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2016 Sammy

© 2019 Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation

Sammy The Grand Dame of Rescue

Originally Posted on October 26, 2016

  • Rescue Coordinator: Brad & Heather Taylor
  • Fostered in Oregon
  • Name Known By: Sammy
  • Estimated Age: 17
  • Sex: Female
  • Spayed: Yes
  • Pure Kerry: Yes
  • Housebroken: Yes

Sammy has been adopted on October 19, 2016.

  • Dog's Original Name: Sammy
  • Dog's New Name: Sammy


Sammy lived with Paul and Marjorie Nefstead in a cottage near Santa Barbara. The Nefsteads were good supporters of the Foundation. Sammy was Paul’s girl and they could be seen walking their neighborhood regularly. When Paul died a few years ago, Sammy was deprived of her walks as Marjorie was not able to get easily out of the house.

Luckily, Joan Blaha, a neighbor, picked up Sammy for play-dates with her dog (see photo).

Marjorie died on 10/8/16 and her only relative did not have any interest in Sammy. He took her to the Santa Barbara County shelter.

Joan, the neighbor, visited Sammy at the shelter. At 17 years of age, Sammy was not happy to be confined to a cold concrete cell. even with plenty of blankets and toys, Sammy shiverd and was confused by the ordeal.  

Joan contacted the Foundation and Brad & Heather Taylor, Rescue Coordinators (RCs) for California, got into action.


The first question was is Sammy really a Kerry? Our volunteer, Pam Ellen Hudson went to the shelter and visited Sammy and came away very impressed by this documented 17-year young spry lady. Very sweet and gentle she's a typical Kerry with age related bumps and lumps and some age related needs.

Next question: Would our Foundation supporters want us to rescue a 17-year old Kerry? Are they willing to cover the expenses for this senior lady? The response on KBL was overwhelming in favor of rescuing Sammy. So we did.

Next step is finding her a foster or permanent home willing to take her in. Foster homes are always hard to find. We didn’t have any volunteers in the area who signed up to be a foster family.  This was a reral problem, because without a family to take care of Sammy, we could not get her out of the shelter.  


Enter Eileen Andrade. Eileen was one of the first RCs of the Foundation and had a wealth of contacts. A few phone calls and Rita Lockwood agreed to be our “permanent foster.” A “permanent foster” is a home that will treat the dog as their own, while the Foundation retains ownership and covers the expenses. Permanent foster care is only provided for dogs that can not be placed in a regular home because of behavior or health issues.


Unfortunately, Rita lives in Oregon, 916 miles (1475 km) north of Santa Barbara. Since flying Sammy would be too traumatic for her, it was decided to coble a caravan together.


We had enough confidence in the Kerry community that a caravan of transporters could be found, so Brad decide to get Sammy out of the shelter as soon as possible—even when we did not know exactly how to get her to Oregon. On 10/16/16 Brad & Heather Taylor drove 560 miles RT from San Jose to Santa Barbara to pick up Sammy from the shelter and pick-up all her medical records.

That night, Sammy stayed with Bill and Sharon Bynum in San Jose. (see photo of couple on door stoop) The next day, John Keplar (in brown shirt) drove Sammy from San Jose to Redding—a 500 mile round trip.


Sammy spent the night with Eileen's friends who are active in German Shepherd rescue.

The following day she was driven to Medford Oregon by GSD rescue. There Sammy received a bath and grooming from Bubbles & Bows and spent another night.



Unfortunately, we could not find a transporter to pick up Sammy in Medford and and deliver her to Rita.  Eileen Andrade herself had to drive from Vancouver WA to Medford to pick up Sammy (570 miles round trip).

Sammy was a real trooper and she needed to be! Eileen was late getting to Bubbles & Bows in Medford due to a flat tire. They were back on the road headed for Salem, but just outside of Cottage Grove Eileen had a second flat tire! When the second flat disabled them they were a mile south of Cottage Grove on I-5 and it was raining to beat the band.  When the tire finally got changed so that they could get into Cottage Grove it was after 9 pm so Eileen and Sammy went to a motel and settled in for the night.  Sammy ate well, peed and pooped outside and then layed down next to the bed - not a peep out of her.

Sammy seemed to sleep but Eileen really didn't. By 7 am they were sitting outside of Mel Schwab's to purchase a second tire in two days, back on the road by 9 am and met Rita in Salem at 10:15.

They met at the Burger King in Salem and Sammy seemed to know that this was her last transfer point.  She seemed fixated on Rita, met Casey (Rita’s KBT) and all went well there. 

Other Dogs: Yes

Cats: Yes

Children: Yes


We have all Sammy's medical records and she's up to date on everything
Pam says her eyes are a little goopy right now but she can see and
responds beautifully to a gentle touch. She gets around well but as you can imagine, long walks are out of the question.

October 24, 2016 Update

An update from Rita:

My thanks to everyone who helped get her up here.  It wasn't a walk in the park for anyone, but Eileen Andrade traversed the equivalent of a bridge over troubled waters...

And did it because she cares...

So Casey & I met her & Sammy in Salem Oregon Wed AM, we brought her home from there.  We got home about noon.  I carried fragile little Sammy up the three steps from street level to yard level, put her down, & unloaded the car...

While I was unloading, She climbed the 6 - 7 steps to house level by herself, walked in the open door & explored.  Her wet beard told
me she found the water bowl.

All unloaded, I went to the kitchen & she stated clearly that she was
hungry. I didn't read her notes first, I just fixed her & Casey the same
thing, just a smaller amount for her. She. - cleaned - her bowl.  Kibble,
(TOTW) chicken, broth, & yogurt. After I read her notes I learned that she
is "a finicky eater" & "doesn't like kibble"    ummm ... She requested and
ate 3 meals before bedtime.  She continues to eat heartily, & is gaining

This is Oregon, not southern California, so I bought her a pretty red
sweater.  At first she didn't want it on. After she found out how soft &
warm it is, she doesn't want it taken off.

From the records it appears her owner was with caretakers before she died Oct 08.

Looks like Sammy was placed in the shelter Oct 10.  Sammy may or may not have received quality care while her owner was ill, but she has
almost certainly been stressed lately.  However, she seems very comfortable and happy now. She certainly doesn't hesitate to make her requests known.

I don't give Casey yogurt with every meal, & one night I forgot to give her
some with dinner.  She didn't eat it, just turned around & stared at me
until I added it.  We ran out of dark meat cooked chicken, so I cooked
white meat. She sniffed her dish, walked off, went over to check Casey's, (he wasn't happy) then walked away.  After a few minutes, she decided to eat hers anyway.

Yes... Elderly, wobbly, fragile, other age related issues, but adorable.
Elegant, fiesty, sweet as can be, & clearly Kerry.


November 4, 2016 Update

Sammie went back to the vet's ofc. She has now been here two weeks. Two weeks of good food, comfy living quarters, feeling safe & loved.
Her lab results are excellent. She now walks upstairs freely & - in good
light - downstairs!  She was groomed, & loved it. I'm just sure she said,
"Well, Finally".

Sharon Burnett sent Sammie two beautiful collars, & I put one on after
grooming.  I think Miss Sammie was used to being "prettied up" because she looked & acted a bit more regal.

I wanted to take pictures when I got her home... Got one quick snap from an uncooperative Kerry who said if she had wanted to pose for pictures she would have let me know.

November 11, 2016 Update

She has now been with Casey & I 3 weeks & 2 days. Our general routine is: She sleeps in her crate. 1st thing in AM, I get her out of there & out the front door with Casey while I fix their breakfast (same for both of them) I let them in to eat while I fix my coffee. She is usually through eating before Casey. When I have my coffee & they are finished, we go out for Coffee On the Porch. She goes downstairs by herself easily enough (in good daylight) that she goes down exploring instead remaining on the porch with us.

After coffee time, we go back in & she naps on her K9 BALLISTICS ortho bed Jan Joers provided. Considering Sammie's arthritis, it's a blessing, I wish we had one for her crate. Last nightshe decided to scrunch up a blankie, but there wasn't one on the bed. She kept trying... I wasn't sure if she was dealing with memory or desire, but I got her a blankie. She scrunched it up & settled immediately.

Generally, as soon as she wakes from her nap, I take her outside. I also take her out after every drink & every meal. In spite of that, we have "issues". I tried. - diapers, she doesn't like them, - potty pads, fine but I can't cover the floor with them, tried the routine.... Guess we're going back to diapers. Casey always goes out with her. They go out at least 3 - 4 times a day, often more, & are out at least an hour 3 times a day. If they are not ready to come in when the hour is up, I don't force them to come in.

She insists on meals 3 times a day. And she insists on yogurt & chicken with her kibble & broth at EACH meal. Otherwise I get The Stare, & she checks Casey's dish, & then stares at me until I understand. If I am particularly dense, she will whimper. That does it for me...

She seems happy with Casey & me, enjoys car rides, her little walks outside, her bed, & good meals. Likes being petted & lap-naps, but with the exception of school kids, she decides when that's OK.


November 29, 2016 Update

My youngest son Brian, and his 9-year old daughter, Lily, came the weekend before Thanksgiving. Sammy was every body's darling, and that suited her just fine.  

Brian and Lily came back Thanksgiving Thursday with a buddy, Troy, and
his Kerry, Teddy.

She loved the attention from the humans.  Sammy said that she wishes to keep them. Poor sweet Teddy... gentle, caring... happy... enthusiatic, and energetic. Plus he occasionally Barks. His quick movements and his bark startled Sammy.  

I think 5 or 10 years ago she would have just told him to sit
down & be quiet.  At this point, she just avoids him if possible.

However, she had a good weekend.  

She is quite fond of turkey, and sweet potato is also good.

I have not told her yet that we may go to Portland for about 10 days.
Yes, we'll stay with Teddy & family.



Sammie enjoyed the Christmas holidays. Lily, Brian, & Teddy came here for a day or two then we went to Portland for a day or two. She seemed quite happy to be held, cuddled, adored...
First time she met Teddy (of the Magnificent Seven) his energy was a bit too much for her.,but she apparently has realized he is no threat to her & they do quite well together now.

She was not interested in bones first time I offered. Recently I gave Casey one but didn't give her one. She watched him, (smelled it?) & walked over & took it away from him. He didn't bat an eye, just let her take it. She didn't chew it, she just put it on her bed. A few hours later, when she was away from it, he walked over & got it. Later, she realized he had it & went over to take it back... Casey said No! She was offended, but... If she enjoyed chewing on a bone, I'd give her one, but she can't have his just because she wants to take it.

He loves his bones, he also loves Fuji apples. I was eating one a couple of days ago, & gave him a chunk. He took it to his bed & ate it, came back for another chunk. He took the second chunk to his bed, put it down & came back to get more. Sammie walked over to his bed, got his chunk of apple & ate it! She doesn't usually hesitate to ask for treats, I had no idea she would eat apple.

She went to the groomer's with Casey. The groomer noticed, & commented on how protective Casey was of Sammie. The groomer also noticed a couple of weeping lumps & mentioned them to me.

So we went to the vet this morning, & nothing appears to be critical. Yaayy Sammie! We have oral antibiotics for the open sores. She also has lost a little weight, we will recheck in a few weeks.

She received an ortho crate bed. She has been sleeping in it several days now, & I noticed she is less stiff when she gets up. She rises, stretches (new morning behavior) strolls out of the crate & looks around. She moves more easily right away, instead of taking some time to work the kinks out.

In case I haven't said it here... I don't have a magic potion. I have no intention of trying to see how long modern medicine & heroic efforts can keep her body alive. My goal with her is to ensure that while she is here she is safe, well cared for, & feels as loved & happy as possible.
So far, we're doing great !!!

Rita, Casey, & Sammie,
Oregon, USA

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