Max, Suave & Sweet
Rescue Coordinator: Kim Applegate
Fostered near San Francisco
Max is a wonderful Kerry. He is great with people but needs to be in an only pet home. He is terribly nervous of other dogs – doesn't matter what breed or size. This exhibits in aggression. He doesn't relax for an instant when around other dogs. This wasn't always the case as he lived peaceably with an older female Kerry for years, but it is a definite problem now. He is also a little too interested in cats to live with a cat.
Let me tell you about Max. He is 9 years old and would make a wonderful pet for someone with a backyard, someone older, someone with disabilities, someone who wants a constant loving companion.
Max was rescued from the puppy mills at the age of 3 months back in 2005. He was placed with a loving family where he has stayed for all nine years of his life until recently. Their circumstances changed and they were forced to give him up, breaking their hearts. At that point he came to me to be fostered. I was between dogs, having recently lost my male and my two females had been temporarily placed due to my own health problems. My heart was broken at losing my Tristan and I felt like Max was a seed that I had planted nine years ago that came back to me just when I needed him most. My plan was, and is, to breed my older female when she comes in season in October, whelp the puppies in December and keep a puppy. This would allow my female to stay with the family who have been taking care of her for me since I got ill. So I am only temporarily an "only dog home". Max will need to move on in the next two months.
Max had served as an alert dog for a diabetic with seizures. He is very good at this, as I have learned first hand. When Max first came to me I was having problems regulating my sugars, having frequent lows. He would come and sit on my feet and stare me in the eyes when I was having these lows, making me very aware that something was wrong. I was having dizzy spells and one night after getting up to go to the bathroom I fell trying to get back into bed. Max popped out of his crate (in which he puts himself to bed every night), came and stood by me until I was able to get upright again. Once I was back in bed he hopped up on the bed and lay down to me as close as he could possibly get, then stayed there until morning. He had never done this before and hasn't since – but that night he wanted to comfort me and be sure that I was alright. For several weeks after this when I would get home from work he would come and sit on my feet, staring me in the face for several minutes – just checking that I was alright.
Max is a smaller Kerry, weighing only about 28 pounds and standing about 18" at the shoulder. He has flying nun ears but otherwise is a very nice looking Kerry. He joyfully plays with his toys and doesn't rip them apart. When I come home from work he grabs either his snake or his chicken and runs through the house tossing it and catching it, just showing how happy he is to have me home.
When I'm not home and my roommate, Matt, comes home Max does the same thing for him. When I'm home and Matt comes home (usually late because he is a server at Pyramid Ale) Max barks ferociously two or three times just to show me that he is "on the job" and then does his joyful snake/chicken dance. He obviously loves Matt too, but is intent on doing his job. Which is very funny – evidenced by an incident several weeks after he first came to me. Max didn't know how to use a dog door at first so when I had to leave for work I would leave the back door open for him to have access to the yard. After about a week or so, one of my neighbors noticed the back door was open, and worried that I was being burgled called the police. My back gate is padlocked so the police had to come over the fence and came into the house where Max greeted them joyfully – someone to play with!! They locked up my house and left me a note, leaving Max in the kitchen. He learned to use the dog door both ways after that. He had learned how to get in fairly early but was slow on the uptake how to get out. Bringing me to another non-issue – he is beautifully housebroken and wouldn't think of having an accident in the house. Max is generally calm and spends a great deal of time just cruising.
I don't walk Max because of my own physical problems and the fact that he can be reactive to other dogs, even in the distance. His former family did walk him regularly for long distances. I would suggest a harness for this endeavor and have found a very nice one that fits him beautifully. I would love to see him become more comfortable again with other dogs, but don't guarantee anything in that vein.
He is beautifully housebroken, beautifully crate trained and a very good dog. He seems happy doing his job as a health caretaker!
When he first came to me it took about three days before he ate willingly, but since then he readily consumes his food whenever it is offered. He eats Taste of the Wild Salmon flavor. He doesn't do well on kibble with grains in it as he develops itchy skin. He loves apples, asparagus, zucchini and even tomatoes. Periodically I give him bison jerky which he also loves. He is healthy. His teeth need to be kept in check as he tartars up quite easily. I had his teeth scaled in July and we're keeping a watch on them. Also in July he spent a week at a kennel while I went out of town. He did well there though he was a very busy boy running back and forth in the kennel run as there were dogs in the next run.
So, the ideal home for Max would be one with a backyard, one with a person who is home a good deal of the time. He entertains himself quite well when you have to go to work but is very happy when you get home. If you have health problems Max is there to keep an eye on you!
If it weren't for my breeding plans and the fact that I haven't ever been an only dog home I would just keep Max. I would like to see him stay in California. I would like to be able to see him every once in a while but that isn't as important as finding him the perfect home because he really is the perfect dog.
March 18, 2015
Max was adopted today by Joshua Kuhn and family in Los Angeles.
We thank rescue volunteer Eileen Andrade who worked tirelessly to find Max a permanent home.
April 1, 2015
Max is nominated by Eileen Andrade as the Exemplary Companion Dog competition organized by the AKC.
I would like to nominate a Kerry Blue Terrier named Max.
Max was rescued from a puppy mill when he was 3 months old - over nine years ago. He was part of an auction at Shelbina, MO and was rescued by the Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation. Please see the story of this rescue of 34 dogs at www.kerryblues.info under Rescue, 2006, Shelbina.
After his rescue I placed Max with a family in northern California. This was a couple and their adolescent son who as also a juvenile diabetic. As frequently happens with juvenile diabetics who are going through puberty the young man would have severe sugar swings in the night which resulted in seizures. Max, just a puppy, would sleep with the young man and without any training began alerting to the seizures just before they happened. He would go to the mom and wake her from a sound sleep, demanding that she come to her son's bedside. He continued to serve in this capacity for a number of years.
Unfortunately the young man never got control over his diabetes. He grew up, left home and became involved in drugs and alcohol. Following a severe auto accident he went to rehab where he was given a service dog that was large enough to help him get to his feet when he fell. He went home to live with his parents for them to be his sober partners. However, Max did not get along with the new service dog - whether partly jealousy or simply the Kerry personality didn't tolerate another dog in the household. Due to the necessity of keeping the household as stress free as possible the family were forced to surrender Max and he came back into Rescue with the Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation. When he did so it was necessary to him to be placed in a foster home - so he came back to me.
I am also a diabetic and at the time was going through a number of medical problems. Max seemingly resumed his previous position as caretaker. I was having periodic sugar lows which caused me dizziness. One night after having risen from my bed to use the bathroom I was on the way back to bed when I experienced one of these spells and fell. Max was sleeping in his crate next to my bed, with the door open. When I fell he immediately popped out of his crate and came to stand beside me. He stayed by my side and helped me to regain my feet and get back into bed, following which he jumped up on the bed and lay down to me just as close as he could get (which he had never done before). He stayed with me until morning and when I got up he stayed as close to me as possible until I left for work. For the next two or three weeks every time I returned from work he would come and sit on my feet and stare me in the eyes as if to say "Are you alright? Are you sure you're alright?" He alerted me on several occasions to the fact that my sugar was low.
Due to personal circumstances in October I transferred fostering of Max to our friend, Pat Goglia in southern California. Pat also has some medical concerns and mobility issues. Max continued his caretaking of Pat by continually staying at his side.
In March of this year Max went into a new forever home with the Kuhn family in Los Angeles (by the way their daughter is named Blu). He is doing well there and the family don't have medical issues that require Max's care so we consider him retired at this point. His innate talents and tender heart are true gifts to the people that are involved in Max's life. To go from a mistreated puppy mill survivor to the working dog that he became is a true miracle. Max is a gift to the world.
I hope that you would consider Max for the Exemplary Companion Dog award. As a puppy mill survivor he has never been registered with the AKC but we do have proof that he is a purebred Kerry.
April 27, 2015
An update from his new owner:
Joshua Kuhn with Max and daughter Blu
Max is doing great, excellent gait, very athletic. He has been chasing squirrels and jumping a 5 ft high wall into the driveway to chase the ball. We have yet to leave him alone as he seems to panic and become nervous . We have not crated him as someone has always been home with him. He is eating, super with all visitors, wonderful with the kid. He just seems like a pup.
Hard to believe he was 10 yesterday!
We LOVE him, he is such a great dog, better behaved than our previous KBT's. We simply dodge the other dogs as his vision is not as good as his smell and hearing. I tend to see them before he does and just reverse directions.
Your instincts with Max were 100% accurate, he is the PERFECT dog for us.