiny "Yorkies". I know some Kerrys have a strong prey drive and had just learned that he does not like cats. Then on to my home in my car - again he was in the back seat with a seatbelt on, alone this time.

We immediately went to the kitchen (he had visited the tree before we came in); I removed the cone so he could have a drink and dinner. I let him explore the downstairs and then we went up. He had found his new "Kong" tennis balls and brought one up. He went over every inch of the upstairs, found his upstairs water, had a drink, picked up his ball and flopped onto his new bed (I bought him a 30" by 40" Martha Stewart bed - thought it to be sturdy and large enough for him to stretch out.) He spends his time on his bed or in the middle of mine. At bedtime he jumped into the club chair and slept there all night. My bedroom is large enough to have a sitting area.

We were up and out by 5:30 AM; then breakfast and meds - he eats well and will take the pills from my hand without Pill Pockets. I do hold his bowl while he eats - I don't want him to get possessive about food. He sits by the sliding glass door and watches the geese and ducks on the pond. When he is able we will walk around the pond. I removed the cone so he could drink unassisted. Whenever he licks or pulls at the bandage, I "click" or clap my hands and tell him sternly "NO". He gives me the "look" but stops.

I am carrying a clicker and using hand signals as he is quite hard-of-hearing. He is very bright and learns quickly. I always use hand signals with spoken commands with all my dogs, in case they are too far away to hear me or lose their hearing.

He must have had a good start in life as his dew claws were removed and tail docked. I will stop by DuPage County to see if they can tell me where he was found or anything.

He is delightful - brings his ball to me to be thrown so he can chase it - nudges me if he wants to go out earlier than at 3-hous intervals. He has the wrong name - it should have been "The Shadow" - you would think we were joined at he hip. Because he is insecure I left the bathroom door ajar and he tried to join me in the shower. Because he is doing so well we will go to my daughter's for dinner today - otherwise I would stay home with him. I want him to be very secure before I have to go to work on Dec. 2nd. I believe he already knows he is home.

I will try for pictures soon - he is so black or "navy" he will probably look like an "ink blot".

If I missed anything, let me know. I will call you another day - just wanted to update you.

Anna "Unknown" (these people do not give their last names) from CCR is very impressed with your help and grateful - said no group had ever done what you had done to help. I told her that the Kerry is a very unique and loved breed and we who know and love the breed will do whatever it takes to help it. Also that it is important they go to people who know and understand the breed.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Anne Thomas

January 1, 2012

From: Anne Thomas
Sent: January 1, 2012 10:03:07 PM PST
Subject: Houston

Hi [...]

Since Mars bought NUTRO my work load has doubled. I tried to ease it for Houston by Kerry 'proofing" my kitchen and then leaving him in there for a short while. He was growling and barking I waited out-of-sight until he calmed down then returned and brought him out. I did not respond immediately because I did not want him to learn tantrums would work. Friday I had to leave him for 4 hours; I returned from work to a littered floor - I had neglected to dispose of a stack of junk mail. Houston acted as shredder.

Saturday and Sunday I had to work 8 hours so I left him at my daughter's. When I returned, he was in the family room with the "Yorkies" and was ignoring them. They said that he behaved well and spent most of the day sleeping on the sofa.

He recently demonstrated his watch/guard dog skills. I was reading; he was sleeping when he suddenly jumped to his feet with a loud bark and
with his tail and head held very high, stalked to the front door, growling all the way. Everything checked out to his satisfaction and he returned to bed. He must have been dreaming; I heard nothing.

Today in the car, stopped at an intersection, a man walked up to me with a donation cup; Houston went berserk; I was glad he had a seatbelt on.

The following is a short timeline of his recuperation:

11-23 Finalized adoption at MG Animal Hospital; instructions to keep foot dry and have stitches removed in 10-to-12 days; requested a cone.

11-25 Bandage open; local vet-tech replaced; said slightly inflamed; but healing

11-28 MG surgeon, Brian Harris, changed bandage, inflamed, no oozing, no bleeding, healing well. Keep dry, no running or jumping. Bandage change every three days. Bought more Baytril

11-29 Surgeon called to say tumor was benign; Said shelter could have diagnosed fungus because of thickened nail - no fungus present

12-01 MG doctor said incision oozing; leaving bandage off to expose to air; keep dry; longer cone.

12-06 Surgeon removed stitches; healed well; keep cone on until scab completely falls off, can probably start walking over weekend.

He was extremely thin - hospital weighed him day of adoption; he weighed 30.5 pounds. I transitioned him off the shelter food and onto Natural Choice Small Breed Puppy Chicken and Whole Brown Rice, which has 28% protein and 18% fat. He also gets all the healthy treats that he wants. Today,12-06, he weighed 35.2 pounds on the same scale. When he reaches 40 pounds, I will transition him to Natural Choice Senior Food Chicken and Rice which has 20% protein and 10% fat. I want to be able to feel his ribs - not see them. He is looking better I will try for some better pictures when my granddaughter comes home and can help me..

The hospital employees commented about how he has bonded to me. You would think that we are joined at the hip.

I brush him daily with a massage brush; he almost purrs.

Hearing: CCR said he was hard-of-hearing. My daughter, a teacher of the hearing impaired, believes he is deaf. He does seem to hear high-pitched noises, sirens, dryer signal. My daughter is teaching me some basic signs: sit, stay, come, out, eat. We will feel our way. In order to use signs I have to first get his attention; I purchased a whistle he can hear and he comes when I use it. The vet looked at his ears today and said all clear. 
Take care, Anne and Houston


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Today is October 21, 2016

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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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