Text and photos by Janet Joers
Hosted by Peggy & Gary Turner at their lovely home in Massachusetts, with its huge patio and extensive gardens, a picnic was held in honor of the Foundation Rescue Kerries in the Northeast, and the families, friends, and volunteers who love them. It was the perfect place for 20 people and 18 Kerries to meet and greet, feast and chat, and get to know one another. What a great time we had!
Planned by Peggy Turner, Tracey Fulmer, and Mimi Wight, the Kerry gathering included Kerries from all of the recent big rescues: the Christmas Miracle, the Great Ohio Rescue, Shelbina Express, April Surprise, and Rocky Comfort. Adopters and foster families came from as far away as Pittsburgh (Holly Monahan and son Sean), Philadelphia (Agatha Hughes), and Buffalo, NY (Kathleen & Ronald MacFarlane). Local members of the greater Kerry community attended with their dogs, as well as prospective future volunteers and adopters. What was once a far-flung group of Kerry owners who didn't know each other are now a connected Kerry family!
The group picture below epitomizes the end result of all the work and effort that goes into every Rescue. The lives of everyone pictured have been changed in some way by the work we do. The adopters now have Kerries who will be their companions for the next decade and beyond. The relationship the foster families and volunteers had to the dogs in their care did not end when the dogs were placed--it lives on through their friendship with the new owners. The lives of everyone pictured here were touched by a Kerry who would have no life at all but for them. All these connections weave a marvelous tapestry of friendship and support that will last for many years to come.
On a personal level, it was an honor and a privilege to be face-to-face with the people who make Rescue possible. There is no greater joy for me than to see our Rescue Kerries so well loved and cared for, in good health, with beautiful coats, and sparkling eyes! For me, it was an unforgettable experience, and one that I will cherish always.
Back row standing: Peggy Turner with Ren, Ronald & Kathleen MacFarlane with Maggie (Rocky Comfort Rescue), Tracey Fulmer with Isobel (Shelbina Express Rescue), Gary Turner with Mulligan, Agatha Hughes holding Lily with Ricky on the lead, John Van den Bergh, Nancy & Michael Feehly with Cloie (Great Ohio Rescue), Michael & Kathleen Connelly with Petey, Janet Joers, Holly Monahan holding Guinness (2004 Rescue puppy).
Front row kneeling: Warren & Jean Burdick with Higgins (2005 Rescue puppy) and Zoe (April Surprise Rescue), Nelson & Mimi Wight with Connor (April Surprise Rescue) and Bailey (Tracey Fulmer's competition agility Kerry), grandson Mike and grandmom Sally Symmes holding Seamus (Christmas Miracle Rescue) and Molly, and Patty Sontag with Duffy (her competition obedience Kerry).
Also attending but not in the photo: Sean Monahan, David Symmes, Bill & Billy Sontag, and Peggy & Gary Turner's other two Kerries: D'Annie and Tank.
Tracey Fulmer was kind enough to bring her agility equipment for the pleasure of the picnic Kerries and their owners. She demonstrated the equipment with her Kerry Bailey, a born showman. Tracey's Isobel, from the Shelbina Express Rescue, also put on an impressive performance, flying through the weave poles and sailing over the jumps!
The smallest and the largest Kerry at the picnic face off! Owner Ronald MacFarlane handles Maggie, the smallest (at about 16 inches), and owner Holly Monahan handles Guinness, the largest (at about 22 inches). (right)
Little Maggie, owned and loved by Kathleen & Ronald MacFarlane, came to the picnic sporting a red scarf beautifully lettered with the words: "I survived Rocky Comfort." This little Kerry girl charmed everyone! (left)
Sweet Zoe from the April Surprise, now owned and loved by Jean & Warren Burdick, had a surprise of her own at the Kerry picnic.
She got to see her foster mom again, Agatha Hughes! (right)
Patty Sontag demonstrates with Duffy how to get your Kerry's attention.
(It's magic, of course!) (left)
Gary & Peggy Turner with 2 of their 4 Kerries--Mulligan (2004 Rescue puppy) and Ren. Gary & Peggy hosted the picnic at their lovely home in MA. They were also foster parents to 3 of the Kerries there--Mulligan (who they adopted), Guinness (adopted by Holly & Patrick Monahan), and Connor (adopted by Mimi & Nelson Wight). (above)
Holly Monahan and son Sean with Guinness, who was rescued 2 years ago from a puppy mill. The Monahans also own Annie from the Shelbina Express Rescue. (left)
Agatha Hughes with Ricky & Lily. Agatha has been foster mom to two Rescue Kerries--Somi (2005) and Zoe (April Surprise Rescue). (right)
Nelson & Mimi Wight with Connor, their puppy from the April Surprise Rescue. (above)
Sally & Dave Symmes with Molly and their and grandson Mike with their Rescue puppy Seamus (Christmas Miracle). (left)
Tracey Fulmer, Rescue Coordinator for the East Coast, with her Kerries Isobel (Shelbina Express Rescue) and Bailey--both trained in agility. (right)
Michael & Kathleen Connelly with Petey. (left)
Ronald & Kathleen MacFarlane with Maggie from the Rocky Comfort Rescue. (right)
Jean & Warren Burdick with Zoe (April Surprise Rescue) and Higgins (2005 Rescue puppy). (above)
Son Billy, and Patty & Bill Sontag with Duffy, their competition obedience Kerry. (left)
Nancy & Mike Feehly with Cloie (formerly "Sheila") from the Great Ohio Rescue. (right)
Pictures blow provided by
Michael & Kathleen Connelly.
Three Foundation Board members:
John Van den Bergh, Tracey Fulmer and Janet Joers
Can you find all six Kerries?
Gary Turner--host & chef
Janet Joers documenting the well-behaved dogs and people.