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The Best of KB-L for 2014

 

December 2014

Context:

Our last 'Best of KBL' for 2014 is from Sharon Burnett and concerns a QOTW about food--always an interesting topic. As an owner of a dog with food sensitivities, I am always reading about and researching different foods, as I'm sure many of you do. It seems we are always seeking to improve our dogs' diets. For our information, Sharon describes how she feeds the R Gruppe.

Post:

From: Sharon Burnett
Date: December 6, 2014
Subject: QOTW about food

It is interesting how the Kerries diets and my own have evolved over the years. I started this life-style change about 9 years ago. I changed up my own diet and started an exercise program. I felt so much better after a time that I started to pay more attention to the nutrition articles in "The Whole Dog Journal".

Interesting that what I was applying to my own care also applied to dogs. I don't eat grains, so neither do they. My diet is mostly raw. So now is theirs. Really isn't an inconvenience. Much of what I prepare for myself is similar to what I prepare or purchase for the Kerries. Rocket likes red meat (I personally do not eat it). He really likes bison. Our holistic vet advised that at Rocket's age (almost 14) a raw diet wasn't appropriate. So I buy bison, grind it, boil it in no-salt beef broth. He also like green tripe (yuk!) and dehydrated Stella & Chewies beef patties. I do give him a little dry food - grain free bison. Rocket has never been a robust eater. I have always had trouble getting his weight to even close to where it should be. At 19" with a medium frame he should weight 32-34 lbs. Until recently it was a celebration to have him a 30! His agility competition weight was 28. He's at 32 now and still has muscle which is terrific for a dog of his age. He is active and happy. He initiates play with the girls and runs away from me when the brush comes out.

The girls are also grain free, but on raw with a small amount of kibble. Everyone gets organic yogurt. Since the switch no one has dry or flake skin even in the winter. Rauri has never been fed any other way, so it will be interesting to see long-term how this diet will work for her as she ages. She'll be 2 on Dec 19, so she's still a puppy.

All the best!

Sharon Burnett and the R Gruppe (Rocket, Renny, and Rauri)
University Place WA


November 2014

Context:

One of the endearing qualities of our Kerries is their devotion to their family. When my son was a baby, our Kerry never left his side. She slept at the threshold of his room, she followed him everywhere, she sat beside him when he played on the floor, she lay beside his highchair at mealtimes (ulterior motive?), wherever he was, she would be right there. He learned to walk holding on to her. She was the ultimate babysitter and one very special Kerry.

In our 'Best of KBL' for November, Tammy Redlin talks about her Maggie's loyalty to her family which is all the more impressive when you consider that she started life in a puppy mill. Perhaps because she was deprived of a family in her early years, she's especially vigilant with her charges.

Post:

Date: November 7, 2014
From: Tammy Redlin
Subject: Kerry Loyalty

My kids have been sick, cough and cold stuff nothing serious. So in the middle if the night I hear the tell tale barky cough of croup. For anyone who's heard this it sounds terrible, like the child is struggling for breath, awful. I'm a pediatric ER nurse though so I didn't get worked up about it. Maggie our rescue kerry on the other hand immediately pops her head up from sleep at my feet and looks at me with "those eyes." My little comes plodding into the room, and Maggie was right on her tail. So we head to her room and open the window so she can breathe in the cold air, loaded her with Advil and eventually the cough and noisy breathing settled. Maggie and I crawled into bed with my daughter and eventually all settled and she was sleeping sound. I got back to my bed but Maggie stayed with my daughter until she woke up this am. Amazing for any dog, but a dog that spent the first part of her life in a horrible puppy mill with no light, heat or ventilation - unbelievable.

Tammy
Alberta


October 2014

Context:

Separation anxiety seems to be a common problem with dogs today. When Dianne Collins received a call from a Kerry owner looking for help, she asked our members for any ideas or tips on dealing with this problem. This month's "best of" contains some advice from Tom Sawyer who has been working on his Chloe's separation anxiety with quite some success.

Post:

From: Tom Sawyer
Date: October 30, 2014
Subject: Separation Anxiety

Howdy,

Well as you may know Chloe was adopted with extreme separation anxiety and being 9 years old at the time quite a challenge. Age will certainly make a big difference in how you handle the situation.

The main problem with separation anxiety is that you are gone so you really do not know what the dog goes through during your absence. I cannot say the problem is resolved with Chloe but she is much much better. My first method was to place her where she could view where I was at. I did this by using a glass storm door. Chloe would watch me go out but if I went out of site she would start barking her head off. So I would water the lawn within her view. Then occasionally go out of site then anticipate when she was about to bark and come back into view. The key was the timing of knowing when she was about to bark - not after she barked. If I came into view after she barked then her bark was working for her! This took a long time but my lawn is really green!

Once she found I would go outside and not totally disappear she would just wait for me to come back. This time frame was extended to me going outside and working in the yard or visiting neighbors. I would never acknowledge her when I came back into the house. I can go out for a couple of hours now with no problem. The next problem was could we go out to dinner and leave her? This is where it is more difficult because you leave in a car. So I would go out in the car then drive around the block. Now enter the house and totally ignore her. No greeting whatsoever! Once this became just a matter course she became bored with being ignored and didn't care that I get into the car.

It is not completely corrected but we can now leave her and she doesn't bark her head off. It takes time and age makes a big difference.

Good Luck

Tom Sawyer Coppell, TX


September 2014

Context:

This month's 'Best of KBL' was prompted by another Question of the Week: #614 What is your favourite memento of a deceased Kerry? Many of you responded to this one and it seems many of us, me included, wish to add their Kerry's ashes to their own when the time comes. (Not sure that's legal here, as I got some strange looks when I asked the funeral director if we could mix Dickens' ashes with my husband's. He said he could probably add them as long as we didn't tell anyone! Turns out I couldn't get the lid off the urn, so it was a non-issue!) Anyhow, Jann McQuay memorializes her Kerries in a rather unique way with a collection of curls from her past dogs.

 

Post:

 

Subject: QOTW Kerry Mementos
From: Jann McQuay
Date: September 8, 2014

What a great QOTW!

I checked 'other. I do save all my dog items for, hopefully, the next one and we do have many lovely pictures. I save special curls from each of my terriers in antique bone china tea cups which were my Granny's. This idea happened by accident... a real accident. Our rambunctious Welshie, who had her own rules, was tragically hit by a car. We were all devastated and the children would not believe it. I begged the vet to let them see her little body. He told it me it would not be wise and offered to clip some of her hair, even asking which part we would prefer. This helped them understand and accept. It gave us an opportunity to not only emphasize road safety, but to talk about dying, death, cremation, ashes and memories. I have since got a cup of Airedale curls, my first Kerry curls and actually have some of Pepper's beautiful almost white curls, even though she is still very much alive.

I like the idea of mixing all their ashes with mine, but unfortunately I did not ask for the ashes to be returned. Memories are the best and they stay forever.

Jann McQuay, Whitby


August 2014

Context:

New list member Stephanie Adams introduced herself and her Kerries last month in her post of August 4th. All three of her Kerries have been rescued and what she has accomplished with these lucky dogs is amazing. Here's an article about one of her dogs, Parker, that appeared in the Norwich evening news in July:

www.eveningnews24.co.uk/news/meet_parker_norwich_s_wonder_dog_and_model_citizen_1_3697615

Thank you Stephanie for giving these dogs a second chance. And for those of you who are considering a rescue, here's the proof that these dogs still have so much to offer.

Post:

Date: August 4, 2014
From: Stephanie Adams
Subject: Message from Stephanie

Hello,

My name is Stephanie Adams and I live in Norwich UK.

My adventures with Kerry Blue terriers began when we were looking for a
suitable non-shedding dog as I am asthmatic with an allergy to dog hair.
I had previous terrier experience with Cairns but my husband remembered
a Kerry Blue from his childhood town and after studying about the breed
was convinced it would be a good match for us.

We rehomed 2 from Kerry Blue rescue 10 and a half years ago and still
have Parker who is now 12 & 3/4 but incredibly fit and active for his
years. When 3 years ago we sadly lost Cherry the Kerry bitch that had
always lived with Parker we then rehomed a 9 year old bitch that had
been a cruelty and neglect case and had lived in kennels for a year
waiting for a Kerry-experienced owner to come along. Izzy was certainly
challenging at first as she would bark at cyclists, people in fluorescent
yellow clothing and absolutely everything when she was in the car! She
also hated being brushed and would bite to prevent you grooming her so
had to be muzzled at first.

With patience, positive training, lots of sausages and the help of calm,
confident Parker she became a much more relaxed and responsive dog though
she still travels in a covered crate in the car as a running commentary on
what she can see out of the windows is not conducive to a safe journey!

Parker has many awards for obedience, agility and heelwork to music as
well as 8 "Best-in-Show" awards, 7 "Best Veteran" and about 100 red rosettes
from local dog shows. He was featured in our local paper last week with a lovely
article and photos.

On Sunday we had a fete on the Heath just around the corner from where
we live and I had a stall promoting positive dog training. I took Parker with
me in the morning but it was rather warm for him, so he went back home in the
cool and Izzy had her turn. She did bark at a former work colleague of my
husband but soon came round to accepting a pat with some sausage from him.
I entered her in the fun dog show there and she won the obedience class,
the "Dog that looks most like their owner" class (we were both dressed as
hot-dogs!) and then was awarded "Best-in-Show"! She may not be exactly
breed standard for a Kerry as she has unset ears and shorter than usual
legs but she was so well-behaved in the dog show and the other owners were
commenting on how well she did the obedience test so I was very proud of her
that day as she has come a long way from the scared and reactive dog she was
3 years ago.

Attached is a photo of Izzy with her red rosette for obedience win and
her two trophies won at the show.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and thanks for the sterling work
you do in helping KBTs.

Kind regards

Stephanie


July 2014

Context:

It's nice to be out and about with our Kerries and to let the world see what wonderful dogs they are. Sharon Burnett took Rocket and Rauri to the Highland Games in Enumclaw Washington where they were a big hit with the visitors. She tells us all about it in her post which is the "Best of KBL" for July. Good work R Gruppe!

 

Post:

Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2014
From: Sharon Burnett
Subject: Highland Games

This last weekend I took a couple R Gruppe members to the Pacific Northwest
Scottish Highland Games in Enumclaw Washington. I attended as an individual
with no club or organization affiliation. I used to go as part of the
agility demos, but hadn''t been for 9 years. Sadly there have been no Kerries
in attendance since then.

Saturday was an early start. I normally would have set up Friday evening,
but it had been Dog Days at my work. Rauri had been with me all day. I drove
and I really just wanted to get us home. Packing everything the night before
and doing all the little fine tuning so my Kerries looked nice. Naturally
Rauri was going. You may be surprised to learn that Rocket went too. His
health is good right now and I couldn''t think of a reason why he shouldn''t
go. Great decision.

We arrived at the grounds around 7:30. We had an uneventful drive until we
were about 3 miles from the fairground and Rocket decided he knew where he
was. Lots of noise from him and Rauri is sure we are heading for certain
doom. I had forgotten how many agility trials and Games Rocket has attended
at this site. Naturally I couldn''t get the car unloaded fast enough for HRH.
We moved the car and walked back. Rocket managed to mark every post and pole
along the ½ mile or so we had to go.

Inside the Celtic Kennel, many were arriving and not too many dogs. Our next
door neighbors had a tag the simply said "Emily". Pretty soon we met Emily.
She was one of the coolest Irish Wolfhounds I have ever seen. She had a
buddy who was a yellow Lab/Wheaton mix and a service dog. There was a brief
posturing between the service dog & Rocket, but the boys got bored and
decided it would be more fun to people watch. Rauri was in her crate taking
a break. I wanted to get some photos, but then we started to get visitors.
Several members of pipe bands and dancers getting a dog fix prior to their
performances.

This is a large Highland Game. The largest in our region. Competitors come
from all over. There were several bands there from Canada, Alaska, Oregon,
California, New Zealand, Scotland, and more. In the Celtic Kennel – a
covered horse arena – there is room for all the breed clubs to be setup plus
we have a large exhibition area. Demos in obedience, rally, canine dance,
barrel racing, go-to-ground, conformation, herding, etc are given throughout
the day. There is a full size agility course out on the grass. It is a great
setup. There's an AKC information table and participants are free to leave
breed information. Rescue and service dogs are all recognized. It's pretty
cool and a favorite activity for most. As I walked to the restroom I would
hear people saying okay I'll go watch the sports with you, but first I want
to see the dogs J

The schedule has us in the kennel to meet the public until noon and then we
would close down for an hour & ½ for lunch and to get the dogs ready for the
parade. Yes, after the Massing of the Bands, all the clans are presented and
then all the dogs. We are arranged by group and then by breed. In Terrier we
only had Scotties, Westies, Cairns, and then Kerries. We waited in line in
the shade for about 10 minutes. We had a lovely male Scottish Deer Hound in
line behind us. No issue with Rocket. …Rocket was at a show and he was all
business. Went nuts when he saw agility. He really had himself together!
Rauri was liking the Deer Hound, so she was happy. We walked in front of
several hundred people. It was cool.

Back in the Kennel, we get ready for the presentation of the breeds. Each
breed individually enters the ring and a description, history, and a little
about what kind of a family pet each breed makes is read. I wasn't expecting
the intro we received. The announcer said that the audience was in for a
rare treat and that they were about to see a breed that hadn't been at the
Games for many years. Please welcome the Kerry Blue Terrier!

Now Rocket is deaf. But he knew and he was in that ring in a heartbeat and
he poured his natural showdogship on. Rauri did what Rocket did. It was
amazing! Why I didn''t ask someone to tape us I will never know except I have
to say I was concerned as to how Rocket was doing. He was fine, so I gated
them. So cool and lots of applause when we left the ring.

I think we had 200 kids pet the dogs and I don't even know how many big
people. Rocket made an older woman in a wheel chair's day when he walked
right up to her to say hello. I have so many stories. Rauri standing for a
veteran using a walker so he could bend down to pet her. So patient!

I drove home excited for Sunday. Rauri and I returned without Rocket. I
didn''t want to push it given his age. He would have returned though and
wanted to go. This is a great event for an older, well socialized dog and
there were many seniors there.

The Kerries were a huge hit and we are invited to return next year.
Hopefully though it won't be just me. I really needed 2 more people and a
couple more Kerries so the dogs could be rotated. Rescue is a huge topic.
Could be a nice activity for the Foundation. Just sayin'' J.

All the best!

Sharon Burnett with the R Gruppe
Rocket (I need to get to more shows. Maybe I should learn to drive)
Renny (Best for me to stay home and guard the house)
Rauri (I'm supposed to go with mom everyday!)

University Place WA


June 2014

Context:

Many of you will remember the Shelbina Express rescue in 2006 and one particularly sad Kerry named Shelby. Shelby had been used and abused and suffered a traumatic face injury that required surgery. Shelby found her forever home and just this month someone on the list was asking about her. I emailed her "mom" to get an update on Shelby and we were all so pleased to hear that she is thriving though somewhat spoiled! 

 

 

Post:

From: Anne Corke
Date: June16, 2014
Subject: Update on Shelby

Recently several of you asked about Shelby so I emailed her "mom" Irene and she sent me the following update:

"Please thank everyone for asking about Shelby. She is a trooper. She turned 13 on March 27th and we took her and Shea to McDonald's for chicken nuggets! I got her a brand new collar and a plush bed for her birthday. She is such a sweetheart. I'd be lost without her. She follows me everywhere I go. Where could you get a better friend than her? I was the lucky one to get her.

We've had Shelby for 8 years now. She has gone through five operations and has slowed down a bit but still eats like there's no tomorrow with lots of liver treats, fresh meat, brown rice and vegetables for lunch and then Blue for dinner. She deserves to be treated like a princess after what she went through.

Two years ago a woodchuck came through our fenced-in yard and Shea went after it. He is quick so he got it and was biting it. But it also had sharp teeth and Shelby was barking at him and got bitten. He broke her entire left jaw. She needed two operations, my poor baby girl, but she survived. I cried when the doctor took her into the operating room and I cried more when she came out looking at me with her big brown eyes. I hope she lives a long, long life with us. Shea loves her too and watches over her. Shea is 9 years old now. We love them as our children and since we are retired, they are always with us, even for car rides and walks.

Please give my love to everyone on the list and thank them for all their help rescuing Shelby and the others. I can't even think of what would have happened to my girl if someone else had bought her. I shiver with the thought. I don't understand cruelty in any shape or form and am still fighting it by signing petitions and writing letters to officials to have the laws changed protecting animals."

Irene, Shelby and Shea


May 2014

Context:

In response to the  "#598: Does your Kerry have a favourite collar", a number of people and one dog replied. It seems to me that a collection of collars is a weakness of many Kerry people. But I didn't realize that some of the Kerries themselves enjoyed a change of wardrobe. And Pepper McQuay has her particular favourite which reflects her personality!

 

 

Post:

From: Pepper McQuay
Date: May 18, 2014
Subject: Collars

I checked off 'other' because I have so many lovely collars that I could be in a competition with the late Kenzie Lane. She definitely was indulged! Mine are mostly pretty colours, always with a matching leash and they look so stunning on my nearly silver coat. I do have one that is quite special...it is decorated with red peppers. Now this doesn't seem very 'Kerry-like', or Irish, or even terrier, but because my name is Pepper, it is most suitable. I can be spirited like a hot, red pepper or sweet as a bell pepper, but no one forgets my name when they see me with this collar and leash. It was meant for me!

Now I hate to say this to all you Kerries, but I really don't like my green Kerry collar and leash. The clasp on the collar and the hook on the leash are too big for my lady-like neck and they are strong enough to control a Roti. They are in the way when I need to spring into action and shaking doesn't get them off. I know I helped the KBTF by getting one so that was charitable.

I wear one of my pretty collars 24/7...oh, with a matching name tag, too. But when I go for my walk I wear a 'Promise' collar or 'Haltie'. Now this has been fitted specially for me. The only part of it that I like is that it means I am going for a walk. I feel like a Hackney pony with it on and I am managed by my nose. Very undignified.

You can see it was not an easy QOTW for me. It is almost time for another walk. I'll see if Mum can catch me. I think I should be called the 'Princess of Games'

Kerry on, Pepper McQuay, Whitby, ON Canada


April 2014

Context:

A "question of the week" #594 prompted much discussion regarding dog aggression in Kerries.

My own experience has been that my Kerries would never start a fight but they wouldn't back down if threatened. As terrier people, we tend to like dogs with presence, as Sharon Burnett mentions in our "best of" post for April. Terriers in general and Kerries in particular are not for everyone. We know that our Kerries need training and socialization to be good canine citizens and great companions that cut a swath wherever they go.

 

 

Post:

From: Sharon Burnett
Date: April 20, 2014
Subject: Dog Aggression

A little over a year ago I had the pleasure of taking Janel's dog Eli into the show ring. I had not spent much time with him, but immediately saw what Janel mentions - the position. Rocket has it too. Even at 13 years of age. He is powerful with presence and is never aggressive towards other dogs. At home here with his girls he is the One.

Rauri is quiet. She often chooses not to acknowledge another dog's presence. Seems sort of arrogant in a way, but she is generally well received. This is why she gets on with my Renny.

Renny can be a bit of a push to other dogs. Never to people. She is by far the best house dog I have ever had (and there have been many - all terriers but not all Kerries). Renn has her games that she plays. Usually something that entails her owning all the chew bones or toys. Rauri will play along or go find her own toy. Rauri has been here almost a year. Many of you will remember that she came a long way to be here. I just thought she would work out and her breeder thought so too.

I like a terrier that will stand on its toes. That does not mean a dog that wants to eat all comers. Balance is essential.

All the best!

Sharon Burnett & the R Gruppe
University Place WA


March 2014

Context:

This month's "Best of KBL", in reply to a QOTW #589 regarding pet insurance, details Regina Corry's experience with her insurance over the years. This is one expense that I think many of us debate at length. Like all insurance, we hate to pay for it, but if it's needed, we'd hate to be without it. And also like other types of insurance, companies and policies differ as to what is covered and what is not. It's a bit of a balancing act to get the right coverage at a reasonable premium. Good veterinary care is not cheap so, whether you buy insurance or put money away for future expenses, please make sure that your dog's health, indeed his life, isn't compromised because of financial issues.




Post:

Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2014
From: The Corrys
Subject: New QOTW about pet insurance
I think this is something that all pet owners need to re-evaluate on a regular basis.

We always self-insured. We generally had one medical bill that was reasonable (<2k) until they got older (not including Finn's bladder stones...but they would have been pre-existing). Jess The First had the first cancer: prognosis 6-9 months without treatment, 9-12 with (somewhere in that vicinity). The chemo was not cheap, around $4k. When I asked the oncology vet what were the negatives to treating her, she said "Honestly? Just the cost. Dogs tolerate this incredibly well." She was right: Jess never had a single moment of upset from the chemo, and she had another 18 months of a good life. The eve of taking her in for that dread appointment, the vet (who hadn't been informed that we had just scheduled the Jess visit) called to tell us that Finn had melanoma. He was 14, and we had a long talk with the same oncology vet about whether to vaccinate him or not at his age - not because it would hurt him at all, but because of the risk of it recurring at his age and the cost. Six months later, we were faced with a similar decision: do an MRI to determine whether he had a brain tumor that we could treat non-surgically, risk treating him as if he had the tumor (which for a forgotten reason wasn't advisable for his health), or just let him go. Vet science has come a long way, which is great. But, it also means that people face the decision to either treat or not treat often based on the cost. Like Terry, we self-insured so we were able to make what we felt were the right decisions - give our companions every chance when it didn't cause pain/endanger them/lead to a poor quality of life. This was not cheap.

So, when we got Deaghlan last year, we bought our first insurance policy. It is around $30/month. My most fervent hope is that we consider it a waste of money in fifteen years - but our thinking was that it only takes one expensive treatment to recoup costs. We had a good friend who got a call on vacation from his friend who was pet sitting: he had let the dog off leash, and he was hit by a car. Fortunately, the dog survived but at the time (over 10 years ago), it was $7k in bills. I hope that the insurance is a talisman to keep that kind of experience away.

When we fostered Jess The Second last summer, we spoke with Dianne and bought her a policy for $46/month (we are in a high cost area, normally it is around $38-40).

At the time, Jess was eight and we bought a policy that could be transferred to a new owner (HealthyPaws). Unfortunately, like all policies it didn't cover her bill for dental surgery later that month. Five days after surgery, she woke up subdued and didn't eat breakfast. We rushed her to her vet, who didn't see any signs of dental infection, but kept her for IV fluids and more tests. A few hours later, he called me and said she needed to go to the specialty vet practice. Normally he has couched it as "I think it would" or "She/he would probably" but this time he wanted me to get her there ASAP.

Similarly, the specialty vet practice has always given us options. Once, Finn quickly developed horrible diarrhea to the extent that he was essentially hemorrhaging blood. We thought he was dying, and they offered us the option of taking him home for treatment, but said "he'll be more comfortable and recover more quickly if you hospitalize him." Ten hours later, he came prancing home. With Jess, they said she had to be hospitalized, and they had to run more tests. The only option was for me to refuse testing, and just keep her on IV antibiotics but they warned that was not something they would recommend. I've deliberately blanked out the details, but the poor girl circled the drain for two days. In the end, it appeared that it was a virus. Perhaps she was more vulnerable because of the surgery, but could have been completely unconnected. The insurance, in effect for less than a month, covered $1,200 and 75% of the follow up tests.

Because Jess was older, the insurance is a guaranteed $552 in premiums, and there is a $500 annual deductible. But, the hospitalization for the virus could have grown much higher very quickly. So, is it an easy decision to pay the premiums? Not if you are willing to self-insure - but if you do, it's worth really considering the limits of your self-insurance ($5k? $10k? Higher?). I never want to have to make a health care decision based on costs. Also, a transferrable policy provides peace of mind that your dog (including any conditions he/she develops) will be cared for should something happen to you.

Regina, Arlington, VA


February 2014

Context:

One of this month's questions asked "How many Kerries are there in your household?". Several people have lived with more than one Kerry and this month's "best of KBL" is a post from Terry Coyner about how she handled life with multiple Kerries.

Post:

From: Terry Nooyen-Coyner
Date: February 26, 2014
Subject: Multiple Kerries

Rourke, the Kerry with us now, never wanted siblings. He has never been very interested in other dogs. So for the past 14 years we have only had one dog. First time in my life to have only one dog. When R is no longer with us, I will be looking for 2 Kerries.

I have never tackled more than 4. One thing my Dad taught us is that you don't have more animals than you can take good care of. The points of being company for one another and helping each other to learn are on my list too. I really don't like the idea of leaving a dog alone when I can't be there. I do keep them separated in exercise pens when I am not with them. X-pens rather than crates so they can have more sight and safe physical contact. I do not support leaving Kerries alone with other dogs. You never know when something might trigger aggressive behavior. I like working with the different personalities - keeps life interesting. I would much rather provide my dogs with canine companionship than rely on interactions with dogs I don't know. I can help mold the relationship between dogs that live with me. Kerries have so much energy. Having a canine companion who can physically keep up - since I can't - is a real bonus.

The relationship between humans and dogs is more like parent/child. They get to experience a different type of relationship with other dogs. Broadens their world. They don't have all their emotional lives invested in humans.

I didn't find taking care of 4 Kerries much more difficult than taking care of 2. I do my own grooming and training. So there is definitely more time invested there. I make their food. The only difference there is volume made. Obviously more invested in medical care. But if you plan ahead, it is manageable. I save between $200 and $400 per month (depending
on number of dogs) for vet bills. So far, that has kept me covered for most vet expenses.

The structure you provide for the Kerries is critical. I never leave Kerries together without human supervision. Chew toys are given in conjunction with a down and stay. The dogs are not allowed up until all are finished with the toys.

Same for meals. Sit and stays in separate corners of the kitchen. Food given. Sit and stays back in force after each dog is finished until all are finished and dishes picked up. You never know when an aggression triggering event will happen. Having multiple

Kerries definitely requires more effort and more thinking ahead to avoid negative situations. But I have found it definitely doable and definitely worth it.

I love big piles of puppies in the middle of the bed.

Terry Nooyen-Coyner Olympia WA USA


January 2014

Context:

This month Rita Lockwood tells us about her Jamie's amazing behaviour changes associated with her diabetes diagnosis. His ability to recognize the problem and adapt his behaviour to help her and communicate with her is truly inspiring.

 

Post:

From: Rita Lockwood
Date: January 16, 2014
Subject: Jamie and Rita

I was recently diagnosed with Diabetes. After 40+ yrs with hypoglycemia, maybe I shouldn't have been surprised; but I was & it threw me for a loop. Not so much that I thought I couldn't cope with it, but there is so much stress in my life I didn't want to have to deal anything else.

And of course, there's Jamie, with his own health issues... & his little quirks... When he barks at me, I ask what he wants & get up to follow him. Starting a month or so back, he would go to the kitchen & get a - little - drink of water while I watched. He usually drinks quite a bit at a time - maybe a third to half a bowl, so what's with the little drink with me watching? I mean - He's spoiled; but I've never thought of him as really needing me to watch while he drinks.

Anyway - after his little drink maybe he wants outside or a treat, it's not always clear. I mentioned his new quirk to my eldest son, Andrew, who suggested that maybe Jamie was trying to get me to drink. I can't say that I laughed at him; but ...

That behavior continued, so I decided to get a drink every time it happened. As soon as I poured myself a glass of water, Jamie quit drinking. Days when I purposed to drink lots of liquids, Jamie didn't exhibit that behavior. This is not the results of a clinical study; but I know that my body has been eliminating more liquids recently, & I believe that Jamie must sense a difference in my body that is "fixed" by additional liquids. I have always checked his water when I go for a drink, & refilled it if needed. If I'm hungry I always offer him something to eat, so I think him asking me to go with him for a drink was his way of trying to get me to drink.

Rita Lockwood & Jamie Oregon USA

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