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The Best of KB-L for 2010


December 2010


With all the peculiar weather patterns that seem to be occurring more and more often, we sometimes wonder how our Kerries cope with different climates. In this month's post, Jen Burkizer tells us how her Kerry Ziggy handles the "dry heat" of Phoenix.


Subject: Kerries in Hot Climates
From: Jen Burkizer
Date: December 29, 2010

My Kerry, Ziggy (almost 3 years), was born and raised in the Phoenix area.

During the summer, which really lasts about 5 months, he stays inside during the heat of the day and enjoys the air conditioning, lays on the ceramic tile, eats an ice cube or 2, has an occasional burst of energy and runs around the house and plays with the others. We have a pool, but he was a little frightened of being in the water. We would put him in the pool with lots of encouragement and treat him when he swims to the steps, and he would immediately try to get out.

However, this year was the first time that he went in to our pool completely on his own, so I know he was hot enough to be motivated to get in to the water and by doing this, he has gained more confidence. As far as walks, we just have to go out very early in the morning or later in the evening when the pavement is cooler and just not over do it- it is still warm. Luckily, Phoenix does have low humidity so that really helps too- the joke is "It's a dry heat" but it is still really uncomfortable.

Jen Burkizer

November 2010


While we all sing the praises of our dear Kerries, some of them are more of a challenge to live with than others! But perhaps because of these challenges and the extra time and care they require, these dogs often are the ones with whom we form the closest bonds. In our "best of" for November, Sharon Ponsford tells us about her recently departed Finian, the good and the bad, and how he turned out to be the "most wonderful animal" in her life.


From: Sharon Ponsford
Date: November 22, 2010
Subject: Finian 10/12/98 - 11/15/10

It is with an extremely heavy heart that I inform the list of the loss of our beloved Kerry, Finian.

Fin was not only the most difficult dog I have ever lived with, but the most wonderful animal that has come into my life, a life that has been enriched by animals since I was a small child. Difficult!? Let me explain. Finian was one of those Kerries that can give Kerries a bad rap. At the age of about 18 months, his dominance started to surface. He began to have issues: guarding his space, food, and possessions, as well as being aggressive toward other male dogs. After he bit me more than once, some advised us to put him down. Others advised us to re-home him. My husband and I did not feel that was the way to solve the problem and so we worked on finding a solution. We loved Finian very much. After a few failed attempts, we found the perfect trainer, and she taught us how to manage him. That was over nine years ago. Life with such a dog requires constant management, and picking your battles. Ah, but the rewards of living with such a dog are so great. There is something very special about them. It was humbling to live with such an intelligent dog.

Everything was a game to Finian, and because of his presence, even the most mundane chores became fun: making the bed, doing the laundry, emptying the trash, etc. We never needed a paper shredder as he was always eager to do that for us. He never failed to delight and/or embarrass house guests by sorting through their luggage and pulling out carefully selected items to parade in front of everyone with a twinkle in his eye. He had something to say about almost everything and we had no choice but to listen. One friend reminded me of his great gardening skills - following behind me as I carefully planted bulbs, only to dig them up and run gleefully around the yard with the bulbs in his mouth. He had such a joy of life and sense of fun.

The things I will miss the most: coming into the house after an absence of any length to be greeted by that wagging tail, toy in mouth, and gleeful running around the room; opening the shower door to find that the tub mat had been moved into another room; reaching down to my lap to get my napkin during a meal to find that it had been carefully lifted and was being shredded down by my feet; getting help packing and unpacking my bag: coming home to discover a shoe in the middle of the living room floor, his bark at 6:30 every morning telling us that it was time to get up; and so many more things that I can't count them. Just looking at that beautiful, vibrant dog gave me pleasure.

What I won't miss: Watching him go from the dog described above to a very sick dog who could hardly walk, in less than a month.

Finian was diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas, liver and spine and given only days to live. He was very brave. Even on his last day, he insisted on taking a few short walks around our property to visit some of his old haunts and even though he had stopped eating, he still wanted his treats up until the end. The end was very peaceful and loving. He was ready and we were as ready as we could be. And now we are devastated. Our house seems so quiet and empty as he was the catalyst that made our world go round.

Sharon Ponsford
Glen Ellen, CA

October 2010


Following Heddy's death, Pinky was a lonely, only puppy. But no longer!
Our "best of" for October is Judith Bruno's post about her new arrival, her
latest Kerry rescue and first boy, Cecil, who is turning out to be a dream dog!


From: Judith Bruno
Date: October 2, 2010
Subject: Cecil, my 5th Kerry rescue - 1st boy

Cecil is fitting into life here seamlessly. We’ve cleared all our vet tests, he and Pinky are allowed to be free together. It is clear he never played with a Kerry like Pinky before.

He is somewhat startled by her loud, incessant barking when trying to stimulate a play session and her persistent nature. She will also do 2 or 3 rodeo laps around the pool at full speed, at full volume, to try to engage him in a game of chase.

He is a little timid, but eventually joins in. However, every day he engages and challenges her a little more.

He’s been mirco-chipped. He has new collars and ID tags. It was hard finding a boy’s collar that I thought was cute; all the collars I’m drawn to are feminine or metrosexual at best. I did not want spikes, but something that there was no doubt is for a boy, so I eventually settled on a black nylon collar with silver and red bones. It really is cute and suits him and his coloring well.

He is super sweet and well mannered. I had hoped that he would be Roland’s dog (since Pinky is such a mamma’s gurl) but he is a mamma’s boy. He likes Roland, but prefers to be with me. He can’t be close enough to me and sleeps draped all over me – always with physical contact.

He loves our walks and meeting neighbors and neighborhood dogs. He loves riding in the car (in a crate). We’ve been to our pet food store to thank the owner for the donations she gave me while Cecil was being cared for by Kris. She gave him a bag of treats to welcome him.

For a number of reasons my vet and I now feel he is not even 1 year old. He still squats to pee 90% of the time. While with his finder Kris, Cecil gained 5 lbs in 4 months going from 19 to 24 lbs. He wasn’t emaciated when he arrived there, nor was he overfed there.

His back is somewhat arched like a Bedlington, which my vet feels is part is due to lack of exercise and muscle development. We’ll start seeing the acupuncturist this coming week.

Since we’re not sure he was ever vaccinated, and Distemper and Parvo are common in certain parts of the desert, we’ll start a series of vaccinations this coming week. He is very smart and eager to please. He quickly learned that in order for begging to be successful it meant bottoms down, in a sit. If he sees Ro in the kitchen having a snack, he runs in and sits his bottom down as fast as he can!

One area where there is room for improvement, is learning to endure grooming. He isn’t thrilled about clippers, even my cordless. He isn’t thrilled about being manipulated in any way (even to hold a foot to trim nails or clipper between pads). And when he is thrilled about something he is a very determined wiggler and squirmer.

He is fine with combing and brushing and scissoring. After 10 days of working is short sessions, he is mat free and in a proper Kerry pet trim.

Even after successfully taking on 4 previous rescue Kerries, I could not have imagined the integration would go so smoothly.

He is the easiest dog in the world!

Judith Bruno
Palm Desert, CA USA

September 2010


There are mixed opinions among dog people regarding dog parks. At their best,
they provide socialization and exercise which many city dogs would otherwise
not enjoy. At their worst, they can be potentially dangerous places where diseases
lurk and untrained, under-socialized dogs run amok. In this month's "best of",
Sharon Burnett relates her wonderful experience at Chambers Bay, WA.


Subject: Our secret mission or how we discovered the dog park
From: Sharon Burnett
Date: September 13, 2010

Last Friday I had a little procedure that will keep me out of the gym for a few days. My instructions though are to walk as much as I can. Huh. Walking. Do I have anyone here at home that is interested in joining me in my mission? You bet!

Enter Special Agent Keristar's to the Moon AKA Rocket!

At least 3 times a day Rocket races over to where his leash is hanging and punches it with his nose, takes 2 steps back, turns, and looks right at me. Hey mom.lets get going!!! Sometimes we can and sometimes we can't get out and walk, but now we need to. Lucky for us, we live 15 minutes away from a truly wonderful place to walk. Called Chambers Bay, its just marvelous You may have heard of it if you are a golf fan. The Amateur was just played there a couple weeks ago.

Rocket and I decided to walk on the upper part of the trail. I wasn't moving very well at first, but after a few minutes of warming up we were doing great. And Rocket was ever so happy. He was walking right with me - no pulling or weaving. He was prancing right along. We met up with several other dogs on leash. I allowed him to meet and greet the other dogs if the owners said ok and all did. Several non-dog walkers commented on how pretty Rocket is and how his tail was up and wagging the entire time. Finally I was talking to a lady with an older Beagle and she mentioned the temporary dog park at the other end of the property.

I've been contributing to the building of the permanent park, which will be 20 acres, all along. It never occurred to me to check out the temporary park. It's only 6 acres, but it is fully fenced and double gated. So off we went.

We drove around to the south end of the park and own the long, windy access road. There's a huge parking lot, restrooms, water, a very large grassy area, and then the dog park. A bridge over the railroad tracks will soon open. For the first time in over 100 years, we'll have access to 2 miles of beach. And dogs will be allowed on some of it :-)

Back to the dog park..I've never taken any of my guys to a public dog park. We used to run off-lead at some of the fenced in grounds at agility trials with dogs we knew, but never just strange dogs. I observed the 7 or so dogs that were inside the fenced area and how their owners were monitoring the activity. Rocket wanted to go in, so we did.

Immediately when we entered the area, most of the dogs came over to meet and greet the new guy. Rocket is so dog friendly. His body language is so appropriate. He made buddies right away and they went off on a leg lifting festival. Eventually there was running, ball chasing, and Frisbee.

I introduced myself to several of the dog owners. Rocket received many compliments especially when I said he'd never been in a park like this before. Needless to say we both had a great time. In fact we went back the next day. I have to give Rocket more of a break though. At 9 years of age he needs a couple days to recoup. Not so Renny. I took her to the park a couple hours after Rocket and I came back. She also had a blast. Took her a little bit to warm up to the whole thing. A young Labordoodle won her heart and they ran a whole bunch. We made a date for Tuesday evening since our girls played so well and both seem a little shy in public.

We have to haul our own water. I'm going to drop off 10 gallons this morning, Only fitting if I'm going to use the facility.

Such a wonderful discovery!

All the best!

Sharon Burnett the Official Spokesperson for the R Gruppe
Rocket (I'm ready to go back to that park NOW!)
Renny (I liked that fuzzy dog)
University Place WA

August 2010


We had some charming responses to the "question of the week" which asked "When you selected your Kerry, what was the ONE magical thing, that made you select this particular Kerry? ". For our "best of" for August, we've chosen Janet McCallen's story about her Rory, her forever dog.


Subject: Question of the Week
From: Janet McCallen
Date: August 1, 2010

Although I have had 4 Kerries, the most poignant moment was when we chose Rory. We had Jenny, an aggressive female, and I wanted a small dog. I was wisely counseled that Miss Jenny and a small dog might make for a tragic mix. The breeder from whom we'd gotten Jenny (but who had not bred her) had two 11-month-old males they wanted to place in pet homes. They thought the smaller of the two was the "better," so showed us him first. He was fine. But then they brought out Rory (then named Wyatt), and he said hello to Jenny, then trotted over to me and gazed up at me with an expression that said "I found you! I've been looking for MY person, and finally you came to get me! Thank goodness. I'm home now." And every day of his short life, he lived up to that promise. I was his human, and he was very clear about that. He wasn't jealous of other dogs that I petted - he knew he was mine and I was his. I still miss him, every day - despite the grand pack we have now.

Janet and Pat, owned by Kerries Shannon (b 2005) and Riley (b 2008) and Biewer Terrier Dante (b 2010), and watched over by Kerries Jenny (b 1998 d 2007) and Rory (b 2004 d 2009)

July 2010


One of the more important functions of our website and our newslist is to share our knowledge and experience of our Kerries, including health issues. Shelley Kilcoyne recently told us about her Lyra's kidney problems and how a new drug has given Lyra a new lease on life. Please continue to share such information as it could be a life line for someone else's Kerry.


Subject: Lyra the Rescue's (Happy so far) Kidney Story
From: Shelley Ignal Kilcoyne
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2010

Hi all,

I will write all the details below, but here is the synopsis for anyone in a hurry: Our 6-year old Kerry rescue, Lyra, was diagnosed in December ’09 with kidney failure and nearly died; after being hydrated several times at the vet’s office and being given antibiotics for 10 days as well as daily blood pressure medication, prescription kidney diet dog food and, most importantly, a daily new probiotic called Azodyl, she is nearly back to her old self. I know she is still a sick little girl, and I don’t know how long her nearly-perfect spirit will last but I’m hoping it’s a very long time before we have to say goodbye. This is her story. I think it’s important for everyone to read this because it may help save another dog’s life, or even a human’s.

Lyra is our rescue from the Great Escape. She is a sweet little girl, a little neurotic perhaps because of her past life but still basically a doll. She has owned us for nearly 5 years now and, except for a minor bout with Lyme disease when she was first with us, she was always very healthy.

A few months ago, around Christmas time (of course when all the regular vets were closed) she woke up one morning and looked like she couldn’t move. She literally looked like she was frozen and wouldn’t go down the steps to go outside. She also had no appetite whatsoever and the little she ate would come up within minutes. We immediately took her to the emergency vet, who ran a titer, diagnosed her with Lyme disease, gave us some antibiotics and sent us on our way. We were very relieved that what she had was relatively minor and treatable, so off we went.

After only two more days on the antibiotics she was still not hungry and not keeping anything in her stomach, although she was walking much better. Concerned, we took her to our local vet where she ran another test -- this time for creatinine, an indication of kidney function -- and told us that things were very wrong as Lyra had kidney failure. The vet was very concerned and said Lyra had to be hydrated immediately with intravenous fluids; however, the prognosis was not very good. We left a very sick-looking Lyra at the vet for five days to be hydrated, and I remember spending New Year’s Eve at a party crying the entire time because we didn’t know what the outcome would be.

When we brought Lyra home she was still a little depressed-looking and would not eat much, although the vet told us at that point to get anything we could into her stomach. I had to hand-feed her steak, chicken, and even had to get baby food into her mouth with a syringe for several days. I really thought she would not last long. However, she finally started eating and seemed to be getting better. A few weeks later in February, however, she relapsed, stopped eating and looked
very sad; back to the vet she went for more hydration. At this point the vet told me she couldn’t keep doing this as it eventually would not work; Lyra’s creatinine levels were highly elevated (an off-the-charts 10.5, whereas below 1.9 is normal and anything over 3 or 4 indicates major kidney failure!) and again, her prognosis was guarded. After a few days there we took her back home, still not 100% but looking better; we were given instructions to hydrate her at home and she was put on blood pressure medication. In addition, I told the vet that I had done quite a bit of research on the Internet and found out about a supplement, a probiotic called Azodyl, which helped both cats and dogs as it would allow their systems to remove blood toxins through the digestive tract rather than the kidneys, giving damaged kidneys much needed relief. The vet agreed with me and we immediately started giving Lyra the Azodyl 3 times a day, as indicated. Again, > we were hydrating her at home and feeding her with a syringe. However, within a week or so, she started getting a little better. Two weeks later she was much better, and as I’ve said she is now back to her normal self. She chases squirrels in the back yard and is ready to attack anyone who comes in through the front door. Life is just Kerry-wonderful.

We still have to make sure she eats and that she doesn’t lose weight, but so far so good. She is a happy little girl again and I do think that this is as close to a miracle as we may ever get. Our one problem is that because of her kidney issues she cannot get her teeth cleaned (she cannot be given anesthesia) so her breath is not the best, but we try to brush her teeth from time to time and feel that this is a relatively small price to pay to have her back with us. (Any suggestions, by the way, of how to clean a dog’s teeth without putting them out would be greatly appreciated).

Please read this, be aware, and pass it on to anyone dealing with kidney disease in their pet. And, by the way, the company that manufactures Azodyl came out with a similar product for humans! I can’t say how effective it is, but it certainly would be worth researching although I hope you never have to.

With best wishes to all,

Shelley Kilcoyne with Tucker (Lughnasa’s Best Bib & Tucker, our Kerry-puppy-bear) and Princess Lyra (“Ah, ain’t life grand?”).

June 2010


There are several rescue dogs waiting for forever homes and Sharon's post reminds us that those senior dogs still have so much to give. I've fallen in love with Seamus, as I'm sure many of you have. Let's hope he and our other rescues find their forever homes very soon.


Subject: Update on senior rescue Kerry Seamus
Date: June 30, 2010
From: Sharon Arkoff

Rescue kerry Seamus is settling in to foster care quite well, finding his way around and enjoying his outdoor time. In fact, he loves nothing more than sleeping on the deck in the 90-degree sun. He does not want to come inside, and he does not want to be in the shade. He has a huge bowl of water, and is perfectly content. I leave the door open for him (to the delight of the mosquitos and flies), and he is happy as a clam. It's alittle disconcerting to see him lying sprawled in the sun, but he loves being outside so much, I think maybe he didn't get out much in his former life. And, maybe the sun feels good on his old bones. We would really like to find a wonderful home for Seamus, despite his age; with two other kerries in the house (one a spunky 3-yo foster), we can't give Seamus the attention he deserves. Maybe someone knows of someone, perhaps an older couple that enjoys walks and working in the garden, and who has a soft spot for dogs but isn't looking for a challenge.

At 11 or 12, Seamus is not that old for a kerry, but he is a senior in spirit. He really just wants to go on gentle walks, putter around the yard, check in with his people every so often for alittle loving, give quiet steady hugs, and sleep. But he is very food-motivated. If it comes from the meat or dairy aisle of the supermarket, he's your man. He has the "I'm starving. Look how sweet I am. Don't I deserve an entire rack of lamb?" expression down to a science. He is not as skinny as when he arrived, because I chose to ignore the vet's advice and I am feeding that boy up. Seamus' former vet is a very passionate, caring person, newly graduated from vet school, and in my experience these vets are wonderfully bright, giving, caring, committed, etc. -- but they are young and overly idealistic. :-) The vet recommended keeping Seamus skinny because thin dogs live longer. I know this is true, but for me it's about quality of life more than quantity, in Seamus' case, and Seamus was ravenous when he came here.

Youth and idealism among recent veterinary school grads. :-) When we had the late Duffy, the very impassioned and newly minted vet at the oncology teaching hospital stoutly declared that she would not refill Duffy's anti-inflammatory medicine unless he had $700 worth of diagnostic testing every month to make sure his kidneys were working well. Duffy was already at least 12 years old, and had been given 2-4 months to live because he had a head full of inoperable cancer, that was asymptomatic as long as he got his one little pill a day. We didn't care about the long term perfection of his kidneys. We cared about him not choking on his own nosebleeds. Anyway, our local vet had us sign a release form and then the local vet gave us the refills, and Duffy lived another adventurous, happy-go-lucky, bouncy year or so -- asymptomatic until the end. Anyway, see who you can think of for Seamus, folks. He is a sweet boy and deserves his own people.

--Sharon Arkoff

May 2010


An article in the May/June 2010 issue of "All Animals," the magazine of the Humane Society of the US, "The Purebred Paradox" regarding the rate of cancer in purebred dogs prompted several posts including
this one from Paul Gygi.


Subject: Purebred Dog Paradox
From: Paul O. Gygi
Date: Thursday, May 27, 2010

Certain questions about tracking diseases that ultimately cause the demise of dogs/cats/pets would seem to have quite skewed statistics. The era of farm dogs being killed on the highway or run over by the tractor or poisoned by rat bait is over. Our [world] population is urbanized/suburbanized. Medical treatments that only a few decades ago were barely available for humans are now being regularly used on pets.

The ratio of canine to human aging, following the year after whelp, was about 7:1. I suspect that has been reduced to near 5:1. Nonetheless canines and people die of something. The catch-all category of "old age" has become insufficient. The major causes of human deaths are cardiovascular diseases (heart), cancer (in its many forms), cerebrovascular (stroke), chronic respiratory and diabetes.

I suspect that respiratory diseases in humans are associated with cigarette smoking and employment in certain industrial occupations, such as mining. Dogs do neither. I have no knowledge of the occurrence of diabetes (considered hereditary in dogs) but assume it is low – with canine insulin being available.

Most dogs are reasonably active and have better diets than their human owners because of the (often & sometimes rightfully maligned) pet food industry. That leads to a lessening of heart problems. [It is also easier to put your dog on a diet than to go on one yourself.] What is then left is cancer for which there is advanced diagnosis and treatment – and an increasing number of canine/feline oncologists. [We took our ancient little cat to an oncologist and the cat, at 16, is doing well.]

Purebred dogs are generally a serious financial investment and the people who own them take serious care of them. Therefore, [I assume] that the dogs that show up at the vet's office for treatment are more often than not purebred and the disease for which they are being treated will be one of the most prevalent - cancer, from leukemia to mammary to ovarian.

Older purebred dogs are being taken to the vets for cancer treatment because the dogs are living much longer than a century ago. The conclusion that purebred dogs are much more prone to cancer may or may not be correct. It is well documented that certain breeds of dogs and certain lines within these breeds are prone to specific diseases - something you cannot do with mutts. This requires data gathering and statistical sampling needed for authenticity to be exponentially precise for purebred canines. This dog is of a listed purebred type is insufficient.

To carry this to an absurd extreme, consider that most purebred dogs are euthanized by the vet when further treatment becomes ineffective. Therefore, the logical conclusion is purebred dogs generally die of euthanasia!

[Second post from Paul on the same day, and the same topic.]

[My earlier post today] was about the "Purebed Dog Paradox" in which I questioned [as have many others] health statistics regarding purebred canines. I have problems with simple sampling techniques and statistical measurements used to "prove" something this complex. Conclusions about the robustness of canine health are prone to diverse interpretations and, too often, depend on someones biased perspective.

You might [check and add to my note] that when a dog comes into a vet's office, if it looks "somewhat" like a particular breed then that breed name is entered in the dog's records. No vet, that I know of, asks for AKC reg numbers, or whether the dog is actually purebred. Some vets know the ancestry of the dogs because the owners are breeder/exhibitors, but [I suspect] that is in the minority. A KBT [or some other breed] from a puppy mill will be considered that breed, papers-or-not because it "looks like" or was purchased as such. However, on two occasions years ago, we saw a vet on an emergency basis, specifically told him the dog he was treating was a KBT - and each time he entered "Poodle!"

April 2010


Our "best of" for April is a reply to Mary Piccione's post about her experience with her dog's digestive troubles and the recent improvement which seems to be linked to Arrow's sampling of the fresh herbs growing in her garden. Margaret O'Carroll's reply (from South Africa) provides more information about the benefits of herbal supplements for digestive problems.


From: Margaret O'Carroll
Date: April 30, 2010
Subject: Herbal Medicine Question

Mary Piccione and all who seem to be having Kerry stomach problems. A friend of mine replied for me to you. It all makes a lot of sense and its so available on the internet.

Not sure if our Kerrys would actually like to eat some of these, but Mary's
kerry is browsing on herbs and feeling a lot better it seems

Margaret O'Carroll
South Africa


from internet...........

Digestive problems can disrupt your life, and make eating a dreadful event;
these problems can range from heartburn, to upset stomach to gas, bloating
and diarrhea. All too often doctors are quick to prescribe a chemical based
drug to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. However, sometimes these
drugs can actually aggravate digestive problems rather than alleviate them.
Doctors agree that the majority of stomach issues are likely caused by a
group of problems rather than just one thing.

Long ago roots and other such herbs were chosen as spices for food because
if their amazing digestive properties. Now day's digestive problems are so
wide spread because of our obsessive need to eat processed foods that lack
these ever so important nutrients. The truly great thing is supplementing
your diet with these herbs daily has proven effective at alleviating most of
the common digestive issues we face as a modern society. In this article I
will talk about the top five herbs for digestion, and which condition they
are most helpful in treating.


The first herb on the list is Ginger. Ginger is an all around super herb
that has been documented as effective in some of the earliest medicinal
writings. Among other things Ginger possess amazing digestive health
properties, and has been used as prevention and treatment for these
digestive problems for centuries. Now days Ginger is most often used to
treat conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome... this includes relieving
symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and


The second herb is Fennel. Fennel is also a great spice that has been used
for centuries for its ability to control and prevent stomach upset. Fennel
can actually alleviate symptoms such as heartburn, bloating, cramping, and
other general digestive issues. Some women place this herb in a tea and use
it for relieving morning sickness, and yet others use it as a stomach
calming agent after treatments such as chemo and radiation.


Aloe, like Ginger, is one of those all around amazing herbs that should be
on your daily list of herbal supplements. But, if you have digestion problem
you should definitely make aloe one of those can't live without herbs. Aloe
naturally contains essential amino acids, enzymes, and vitamin C; the really
amazing thing is how it naturally soothes the stomach.


Coming in at number four is Gentian. Gentian is a lesser known herb, but
being lesser known does not make it any less effective. Gentian root has
been used for centuries to support digestive functions. It works so well
because of its bitterness, gentian root is one of the bitterest agents there
is. The bitterness stimulates digestive juices and there by supporting the
digestive system naturally; preventing stomach upset and digestive woes.


Last but certainly not least is peppermint. Peppermint is a glorious herb
that has many potential benefits, and supporting digestion is one of them.
The great thing with peppermint is there are so many ways to get your
recommended dosage daily. As far as digestion, peppermint is linked to
alleviating symptoms commonly associated with irritable bowl syndrome such
as gas, bloating, cramping, constipation, diarrhea, and nausea.

The greater majority of herbs on this top 5 list have so many other
potential health benefits that taking one of them for digestive issues will
improve your health greatly, as well as getting rid of your unwanted
digestive problems. Taking expensive prescriptive medicine is not always the
best answer to all medical conditions, but seeking out the advantages of
herbal medicine is a wonderful and less expensive way of taking care of
yourself. Remember when you take an herbal medicine you are treating your
whole body not just one symptom.

The simplest way to take all of these herbs daily is to use a supplement called Herbal Digestive Complex
[] This
herbal blend contains all 5 of the digestion herbs in one easy to use
capsules. For more health and nutrition information make sure to visit

Article Source:

March 2010


We all came to know and love Heddy through Judith Bruno's posts about her and her many issues. Not everyone has the patience and the perseverance necessary to work with troubled dogs, but Judith and her husband worked tirelessly, creatively, to make a happy life for Heddy. Now she is gone but her spirit and her story live on and will continue to inspire us. RIP Heddy.


From: Judith Bruno
Date: Saturday, March 20, 2010
Subject: Many thanks

I am finally awake after several weeks in bed with bronchitis, Ro is up, but still struggling. We feel like we have missed out on years, much like Rip van Winkle.

Pinky has been terribly bored, and lonely, but the neighbors and neighborhood dogs have been great about making her feel even more special than usual.

During our illness, some very special friends visited us (and nursed us back to health), and while they were here, a constant stream of their friends dropped by for a visit, so we had a house full of guests - Pinky liked that! And on the horizon, my sister, niece and nephew are expected in a week or so, so Pinky will have more distractions.

I would like to thank everyone who wrote, sent cards, emailed (public and private), or made donations to the Foundation in her name, or remembered Heddy in any way. All of that positive energy was so appreciated and I believe it helped to guide Heddy while in transition to her next great adventure.

The decision to keep a dog with serious problems is not a decision to take lightly. In the piece Roland and I wrote for her memorial page we talked about Heddy’s history of biting. We felt it would be helpful to fully disclose her past problems, which were indeed serious, and which we never forgot or took lightly.

One difference was, that with Heddy, we knew her trigger, and it was always the same; reaching, stepping or lording over her. Outside of that, a bite was never untriggered or in her mind unprovoked.

With Heddy we were willing and we knew we would be able to micromanage her world and keep her > safe. It helps that we do not have children, so we could more or less control her environment – that is as well as you can with an always lost-in-thought husband.

How did we handle it?

If we were alone with her – there was not problem.

We experimented and used every tool available, crates, xpens, ties downs, jafco muzzles, isolation, treats, choke collars, electronic collars. And we tried to keep to a schedule that with time Heddy kept us to; she knew when it was time for walks, treats, dinner and that help give her life structure and keep her calm.

We were careful to closely supervise her in the early days around Molly and Scamp. One of the most successful thing was to create her private “safe” space in our office (where we spend most of the day). We set up a 24 inch high xpen in which we had her bed (it was a large heavy piece of furniture). It was more a gentle reminder than an impenetrable barrier. But during the days of Molly and Scamp, Heddy who was a chow hound, took all her meals in the office in her xpen. Early on it gave Molly and Scamp a safe opportunity to passively socialize and interact, and usually Scamp would be sleeping with her back against the xpen from the outside and Heddy with her back against the Scamp from the inside.

We did take the precaution to speak to her or gently touch her if she were sleeping in the middle of a path we needed to cross; and she always chose to sleep across high traffic areas.

In the early days when we had guests we either had her on a tie down on the periphery of a room, sometimes with her muzzle, or, sometimes we had little caution cones around her and asked guests to ignore her. Or she wore her Jafco muzzle and was off leash and allowed to make her own decision as to where she wanted to be. Most often it was in our office under my work table or in a crate. If we had more than one guest she rarely ventured to the public rooms. Then once to our surprise, when we had over 100 people for a party, we found her among the crowds mingling – you just never knew!

Honestly, I was happy and relieved to get to the finish line together, but that Heddy was able to actually learn to be happy is something that I think I never even dared to hope for.

It is the ones you invest so much blood, sweat and tears into who leave the biggest impression. Heddy will continue to live on, in all that she taught us. We still can’t quite believe the silence and emptiness she has left behind.

Thanks you all for remembering her, and the best way for us all to honor her is to never give up on our own dogs, and/or to take on a dog with issues and give it a second or third chance. Remember, Ro and I are just ordinary people, we have no special talents, we only had the desire and will to help Heddy.

Judith Bruno
Palm Desert, CA

February 2010


Although we are always sad to hear that one of our Kerries has left us, we also love to remember their own unique qualities, or should that be quirks! Agatha wrote to tell us that her dear Ricky had gone to the Rainbow Bridge and although we grieve with her, her post brought smiles to our faces as we read about his antics.


Subject: Ricky the Kerry Kat Burglar, 1998-2010
From: Agatha Hughes
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2010

Beloved Ricky has joined other Kerries in the immortal romp. Nearly 12, Rick was diagnosed with an enormous liver mass several weeks ago, as well as failing back legs. But he was a happy boy, showing no discomfort until the last day when he lay down for a nap and it was clear that he wasn’t going to get back up. A neighbor drove us to the vet the next morning and I held Rick and told stories on the way.


Ricky on the 4th of July at the children's bike parade. Such a ham.... and, he knew it

As my first Kerry, Rick taught me all about the, ahem, “special” qualities of the breed. While I did not think I would survive his adolescence, he matured into a very mellow Kerry who could manage to be obstinate, funny, naughty, confident, loving and handsome all in the same day. He was especially patient with the six KBT fosters who have come through my home, even the most under-socialized ones.

The best thing I ever did for Ricky was to install an invisible fence that gave him the freedom to spend endless days digging for moles and voles. He never once dug in the perennial beds, and kept his extensive excavations to the remote fringes. I will forever remember the happy sound of a Kerry barking with his head a foot underground and butt wriggling in the air.

He had a nose like nobody’s business -- could stand in the kitchen and tell me there was a ball in a closed box in the basement and that I needed to retrieve it, NOW. The same nose made him famous in the neighborhood as the Kerry Kat Burglar. One summer day we were in a neighbor’s yard where he found a hole under the fence and vanished in search of fresh hunting grounds. Fifteen minutes later, trying to keep panic at bay, I saw a woman in the distance walking a dog with a very large head. Getting closer, the dog materialized into Ricky. Apparently, like a heat-seeking missile, our boy had entered her house through an open garage door, marched his determined fanny upstairs, and proceeded to steal a massive stuffed toy. The Burglar came down to her kitchen, treasure in mouth, and with a polite, muffled bark, asked her to let him out to commence the evisceration process. Recovering from her surprise, she knew exactly who he was and brought the Kerry with the big stuffed-toy head back to me. How I persuaded him to release the stolen goods is another story....

His Kerry companion, Lily, and I miss him dearly. Yet, Lilers and I know that when he crossed the Rainbow Bridge he greeted all the other Kerries with much wagging and then, wasting no time, eagerly headed for the horizon in search of fresh hunting grounds and treasures to steal....

Agatha in Philadelphia

January 2010


The subject of Kerry "dogtors", Kerries who seem to monitor their
people's health, is a very interesting one and several of our members
have had first hand experience of this amazing aptitude. Early detection
of diseases such as cancer can result in better treatment and an alert of
an impending seizure can ensure the safety of the person affected. Surely
even more confirmation that a dog is indeed man's best friend. On a lighter
note, Mara Murphy writes of her Kerry's sympathetic behaviour and, could
it be, ulterior motives!


Subject: Kerry Dogtors
From: Mara Murphy
Date: January 31, 2010

As a member of the allegedly most intelligent species on this planet, I am
humbled and awed by all of your dogster experiences. I have heard many such
wonderful stories and am so pleased whenever I read about serious research
being conducted in this area in universities and hospitals around the globe,
and conducted with the proper respect and care which is due to these
wonderful dogs.

That said, I will tell your about our Kerry, Lady. She also knows when we
are sick or feeling sad. However, I must confess that in her case it is
mostly because she has a fondness for eating used tissues!

So there it is, the unpleasant truth. The hint of a sniffle puts Lady on
high alert, waiting for someone to reach for the kleenex. And we go to
greath lengths to dispose of her favourite "treats" without her finding them

(But she won't eat her eye goop)

Mara Murphy
Oranmore, Ireland

Other "dogtor" stories.

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The KBTC of America and the USKBTC were merged.

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