From: Diane Collins
Subject: [KBL] Rescue Rant (long)
Date: March 24, 2009 6:39:06 PM PDT
I just pulled a Kerry out of a shelter here in Atlanta. He is the second intact male that we have gotten from the same shelter in less than a year.
The first, Finnegan, resides with me and now owns our house along with my other male Kerry, Magee. Both shelter dogs were identified on Petfinders
as Kerrys, tho’ Finnegan was listed as full Kerry and this latest guy, let’s call him Guinness, was posted as a Kerry Blue Terrier Mix. We got to the
shelter the first day each dog came up on Petfinder. The shelter had to close the phone lines when Finnegan showed up because there was a string of
callers who wanted him. Guinness was picked up on the 13th and put up on Petfinders yesterday. In the 11 days that he was there, not one person other
than myself called about him. It was just as well I suppose, if anyone had taken a look at him they would have run as fast as they could out the shelter
Guinness was the typical shaggy dog in the Petfinder picture. When I went to id him yesterday, he had been “groomed”. When I first looked at him in his
cage, I thought that he looked to be black and tan and that he was indeed a “mix”. When I got him outside in the light, I thought he had mange then
decided that it looked like the clipper blades had taken his coat down to the skin in areas that were “angled”…..you can read that as ribs, hip bones,
neck, parts of legs, etc. He was a Kerry alright, his tail had been docked and his ears set as a pup. He had that Kerry spark. Thank God for that.
It is probably the only reason he is alive.
Guinness was neutered this morning and an unsuspected hernia was repaired. His Irish luck held as he tested
negative for heart worms. He did test positive for hookworms. The initial skin scraping was negative.
Let me tell you what I saw when I was riding in the back seat with him on the long ride from the shelter in the Atlanta rush hour traffic. The scrap of
life next to me was shaking and his tail was down.
in large chunks. He appeared to have puncture wounds from a fight in one of his legs and on his shoulder. His eyes had started leaking yellow pus and
it was crusting under his eyes even though they had been flushed and treated with ointment earlier. His ears were inflamed. He was groaning from the
neutering and the staples and stitches put in his side from the hernia repair. He tried desperately to stay upright but he finally had to lay down.
He fought to keep his eyes open but he lost that battle too. I looked at that tired, frightened, sore, stitched up bag of bones with scraps
of hair here and there and with pus running out of his eyes and I was too outraged to cry. I am still so shaken and stunned that I don’t know how to
feel or who to shoot first.
He is at my vets now. He is getting fluids, pain meds, blood and fecal tests and skin scrapes…..as if he has not been through enough. He will be given
another dose of worm meds, oral antibiotics, salve for his sores and drops for his ears and eyes. I will talk to my vet tomorrow and assuming he is
cleared of any disease or parasites that could be passed on to my dogs I will bring him home and start the long slow process of bringing him back to
health. There are several of us that will travel this long road to recovery with him. It will be many months before he can be considered for placement
in the best damn home on this planet that can be found.
Guinness belonged to someone. He is not a mill dog. Someone correctly docked his tail and set his ears. Someone, at some time, must have loved him. He
has a sweet personality and a friendly wagging tail. He likes people and he likes it when someone talks to him. He will follow on a leash. If you make
friendly little smacking sounds or whistle he will wag his tail and come to you. At one point, I asked him if he could sit and he did. Perhaps he was
just too tired to keep standing or perhaps someone had cared enough to teach him.
How much does your Kerry weigh? Guinness is a standard height male Kerry and he weighs a tad over 23 pounds.
That 23 pounds includes some scraps of a coat, teeth, toenails, pads, bones, and a small amount of muscle. It does not include any fat on any part
of his body.
Don’t get me wrong. My dogs have gotten away from me. There have been several times I have run down the street in my slippers and pajamas waving my arms
and standing in the street so that the on coming traffic could see me if they did not see the dog that was having a particularly joyous (for him) romp
in a direction away from me. I have been lucky so far. They generally get tired or finally “hear” me and turn around, bounding back with a big smile
and a wagging tail. If there comes a day when they do get out and I lose sight of them, they are both microchiped and wear tags on their collars to
identify them. The first line on the tag is REWARD FOR RETURN and the following lines give their names and 2 phone numbers. I can only hope that the
tags and chips will get them back for me. If I could think of something else to do I would do that too.
I do not breed dogs so I cannot even begin to think I am any kind of an expert. I do think if I did I would
not release a dog without a chip. I do not even hold myself out as being the best of all possible owners but I would not own a dog that was not chipped
and did not wear a tag in addition to that chip. Since I have no intention of ever showing, I also would not own a dog that was not altered….particularly
Please say a couple of small prayers for us tonight. First, please pray that Guinness is resting with some comfort from the pain meds and that we will
not find more problems. Please also say a prayer that I never find out that his owner got rid of him or let him loose because he was too tired, too
old, too much trouble, too expensive, too sick or that his owner was too embarrassed to call his breeder, call a rescue group or take him to the shelter
himself while he was still in good shape and had a good chance for a quick and loving adoption. If I knew any of this, I would be beyond the sadness
and outrage that I feel right now.
From: Dianne Collins
Subject: [KBL] Rescue Rant Update (long..AGAIN!)
Date: March 25, 2009 6:09:34 PM PDT
After preliminary testing and observation, the vet has found nothing more than what we already knew or had reason to suspect (thanks for those prayers).
Guinness of Atlanta has eye infections, ear infections, skin problems, dehydration, malnutrition, hook worms, slightly elevated white blood count,
slightly elevated liver enzymes, dry eye and muscle atrophy. More tests are being run but so far, so good. He is one sick, lonely, in pain, sad puppy
but he is a trooper. Let’s hope the news will continue to be good.
I visited with him in isolation about an hour ago. I thought I had a comprehensive picture in my mind that reflected how he looked. Not so. This is the
most pitiful creature I have ever seen. He is very photogenic and the pictures that will be posted on the website will not begin to show the state
he is in. I imagine he is what death will look like when it comes to visit.
I had the great pleasure of giving him his first 2 Fatten Balls. He is in pain and slightly slow….I still have all of my fingers! I assured him that
he is well loved, has his own name, will be the most beautiful boy in the world and live to be a ripe old age in the happiest home ever. He did not
looked convinced, but I am.
Here comes the long part. I was not clear in my rant of yesterday when I used the word “we”. “We” are the Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation. I do not scan
a list of shelter animals with regularity. I am not the person who is the corner stone of the rescue arm. I do not solicit donations, disburse them
or decide what is warranted and what is not. I do not run the website. I am not a home that has fostered an abandoned, mutilated Kerry and then, looking
like the Mona Lisa, with a smile on one side and a tear on the other, sent that Kerry on to the best chosen forever home. I have not taken in a senior
or terminally ill dog with the surety of heartbreak. I have not kept a pregnant mill Kerry, helped birth the pups, nurtured them through the first
critical weeks and, when it was time, and with a sad but grateful heart, sent them on to other homes. I do not have a full time job or a house full
of children to raise as well as several dogs. I do not coordinate. I did not post the Fatten Ball recipe to the list. I do not look through piles of
applications and then try and determine where the “lost” should go, crossing my fingers and laying awake at night hoping the decision was the best
that could be made. I have not been to a puppy mill. I have not seen the horrors of a puppy mill auction. I have not mentored people with sick dogs,
frightened dogs, damaged dogs. I have not slept in a hotel room reeking with dogs that smelled so bad that I could not breathe. I have not had the
heartbreak of rescue dogs who could not be saved or died before I could get them. I have not lovingly bred dogs going for the best of the best and
then made thoughtful and loving decisions on who the owners would be. Dianne Ewing yesterday posted that “rescue works”. In her kindness to me she
made it sound simple and seamless. It is not.
Both Atlanta shelter dogs were found on the same day they were posted on Petfinder…..and not by me. That immediate questioning of “is that a Kerry?”
has given us the opportunity to get the dogs out as soon as the shelter would release them.
I found the Foundation on the website approximately two and a half years ago. That was about 6 months before the love of my life Kerry at the time died
of cancer. When I found you I found broad shoulders that stood next to mine when I faltered. I was given advice on treatment and medication. I got
quiet silence from people who knew exactly what I was feeling when I talked and my voice broke. When Danny died others cried with me. Dozens more wrote
to console me. When I took in Finnegan, I was given good advice on how to try and meld two Kerry Blue Terrier males into the same household. I was
given the assurance if it did not work, the Foundation would stand by and find another good home for him. I was cheered on when it appeared that it
On a small number of occasions, a rescue coordinator has called or emailed asking me to make a phone call or send an email, make a visit to a shelter or
take a dog to a vet. It has been my pleasure to do so. I am a drop of oil on a small cog in a very big wheel and I am grateful for any opportunity
to be able to help. I have gotten much more from Kerries and the Foundation than I can ever give back to either. And those of you who are reading this
are some of the finest people I have ever known.
Thanks for the kind words both by way of the list and also privately. Some have asked what they could do to help. Everything that can be done for Guinness
at this point is being done. Contact can be made to one of the rescue coordinators in your area. I don’t know 1% of what it takes to do what they do
but I do know that they always need help.
And I promise…..the next post will be much shorter!
From: Dianne Collins
To: Dianne Ewing
I will try and get as much down as I can about my long conversation with the vet.
He is in the hands of the vet that treats my dogs. The vet he saw last night was the vet available when
I brought him in. I thought I was just dropping him off for tests to be run today but Dianne and I both thought he need pain meds.
1. He is in worse condition than any dog she has ever seen. She said the vet that saw him last night called her after I left to let her know that
she had at least an hours work on him today and that she almost fell over when they brought him to her.
2. Her call is that he is a young adult dog and definitely not a senior. Her guess at this point was 3-5 and that if asked to narrow it more, she
would say 4.
3. He tested negative for Giardia but says she wants to send a sample out to test for as close to 100% as she can get looking for antibodies.
4. She said she was surprised but that he tested negative for demedectic mange (and she said she scraped every place she thought she might find it).
Said she did not think it was sarcoptic because he is not scratching and did not seem to be itchy. She said she would like to look for ringworms. Test
will take about 11 days but that she felt it would be ok here when I assured her that I would isolate him and he would have no contact with my boys
until all tests were back. There was yeast present on the skin.
5. He is still full of hookworms and hookworm eggs.
6. She said the hernia repair was not a great job. He has excess bulging skin in the area of the staples and sutures. It is not more of the hernia
but probably excess skin that was bunched up in the suturing. They are going to cold compress it and see how it goes. Said someone might consider removing
it in the future because if it stays the same it will be nicked every time he is groomed.
7. Said she thought the reason they went ahead with the neutering is because they probably found the hernia and with the intestines bulging through
they did not have much choice but to do surgery.
8. There is no ulceration of the eyes but that dry eye is present. She went through the list of Cushing’s (see liver enzymes below), etc. but also
said that it could be a result of dehydration and the inflammation that is present and that with proper medication, hydration and a decent diet it
may resolve itself. Says she has seen this happen before. Also said there is probably conjunctivitis but that since the eyes have been treated it is
not that easy to tell right now.
9. Said the blood was not bad. Elevated white count that was not surprising considering his condition and that he probably was fighting a bacterial
infection. Liver enzymes were slightly elevated but again could be the condition rather than other diseases and may clear up with proper diet. Other
organ functions looked ok but that she did want to look at his urine.
10. Ears show a yeast infection that will be treated. They did not pluck his ears at the shelter yesterday but she had the groomer there (who volunteered)
pluck them so that treatment would be more effective.
11. He, of course, has muscle atrophy.
12. Said that his chest sounded good and that she could not feel anything in examining him that felt unusual.
13. Said he is ravenous and eating well and does an almost constant tail wagging. I told her I could not express my admiration for the resilience
of the Kerry Blues.
14. They will keep him on Buprenex and will send me home with Tramadol but that she thought he needed something stronger for the time being. He will
be given more sq fluids. She was so impressed with Finn’s quick recovery, she asked me to bring some Fatten Balls and said they would start him on
them. Dick is out shopping now. I will mix them up when he gets home and will take them if I can get them made by the time they close tonight. If not,
I will get them there in the morning.
15. She wants to dispense more antibiotics and suggests that he be on them for 6 weeks. She said barring any other developments she thought that he
could be brought back here on Friday. We will see what shakes out. He is in good hands but he is still in a stressed environment with other animals
coming and going etc. We will weigh it when the time comes.
There may be more but that’s all I see in my notes. I was jotting down pretty fast. Will advise more if and when I get more info.
From: Diane Ewing
Date: March 29, 2009 7:02:37 PM PDT
Here’s a summary of the health condition on the Atlanta rescue. Tracey spotted him on Monday and I contacted Dianne Collins who went straight to the
He entered her vet’s on Tuesday afternoon at 23.6 Lbs, and left Friday afternoon at 28.3 Lbs after a few days of intensive care and SQ fluids. He’s doing
better but it’s going to be a long way back as he was nearly starved to death.
Rescue Coordinator, South Carolina
On May 15, Guinness moved to his permanent home in Dallas.
On this Thanksgiving eve, we are thankful for special blessings and want to say a heartfelt “thank you” to those who were involved in Guinness?s rescue
and survival from the tragic situation he was in last spring. Thank you to Tracey Fulmer whom we understand identified Guinness as a probable Kerry
and called Dianne Ewing. Thank you to Dianne Ewing for providing part of his foster care and for selecting us to be his forever home. Thank you to
Dianne Collins for rescuing him from the shelter, for seeing that he received the much needed medical care and love, for keeping all interested Kerry
fans updated on his condition, for fostering him, and for the special effort you made in getting him to the airport and on the plane.
In the six months since he joined our family, those who have met Guinness have consistently commented on what an affectionate, handsome, happy, intelligent,
and well-behaved dog he is. He is also healthy, well-adjusted, and a much loved member of our family. Our granddaughter (age 7) often lies down in
the floor so he can give her “kisses” and our grandson (age 9) laughs because “he acts like a puppy”. While he certainly has his boisterous, independent,
and strong-willed, “Kerry moments”, he is simultaneously gentle, loving, and absolutely perfect with my 97 and 991?2 year old parents who live with
us. After learning that he was not to jump in bed with “grandpa” he has been content to check on them several times a day , to sit down for “pets”
& back rubs, and to entertain them with his antics. Like our previous Kerry, he quickly learned to be careful when they are walking (with their
walkers). He enjoys going for rides, likes to chase and be chased in the back yard, expects his daily walks, and is friendly with all the neighborhood
dogs – a perfect companion!
We are so Kerry-Krazy about this little guy that it is a challenge to be succinct. Hopefully, however, this update and the following pictures will assure
everyone who read about Guinness?s rescue that he is well, thriving, and greatly loved!! We also hope it serves as a tribute to the great work of the
Foundation and its volunteers as well as to the wonderful Kerry spirit!!
Craig & Elaine
The first picture was taken a few hours after Guinness arrived “home”. He quickly located a favorite spot for viewing the neighborhood and “guarding” the
house. The additional pictures were taken within the past couple of weeks.