The Comical Life Living with Kerries
Here are just but a few examples of living with Kerries. I must say there are no two alike. Even in the same litter each have their own personalities.
My first Kerry Blue, “Action” was a natural guard dog that had the ability to run with other dogs, whether male or female. However he was one in a million. As I grew in the breed, I found out some males don’t like other males. Here’s a few of the things “Blue” did. How wonderful it was to have him.
On December 10, 1975, a cold freezing ice storm was going on in NYC, and I just came home from work at 6:10P.M. to see a hole in the window big enough to fit a dog through. I lived on the ground floor at the time. I walked into the house and thought he must have had some kind of fit. My neighbor across the way was waiting for me to get home. The minute the light was turned on she called. “Helen give your dog a bone,” were the first words out of her mouth. It seems that 30 minutes after I left for work, two guys tried to pry the window open to get in. Blue, who doesn’t let you know he’s there, went through the curtains, blinds, and the window. My neighbor, at the time, was calling 911, but she said Blue was faster. After she got herself together from laughing so much, she told me she never saw two big guys run so fast down the street. Blue’s new name was “JAWS TWO.” She said that’s all you saw were teeth. Needless to say no one in my building ever got robbed or even had an attempted robbery while we were there. The next year we packed up and moved to California.
Every year my son, Tom, Blue and I drove back to NYC in our ’76 Honda, to see my grandmother. On this particular trip, Blue was 8 and half years old. We stopped at this mineral house that sold rocks and different gems. It was a quarter mile off the freeway and lined with sand. Blue was left in the car. (We parked right by the front door and it was in April.) Blue started carrying on, and I thought he might have seen a rat or something, so I let him out to have fun. (He was killer for rodents.) Well, lo and behold, he shows up with a horse. . . a wild Mustang and drives it right the gate or the corral! I thought the horse belonged to the owner of the shop, so I asked him if he wanted me to put his horse in the corral. He came out scratching his head and looked at the horse and told me it was a wild mustang. I said well do you want him? He said no, so I called Blue and the horse took off. If it were not for front wheel drive going over sand dunes to catch up with him, Blue would still be trying to get the horse back into the corral. It was just awesome to watch him work, and he never had training in herding. Either they “got it” or they don’t. Those are my thoughts on it. The natural instinct that takes over is often far better than trained one. My personal observations are that not all dogs have it.
In 1981 someone must have left a bunny run around in my neighborhood. Blue found it next to the mailboxes. Needless to say, Tom wanted to keep the bunny and “Bullet,” as the bunny was named, and Blue became fast friends. Bullet lived over 5 years and watched TV with Blue on more than one occasion. At 9 PM it was time for the bunny to go to bed, so I would say, “OK” and Blue would escort the bunny to his little house.
Then there was the time I left four chicken legs and four separate thighs on the counter with Shake and Bake, so Tom would just have to put it in the oven. Well, I called home from college to ask him how it was going. He asked me, “What chicken?” I thought, “Oh, no.” Tom looked on the floor to see the empty plate and realized that Blue had eaten the entire thing raw. See he had the barf diet before anyone came up with it. When I came home, you could see the chicken legs sticking out through the sides of his ribs. He looked like he ate the WHOLE THING.
Now we move onto when Ch. Eidenbock’s Blue Thunder met Blue. “Thunder” was the only one who learned everything by just watching Blue. By the time Thunder was 3 months old, he learned you could get a milk bone by sitting, giving his paw, speaking on command and sitting up. When Blue and Thunder sat together, it looked like the beginning of a chorus line. They were always fast friends. Thunder at 8 months old, took over ratting. We live not far from a basin that catches water in heavy rains. So rats pop out certain years, if we have an abundance of rain. He found one and promptly brought it in to show me. What a good size it was, eight inches long and that was just the body. The next thing Thunder caught was a 160 lb man going over my fence. This guy grabbed onto the barbed wire, and we came out to hear him scream. I, (tongue in cheek,) asked the guy what he was doing there. He said he lost his ball. I told him if he was a few inches lower to the ground he would have lost something else! No one ever came through the yard again. Word must have spread fast.
During this time I rescued a Lhaso Apso, who I called “Boopsie.”. I loved this little guy. He and Thunder got along famously. When we would go to shows,Boopsie was right along with us. One show-stopping site was at the No. Cal Specialty weekend where Thunder, after winning a major, was put into a wire crate with Boopsie and wheeled out of the crowded show site on a dolly. Now that was a head turner. Imagine two males of different breeds in the same crate. I had people asking all kinds of questions, especially since Kerries have a bad rap (some deservingly so) that they can’t be with another breed, much less with a roommate that is a male. It was too funny. Because of the Lhasa’s thyroid and follicular mange problems I learned more about the conditions than when I was in nursing school.
Katie -(Ch. Tanglewood’s Star Light), Thunders mom, was the little toe dancer. I bet if she had taps on she would have given Sachmo a run for it on the Ed Sullivan show.
Then there was Angel, Ch. Eidenbock’s Blue Angel, named after the Air Force Jets. She could cut stock equal or better than most quarter horses. . .highly intelligent. When she went back East to be bred to Ch. Wedgewood Make My Day, the stud owner was impressed at how she picked up on things and did them. She’s almost 15 now and hasn’t changed. There are some Wheatens that she’d like to get a piece of.
Renee, (Ch. Eidenbock’s Poteen Renee), was Angel’s Aunt. Now Renee’ was a chowhound from the get go. One day I came home from work and she looked like she was in whelp. Since she hadn’t been bred, I knew there had to be another reason. There was a 40 lb. bag of dog food in the kitchen. She flipped the lid where it was kept and ate 5lbs of it. Needless to say I fasted her for a few days. On another occasion, I was given a store bought chocolate and nut cake. I had it far back on the counter. Now I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time opening the plastic cover on these things without ripping it on the side. Well, Renee had absolutely no problem. There the package was on the floor, without a rip in it, but the contents licked clean. Of course, this is the same sweet heart that wiped out my 5 bunnies. and enlisted Thunder to help. Renee and I finished her CH. and Thunder got his Mex CH as well. I had so much fun showing them in the states and in Mexico. Both of them were a delight to live with.
Nettie (Ch. Eidenbock’s Actionette’) was known as “Nettie the Bear.” I remember Tom running out to show me what she did when you sneezed. She jumped up and looked right into his face. Renee and Thunder played all the time. In fact, she was the only one out of their litter they liked.
Nettie and her granddaughter, Ch. Eidenbock’s First Lady, “Laura,” love the vacuum cleaner. I could put it on them and they would just love to stand there and get vacuumed,while others would leave the building. Nettie, another chowhound, saw a tiff going on between Holly and Lilah over one cookie. What did she do? She grabbed the whole bag and ran into a crate with her rear facing the gate. It was too funny. Which goes to show you the mentality of the Kerries. One would quibble about a single cookie, while the smart one took the whole bag.
Riggs, (Ch. Eidenbock’s Lethal Weapon), is an icon to himself. He loves the Andy Griffith show, and Hogan’s Heroes. Seems this is past on to his male get. His son, Bart, is another one who likes the same shows. The bitches could care less. Riggs has to greet you with something in his mouth, when you come through the door. I was at Montgomery with him, his sister Reann and Nettie, when I came through the motel door and he looked panic stricken. He ran to the bathroom and grabbed a towel and brought it to me perfectly folded. After he did his usual “talking,” I thanked him, and he was a happy camper.
Shortcake, (Ch. Eidenbock’s Shortcake), is one bitch who can be out in 120 degree show ring and not let down. One thing with her is that you had to remember not to stack her. She self stacked and resisted any assistance. One day it was windy and rainy, and I called my Walt to make sure the door didn’t slam and to check that the dogs would not be out in the rain. Well, he went to the house and everything was fine, but Shorts by passed him looking all around the house and property for me. Still to this day she is attached to me like Velcro. I have a few of those.
These are just a few of the never ending adventures of living with my Kerries. You never know what else will come up. One of these days I’ll have to take a picture of three of my Kerries looking out the window, while I get a birds eye view of the rears. Just delightful!
(Editor’s Note: The pictures in this article are of Eidenbock’s Twilight in Blue. “Twila” owns Jean Walker. Jean herself is to be admired, for she was 74 when she and Twila, in three consecutive shows, earned her Novice Agility title. She scored high with a 195 and a group 2 placement the first time out.)