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Jody Makes It Home

 

© 2003 Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation

Jody Needs a Home!

Jody is a typical Kerry Blue-he's active (walking for 1 1/2 hours at a stretch), he's healthy (though he lost two toes to a cancerous tumor a year and a half ago), and he's affectionate as so many males are. And he's also 11 years old. How can a Kerry end up homeless in his senior years, you may wonder? I will tell you.

 

Jody began life as a show boy, though no one is sure whether he finished or not, and even his pedigree no longer remembered. When he finished his show career, Jody was placed with an elderly woman who was simply unable to handle such a strong and virile Kerry as this little fellow. She placed him in his third home with a woman who soon decided that he was too dog aggressive and besides, she didn't have time to care for him anyway. That owner placed him with a fourth family, but as anyone can tell you, Jody didn't get along with the Rottweilers he was forced to compete with for food. So that owner sent him packing to his fifth home, his current owner. Except for a 6-month stay with a foster family, Jody has been with this owner for the last 4 1/2 years.

 

It may amaze you to know that no one thought of neutering Jody until his current owner adopted him. Had it been done sooner, it is possible he would not have had 5 homes in 11 years. By then, Jody had become a nuisance barker when left alone, so his new owner had him de-barked, not once but twice (scar tissue had apparently partially repaired his vocal cords, so surgery was performed again).

 

Despite his de-barking, Jody continues to bark when left by himself, which, unfortunately, is often. He lives in an apartment now, and his single owner works long hours, including weekends. When she's with him, he barks only when there's a reason to, and often ignores the passing of other animals or even strangers at the door. In the company of his owner, he's a real mellow fellow. His problem is separation anxiety, loneliness, and boredom-not barking for barking's sake.

 

Jody needs a family where someone is home during the day to give him the love and attention he needs. He's described as extremely sweet, perfectly content to rest his head on his owner's lap for hours on end. He adores children and, interestingly, gets along well with other dogs, cats, and even ferrets! Jody is a slate gray, weighs 35 pounds, and except for an occasional ear infection, is in perfect health.

 

Jody Becomes a Beach Bum

 

Remember Jody? He was our twice de-barked11-year-old boy who needed a new family willing to lavish him with love and attention. He suffered from chronic barking brought on by separation anxiety, loneliness, and boredom.

 

Today, Jody is happily settled and secure with his new family in, of all places, Cocoa Beach, Florida! Jerol and Bud Gardener responded to my post on the Kerry Blues newslist (KB-L), made the connection with Jody's owner, and whalla! A few months later they had not one but two Kerries frolicking in their back yard, taunting their Schnauzer (who, by the way, rules the roost!)!

 

Although the first week was enough to try men's (and women's) souls, the dogs soon established who's who without a fight, and Jody learned the new house rules. Today, Jerol exclaims, "Jody acts as if he's always lived here. His adaptability is amazing."

 

Jerol also says his separation anxiety is under control. "Occasionally he barks when I leave, but it does not seem to be the frenetic barking I associate with anxiety. It sounds more like 'Take me along' than 'Oh, Lord, I'm being abandoned,' and it ceases quickly."

 

Jody is no longer a problem barker, either. "His barking has improved a lot, but his protectiveness of his new family extends to those killer palm fronds he sees through the upstairs windows!"

 

Jody has also discovered the luxury of a king-sized bed ("he lays on his back with all four feet in the air-his way of 'cuting out'"), how to get attention ("he shoves his little head into your lap no matter what you happen to be doing"), and how to manipulate Dad ("although he can jump on our bed unaided, he still has no difficulty asking to be helped"). Hmmm. Adaptability indeed!

 

The Gardeners are Jody's sixth family, and the first, based on his history, to give him the love and attention he's asked for all his life. I'm sure Jody's former owners wouldn't recognize him today. Isn't it interesting how a little extra patience, understanding, and lots of love can solve a dog's problem behavior so quickly and completely? It took Jody 11 years and a cross-country trip to find the right home. But he found it. The Gardeners deserve our respect, admiration, and congratulations for turning Jody into one very merry Kerry. Well done! And thanks go to his very special house pals, too!

 

 


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