There's something about Rescue work that wakes up the full range of human emotions--elation at a successful rescue, compassion for a suffering dog, anger
and outrage at the mills who inflict such misery on our dogs, happiness when the perfect home is found, sadness when it's time to say good-bye to your
foster dog, joy when receiving photos and stories from his forever home, and sorrow when tragedy strikes.
Tragedy struck in August, 2004 when one of our first mill rescues, Maggie, bolted from her new owners, leash and all, and was never seen again. We kept her photo on the home Rescue page until just recently, and every time I visited that page, I thought of Maggie and wondered where she was and hoped she was safe. Today I know some of the story, because, miracles of miracles, she has been found after nearly 2 years. Incredible!
Maggie was picked up as a stray, less than 15 miles from where she disappeared, by the Dumb Friends League in Denver and taken to the Buddy Center. There her microchip was scanned and the flabbergasted owner located. Today she is in the capable hands of long-time breeder Lois Croley and her daughter Charlene, since Maggie's owner had long ago acquired another Kerry.
At first sight, Maggie was in deplorable condition. Her coat was a matted, filthy mess of mostly brown dred-locks, and I'm not sure any of us would have identified her "Terrier/Mix" shelter photo as a Kerry. Her toe nails were completely worn down, she was lean but not emaciated, and her muscle tone was excellent. It is possible that Maggie was on the run this whole time, surviving in the wild, dodging coyotes and worse, enduring Colorado winters, and hunting or scavenging for food. Indeed, her teeth are pearly white, indicating she may have been on a raw diet. We already know that she can open food bins and pull open plastic containers to find food. And she eats quickly. Maggie is street smart.
Maggie after her trim
Most amazing is the state of Maggie's health, which is excellent! She has no parasites, her eyes and ears are clear and free from infection, and despite the dreadful condition of her coat, her skin looks fine. The only signs of her life in the wilderness are some scrapes from vegetation, some small bite wounds, now healing, from other animals, and one broken tooth. Surely she stands as a testament to the strength and ruggedness of our breed.
The real toll on Maggie of these past 2 years is her lack of socialization with people. Yet day by day and in the coming weeks, Lois and Charlene will be winning her trust, and teaching her that all good things come from people, that there is no need to run any more. Sweet little Maggie is back, safe and alive, in the arms of the Kerry community.
Jan in Santa Ynez, CA
Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation, Rescue Director
10 May 2006
Date: Thu May 25, 2006 9:23:52 PM US/Pacific
I've been following all of the rescue updates with great interest. Each day seems to bring so much improvement for all the rescues of recent months.
Shelby with her beautiful "new look" and such a life full of love ahead of her, Olivia and her 7 precious miracles in the loving hands of Rita giving them a wonderful start on their new lives.
I wanted to provide an update on Maggie, the long missing, safe at last girl just barely beginning to heal in a Kerry home. She is slowly, slowly, slowly making progress and her way back into the world she should know. She is living with Lois Croley, Charlene Dwyer and 4 Kerries. There could not be a better place for her to be and, for Lois, this is a 24/7 labor of love.
Maggie's progress is painfully slow. She is still always on the alert, always nervous, no eye contact and can hardly stand to be touched. She is only calm and at peace when curled in the very back of her crate. Each morning Lois and Charlene carefully and gently brush her and her Kerry coat is beginning to come back. This is followed by an all over gentle massage which Maggie tolerates. She's not ready to seek the human touch yet.
Maggie has started to bond with the only male Kerry in the house, Elvis. You may remember his story. He was a puppy of Lois' breeding who came back to her when his owner died trying to save him from an apartment fire. Elvis seems to understand Maggie's fear and pain and is very protective of her. There are signs that she feels comfortable with him and likes his company.
Maggie's progress will probably continue to be very very slow but she is in the best possible place. No one could provide her with more of what she needs than Lois and Charlene. They will be real heros in Maggie's still evolving story. Updates on her progress will be periodically provided.