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Kerry Anecdotes


A collection of snapshots of life with a Kerry Blue Terrier. Please send your anecdote to John ( or to the Kerrry Newslist.

Guard Dog Reputation Ruined

by Sharon Arkoff

When we are home, Bits is a ferocious-sounding protector. The doorbell rings or there is a knock on the door, and she goes from nap to nuclear in a fraction of a second (often barking ferociously in the wrong direction for few seconds until she wakes up enough to re-orient herself toward the door. Watching a half-asleep dog try to take hardwood floor corners at high speeds is pretty funny too).

However, we had left Bits home holding down the couch while we went off to run an errand. A friend came by and, as we never lock the doors in our vacation place, came in to leave us a note. Bits has met this friend maybe two or three times -- not enough to know her well, and Bits had never met the other people that our friend was with.

When Joyce came into the house, apparently Bits

  • did not bark;
  • could not be bothered to get up off the couch, and
  • wagged her tail when approached with food and ate out of people's hands.

Our friend stayed for half an hour, during which time Bits probably showed where we keep the antique silver and explained how to open the safe.

I have never known a dog who can be as flashy-looking and "up" in arched-neck, etc. stance as Bits can be on those occasions when she remembers that she is a kerry blue, but also such a complete marshmallow on the inside.

Dog Story

Submitted by Kathie Adams


I was flying from San Francisco to Los Angeles. By the time we took off, there had been a 45-minute delay and everybody on board was ticked. Unexpectedly, we stopped in Sacramento on the way. The flight attendant explained that there would be another 45-minute delay, and if we wanted to get off the aircraft, we would reboard in 30 minutes.

Everybody got off the plane except one gentleman who was blind. I noticed him as I walked by and could tell he had flown before because his seeing eye dog lay quietly underneath the seats in front of him throughout the entire flight. I could also tell he had flown this very flight before because the pilot approached him and, calling him by name, said, "Keith, we're in Sacramento for almost an hour. Would you like to get off and stretch your legs?"

Keith replied, "No thanks, but maybe my dog would like to stretch his legs."

Picture this ... all the people in the gate area came to a completely quiet standstill when they looked up and saw the pilot walk off the plane with the Seeing Eye dog! The pilot was even wearing sunglasses.

People scattered. They not only tried to change planes, they also were trying to change airlines!

TSA Perils

Written by "Linda", and submitted by Barbara Kam Posted June 2, 2011

Our local airport took a dog. Must have been their first dog going to ride in cabin. I take the dog out of the case. The case goes through the machine. The dog will go back in. We walk through the "detector". We emerge from the detector and…

TSA girl then says… um, I need to look at the dog. (Their instructions must say to "look" at animals?

To which I replied, "You are."

She said, "Well, um…"

Since she paused, I said, "Wanna see in her mouth?"

TSA brightens back up… "Yes!" At least now she had something to do to fulfill the requirements of what she thought was her job…. Checking the dog.

I cued the dog to open its mouth and the TSA girl takes a flashlight and looks down her throat… yeah that was taught for husbandry concerns, but it was hilarious to use it for TSA… So, she's peering and really looking hard. I'm wondering if she'd ever actually looked down a dog's throat before with a flashlight. I also kept thinking "keep a straight face… keep a straight face" and the other civilians in line blew it. They started laughing.

Other TSA folks tried not to chuckle. But they were sounding like they might explode at any moment.

I miraculously kept a straight face… "She look ok?" I so wanted to ask, or did you hear any ticking? See any detonators down there? Glowing lights? But I didn't.

The TSA gal had turned red in the face due to the laughter and turned off her flashlight and straightened up. "Yes, go right ahead…".

The dog was not a Kerry Blue, but a slick haired Chihuahua. I mean WHERE but inside is this dog going to .. well, you know.. hide contraband? It's a naked little thing about the size a large rat.

I've never had any TSA look down the dog's throat before… I was actually beginning to wonder if she wanted to see the other end as well, until everyone started laughing and she got all embarrassed. I know, we do NOT joke around with TSA. So, I don't. But oh how I wish I could.

Pink is for girls

by Michelle Dyck
Posted May 23, 2011

I bought Murphy a leash and collar with the pink ribbons as a breast cancer fundraiser. A few months later I was in the park and some kid asked me about Murphy, his name and age and stuff. He asked if Murphy was a girl, I said he is a boy. The kid was confused and asked why he had a pink collar. Before I could stop myself I said "because he is comfortable with his sexuality". The poor kid looked confused and the adult that happened to be walking by started laughing.

Murphy did not seem to notice.

Chase, my service dog

by Lynn Mathers
Posted March 7, 2011

Chase, as my service dog was being a great ambassador to the Kerry Breed as he pulled my wheelchair through the Denver International Airport and people kept coming up and asking me about the breed. For those that knew the breed, they couldn't believer a Kerry could 1) be a service dog and 2) assist me in pulling my chair and 3) behave so quietly on the airplane that no one knew he was there until we got to Seattle. People walked by him and were like "WOW" I didn't know we had a dog on board! So it really goes to show us that Kerries truly are a versitle breed.

I Sing you a Song

by Danielle Monroy
Posted February 25, 2010

My daughter has informed me that I'm not going to a very nice place in the afterlife because of the song I've been known to sing to my Jimmy! "My DOG is an awesome dog, he reigns for e-e-ver, with wisdom power and love, my dog is an awesome dog!" (Traditionally we sing it "My GOD is an awesome God", but I think as long as I don't sing the Jimmy version in church by accident, God understands!

And I also sing You are my sunshine to him.

Dogs & Cell Phones

by Rita Lockwood
Posted Mach 6, 2008

I carry a cell phone, but there are so many competing noises I sometimes don't hear the ringer, so I keep it on vibrate. Last night I was in my comfy chair reading, Jamie across my lap, when I received a call. Jamie soft underbelly was on the pocket that was holding my phone. He can move fairly fast, but I think he set a new record.

It's been a long time since I laughed like that. He didn't even come back into the living room last night. That was about 6 PM. [A day later] he still hasn't gotten back on my lap.

Faith in Humanity

by Shelly Smallwood
Posted October 8, 2008

When my daughter was home this summer, she had taken lots of pictures. A month ago she lost her camera, a $1000+ value. A man called me today asking if I had lost my camera. He described some of the pictures on the camera. He told me that he got my phone number off of the picture of our Kerry's dog tag. He enlarged the photo and it was clear enough to see. I passed the phone number onto my daughter. She called the guy and is on her way to get her camera back. See you never know what a good pet tag will return to you!

Oh yeah, she lives in LA, I live on the Oregon Coast. The camera was found by a guy in Hollywood. It is so great to be reminded that there are still great people out there!

Kerry Story for a Golfer

by Daneill Carlton
Posted August 11, 2008

My beloved Kerry, Cameron, is named after the Scotty Cameron putter. I try to get out and golf as much as I can, but if the day is right, she accompanies me for a female-to-female round as of late. Cammie sits on the tee box and waits for you to hit. The funniest thing I've gotten her to do, is watch golf on tv. Her being of Irish heritage, I would always have her root for Padraig Harrington, the back-to-back Open champion in England, and now back-to-back major winner (The Open Ch and PGA Ch as of today). While watching golf, if I see him on the tee or talking, I yell, "Cammie, it's Padraig!" Normally she looks and wags her tail, but today was different.

Paddy was warming up on the PGA Championship "mix channel" I have here on satellite. He was on the driving range and it was showing his routine with driver. Once again, I said, "Cammie! It's Padraig!" She started jumping around doing the typical Kerry jump and twirl twirl twirl, got the exitedness out of her system, then sat and watched caustiously every balls he hit on the range. She followed his whole swing and watched the ball right off the tee, sitting with such regal etiquette. Her head even would follow from upswing to impact and beyond... she couldn't even keep still, but stayed sitting properly. Congrats to Padraig Harrington and Ireland! All you Kerry lovers should try and find a way to take your Kerries golfing-- it is a sight to behold! Plus, some golfers like me need all the luck of the Irish we can get!

Beggars CAN be Choosers

by Daneill Carlton, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

I have a 1 1/2 year old Kerry named Cameron. Her mannerisms bring more laughter to my life every day. After meals, if she's been well-behaved, she gets leftovers in the food dish. However, one day, I was enjoying my lunch while doing some research. She got impatient and jumped up right in my face about to charge the dish. Cameron looks at me with those glimmering Irish eyes and let out a huge sigh. So I took the leftover noodles and mixed them up with her crunchy bites in her food dish.

Fifteen minutes later, I keep hearing the sound of things hitting the floor in the kitchen, then silence. I walk out and discover she had picked out an entire bowl full of dog food, leaving only the noodles she was eating! I left her alone, to clean up later. She comes prancing back out to my room, with three noodles trapped in her beard, hanging like tinsel, and tops it off with a belch. Never a dull moment with my fiery Irish lass!

Kasey the Konsiderate Kanine

by Michael Cunningham

It's been a while since I submitted anything to the list, so I thought I'd drop a line to let you know that Kasey and I are both still alive and kicking.

He's still my close companion and follows me everywhere.

Those of you who subscribe to the pack mentality theory when relating to your dogs will understand when I say that Kasey views me as his pack leader and reluctantly accepts a subservient status to my wife and daughter. For example, if my wife calls him to follow her, he will look first at me for confirmation before he will obey. It is only after I say, "go on" that he rises to follow my wife.

There is one interesting variation on this relationship and it is one that I do not discourage.

At night, Kasey, after demanding and receiving a good scratch around the ears and a quick neck massage, settles down happily to sleep on the floor at my side of the lovely heated queen sized bed that I share with my wife.

It is currently winter in Adelaide, Australia and the mornings can be quite chilly, so rising early from a nice warm bed to let Kasey out into the garden for his toilet needs is not a pleasant chore.

Luckily, Kasey seems to understand that I should not be disturbed, so every morning he rises, stretches, then walks around to my wife's side of the bed and putting his face close to hers, delivers a low, "woof". If she pretends to be asleep (as she frequently does) and ignores him, he simply persists with the "woofs" until she has no alternative but to rise and take him out to the garden.

She complains bitterly and once asked me why he does this. All I could think of to say was, "because he knows I'm his master and he thinks you're his servant". She was not amused.

Best wishes,

Flight Delay

by Joanna Nevesny

Many years ago, I was traveling from SF to Seattle for Christmas with friends. Storms forced diversion to Boise, ID. We were to be there for an unknown amount of time. As we debarked, I spoke to the pilot, reminding him there was a dog on board and he replied that he'd take care of that. He took me down to the plane's side, having procured an opening key, opened the door flap and there was Rory in her crate right there, looking expectant. I reached up to unlock the crate door ( I must have stood on something), had her jump down into our arms and the Captain and I walked her all over the tarmac.

Then he got two ground crew to unload her crate and set it up in the elbow of the passenger ramp, and because I had to go around to the airport entrance to get back in (regulations forbid me from entering there internally) and they wouldn't have let Rory in uncrated, he took her from me, brought her to her crate and waited until I got there (they also set up a chair for me). She and I had a fine time greeting passengers to-ing and fro-ing. After 3 hours or so we got the word to board and the ground guys came and got her, now back in her crate and settled her back in her spot in the hold.

I don't think anyone has to guess that that pilot was a dog person. What a memorable way to spend an indefinite diversion.

Joanna Nevesny


As you like it

by Rita Lockwood

Our first Kerry, Cosby, had only been with us a few weeks when he learned to drink coffee - black, lukewarm.

We were all outside playing when I sat my lukewarm coffee in the grass. The inquisitive puppy came running up, stuck his nose in it, and then tried it. My thought is that he had noticed me drinking it, (usually from the same cup) was thirsty and a bit tired, the coffee quenched his thirst, and gave him a little lift. What ever the reason, any black lukewarm coffee on ground or floor level was fair game. I don't think he ever passed it up. Because pups need to have rules, and his drinking water was ground level, we never chastised him for eating or drinking from a container we sat at ground level.

He also loved tea, slightly sweetened, iced or lukewarm, Dr Pepper, Coke, or Pepsi, but not Root Beer.

We did warn visitors, but his habits surprised a few people who unexpectedly found themselves sharing their cold drink with Cosby. I was always happy to replace the drink, teenagers thought it was funny, and didn't get upset. The adults who were offended learned to pay attention next time.

Sometimes Cos didn't care if they were upset or not, he just wanted a drink. However, once or twice I thought he was deliberately teasing someone by putting his nose in their drink. You know how it is... when your Kerry sticks his nose in the glass and rattles the ice cubes, that probably wasn't just because he was thirsty.

A Drinking Problem

by Jean Birkland

Water is her natural choice but, I made the mistake once (while out on our boat and she was still pretty young and inquisitive about everything new) and gave her a small taste of Baileys cream liqueur. I did it to discourage her as she turns her nose up at wine, I thought it would illicit the same reaction.

Oops, ever since that one time, whenever she smells some Baileys she is persistent about getting a taste. She loves it! Closes her eyes as if savoring the taste.

A Stroll Through the Neighborhood

by Katherine Long

After my previous Kerry died, I learned from an elderly neighbor couple that
she had been in the habit of accompanying them on their daily evening walk.
She would join them at the end of the driveway as they passed by, follow
them through the neighborhood, and then turn off at her own house on the
return trip. We never even knew she was gone!

Mexican Workers

by Katherine Long

My current Kerry cannot get the chickens down the road out of her mind. We
have a fenced yard, but about once a year she manages to get loose and heads
straight for those birds.

Now we recently hired a contractor to do some work on our house, and he sent
over a couple of young Mexican workers to do the painting. They let the
Kerry out, and this time she was picked up by the animal control officer. I
was working at my desk when suddenly in my driveway appeared a big white van
and a uniformed officer with no sense of humor at all, who made me produce
all sorts of documentation in order to get my dog back. Shortly afterwards
my Mexican painters disappeared. I called the contractor and said, "Tell
them the man was not from immigration!" But no one ever saw them again, and
now we are scrambling to hire new painters.

The Invader

by Sharon Burnett

Yesterday evening I was busy at my PC as normal doing some last minute edits on a presentation I was making at work today. The whole dog gang had settled in around me - Rio on the sofa, Renny complete with her entire collection of 7 chew sticks on the family room rug, Rascal on the hassock where she could occasionally get eye contact from me, and Rocket on the floor below my stool legs nicely entwined through the stools legs in such a way that I'm sure I will kill myself if I have to get up for any reason. Just a nice, quiet time close to twilight.

And then chaos.

Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of something grey-brown darting down the hall. Apparently Renny saw it too since whatever it was had been making a bee-line in her direction. Renny paused to gather up her collection (she'll pack her "stuff" wherever she goes), so she lost track of our visitor. But I saw it and I was on it in a flash.

Thinking it was a mouse (oh right - one of the dumbest mice ever), I was on the trail. Our visitor had gone in the dog room and I thought it was under the bookcase. But this was no mouse as I quickly discovered. Great - this was the creature that scares me the most...A REALLLLLLLY LARGE SPIDER!!!!!! ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll face snakes, lizards, rodents of any kind - but a spider. Oh shades of Hades. Why me?

So I turned to my canine colleagues and told them ok guys, I need backup. We're on a big hunt. Lets get armed. Of course my weapon of choice when faced with whacking an intruder is a natural - the Broom! Yes, a perfect weapon and all my dog team members know what this means...its war!

As everyone gets into position, I prepare our battleground by moving the dog beds, chairs, lamp, grooming table, and the adjacent shelf unit I keep all my grooming stuff on. I notice that Rascal is at the forefront with Rio the Redd Raider standing ready to back her up. Renny is still trying to collect her stuff and Rocket is guarding the hall just in case another spider shows up. Ok, we're ready.

I move the bookcase and this poor spider is flat against the wall. She knows we're on to her. For one minute I thought about going to get my gloves and a coffee can with the idea of a live rescue. But I can't do it. Rascal is right there to help and we whacked the spider. Rio stood her ground as well. Rocket provided all the sound effects and Renny dropped all her chewies and had to start over.

I picked it up in a tissue and we bowed our heads and gave it a burial at sea (flushed it down the toilet).
All were heartily congratulated for staying with me and protecting me. Big adventure. Hope we don't have to do it again!
All the best!

Sharron Burnett
Rascal ("My mom is such a wimp")
Rocket ("I guarded the rear")
Rio the Redd Raider ("I would have eaten it")
Renny the Gator ("That spider was coming for my stuff I just know it")
Seattle WA

Puppies Forever

by N'anne Smith

Thought you would all love this story from this morning. Quiet house and I am quilting. I know that two kbt kids went out the doggie door, nothing for too long, too quiet-so I look out! There in our backyard are two Kerries with two rolls of toilet paper. The back yard has been successfully toilet papered from side to side end to end, and two kerries looking at me smiling. they had had the best of times!

Now these kerries are the best of angels and are too smart for their own good. Both had gotten the toilet paper out of the small trash can I keep by the toilet-ran thru the doggie door and had a ball-some of the paper was in extremely long rolls. Addy J, just turned three June the 29th and Briggs was nine on May 11th. So from experience, I can say most kbt kids never really leave puppy-hood behind them-they conceal it under that adult persona and when we are not looking they let the puppy out of the bag!

Hope you all get a tickle and just love your babies for all they are worth! Course I wanted to choke the two of them! While I was cleaning up the yard, they were both sitting very nicely side by side on the patio! Looking so sweet and precious too!

N'anne, Addy J. and Briggs
Roswell New Mexico

Suss Selects his Home

by Joanna Leighton-Nevesny

This story was told to me years ago by Kay Guiney of the KBTC of Northern California.

She had an older finished and retired male, Shamus, called "Suss". Suss considered himself the great poo-bah of his harem of two or three females. Kay was planning on campaigning a young male - probably his - of one of them.

As the young male began to mature, Suss became increasingly distraught with another male presence even though she had them quite a ways apart - big spread out house. She decided, for his comfort and peace of mind, to place Suss and heard about an older couple who had recently lost their older Kerry.

Arrangements were made to meet and as the couple arrived and Kay escorted them to the pool/patio area she noticed that the husband was carrying a tennis ball. "Oh-oh" she said she thought, "because Suss doesn't chase balls" and thought they wouldn't hit it off.

When she brought Suss out, the man tossed the ball, Suss immediately and with much enthusiasm ran after it, brought it to him, dropped it, tail wagging, happily looking up at him. This happened repeatedly while
they talked. To say they bonded is to state the obvious. Finally, they went off with Suss. As Kay said, "that dog didn't even look back!"

A few months later, the couple called her to tell her how much they loved Suss, what a great dog he was,
etc. etc., "... but it's the oddest thing - he won't chase balls!"

That dog knew what his 'ticket to ride' entailed, and, "By God, if that's what it takes to get me out of
here, that's what I'll do" or the equivalent in canine grasp of the situation. How he knew, who knows, but a
dog's gotta do what a dog's gotta do. When it's in their interest, dogs (well, certainly smart dogs like terriers, maybe even the half-wits, too) can do some pretty amazing problem solving. And Suss lived out his years once more the great poo-bah (even though harem-less).

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Question of the Week

Previous Questions of the Week Ideas

Today is October 25, 2016

In this month in 1996:

The KBT makes it on the US TV quiz show Jeopardy: "One story of the Kerry Blue Terrier is that it originated from a dog who swam ashore from a shipwreck in 1588 off the coast of Ireland. True of False?" Surprisingly, the contestants knew the answer.

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