This has been a day of blessings [7-Oct-06], though one fraught with emotion.
We started the day at my church where we held a Blessing of the Animals in the garden. Three of the rescue Kerries in this area were there – Lucy with the McCrossan family, Ollie with the Olens, and Lola with my mother, Helen Read. They were all well behaved and happy though the girls are still a little shy. They all made favorable impressions on the congregation gathered. The service consisted of a short sermon originally given by St. Francis, the singing of “All Things Bright and Beautiful” and a short homily by our minister, Doug Moss. Then one by one the assembled dogs went up and were blessed individually and given treats of dried chicken. It was a beautiful day and there was a great spiritual feeling in the air.
The day was made even more special as just before the service a florist arrived with a beautiful arrangement of flowers sent by Georgia and Kent from Southern California who have Kerries Blue and Sheamus. Thank you so much – you are very dear to me. We took pictures of the three Kerries there and the flowers are in the background. I hope to send the picture(s) to John tomorrow to include on the website.
Immediately after the service I got in the car to make a 50 mile drive to Palo Alto where a Kerry waited for me in a shelter. I had received word from a wonderful dog friend on Monday that this Kerry had been surrendered by her owner. The owner had purchased two female Kerries from the same litter two years ago from a “breeder” (read puppy mill). At first they got along just fine – but as their hormones hit in the last year they had begun to fight with each other and after three serious fights he had decided to surrender one of them. To protect the innocent (the dogs) I will draw a veil here as to the other circumstances surrounding this situation.
The shelter workers had contacted me immediately about this girl. They were terrific. On Wednesday she was spayed and unfortunately also had to have an eye removed – the result of an injury from the last fight. They turned this little girl over to me today, having performed the surgeries and taken care of her for a week, without asking for a dime. It was heart breaking to see how anxious she was to please, how happy to see me, and yet how badly damaged. It’s not just the eye – she will accommodate to that just fine, but she was heavily matted and even through then I was able to see and feel how thin she was. Once home with a groomer friend we had to shave her down and every bone in her body stands out in acute relief. From the medical records that came with her I verified that one year ago she weighed 32 pounds and today she is 23 pounds. No, it isn’t a typo – she has lost 1/3 of her body weight.
Karly at 23 lbs.
Karly's right eye was remove.
Her new foster mother, Yolanda, met me at the grooming shop where we introduced her to this little girl. All of us had a good cry, but this kerry girl
just distributed kisses. She has now gone home with Yolanda, who at this moment is cooking for her and returning kisses with promises of delicious
meals and loving care. In the next few weeks we will work on her healing, fattening her up and evaluating her needs. Then we will begin the search
for a new forever home for Karly – one where she will be safe and loved and fed well. At the moment she looks a bit like Frankenstein but we can see
that wonderful kerry spirit shining through and know that she will once again be a beautiful girl. Please hold Karly in your thoughts and prayers.
by Eileen Andrade
While most of us watch our weight to stay trim or try to lose extra pounds, Karly has been on a strict diet for the last week in an attempt to put some weight on her – cautiously, sensibly, but to cover those poor little bones. Her foster mom for the past week, Yolanda, told me not to worry: she knew how to fatten dogs up! We put Karly on a 3 meals a day plan, giving her a scant cup of kibble at each meal but supplemented with “Fatten Balls” in between meals. These are made from ground beef (raw) with oatmeal, molasses, egg yolks, and peanut butter. Add a supplement powder of lecithin, Vitamin B, kelp, malt and barley to this plan and you have Karly’s diet for the last week. And it is working!!
While she is still thin Karly is already looking sleek, her coat is shiny and soft and her surgery sites are healing.
Karly is proving to be a sweet and loving girl. She rarely barks, frequently kisses, and can be a little busybody, but knows when to settle down too. She doesn’t appear to be used to riding in a car, they seem to scare her but in a crate in the back of the car she settles down and tolerates it. Loud or unfamiliar sounds startle her momentarily, but she rebounds from these too.
Today we moved her to a longer term foster home where we will continue the diet and work on evaluating her more thoroughly. She needs some work on leash manners as she tends to pull but not badly. Other dogs and cats don’t seem to distract her. She was very interested in her new surroundings, exploring the yard carefully but always coming when called. She has the energy and gawkiness of a new lamb or foal and is delighted in her freedom and any attention you can give her. Karly is going to be a wonderful companion for someone – the missing eye won’t hold her back at all and once her facial hair grows back in no one will even realize it is gone.