It is amazing what a little time and love can do for these lost little souls. They are such a miracle.
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2007 17:40:29 -0500
Subject: [KBL] Lyra Update (Very Long)
I know it’s been quite a while but my new job has been exhausting me, so I apologize for taking so long to update you all on the progress of Lyra, our wonderful rescue Kerry from “The Great Escape.”
I can’t believe it’s been over 2 years since I spoke to Jan and arranged to pick Lyra up at La Guardia Airport. She was so frightened at the time from being in a puppy mill over a year that she shook constantly, couldn’t walk up steps, was not very sociable (with people, dogs OK), barked at the slightest noise, and would pee at the slightest glance – no matter where on the carpet she happened to be. What a difference time has made!
She is, and has always been, the sweetest dog I have ever had. She is so affectionate that any family member (except Marty, my husband – more about that later) can pick her up and cuddle her for as long as they want – she won’t even move. She of course became housebroken very quickly, since she is such a little whip, and has calmed down immensely. She no longer barks at every sound although she is a great watchdog and I know she wouldn’t let anyone near the house (including animals of any size or shape) without sounding the alarm. She even has “trained” Tyler, my 10 year-old very spoiled male “only child” Kerry (up until 2 years ago). Prior to Lyra’s joining the family, Tyler would occasionally have an accident (on my Oriental rug, of course) and would also mark the corners of our bedposts (near the floor, thankfully). Since she’s shown him how to behave, he never, ever does anything in the house. I think he would be embarrassed at such ungentlemanly behavior in front of the little upstart.
Lyra has also become quite a little Miss Piggy. She is always starving (thanks to Tyler’s wonderful training in this regard) and one can’t eat without feeling sorry for her. As if either one of them has lost an ounce in the past 2 years! In fact, they’re both getting a little chubby. Lyra, at 30 lbs, is still a peanut compared to Tyler’s 50+ lbs, and although she’ll never be able to counter-surf she can finally jump up on the bed without fear of falling (usually). She sleeps soundly in her spot, of course crowding me out as much as possible. Between two stretched out Kerries and the husb. it’s amazing there’s room for me.
And speaking of the husb, at least Lyra no longer tries to rip his throat out when he comes into the house or attack him when he comes out of the bathroom in the middle of the night, although when she and I are in a room together she is still extremely protective. She will even occasionally go up to Marty to be petted if he is sitting in his chair. Once he gets up, though, she scurries away.
She is a riot to watch with Tyler, whom she adores. She waits at the door for him to come down the stairs and then, as soon as he stepsoutside, she races in front of him so she can cut him off and get down to the yard first. She romps in the snow and when she has a new toy she amuses herself and everyone else by throwing it in the air, catching it, then throwing it again, etc. One day I’ll get a video – it’s hysterical. She also does her little ballerina stretches by kicking one back leg out and then the other, almost every AM.
So…. Lyra has been, and remains, an absolute delight.
With best wishes to all and to all a Good Night!
Shelley Kilcoyne, Tyler & Lyra
Best of KBL for November 2007 was Eileen Andrade's post regarding the birth of four puppies to Tully, a rescue. Tully was adopted by Kim and Jim Applegate only to find out that she was pregnant. Eileen's post gives us some insight into the number of people willing to take time out of their busy schedule to help with these kerry rescues (and their new litter of puppies). Congratulations to Kim and Jim Applegate and Tully for stepping up and being willing to take on this challenge - and to all the people that helped them along the way.
I find it truely remarkable that so many people contributed to this odessy. If you are ever contacted by the Kerry Blue Foundation to play some small part in the rescue of these wonderful dogs, please make every effort to help. Those that aren't able to help, donate money to the cause but without the volunteers who do the actual work, the money would be useless. Many of these wonderful volunteers pay msicellaneous costs out of their own pockets and never ask to be reimbursed. As a foster home, I can certainly tell you that becoming involved can be a rewarding experience.
Raffy, Kristie and their golden, TC
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2007 01:06:04 +0000
Subject: [KBL] Puppies this weekend
I need to update you all on the litter of rescue puppies that were born in September. Things have been so busy that I have neglected my duties and still haven't sent the full story [...].
First of all I want to send a HUGE thank you to Kim Applegate in Daly City. Kim and her partner Jim adopted Tully this past summer. They got more than they bargained for and they have gracefully and graciously hung in there and done more than we could have expected. Scant weeks after they adopted Tully they took her in to be spayed only to discover that she was well into a pregnancy. After ultrasound and x-rays a due date was determined and Kim volunteered to carry through with the pregnancy and whelping - as you know from the last note that I sent at the time the pups were delivered in September. Those of you who have bred and whelped litters know that the birth is just the beginning, the beginning of a job that goes on for a lifetime.
In the past eight weeks Kim and Tully have really earned their stars - feeding, cleaning and watching over four precious pups. Initially these four were named Siobhan, Parker, Sophia and Puck, three girls and a boy. They grew by leaps and bounds and have led Kim and Tully a merry race. They have been cossetted and spoiled, loved and petted, socialized and protected. Neither Kim nor Tully have slept many consecutive hours in the last eight weeks as they cared for these precious ones.
On another side of things I have been going over adoption applications, talking to potential owners, sending out volunteers to do home visits and fussing over who should be given the privilege of one of these very special babies. Eventually three homes were chosen (Puck will stay in Kim, Jim and Tully) and preparations made to send the three girls to their forever homes. This was the weekend it happened.
Siobhan has gone to live with an Irishman and his wife in southern California where I have no doubt she will be brought up as a genuine Irish lady.
Parker has gone to live with an experienced Kerry owner also in southern California where she follows in the footsteps of two previous Kerries.
Sophia, now named Maggie, has gone to Los Gatos here in northern California where she will be the companion of a 4 year old Tibetan Terrier named Fergus and two teenage boys.
It was hard letting these little ones go. Kim and Tully are both a little sad and lonely. Jan is having separation anxiety after serving as transportation for Parker. My entire congregation, who got to see two of the girls yesterday at church, are asking how things are. Along the way there were many pockets that had to be checked to make sure a puppy wasn't going walk-about with someone unauthorized!
I have a lot of thank yous to say in regards to this litter:
To Jourdy Bacon and Linda Olsen in northern California for their help in mentoring Kim and Jim, serving as telephone support, sitting with us as we waited for the whelping to start, and assisting in grooming both Tully and some struggling Kerry babies experiencing their first clipper work.
To Marilyn Brotherton for phone support and advice when we had what-if questions.
To Dr. Randy Popkin, breeding specialist extraordinaire who was able to tell us exactly when to expect puppies when we had no idea when the dam had been bred.
To Blancette Reynolds, puppy raiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind and trainer for Dogs for Diabetics and agility trainer at Ace Dog sports who participated in both socializing and temperament testing this litter.
To Sandra Mannion at The Village Dog for lending us her expertise and her facility in order to perform the temperament testing and evaluate the pups for placement.
To Jan Joers for driving all the way from southern California to northern California to assist with transferring the pups this weekend and for doing home checks.
And finally the biggest thanks to Kim and Jim for putting up with a constant stream of interested people in and out of their home, for losing sleep and loving these puppies, and for their love of this breed. Under other circumstances I don't know what we would have done. Anyone wanting to communicate their thanks and congratulations to Kim and Jim directly can write to email@example.com - though she is off tomorrow for a short and well earned vacation with her mom in Florida while Jim keeps the home fires burning and takes care of Tully and Puck until her return.
I still have a 7 month old Kerry boy in foster care that I need to center my attention on finding a home for, but I promise to make time to write out the whole story, place the photos and get them off to John for the website.
With tired sighs and hopes of a good night's cuddle with my own two Kerries,
Truetype Kerry Blue Terriers
Rescue coordinator for the Southwest
A Kerry remembered.
Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2007 20:43:17 -0400
Subject: [KBL] Margo
This is the day where time finally caught up with us. Time gave us and then
stole something we can't replace... sixteen years with Margo...born right
inside our living room by the front door. Named for a anesthesiologist friend
who wanted to be there when the litter was born. Our first kerry litter.
She was born an 'old' lady... She was never a puppy. She was calm and
above the raucous antics of the others- a 'puppy apart.' Margo was what one of
our daughter-in-laws referred to as a 'magic animal', and we were privileged
to have had her in our family.
At eight weeks she would sit rock-still on the lap of my uncle who was
paralyzed from a stroke. I could take her places as a very small puppy because
she was so steady and calm..... She easily survived a triple mastectomy at age
eight to go on for another 8 years. She was gored by a javelina while we
were visiting in Tucson. She had her leg torn to the bone from the toes to
the knee from some mysterious source in our backyard. She was strong in the
way kerries are strong, but she wasn't healthy. Time took it toll... The
human touch that tried to comfort her in the last years of her life startled and
scared her...the touch that she craved all her life...until time started
taking her things away...her eyesight, her hearing.... her ability to stand, to
walk, and finally, her ability to comprehend.
People would look at her in the last year or so and I could see it in their
eyes...why do you let her go on?? Because she wasn't suffering. Was there
quality of life? No. Was there pain? No. Did she enjoy anything? No. Did
she clean up her food dish? Yes. Did I want to make a decision? No.
Could I face making a decision? No. I could remember the good days, the old
days so easily that they obscured the reality of the current ones.
She went everywhere that we went in the last ten years . She was the
perfect house guest and our friends welcomed her into their homes year after year.
Our veterinarians marveled over her stamina and hardiness. Our friends
said, 'Boy, she sure likes to be scratched, doesn't she?' and yet, strangely, she
never showed affection for people...never a doggy kiss from Margo.
She came to Montgomery and went second in her class. I took her to shows,
thinking I wanted to finish her myself because I had so much confidence in her
quality. I was approached by several handlers who admired her carriage and
movement. Her last show was at age eight. She came so close to that title
but never got there.
Margo was the kerry in my post: 'Margo, the Magic Kerry Saves Christmas'
from several years back. That calm, dignified, patient kerry that is no longer
in my life. I have had kerries for 27 years now. Margo was my last. The
loss of each of the pets I have had in my lifetime has been devastating, and
left behind here is Margo's buddy, a Birman cat, who was a replacement for a
Birman I lost and couldn't quite get over. Ollie is also 16 and is under a
doctor's care for seizures. I remember the interest the cats had in watching
over the new litter of kerry babies.... they were so fascinated with the new
lives! I remember that litter of four little 'parade ponies.'
I want to remember those parade ponies. I want the memories of her last
years to fade because they are too sad to remember of a dog with such grand
carriage. Such dignity. I could fight wounds and warts and cysts and even
cancer for Margo, but I couldn't fight time. And, it was time to let a proud
Margo's world had become her wire crate - the only place she felt secure.
Even stepping into that became a challenge. Margo is in a place now where it
doesn't hurt to pull hair out of the ears or clip her toenails or clean ears,
eyes and teeth or have a (sigh) bath almost daily ....
Yes, it was time this morning to let a proud kerry go.
October 15, 2007
Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2007 17:11:23 -0400
Subject: [KBL] Margo...#2
A little addendum ....
Margo lived out the last ten months of her life within feet of where she was
born...right inside the livingroom beside the front door in her wire crate.
She had been crate trained early in life, and now her life was content only
when she was in her "den", and this moved back and forth from inside the
house to outside on the front patio where a fairly constant parade of hospice
people trooped by it everyday on their way to see my husband. No one failed to
notice Margo. At first, they were puzzled by a dog outside that stood like
a statute, showing no reaction at all when they approached and tried to
talkto her. I had to explain that she couldn't see or hear them, and she
probably wasn't aware that they were there. Most came to admire her. Her face was
shaved clean, leaving a handsome head with a still perfect earset at sixteen.
Her coat was thinner, but still curly and thick enough to have a nice look,
and even in her elderly condition, Margo could still project a "presence."
One day the firemen were called to help with Roy, and, as they came through
the front door, they passed by Margo's crate outside on the patio. Margo was
in her crate, but her head was hanging out its open door, and she made no
move at all as they entered the house. One of the firemen looked doubtfully at
her and then asked me if she was alive. Many's the time when we asked our
selves the same question and would have to look hard to make sure.
Everyday a different crew comes in from hospice, and they look for Margo. I
am still explaining about the old doggy. Then they ask about the old
The impact of government regulation on the dog owner was discussed. Early spay and neutering requirements was one of the issues wich casued a heated discussion.
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2007 11:39:47 -0500
From: Kimberly Battles <kimberly.battles@GMAIL.COM>
Subject: [KBL] AnimalScam | Activist Groups
Many, many rescues and vets support early spay and neuter programs though
there are some controversial opinions about it but there is one issue that
is incontrovertable. Pet owners are NOT spaying and neutering their dogs
when they are entrusted with that responsibility. I doubt as a breeder you
would disagree that an unneutered or unspayed dog in the hands of an
everyday dog owner is dangerous. They WILL procreate (and in the case of
male dogs will go wandering to find that female dog in heat). Trust me -
living in rural Alabama I see it all the time. I have more neighbors than I
care to admit who have unspayed or unneutered animals and they are loose
half the time too. So when you weigh early spay/neuter against the
over-population of animals - it is not a terrible idea. I think that is my
point - in your emails you state things as if they are fact. It is NOT fact
that that early spay/neuter is detrimental to dogs - there are a lot of
varied opinions about it in the veterinary field and a lot of good reasons
to support it. If you are going to state your opinions of it on a public
list that I contribute to then I am going to try and respond just as
publically about what I know or understand about that topic too so that
everyone can get all the sides to the picture.
I do understand that you feel strongly about your rights as a dog owner - I
do too. If everyone was a responsible dog owner - this type of legislation
would not even be an issue. I am willing to sacrifice some of my rights to
help prevent over-population but of course - that is just my opinion. I do
respect your opinion as well and your right to disagree and fight this
Below are a couple of links to websites from vets and veterinary
schools that I trust discussing early spay neuter. As you can see they have
very differing opinions on the topic:
And one from a very well known rescue organization (Best Friends):
While the Foundation is an animal welfare charity, animal rights groups can be helfull fighting animal abuse. The AKC certainly is not trying to solve the puppy mill problem, as most of their revenue comes from puppy mills.
Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2007 06:22:54 -0700
Subject: [KBL] QOTW: Threat of Animal Rights groups?
QOTW: How serious a threat are animal rights groups, such as PETA and ALF, to your enjoyment of your Kerry?
I'm assuming this was asked because it's a joint scare tactic of the AKC and the Pet Breeder Associations (aka puppy mills): to denigrate these organizations, e.g., labeling them AR wackos, in the hopes of reducing their donations, thus reducing their 'voice' regarding the mistreatment of animals.
Well, I'm not swallowing the AKC's kool aid that these groups are a threat and 'anti-breeder'. Yes, they are anti-puppy mill and they aren't going away. Why? Because they appeal to our compassionate human nature and support our plain common sense -- anybody who owns and loves a pet doesn't want to see animals exploited for greed. The more people become aware of puppy mills, or dog fighting for that matter, the stronger the outrage will grow. The media attention focused on the Vick case is a prime example of this outrage. I see these groups as performing a valuable service by educating the public to the exploitation of animals. I don't agree with everything they do or stand for -- as with most organizations they can't be 100% on target with my personal beliefs -- but they are certainly raising awareness of the exploitation of animals for human greed and ego. That is something the puppy mills surely don't want the puppy-buying public to know.
Do I see these organizations as a threat to my Kerry? Nope. Not today or tomorrow. I do, however, see the AKC itself -- recklessly driving demand for purebreds, supporting the heinous mills to fuel their revenues and sitting on the sidelines when it comes to public education -- as the threat to my future enjoyment of a purebred Kerry.
What will it take for the AKC to realize that the puppy mills themselves -- those same mills that yield 80% of the AKC's registration revenues -- are generating anti-breeder sentiment, fueling legislation across the country and THE threat to the future of the purebred dog?
Tracey Fulmer in Newton, MA
Long-time KB-L subscriber Sharon Burnett, has named all her dogs starting with the letter R. She often reports on her "R Gruppe".
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2007 21:16:03 +0000
Subject: [KBL] The Invasion
Try as I might, I cannot retrain the R Gruppe and myself to keep different hours on the weekends and sleep in a bit on Saturdays & Sundays. And this time of the year our mornings are so lovely it would be a shame to sleep much past 5:00. We are normally up at 4:00.
Yesterday was not an exception. The alarm went off at 5 and we all jumped out of bed. Sunday is laundry day, so I take the dogs outside and go back upstairs to strip the bed and start the wash. After I get the first load going, I check outside to make sure all is well with the Gruppe.
Expecting to see the norm - 3 grey fuzzies standing out past the first group of Douglas-Firs, I was startled to find Renny running full bore around the yard and through the brush with Rascal and Rocket standing at the base of one of the larger trees that is further from the house. Rascal and Rocket looked at me. They had shocked expressions on their faces. They came to me quickly and asked to go inside the house.
I couldn't figure out what had everyone up in arms. I picked up Rascal and started looking up trying to figure out what Rocket saw. And there they were...
First I saw two, then three, soon a forth, then a fifth, and finally a sixth. It was Them - the Badd Guys - the Squirrels. It was an invasion. A dray. A scurry. An entire crop of furry tailed rats. Rascal and Rocket recognized they were out numbered. They wanted indoors and I obliged.
Renny on the other hand was stoked. She was so incised she couldn't even bark. She was running top speed around & around the yard. The sound from her paws beating the ground echoed across our sport-court sounding not unlike a one-sided whiffle ball game. Perhaps she's been watching a super hero movie and figured out that if she ran really fast the wind from her paws would blow the squirrels down :)
Renny was beyond hearing me call her and considering it was 5:15 AM I didn't think the neighbors would appreciate me out hollering for my dog. I finally just blocked her path and she stopped allowing me to lift her off the ground. She seemed relieved and looked at me as if to thank me for stopping her maddness.
I held her up for a few minutes and we watched the squirrels play in the trees above our heads. Knowing that these animals have territory, I doubt we'll see this many for too long. I'm sure Renny will be happy about that.
All the best!
Sharon Burnett, Historian & Official Spokesperson for the R Gruppe (Rascal, Rocket, and Renny the Gator)
Gil Hart shows that Kerries can be "Service Dogs". More about Kerries as therapy and service dogs can be found on this web site.
From: Gil & Charlotte <wskerry@SBCGLOBAL.NET>
Subject: [KBL] What A Kerry can do.
Date: Tue, 1 May 2007 14:23:09 -0700
I had an exciting evening last night! I took my meds. as usual and then took a shower, Then it all happened! I got out of the shower and dried myself off, then I started to get real shaky, Well I thought I just got chilled I put on my sweats and then I still was shaking real bad, So I thought I will go and lay on the bed and cover myself up.
Deva started to bark frantically and got on my stomach and licked my face, I just told her to lay down, She would not, So I have a blood pressure cuff by the easy chair where I sit and watch T.V. She went and dragged it to tje bedroom and laid it by the floor by my side, I thought something must be wrong, so I put the cuff on and WOW!! 186/ 115 and heart rate was 115, I took my temp 104 Something was bad wrong I called 911 and they took me to the hospital, Deva on the stretcher with me yet, I said to Deva she had to stay home and every thing would be alright! No NO she would not get off the stretcher so the EMT. said bring her along that she was a wonderful dog. She knew there was something wrong and she wanted to be by my side.
So folks, If you think dogs cannot sense something wrong! You are wrong, She was a service dog for Charlotte, But I never thought she could sense heart rate and such.
Wonderful Kerries and WONDERFUL Deva, I could have been pushing up daisies.
Gil and Windswept Kids
Gil Charlotte & Deva
What a wonderful tribute! It deserves to be permanently on the web site, hopefully as some comfort to those of us that know this time will come all too
From: Dianne Collins <dpcollins1@BELLSOUTH.NET>
Reply-To: Dianne Collins <dpcollins1@BELLSOUTH.NET>
Subject: [KBL] 'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide........
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2007 16:53:05 -0400
From a place of numbness and incredible sadness I have to tell you that I held my best friend in my arms yesterday as he drew his last breath. Danny left
with the same demeanor in which he lived his entire life........with complete trust and without fear. The first he always had and the latter he had
Spring in Atlanta is the most beautiful time of year. This proud Southern lady adorns herself with heaps of blooming Dogwoods, Azaleas, Forsythias and many many more beautiful and sweet smelling trees and flowers. In the Spring of 1998 Danny arrived on this planet. He was yet another birth in all of the new beginnings of everything around him. I met him several weeks later on June 23. It was a gorgeous day but there must have been a bit of rain the night before. Each little puppy of his litter that I picked up to examine, deposited tiny paws prints of red Georgia clay on my favorite shirt.
It is vivid in my mind how, when the fence gate clanked, a bunch of small curly little bodies along with their Mom made a bee line around the corner. Oh how that litter romped around! One got a hold of Dick's pant's leg and was determined to remove them. It was hard to choose. Each tiny guy and girl had on a different colored collar so the breeder would always know exactly who was who. I looked around at the gaggle of pups romping and playing around but did not see one of the males with a teal collar that I had my eye on. I walked around, and there on the patio was this little guy asleep under a potted plant. I picked him up and asked what he was doing there. At that moment, the Universe bound our hearts together.
The years with Danny were happy ones. Full of all that we go through with this stubborn and intelligent breed. We went through the barking stage (how can you not hear me. I have barked until I am almost hoarse!), the separation anxiety, the digging, the protest pooping (I know you are mad at me but I don't know of any other way to let you know how unhappy I am when you leave. And this is always such hard work to deliver this message to you because you always take me out before you leave!).
We both progressed day by day into our particular routine. Danny dedicated his life to always keeping me within his sight and when I moved, he moved. He was such a shadow. If he was outside and saw a squirrel or a rabbit or another dog or a child or the neighbor next door or the yard guy, he did not know I existed. His selective hearing kicked in and he did his damnest with his 33 pounds to drag me where I did not want to go. I was always amazed at how strong he was. In the house or in the car it was another story.......there was no one in the world but me. He lived only to be by my side and would lay softly sleeping in my home office while I worked or piddled around. If I moved around, his head would come up and if it looked like I was leaving the room he would be on all fours in a heart beat.
Danny was given a thyroid cancer diagnosis in December of 2004. His groomer had found a small lump when she was grooming him. He had some very touchy surgery and for 14 months we checked and checked and rechecked and all was clear. Now we could relax. In February of 2006, right around Valentine Day, we were visiting out of town. Danny had come with us. One day he walked up to me for a scratch and to lay his head on my leg. I felt another very small lump. I called the vet but we were not unduly alarmed because he had just had his teeth cleaned at the beginning of the month and we thought perhaps it was a swollen lymph node.
As soon as we got back to Atlanta we went to Sweet Vet (my pet name for Danny's vet) and she did a needle aspiration. There were abnormal cells. She sent the aspirated cells to a lab....but we both new what it was and were not surprised to find there was a cancerous lymph node in the area where the thyroid gland had been removed. After another surgery , I took him to the University of Georgia to their oncologist to see if there was anything else we could do to prevent the cancer from reoccurring. His first series of tests were the same ones Sweet Vet, and his surgeon had run and again he passed the blood panels and chest x-ray with flying colors. We were not so lucky on the second set of tests. The oncologist found a mass on Danny's liver that appeared to have been there for a while. Nothing ever showed up in all the blood work and the 3 vets that had their hands on him could not feel it because the liver was so tucked up under his ribs. The mass had been found with an ultrasound. The oncologist told me there was nothing to be done that would prolong Danny's life and that he had 4-6 months.
I did a lot of research and had several manuals but Danny simply refused to read them. In stages of great agony, many tears, and outright joy, we watched the days and months roll by. Good months, quality months, months of rides and treats and walks and Frosty Paws. Everyone was amazed and the vets would simply shake their heads when he would come in for a check up. Oh, there were ups and downs. He would get tired and a couple of times had a set back so frightening that I wondered if it was time for him to go, but Danny always bounced back. You see, he only wanted to be with me and bouncing back was what it took. We made it 4 seasons......from Spring to Spring. We celebrated all the holidays with funny hats and good cheer......one more time. His birthday is in 11 days. I knew he would not make it.
Night before last he had trouble breathing. Every time I looked at him during the night he was standing up panting. His muscles had gotten weak where sitting was not too comfortable and he did not like to stand long. Now he could not lay down because he would cough and gag and could not breathe. He would not eat breakfast yesterday, but he did agree to eat about 8 dog cookies made of carob and peanut butter. The last 2 cookies stayed under his head when he finally felt he could lay down.
The weather yesterday was gorgeous and just the cool Spring weather that Danny loved. I sat in the backseat with Dan in my lap and with the sunroof open and the window down. I made an effort to try and smell the smells that might be coming to Danny on the wind. I smelled the sweet smell of flowers....... honeysuckle or petunia scented. At another point, I smelled leaves that someone was burning. Lord knows how much and what Danny smelled.
Danny was wild about going to the vets and everyone in the clinic was wild about him. He wagged his tail and greeted all his friends. After a short talk with Sweet Vet I held Danny in my arms for the last time. She slowly, ever so slowly, took him down to a rest where he no longer labored to breathe. I took deep breaths as his breathing slowed. I wanted to breathe his soul into mine. I was wearing the same shirt I had on the day I picked him up. Many washings had removed the tiny paw prints.
That last decision was the hardest I ever had to make in my life. I had prayed for some time that I would not have to make it. Danny would not let me off the hook. You see, he wanted to stay with me, and with a larger heart and spirit than his wasted body could stand, he hung on and rallied and hung on and rallied and hung on and rallied. I probably could have kept him here a few more days but the price was too high and I could not break the promise I made to him when I picked him up that June in 1998. As I held that warm, sweet, curly body against me, I whispered to him that I would always take care of him and never let him hurt or come to harm. He snuggled and made promises also........to define my days and protect my nights, to bring me joy and to care for me in a way so completely that it did not seem possible. It wasn't always easy, but we both kept our promises.
Thanks you to all of you who had me laughing and crying with your posts and stories of grand and valiant rescues and updates. Thanks to Carol Vesey and Marie De Marco who made sure that I had telephone contact and support during some of the darkest hours. Thanks to Jan, the rescue co coordinators and the many others of you who tried to help with heart rendering stories of your own horrible losses. Your contact, good wishes, advice and support kept me from going crazy.
My heart is sad and heavy and my house is so lonely. I have never been in this house without Danny. I expect him around every corner. I was looking in a drawer this morning and thought I heard him panting behind me. I picked up a lot of his toys and items when I got home yesterday and little my little, I will pack away the rest. I was so very, very, very blessed to have been given the exact dog that was sent down for me....and only me.
For those of you who managed to get through this long, long, long post.........thank you.......I needed to share some of Danny.
Daisychain's O' Danny Boy
April 16, 1998 - April 4, 2007
Sire: CH Tontine's Casino Joe
Dam: Daisychain's Pesky PookaDianne with sweet sweet memories of Danny
We who choose to surround ourselves
with lives even more temporary than our
own, live within a fragile circle;
easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps,
we would still live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only
certain immortality, never fully
understanding the necessary plan....
--- Irving Townsend ---
"The Once Again Prince
The Best of KBL for March 2007 was Irene's tribute to Shelby. I think this piece had to have received the most votes since I started doing this, and it is well worth it. Tracey Fulmer also wrote an article on that miraculous rescue.
Irene Mele adopted Shelby from the Shelbina Express rescue. Shelby had severe medical and emotional problems.
Shelby is now living a happy life with Irene. Below is the tribute to a full and fulfilling life with a rescue Kerry. Here is what Iren wrote when I asked her permission to post her message:
"I would be most honored to have you post my dedication to Shelby. I feel it would show people how worthwhile it was to save her and to repair her injuries.
No matter what condition the dog comes in as a rescue miraculous changes can be made. Shelby was a bone and in a weakened state with food coming out
of her mouth when she ate. Now she is healthy and coming around to trust people again. Now she has joy and Shea to romp around with. I thank you all
for sharing all this with me because it would not have been possible without all of you rescuing her and donating to have her operated on. All that
for one rescue made all the difference in one poor animal's life. I can't express my thanks enough. No material possession on earth would matter more
than Shelby's rescue. She is the diamond on my finger. She is my red, red rose."
Irene took into her home and has loved and cared for the most damaged Kerry yet rescued (that I know of) - and she feels honored for our acknowledgement? I'm sure that most of you will agree that the Kerry Blue Foundation has solidified into a family whose purpose is the well being of these wonderful dogs. We all play a part, from John who manages the web site, Jan and all her helpers who co-ordinate these rescues, the people who go out and make it happen, the foster homes who volunteer to take in these dogs and the people who donate money to the cause to make all of this happen. No part of this would be possible without the the other parts, we all play a role and I think you will agree that we all get a tremendous satisfaction out of being part of this family.
The really great thing about this is that people take the time to share their experiences with the rest of the family. If you have a problem with your kerry, a brag or you Kerry goes on to the Rainbor Bridge, or just a great story to share - there is always someone here to "talk" to on KB-L.
From: Irene <harpsichord@COMCAST.NET>
Reply-To: Irene <harpsichord@COMCAST.NET>
Subject: [KBL] ONE YEAR WITH SHELBY - A DEDICATION
Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2007 10:47:31 -0500
ONE YEAR WITH SHELBY
Hello all my dear Kerry friends. It has been one year with Shelby, one wonderful year! It is hard to believe how fast time has gone and how far Shelby has come along thanks to all of you. I have dedictated a poem to Shelby written by the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759-1796). Here is to Shelby, the love of my life, the shoulder I lean on, the one I seek each morning, my confidant and best friend:
O, My Luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June.
O, My Luve's like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I,
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun!
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only luve,
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile!
It took one year for Shelby to go through two operations, to come through a doorway, to pick up a toy, to sleep without pacing, to eat without looking over her shoulder, to look into your eyes, to wag her tail, to let someone pet her, to let anyone near her, to walk on a leash, to jump for joy, to go near a water bowl or take a treat without fear of being grabbed.
It took one year for Shelby to know what it was to be a pet and not a slave, to be loved and not abused, to smile and not wimp, to have a home instead of a cage, and, of all else, to be loved just for who she is and just as she is, to be loved unconditionally.
One year with Shelby was possible because of all of your good hearts, because you did not give up on her or the rest of the Shelbina rescues, because their lives meant more than the opposition, because of your steadfast dedication to your motto of saving them no matter what the cost. Robin Hood, the Scarlett Pimpernel, William Wilberforce and Oscar Schindler never gave up even though more and more refugees would be coming. Their life-long quest was to free as many as they could, despite the circumcirstance and ridicule, despite all the pros and cons. Theirs was not to ask why. Theirs was to do or die. Let us continue in their footsteps, let us pick up the flag and move forward and make a difference in all the lives of all those who are relying on us to save them from a life that is worse than death itself. I can hear them calling. I can hear their cries. We all can because our hearts are open. We can be the difference. We can be there and we will! We will not faint. The flag will fly high and brave!
Irene and Shelby
Eileen Andrade, Rescue Coordinator for the Southwest, posted a message that she desparately needed help with a Kerry in California. The following post is the story of the rescue of CD.
Subject: [KBL] Rescue in Merced - the whole story
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 19:40:23 +0000
Dear KBL -
This is the story of a rescue and adoption that took place last week.
Day 1: On February 15th of 2007 Tracey Fulmer, intrepid internet shelter scout, saw a picture of a schnauzer mix in a high kill shelter in Merced, CA. This dog was called Binky Barnes and listed as ?large? at 20 lbs. He was on death row. There was something about the look of the pictures that whispered Kerry to Tracey, so she went into full alert, sending the pictures to Eileen in California. From there the Kerry rescue battalions went to work.
Linda and Karl Aube were the closest available Kerry people. They dropped everything and drove the 90 miles each direction to check on this little guy. Later that day the phone rang during the hubbub of a hideously busy work day. A masculine voice on the other end said something along these lines: "The Kerry battalions have landed and are assaulting the beachhead, the young Kerry recruit has been located and identified, rescue plan is underway." In the furor of a day complicated by worry about a picture of a little kerry like face labeled Schnauzer mix at a high kill shelter in Merced this call took my breath away, made me laugh and lifted a cloud of worry from my mind. It was Karl who called to report on the Kerry battalions' progress. With many years of Kerry experience Linda reports that "Binky Barnes" looks to be a small (16.5"), young, Kerry male with undocked tail - similar to so many we have seen in the last two years from the mills.
Day 2: Neil Hamilton made his second trip to a shelter in one month to spring a prisoner and take him home for a bath and haircut. The shelter had already stripped some of the matts off with a #10 blade but there was a lot more to do. There is a strong suspicion that Binky has never been groomed and possibly never even brushed. The shelter people sedated him to shave the worst of the body matts off as he was petrified of the clippers and reacted by trying to bite them. Neil spent two hours bathing, stripping off matts from the legs with scissors and giving this guy a Kerry groom to his head. Using a wicket Neil confirms that Linda has a very good eye and our little soldier is actually 16.75? at the shoulder, with front dewclaws and an undocked tail.
Day 3: Neil hits the road once again with Binky Barnes at his side. We meet at the San Jose Fairgrounds and accomplish a transfer. Binky has been a good passenger, quiet in the crate, no carsickness this time and a history of staying clean over night in his crate. We exercise him briefly and then head north to the San Francisco Bay Area. Back at my house I discover that Binky is dog friendly, cat friendly, people and child friendly, just plain friendly. He is smart as a whip ? figuring out how to use the dog door without any prompting and taking his business outside. He also figured out how to use the cat door (yes he is small enough) into my bedroom where he went nose to nose with my indignant cat and they both survived it gracefully.
I discovered in short order that while Binky wouldn?t jump up on the furniture unless invited he was very happy to do so and cuddle in close to you when given the opportunity.
That afternoon we had a number of visitors who had previously been planned to meet Kerries as they are prospective puppy buyers that we are screening for a future litter. Binky Barnes met a number of people and several other dogs. At the end of the day he met Dave and Dixie and their large (95 lb) Doberman mix named Huxley. Binky was excited to see Huxley, barked at him, ran in circles and under Huxley?s belly, stole his ball, picked up Huxley?s leash and dragged him around by it. Huxley reacted like an admirable canine citizen, ignoring when he should ignore, correcting gently when he should correct and finally agreeing to cavort with this small refugee. Dixie and Dave were charmed and readily agreed that this little guy should join their home.
Day 4: A phone call from Dixie confirms that Binky (now provisionally named CD for Charles Darwin) has settled right in. He was clean and quiet in his
crate, has had no housebreaking accidents and is getting on famously with Huxley. As per my instructions to work on acclimating him to grooming he
has had another bath and tolerated it well.
CD is home. But we are still curious where he came from and what his history is. The only clue we have is a microchip ? the beginning of our search
Day 5: Home Again is contacted and we learn that the microchip CD is sporting was sold to Pets In Need in Redwood City, CA, a private rescue organization. A phone call to their number reveals that they are closed for the holiday and won?t be open until Tuesday.
Day 6: Now that the holiday weekend is over I was able to contact Pets In Need and find that they have a rudimentary history on this dog.
History: This is CD?s history as far as we have been able to ascertain. At 8 months old Vinnie was surrendered by his family to Pets In Need in Redwood City, CA. It was December of 2005. The family were moving and couldn?t or wouldn?t take him with them. They mentioned that he was an outdoors dog. On Christmas Eve that year Pets In Need placed Vinnie with a family in the East Palo Alto area. It was a home with children and they felt that he would do well there. He left Pets In Need neutered, up to date on his immunizations and microchipped, with hopes that he was going to a forever home, where he was renamed Blackie.
In early February 2007 Blackie was surrendered by his family in Gustine, CA ? about 100 miles from East Palo Alto: reason unknown. After a short period in the shelter at Gustine he was transferred to the Merced Shelter which serves as the euthanasia point for all of Merced County Shelters, Gustine among them. Here he was put up for adoption, immunizations updated and the length of his adoptability determined. By February 14th he was moved to death row, which is where we found him.
We will never know where CD came from originally. We will never be sure if he is an extremely small Kerry or some similar breed or mix. We do know that his rescue was worth the effort. He has a Kerry coat, Kerry conformation, a Kerry look and personality. He is as smart as any other Kerry I have ever known and as loving. He now resides in a home that I am sure is a true forever home, a home that is dedicated to loving rescues, a home that has a familiarity with Kerries and loves them but would never go out and buy a purebred puppy, a home that is perfect for CD.
There is a lot of discussion over whether a purebred rescue organization should take on a dog of questionable heritage or not. In my opinion if there is any question of a dog in need being part Kerry or fully Kerry we have a responsibility to make sure that they are safe and loved. After seeing so many of the puppy mill Kerries with undocked tails, dewclaws and on the smaller side ? this guy certainly fits the profile. I could not turn him away. To meet him is to love him.
This rescue also brings up the point to solid screening of potential homes. Those of us who talk to the public and ask that they fill out our Adoption Questionnaire have all undoubtedly heard the remark: ?Oh my God! What is this? Like adopting a baby?? to which the answer is YES. The Questionnaire is just a beginning, we do home visits and get to know our potential adopters. Many of us also have a policy that no dog is available to be adopted at Christmas ? certainly not on Christmas Eve. These guidelines aren?t fool proof but they do give us a greater sense of security that our placements are going to forever homes and won?t end up in a rescue situation again.
Thank you to all the good soldiers who participated in this rescue and God Bless CD and his new home.
Judith Bruno likes to keep us entertained with stories of Pinky.
From: Judith Bruno <jbruno@RALDEN.COM>
Reply-To: Judith Bruno <jbruno@RALDEN.COM>
Subject: [KBL] The Inspector General
Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2007 08:20:55 -0800
I know Pinky Bryce Action Figure is probably just your typical Kerry
puppy, but she is a constant source of amusement and amazement.
First, someone forgot to tell her
#1 that she is a dog, and
#2 she is the number two dog.
#3 she thinks it is her job to be the inspector general of the house and
What strikes me about her, different than any if the 3 other kerries
I've owned, is that she needs almost constant physical touch and
Well Pinky takes that to a new level! If you are sitting, she starts by
jumping her front paws onto your lap, mind you she is very dainty and
light as a feather. She then crawls up you, inch by inch, and wraps her
paw around your neck, puts her head on your shoulder and likes to hang
on like a baby chimp, licking your ears and face.
I know many people comment that with a Kerry they have no longer
bathroom privacy, we'll pinky does her chimp hanging around your neck
while you are sitting on the toilet, or while I am sitting at my
Her Inspector General skills we honed when the flu went through the
house during the holidays.
Let me start by saying the only place that Pinky can and will sleep is
at the foot of our bed, and usually on my feet - unless I'm away, then
reluctantly on Roland's feet. I mean "ON". Maybe she just wants to be
sure we don't try to sneak away from her.
While we were sick, if we shifted position on the bed, she needed to do
a full body inspection. She would climb up to the head of the bed, over
you and the comforters and pillows - like a mountain goat. Then she
would start her methodical full body sniff to make sure everything was
in order, or that she fully understood what necessitated the shift and
where things stood minute to minute.
She performs the same kind of head to toe inspection of Heddy several
times a day. She sniffs every inch of her from head to toe, and cleans
her ears and eyes.
I wonder if she might be trained to put this interest to work, like
learning to detect diseases like cancer by sniffing.
Sometimes at night I pick Heddy up and put her in the howdah to sleep -
especially since it has been so cold - at 12+ I prefer her to be up and
off the cold tile. Miss Inspector General is up on her feet at the foot
of our bed straining to direct the action.
After nearly a year, Heddy still seems to have an incredible tolerance
for Pinky and her bossiness. The only thing we have to monitor is when
food is around (and of course we still put Pinky in her puppy pen when
we go out.
Pinky has no interest in food and Heddy is obsessed with it. Pinky eats
her meals just to keep them away from Heddy. Or she leaves her bowl with
food in it, and hides just out of sight behind the refrigerator or by
the entrance to the dinning room. As soon as she hears Heddy move in on
"her" food she charges growling. Heddy knows she is being bad by
approaching Pinky's bowl and sheepishly slinks off - so this has never
escalated, plus I'm always right there and correct both of them, Heddy
for scavenging and Pinky for being a brat.
The last little Pink-ism I'll share is to describe her puppy rodeo. Like
many dogs when Pinky is all charged up (for whatever reason) she runs
hysterical laps either around the yard or through the house. But what is
different about Pinky is that she growls the entire time! She is not mad
or aggressive and if you interrupt her she is her same affectionate pup.
However it seems like she thinks growling will puff her up, and make her
sound bigger and meaner than she is, somewhat like the wizard behind the
In just 10 days we celebrate our first anniversary of Pinky's arrival.
It has been an experience having a pup, especially a pup like Pinky
Bryce, Action Figure.
Palm Desert, CA