It is heart-wrenching to find a Kerry in a shelter at any time, but to find two who were 10 years old, at Christmas no less, and facing euthansia, whose owner didn’t even bother to complete an animal profile or provide health records, really tears at your heart-strings. Both were rescued by the Foundation, thanks to Karen Cooke, our volunteer in Michigan. But that was only part of the story.
Andy’s sister, Emma, who he had lived with his entire life, was promptly placed in a wonderful home, leaving Andy alone. It was then that he became ill. Deathly ill. One vet recommended letting him go. Another vet thought she could pull him through. Given his age and condition, we would have been justified to put him to sleep. But, as long as some hope remained that he could be pulled through and have quality of life, we at the Foundation will always choose that course.
Andy’s life hung in the balance for many days, keeping all of us involved in his rescue on edge, hoping for a miracle. He went from unresponsive and not eating to one day standing up and eating on his own! Andy had made it! But there was only one problem: He had lost the will to live. Andy had no energy, ate slowly, did not respond to petting or other dogs, had no desire to go outside, forgot his house-training, and slept his days away.
We re-doubled our efforts to find Andy a foster home where he’d receive the loving care he so needed. Linda Lee, our Rescue Coordinator in Canada, found Fred Gee of Airedale/Wire Fox Terrier Rescue, who opened his heart and home to our sad Kerry. It was here where Andy turned the corner. Fred reported, “What an absolutely sweet and gentle dog! He loves to be patted. He’s a lot more bouncy. And when he’s excited and knows it’s dinner time, he spins! He is just a great dog—the most gentle imaginable.”
Andy’s story should have ended on this happy note, whole and healthy, with a permanent home and happy years ahead of him. But, sadly, that was not to be. He was diagnosed with lung cancer before he could be placed. We were devastated. Fred and Cheryl compassionately asked that he remain with them until the end, which he did.
On the day of Andy's passing, Fred wrote: “Andy is now at rest. He was our gentle Kerry Blue. We loved him very much but finally had to let him go. He will always be close to our hearts because he came to us out of the blue, a Kerry Blue in need. It is difficult to type this but I must express our many thanks to all who sent well wishes and prayers to us concerning Andy. To know this boy was to love him.”
Linda Grisley, Canadian Rescue Director, expressed the sentiments of those of us who played a role in Andy’s rescue: “We cannot thank foster homes enough for the tremendously brave work they do. This is the axis on which our rescue work turns.”
Andy’s story is one of great love, the power of caring people, and the value of every Kerry’s life. It’s about hope, and never giving up on a dog, despite age and condition, and time and expense, until God calls our Kerry home.
To help us continue this important work, please consider volunteering to foster, or donating to our Rescue fund. Every Kerry’s life is worth it. Please visit www.kerryblues. info/FOUNDATION/DONATION.HTML.