Anker’s Country Girl “Teffa”

At one time, the oldest Kerry alive in the US.

Anker’s Country Girl “Teffa”, 
born 26- Oct-92, died 18-Jul-08

Owned by Kathy Van Stone and Robert Smith

Home Environment

We do not know how Teffa lived during her first three years. She was a breeder return that we adopted in 1996. Kathy drove to Buffalo, NY and met the breeder who drove down from Toronto. From 1996 to 1999 Teffa lived with Robert, Kathy and Brenin (a welsh terrier) in a two-bedroom apartment. The apartment was near a small forest where we walked the dogs; also near a large park (South Park, Allegheny County).

Kathy worked at home until 1998 and after that the two dogs entertained themselves during the day.

In 1999 we moved to a house with a fenced-in yard. Brenin passed away in early 2002 (at the age of 16 years and 9 months). Teffa was an only dog until 2004 when we adopted Lucky (a miniature schnauzer) from rescue. Our house is a split-level (lots of stairs) and the yard is hilly (plenty of room for exercise).


Teffa’s main diet during her younger years was Nutro / BilJac Kibble. She was also a notorious “food thief”, having managed to learn how to open the refrigerator in our apartment. So her diet included people food as well. For the last 8 months (or so) of her life, Teffa was on a prescription diet (ID) with rice and the Science Diet Oral Care nuggets.


When we lived in the apartment Teffa got regular walks, morning and afternoon, sometimes around the apartment complex and other times in the woods. Teffa also participated for a short time in agility (until she started losing her hearing and thus ‘retired’). Once we moved to our house walks became less frequent but the back yard is hilly and provided for some exercise, especially when Teffa ran to chase the squirrels or defend us from thunder! When we did go for walks it was around our neighborhood, which has lots of hills.


Teffa loved to hang out with her “humans”, whether on the couch or napping on a rug nearby. She was always happy to see new friends and would run to greet them when they came by for a visit. 


Teffa came to has already “debarked” and had stomach problems on-and-off. Physically, she continued to be active until fourteen or so, when she slowed down quite a bit. Teffa is a small Kerry, about 17 1/2” at the shoulders and weighed around 30 – 32 pounds most of her life (her weight when we got her was 36 pounds). She routinely developed cysts and assorted lumps and warts, the larger of which were removed (usually during a teeth cleaning – she also had bad teeth). Teffa was diagnosed with cancer (lump in the lung) at just over 15 years of age, but without obvious symptoms. After the diagnosis we struggled to keep Teffa’s weight up but she settled down in the 22 pound range.


Teffa was extremely easy to get along with, exuberant and gentle at the same time. She got along well with the boy dogs but occasionally had “words” with dogs of the same gender, getting into a fight once. She also wasn’t sure if smaller breeds are dogs or prey and thus watched them intently.

Teffa was also the least human aggressive dog we have ever owned. She didn’t play with Lucky. During her younger years she preferred toys with food and did not have much interest in balls or squeaky toys.

To the Rainbow Bridge

Teffa passed away on July 18th, 2008 at the age of 15 years, 8 months and 22 days, having spent 18 days as the oldest Kerry Blue Terrier in the world. Kathy was at home when Teffa collapsed, possibly from a seizure, and was there till the end.

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