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The Great Escape


© 2016 Kerry Blue Terrier Foundatio

No portion of this article may be reproduced without permission of the copyright holder. Reprinted with permission from Kerry Blue Terrier Foundatio.

This page provides a chronological history of the escape of 14 Kerries from the puppy mill industry.

Posted on Day 1, Sat Sep 10, 2005 7:45 PM US/Pacific

With more than a little help from our friends, the Kerry Foundation and a host of volunteers pulled off one of the biggest rescues of Kerry Blue Terriers in the history of the breed. Equal only to the Alaska SPCA's rescue of 14 Kerries in 2001, today 14 Kerries were pulled from an auction in MO and out of the puppy mills forever.

This rescue was over a month in planning, and involved the critical help of BARC (Bernese Auction Rescue Coalition)--experts at auction rescues, and responsible not only for driving down the prices of their breed and others, but for educating the rest of us on the best way to deal with mill auctions. Thanks to their knowledge and expertise, and our direct partnership with them, 14 Kerries will no long be bred indiscriminately, in unhealthy conditions, and passed from mill to mill. Today, a major commercial breeder of Kerry Blue Terriers (and other breeds) has forfeited her USDA license and shut down for good.

Today's auction was a dispersal auction--a going-out-of-business sale--and represented a unique opportunity to rescue our dogs from the mill system at low prices. Unlike consignment auctions, funds generated from this sale will not be used to acquire more breeding stock of any breed. As I wrote in the last Foundation newsletter, some rescue groups bid as high as they can afford at these auctions, while most breed clubs don't go at all. The Foundation has teamed up with BARC and other rescue groups and taken the path of moderation, attending every auction possible and buying only those dogs at low prices. Far from motivating mills to produce more Kerries, our low-bid purchases have helped to further depress prices for our breed, and allowed us to pull breeding stock from the mills. Despite the huge crowd at today's auction, there was only one other bidder for the Kerries. Considering the brisk trade and high prices on Kerries only a year ago, I believe that the mills have finally learned that breeding Kerries is bad business.

Some of the Kerries rescued today were bred by responsible show breeders in Europe who made the fatal mistake of not properly screening their puppy buyers and unwittingly selling to mills. The Foundation has been in touch with many of them, and we are pleased to report that 3 of them provided funds to save their dogs. These breeders have also been in touch with each other, and uncovered the scam artist--a dog broker--who is partly responsible for introducing their bloodlines into US puppy mills. Legal action is being taken, other breeders are being warned, and none of these breeders will be making this mistake again. These imports that provide breeding stock to the mills have got to stop, and we're working to do that.

This rescue represents an enormous undertaking, and involves the concerted efforts of our Rescue Coordinators and Foundation supporters on both coasts, as well as local representatives working by proxy. Yet this event would not have been possible without the generous support of all of you. If we needed donations to our Rescue program yesterday, we need them 14 times more today. Please help. (Click Donate on right) . And if you live in the St. Louis area and would like to assist the dogs themselves, please email me privately.

The logistics of how we arranged to rescue, transport, board, feed, clean, groom, vet, foster, and place 14 Kerries at the same time will be described in subsequent posts. For such a small breed as ours, to undertake such a challenge as this, requires courage, confidence, and determination. And it requires heart. These are the qualities so beautifully shown by our bidder today, and by our Rescue Coordinators who made the way ahead clear. And they are the same qualities that so distinguish our Kerries themselves. If we follow their lead and embrace these qualities as we take on the work that lies ahead, then nothing is impossible.

Jan in Santa Ynez, CA
Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation, Rescue Director
P.O. Box 1495
Solvang, CA 93464

Posted on Day 1, Sat Sep 10, 2005 8:38 PM US/Pacific

Today's rescue of 14 Kerries by the Foundation, required the coordinated effort of 57 people. The following people are actively involved in the rescue:
- 1 Rescue Director
- 4 Rescue Coordinators
- 4 auction consultants from other rescue groups
- 2 bidders
- 1 dog wash supervisor
- 3 Kerry groomers and dog washers
- 3 vets and vet technicians
- 1 food advisor
- 3 transporters
- 18 foster homes
- 9 backup foster homes
- 3 breeders who want their dogs rescued
- 3 home check coordinators
- 1 attorney
- 1 fund raiser/bookkeeper

In addition to these 57 people there were many people who were contacted but declined to help, especially in the Midwest.

If one of our Rescue Coordinators contacts you directly for your help in a certain location for specific work, please say YES. Our rescue programs work because of our volunteers.

In addition to lending a helping hand with the dogs themselves we need funds to finance our rescue work. Our Rescue Director estimates the total cost of this rescue will be $10,000 to $15,000, depending upon the health of the dogs.
To make a donation, please click Donate on right.

While every donation helps, we need a few $1000 donors to cover our immediate needs.

John Van den Bergh, President
Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation or 800/532-2890
P. O. Box 1495, Solvang, CA 93464 USA

Posted on Day 2, Sun Sep 11, 2005 2:19 AM US/Pacific

On Saturday, September 10, 2005, at 09:11 PM, wrote:


This is wonderful news and so heart warming. It is mega impressive. The Foundation seems more involved in successful rescues than other kerry clubs. Is it possible to know the name of the scam artists, dog brokers or would this lead to possible litigation? Would the info not alert responsible breeders in USA but also the breeders in Europe? God bless all the dedicated people involved in the rescue.



The best advice for breeders in the States AND in Europe (or anywhere!) is to thoroughly screen your puppy buyers, and do it yourselves. Do not rely on someone else to do it, do not rely on referrals from anyone without interviewing the prospective home personally, and always do home visits. If you cannot do the home visit yourself, and do not know anyone in the area you trust with the life of your puppy, then walk away. You may potentially lose a good home, but your puppy will not end up in a puppy mill being bred to death.

In addition, all puppies should be sold on a limited registration, pets with a spay/neuter agreement, and every sale should include a written contract like the one developed by the Foundation.

And finally, if every breeder would provide follow-up and stay in touch with their buyers, they would know the status of their puppy.

The dog broker in Europe contacts breeders with litters, and gushes about his good friends in America who are looking for such a puppy but can't find one. He persuades the breeder to part with her puppy for the equivalent of 3 month's wages--a terrible temptation to a lot of people the world over. After the puppy is shipped to the puppy mill, the breeder may actually correspond with the mill, and is bamboozled into believing all is well. Eventually, communication stops, and the breeder is none the wiser . . . until she hears from me. And by then it's too late.

I don't want anyone to think that this problem occurs only with naive European breeders. It doesn't. Well known US and Canadian breeders have sold puppies directly into the mills, with no middleman involved at all, and frankly, that's an even more deplorable situation.

The bottom line is that any breeder who properly screens her puppy buyers, meets them personally, uses limited registration, and requires a written contract is not going to run into trouble. The mills are looking for far easier targets than that.

Jan in Santa Ynez, CA
Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation, Rescue Director

Posted on Day 3, Mon Sep 12, 2005 8:24 PM US/Pacific

Here is a quick update on the 14 rescued Kerries.

On Saturday night the 14 Kerries were transported to the home of our bidder in St. Louis. He is not a Kerry person and received a crash course in dealing with Kerries! All went reasonably well during the night.

Sunday was spent cleaning crates, feeding, washing, and keeping dog fights from breaking out.

Today, Monday, the first batch of Kerries went to the vet. Their health is better than expected. Initial indications are that all of them have eye and ear infections, but only some of them have lesions and/or coccidia (an intestinal parasite).

It does not appear that any of the bitches are pregnant or that any of the Kerries have serious health problems.

The temperaments seem to be mild. (Most mill Kerries have a milder temperament than dogs bred for the show ring.)

Eight of the Kerries are shaven down and the other six are completely overgrown.

It appears that all the rescued Kerries have the potential of eventually becoming loving pets.

John Van den Bergh, President
Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation or 800/532-2890
P. O. Box 1495, Solvang, CA 93464 USA

Posted on Day 5, Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:14 PM US/Pacific

Here is an update on the rescue of the 14 Kerries.

On Tuesday, day 4 of the escape, the second batch of Kerries made it to the vet. All 14 Kerries are now being treated for ear and eye infections.

Janet Joers, our Rescue Director and Mimi Wight, a rescue volunteer flew to St. Louis to oversee the processing and dispatching of the dog to the different foster homes across the US, one to Canada, and one to Europe.

Because of a lack of local volunteers, some of the kerries were temporarily moved to the St. Louis public shelter. The Foundation is thankful for their assistance.

On Wednesday, day 5, local volunteer Kathy Adams, Janet and Mimi worked all day to wash and groom 8 lucky Kerries. It was the first time these lovely puppies were cared for: it appears that their coat was never trimmed, their ears never plucked and their eyes never treated.

The temperaments are as sweet as can be. Some are a little shy because they have never been around people. All of them are craving for attention. One wonderful puppy even fell asleep while his ears were plucked.

It was a logistics nightmare to shuttle 14 Kerries between our agent, the shelter, the vet, the bath house and the airport.
Because of the lack of support by the local Kerry community, the Foundation had to hire a washer to get the work done before this batch of Kerries boards the airplane, later tonight. If all goes well, the first of the Kerries will reach their foster homes in the early hours of the morning.

Kudos to Kathie, Mimi and Janet for their unbelievable dedication to the breed.

John Van den Bergh, President
Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation or 800/532-2890
P. O. Box 1495, Solvang, CA 93464 US

Posted on Day 6, Thu Sep 15, 2005 5:18 AM US/Pacific

Here is a report from Kathie Adams, one of the volunteers on the ground in St. Louis.

The adult Kerries II worked with came with their legs and bodies shaved from neck to tail. Most of the work on them involved bathing and working matts out of their faces. Most of the mats were due to excess eye discharge that had become infected and of course never cleaned. The hair and mats on their heads, made them look like bouviers. After trimming the faces and ears, we have at least preserved some kerry dignity in the faces!

The adult females I groomed were very shy, but after grooming spent a little time in the x-pen playing with the puppies. The adult female that was more timid in coming out of her crate actually played with barking and bowing to the puppies. The adult male I groomed was 100% kerry. He pranced proudly around despite his shaved body. With some extra TLC and skin care, he'll make a great pet!

How sad to think that these babies didn't even have names we could call them while caring for them. However, it worked just fine to call them "Sweetness", "Lovey Boy", or "Darlin". They are lucky dogs to have real homes to look forward to, and no longer be treated as livestock or a crop.

Kathie Adams

Posted on Day 6, Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:24 PM US/Pacific

Today the Foundation received a most hart-warming donation.

A girl, who turned 12 last Monday, gave up a nice birthday present so we "could buy as many puppies as possible at the auction."

Thank you, Alison, you are an inspiration to us all.

Posted on Day 6, Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:34 PM US/Pacific

Update on the 14 rescued Kerries.

After a night in Janet's and Mimi's hotel room, eight kerries left St. Louis on flights to the East and West coasts.
4 dogs arrived in Seattle and were picked up by Candi Marzano, our rescue coordinator for the NW, and Carol Cain, another volunteer. Two of the adopted families were also on hand to meet their new Kerries. These two families were thrilled with their puppies.

Dannah and Candy with Dooley

Dannah, the adopter meets Dooley for the first time. While Candy Marzano pets the puppy.

Candi and Carol then met up with Rita Lockwood who transported the two other Kerries to Portland.

Rita with Little Bit

Rita Lockwood takes Little Bit for his first walk.

A fifth Kerry was flown to his new family in Connecticut, via La Guardia airport.

The next dog was shipped to Deborah Mohr in Michigan.

The flight of the other two Kerries to Boston was delayed, then cancelled. Luckily Janet and Mimi were able to retrieve the the dogs at the St. Louis airport for a walk and fresh water. They are scheduled for an early morning arrival in Boston. They are to be picked up by Tracey Fulmer, our rescue coordinator for the NE, and Peggy Turner, one of our foster moms.


Xander at home with Tracey.

Back in St. Louis, the doggy washers worked all day to ready the next batch of Kerries. Marie Demarco groomed several dogs to make them presentable to their new homes.

We also received transportation help from Linda and Ross Morgan. These Sheltie folks responded to our plea for help on the Wheaten-l list and were a great help in transporting the remaining Kerries between the shelter, washers and the airport.

Alison Reynolds, the 12 year old girl who gave up her $100 birthday present to allow the Foundation to rescue more Kerries will be remembered: Janet agreed to name one of the puppies "Alison."

John Van den Bergh, President
Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation or 800/532-2890
P. O. Box 1495, Solvang, CA 93464 USA

Posted on Day 7, Fri Sep 15, 2005 7:04 PM US/Pacific

Today the last batch of Kerries were flown from St. Louis to their foster families in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and San Francisco. All have arrived safely.




Sancho at the Foellmer family in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Annie in the arms of son Sean at her forever home with
Holly & Patrick Monahan in Greensburg, PA.

Janet and Mimi are exhausted.

Yesterday's donation from Alison Reynolds, the 12 year old girl who gave up her $100 birthday present to allow the Foundation to rescue more Kerries, was matched by several people today. We thank you all.

Duffy, Kelly, & Gigolo

Duffy, Kelly, & Gigolo arrived safely in Philadelthia
at the home of our Rescue Coordinator, Beth Tarnoski.

Gigolo is on his way home in Slovakia.


"Lyra," loved and cared for by Shelley & Marty Killcoyne of Westchester County, NY.

The Eckerts

MacKenzie and her new family, the Eckerts of Baltimore, MD.


Bonnie (right), meets Brillo and Kathy Fehrn in San Francisco.

Grant with Max

Grant meets his guest Max in San Francisco.


Doug, Anthony with Max and Anne Bown Crawford in his new home in Arcate, CA.


Max Bown Crawford exploring his new home.

Ami and Max

Anthony Bown-Crawford with Ami and Max in Arcate, CA

Sweetie Pie

Sweetie Pie with foster mother Cheri Gacetta in San Rafael, CA

Sweetie Pie

Sweetie Pie

Sweetie Pie with her new family Michael and Sarah Mandaniss
and their 7 year old daughter Allair in Healdsburg, CA

John Van den Bergh
Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation or 800/532-2890
P. O. Box 1495, Solvang, CA 93464 USA

Posted on Day 8, Sat Sep 18, 2005 12:14 PM US/Pacific

Dear Listers,

After 4.5 grueling days in St. Louis, I am on a plane to Colorado to see my human "boys". Jan, by now, should be on her flight to Indiana; our job in St. Louis finished, 14 of the most tragic but wonderful little kerries I've ever loved, now safe in the arms of 14 wonderful foster families around the country.

This morning we awoke to a hotel suite which was eerily silent and empty for the first time since our arrival. This was definitely a relief, for we are "dog" tired, but there is a pathos about it, as well; no scritching, scratching, tail thumping good morning...get to it, THIS morning. I had to remind myself that this was a GOOD thing. Damned if I didn't miss them, even the consistently non-productive, 5am potty walks which only "produced" upon our return to the carpet-side of our hotel room door. No more rush thru meds, feeding, cleaning, organizing reams of bureaucratic paper in triplicate, crate-lugging sprints to the van thru thunder, lightening, pounding rain thru rush hour traffic for the 8:30am flight to Philadelphia, which they forgot to notify us was canceled due to the weather even though we called and asked... Get the drift...the pace was kinda like that, day in, day out. For me it was approx. 3 hrs. shut eye per night (2am.-5am). Jan had it worse one of the nights; she had "Maestro" in her bedroom. He was the one kerry we gave a name to. You can probably guess why. He lives with Peggy Turner now...what a lucky guy!

Our job at this end is done. 14 little souls; our constant focus, our highs, our lows for days on end, are now safe in the arms of their foster families around the country.

As St. Louis fades into the distance below me, I'm feeling solemn, peaceful, and quite teary with the depth of emotion that we have experienced. From the starved and terrified kerries that cringed at our initial approach, hopeful little spirits have begun to emerge. Their peace and joy will build exponentially with the consistent love and kindness in their new lives. This, I know.

As for whether this was the "right" thing to do....this I also know. It was. Not one cent of the money spent on this rescue goes back into the commercial puppy trade. In fact, quite the opposite. This was a dispersal sale. This mill is finished...gone...USDA license canceled. These 14 kerries will not be bred, abused or starved again. Gigolo will travel thru Eastern Europe with Zuzanna to spread the word about the evils and duplicity of commercial brokers and millers in this country and abroad.

If we ALL work together, we can chip away at this blight in our world. THAT is the RIGHT thing!

Gotta sleep now.

Please dig deep into your hearts and into your pockets to support this rescue and rescue opportunities in the future.

Mimi safe and sound in the arms of her "non-fuzzy" family in Crested Butte, CO.

Posted on Day 11, Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:54 AM US/Pacific

As I look at the photos of our recent auction Kerries on the Foundation web site, and read the reports from our Rescue Coordinators and foster/adoptive families, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of awe and gratitude. It doesn't seem possible that we could ship "dog #123" in the morning, and only hours later, have him in a safe and loving home, with a family to hold him and love him, and a real name to call his own. Or that dog #116, #120, #121, and others would bring tears of joy to their new foster families/owners at first sight, or that dog #107 and #109 and others could bring such delight and laughter into their new homes from the very first day.

The sense of awe comes from the sharp contrast between these photos and the first look Mimi Wight (our volunteer on the scene) and I had of our Rescue kids the day we arrived in St. Louis. There, in rescuer John K's back yard, flitting in and out of the shadows like little sprites, were what could only be described as "Kerry Whippets." So thin they were painful to look at, so shy that only one or two approached us, yet so so suddenly real. They were no longer just listings in a mill auction catalog. They were little Kerry beings with bodies to heal, and souls to nurture. They were the ones we'd been working to save for the last 5 weeks, and it was deeply moving to see their little faces peering at us out of the darkness. Their transformation over the next few days, from dirty, frightened animals to clean, curious, and playful puppies taking their first tentative steps into the real world was nothing short of awesome.

The sense of gratitude comes from the help we received from the selfless, dedicated people who said "Yes!" in a heartbeat when asked to help. They made this rescue possible.

The Foundation is grateful to John K., who performed the actual rescue at the MO auction, cared for 14 Kerries for several days, made 4 trips to the vet's, and located alternative housing. He also gave our Rescue kids their first taste of freedom, care, and love.

We are grateful to Candi Marzano, Eileen Andrade, Beth Tarnoski, and Tracey Fulmer, our Rescue Coordinators--the best there are. Each of them found 4+ solid foster homes and multiple back-up homes to accommodate whatever dogs we were able to rescue. They screened families, did home visits, and educated our families on puppy mill auction dogs and what to expect in terms of health, handling, and care. They also met the flights, coordinated the distribution of the dogs, and provided ongoing support. They worked tirelessly, and still do.

We are grateful to Mimi Wight, who worked round the clock on the scene in St. Louis, preparing our rescues for shipping. This beat-the-clock endurance test involved sleep deprivation, skipped meals, and grueling deadlines, all occurring under incredibly difficult circumstances while on an emotional roller-coaster with high highs and low lows. Mimi is unflappable (!) and the best person we could have had for such a bruising challenge--bruising in body, spirit, and soul--yet so rewarding, too.

Mimi Wight

Mimi Wight preparing another shipment of Kerries.

We are grateful to all our foster families who are tending to the physical, mental, and emotional needs of our Rescue kids. For them, it is a labor of love, but it is labor nonetheless, and we thank them for it. Special mention needs to be made of Peggy Turner and Rita Lockwood who are fostering the most special-needs dogs of all. These 8-month-old males suffered the most in the mill, and were the most emaciated, and most damaged psychologically. These were the 2 dogs that the puppy mill added to the auction catalog at the last minute because, we're told, she had "forgotten where she put them." Every day sees great strides in the dogs' responses to their new world, their confidence level, and their ability to love back. That's a tribute to the expertise of Peggy & Rita.

We are grateful to the many people in St. Louis, nearly all of whom were non-Kerry people, whose help was critical--Jeannie at Shaker's Bath House for accommodating us at her self-serve dog wash, pitching in to help with nearly everything, and giving us a Rescue discount; Dr. Glaeser for examining, vaccinating, and providing meds for our 14 Kerries; Cindy at the Humane Society of MO for providing kennel space for up to 6 Kerries (even though they were expecting 500 dogs from the Katrina-affected areas); Kathie Adams and Marie DeMarco who each spent a day bathing and grooming our little charges and welcoming them to their new world; Linda & Ross Morgan who transported 2 Kerries for us to the airport, even though this is not even their breed; Petco, who donated a new #400 crate; and, yes, to the many airline cargo employees who promised to take good care of our guys, and they did!

We are grateful to breeder Zuzana of Slovakia and the other two Eastern European breeders who cared enough about the dogs of their breeding to provide considerable sums for their rescue. It was Zuzana's Kerrydom Court Gigolo who made the most miraculous transformation--from a terrified "junk yard dog" to a preening proud and beautiful Kerry that he was meant to be. There came a magical moment on the grooming table when he seemed to remember who he was. He pulled himself together, struck a show pose, as if memories of the good days of his puppyhood came flooding back to him. It was to him we spoke in Slovakian, "Mama ta caka. Ideme domov!" Mama is waiting for you. We're going home! He will be picked up by Zuzana during the Montgomery shows and will make the long journey home at last.



Gigolo being cleaned up for his long way home.

And we are grateful to every supporter, to every donor, to everyone who believes as we do that these dogs were worth it.
Today, every dog is in a home, whether foster or adoptive, and for some, this rescue is over. But for the Foundation and our volunteers, it has barely begun. Some of the dogs need special care to gain confidence and be the dogs they were meant to be. All need spay/neuter surgery, and most still need permanent homes. The costs of this rescue, which now exceed $15,000, still need to be covered. We ask each of you who loves your Kerry to give something to a Kerry who had nothing at all. We are asking for your help in covering the expenses below (which represent only a subset of the total).

$90 each for 4 crates
$100 for temporary boarding facilities in St. Louis for 6 Kerries
$130 each for initial vet exams and vaccinations
$150 for dog food, dishes, crate cups, and supplies
$150 per night for the hotel for 4 nights for the 2 volunteers who flew into St. Louis (and donated the cost of their flights)
$195 average for air-shipping each of the 14 dogs
$220 for the dog washing facility, shampoo, towels, etc.
$260 for the cost of the rental van in St. Louis to transport our rescues

To make a donation by check or credit card, please see:

Anyone who looks into the eyes of any of these 14 Kerries would know that there is no greater cause than this.

Jan in Santa Ynez, CA (recuperating in IN until tomorrow)
Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation, Rescue Director

From: "Zuzana Szovenyiova" <>
Date: Mon Jul 17, 2006 4:44:29 AM US/Pacific
Subject: Gigi

Sending new photos of Gigi. He is happy and healthy. He won strong class at our specialty!

Best wishes,


From: Janet Joers
Date: Mon Aug 28, 2006 5:33:40 PM US/Pacific


Oskar, affectionately called "Punkin Peanut," is always attentive!

From: Janet Joers
Subject: Xander
Date: December 15, 2006 12:13:41 PM PST

Just wanted to send you a quick note and let you know that Xander is
doing great. He is finally settling in and feeling very much at home. It did
take quite some time, but we all worked through it. Attached is
picture of my daughter Kelli, Xander, and Lucky (it was right before their
scheduled grooming, so please keep that in mind!). Kelli really loves her buds!

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season with your families -- thanks
again for Xander !!

All the best,

From: Shelley Kilcoyne <>
Date: December 17, 2006 10:57:45 AM PST
To: Mail list for Kerry Blue Terrier Fanciers <KERRYBLUES-L@APPLE.EASE.LSOFT.COM>
Subject: Lyra

Hi, all,

I have to admit to being negligent in my postings lately, as I've been very busy with a new job. However, I have been meaning to let everyone know how well Ms. Lyra is doing (from "The Great Escape") and seeing this subject line finally motivated me to do something about it!

In a word, Lyra is fantastic. She is still very shy of strangers and won't go near anyone, particularly men, until she gets to sniff them out and observe them for a while, but she is very comfortable in our house and is a wonderful companion. She is truly one of the sweetest, most affectionate dogs -- even more so than her big Kerry brother Tyler, who is also a doll, so that takes some doing. She loves her toys, and takes them out of the box and throws them around, catches them, then throws them again. Very entertaining to watch. She literally bounds around the backyard, particularly when she sees a deer, squirrel, or whatever. As always, Tyler lets her do all the running around and then goes down from the deck if and when he thinks something is worth his noble investigation. He is the prince, and she is the "pretty princess." She sleeps either with our son Michael or on our bed, depending on her mood that evening, and doesn't wake up until we get up ourselves.....a big "plus" in our household.

Her only bad habit is that she is a "secret chewer." She tends to think anything fuzzy is a toy, so I came upstairs the other day to find little black bits of fuzz all over our bedroom and my husband's sheepskin slippers turned into open-toed sandals. Of course, I can never yell at her because she just sits there wagging her tail thinking what a good job she's done killing those big, bad slippers, so I just walked downstairs and told Marty I had good news and bad news. The good news was that he would be getting a brand new pair of slippers very soon. The bad news was....his favorite slippers now looked like THIS. Fortunately, he just laughed (phew!). She's very secretive about her rarely see her doing it, but then you'll open up a blanket to put it on the couch and there'll be a gaping hole in the middle. Oops. Or, in one case Marty put on a pair of his slacks (that had been on the floor, so of course they were fair game) and discovered he was missing a few belt loops. The backs of my clogs are all non-existent and we're missing most of the tassels on our living room pillows, but at least she's usually pretty neat so the object of her attention is still usable, if slightly disfigured.

A recent trip to Petsmart where I stocked up on chewy and fuzzy things seems to have solved the problem, at least until she gets tired of this batch. Then, we'll just have to try to stay one step...or rather, one chew... ahead of her.

Can't believe it's been over a year since I picked her up at the airport. Although she's still shy, she's turned into quite a wonderful watchdog and is quite a dainty little lady.

She is a gift.

Wishing everyone a joyous Hannukah, Christmas and New Year,

Shelley Kilcoyne
Lyra (Oh, please can I have that pillow? Just for a sec?)
Tyler (Nothing like having a little sister to do all the grunt work in the yard.)

From: Diane Foellmer <>
Date: Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:22:56 PM US/Pacific
Subject: Sancho

Just a little note to say how much we love our dogs Sancho and Bella (Magnificent 7 puppy).

They both are best buddies. Bella is extremely smart and very naughty.


Sanco & Bella


Sancho is more reserved (he almost has an aristocratic style), but he is such a great dog. Bella is the journalist style. She needs to know what everyone is doing in the house. Sancho is more relaxed.


Bella and Sancho


They are a good pair. Thank you again,

Diane Foellmer

From: mediastar@OPTONLINE.NET
Subject: [KBL] Lyra Update
Date: December 14, 2007 2:40:29 PM PST

Hi, All,

I know it’s been quite a while but my new job has been exhausting me, so I apologize for taking so long to update you all on the progress of Lyra, our wonderful rescue Kerry from “The Great Escape.”

I can’t believe it’s been over 2 years since I spoke to Jan and arranged to pick Lyra up at La Guardia Airport. She was so frightened at the time from being in a puppy mill over a year that she shook constantly, couldn’t walk up steps, was not very sociable (with people, dogs OK), barked at the slightest noise, and would pee at the slightest glance – no matter where on the carpet she happened to be. What a difference time has made!

She is, and has always been, the sweetest dog I have ever had. She is so affectionate that any family member (except Marty, my husband – more about that later) can pick her up and cuddle her for as long as they want – she won’t even move. She of course became housebroken very quickly, since she is such a little whip, and has calmed down immensely. She no longer barks at every sound although she is a great watchdog and I know she wouldn’t let anyone near the house (including animals of any size or shape) without sounding the alarm. She even has “trained” Tyler, my 10 year-old very spoiled male “only child” Kerry (up until 2 years ago). Prior to Lyra’s joining the family, Tyler would occasionally have an accident (on my Oriental rug, of course) and would also mark the corners of our bedposts (near the floor, thankfully). Since she’s shown him how to behave, he never, ever does anything in the house. I think he would be embarrassed at such ungentlemanly behavior in front of the little upstart.

Lyra has also become quite a little Miss Piggy. She is always starving (thanks to Tyler’s wonderful training in this regard) and one can’t eat without feeling sorry for her. As if either one of them has lost an ounce in the past 2 years! In fact, they’re both getting a little chubby. Lyra, at 30 lbs, is still a peanut compared to Tyler’s 50+ lbs, and although she’ll never be able to counter-surf she can finally jump up on the bed without fear of falling (usually). She sleeps soundly in her spot, of course crowding me out as much as possible. Between two stretched out Kerries and the husb. it’s amazing there’s room for me.

And speaking of the husb, at least Lyra no longer tries to rip his throat out when he comes into the house or attack him when he comes out of the bathroom in the middle of the night, although when she and I are in a room together she is still extremely protective. She will even occasionally go up to Marty to be petted if he is sitting in his chair. Once he gets up, though, she scurries away.

She is a riot to watch with Tyler, whom she adores. She waits at the door for him to come down the stairs and then, as soon as he steps outside, she races in front of him so she can cut him off and get down to the yard first. She romps in the snow and when she has a new toy she amuses herself and everyone else by throwing it in the air, catching it, then throwing it again, etc. One day I’ll get a video – it’s hysterical. She also does her little ballerina stretches by kicking one back leg out and then the other, almost every AM.

So…. Lyra has been, and remains, an absolute delight.

With best wishes to all and to all a Good Night!

Shelley Kilcoyne, Tyler & Lyra

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