"We have a seven-year old Kerry with major health issues who needs a new home." Well, that's going to take a special
adopter, I thought to myself, reading the email on my computer 1000 miles away from the Kerry in need. The subject of the email was a purebred female
Kerry named Lacey, and if facing homelessness at age7, timid - especially around men, in uncertain health and with a list of medications longer than
my arm (and worth a lot more money) wasn't heartbreaking enough, this was not Lacey's first time facing an uncertain future.
She had been rescued from a puppy mill situation six years earlier, as part of one of the Foundation's "group rescues" in the times when Kerries were a hot item for puppy mills.
While Lacey had found a wonderful home after being rescued from the puppy mill, those owners were no longer able to care for her. Lacey needed a home that was kind, sophisticated about canine health care, fun, and not put off by her expenses or her fears, or her age. "Ask and you shall find" doesn't always work in dog rescue, but it did for Lacey! It did!
After a few months of keeping Lacey's story alive in the Kerry community, Midwest rescue coordinator Linda Lee got a message from Robert and Marveen Minnish, longtime members of the Foundation community, who were feeling ready to bring another companion into the house, after having taken some time to recover from the loss of a previous Kerry.
Lacey was being fostered by southeast rescue coordinator George Hanna. Phone calls, emails, veterinary opinions, medication consults, transportation from one of the Foundation's own Rescue Directors Dianne Collins, and a lot of crossed fingers later, Miss Lacey was put on a plane and jetted off to her new home with Bob and Marveen.
"Make sure you don't let her out of the crate until you're in a safe place!" I whined anxiously to Bob as he headed for the airport to pick-up Lacey. "She's going to be scared and could bolt."
Some hours later, I got a message from Bob: "We're still waiting for her to come out of her crate. Guess we didn't need to worry about her running away."
"Come on, Lacey!" I thought to myself. "You are so lucky to have found this home. Don't blow it! Be friendly! Be nice to Bob!"
I should have remembered that Lacey is a Kerry, and she soon began adapting beautifully, if at her own pace, to her new home.
Each new email from Bob was a gift: "She has bonded very well with Marveen. Still wary of me but now will come into the kitchen and eat even when I'm in there. She also loves the "pup corn" treats. Lacey even took one from my hand. She even gave me a kiss while we were at the Vet."
[Massive cheering from the entire Foundation rescue team.]
Then: "Having her with us these past two weeks has been a real delight. She is still wary of me but less so than the first few days. She comes to me when she needs to. She will take snacks out of my hand."
[Huge cyber-high-five-ing, popping of champagne corks, and other expressions of joy from the Foundation rescue team.]
And soon: "We are definitely making progress. Lacey now comes to me and barks when she needs to go out. When we left her shut in our bedroom while we went to church yesterday she whined when we shut the bedroom door. That tells me she likes being with us. I think she stayed in her bed the whole time we were gone. It's a relief to know that we don't have to put her in a kennel when we have to leave her. At night she likes sleeping in her bed beside Marveen's side of our bed. The padding on her bed was somewhat thin so I put a rug in her bed. She immediately took it out. So I put a pad under her bed instead. Oh it's fun to have a Kerry around to try to outsmart."
[Cartwheels, handstands, and wild table-dancing from the entire Foundation rescue team.]
And more: "We just had Lacey groomed today and she is really looking like a Kerry. Her groomer, Marcia Joslyn, said she thought her own Kerries were sweet dogs and well behaved but that Lacey is even sweeter and such a well behaved dog.
Lacey then spent the weekend with me at our townhome near Lake Superior. Marveen had a conflict so she didn't go. Lacey wouldn't let me out of her sight.
Once back home she's Marveen's dog again. I'm hopeful that over time she will become less wary of me. Adopting her is one of the most rewarding things we have done."
Showing off after a trip to the beaty shop!
And seeing Lacey go to the Minnishes is one of the most rewarding things the rescue team has ever done. Lacey has found herself the most understanding home, where she is genuinely appreciated for the special individual that she is. With proper vet care, her medication list is vastly shortened, and she continues to blossom, as you can see from her "fresh from the beauty parlor" picture.
The Foundation is deeply grateful to Bob and Marveen for being the individuals that they are - they have made all the difference in the world to a dog who, like all our rescue Kerries, couldn't have made it without such wonderful champions ready to make her one of their family.
Go, Lacey! You are part of our community, and I am so honored that this community includes people like your new, very own, forever mom and dad.