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She had grown up with dogs all of her life. Her family had German Shepherds when she was six, and they also had an Old English Sheepdog. Without the vaccinations they have today, many puppies died of distemper, so owning dogs back then was often a heart break.

When her French teacher decided to take a trip to Switzerland by boat, she needed to place her wire fox terrier. Back then a boat trip took quite a long time. “Is there anyone interested in taking my wire fox?” asked the teacher. Before the sentence was finished, her hand shot up and the dog was hers. She even managed to take it with her to summer camp. But, all of that happened long ago when she was just a child.

Now the war was over; she was married and had decided she needed her own dog. She was laying tile on the floor in the study of her house, when an announcer came on the radio and listed all the dogs available at the local pound. She heard the words, “large black standard poodle,” and she thought she would take a drive over, just to look. After all, it was about time she had her own dog again.

Out came a very vivacious dog with six inches of black hair. She had been going to Westminster for years, so she knew that this dog did not have a poodle head. On the way over to the vet’s, she had to keep the car window open, because the dog really smelled badly. She could hardly breathe. The vet shaved the dog to the skin and treated it for fleas, ticks, lice, everything you could think of. For days after, the dog sat with his head in the corner of the kitchen, obviously embarrassed by his totally shaved state. Luckily that didn’t last long, and when the hair started to grow back, she decided to take it around to some of her friends in the neighborhood. Anne Rogers (Clark), a young handler, said it was not a poodle and Mr., Prentiss said. “It looks like Bill Day’s breeding.” She didn’t know he was referring to William L. Day of Madison Avenue, New York. Ed Conrad, a Borzoi handler, and Louie Murr, all agreed that her rescued dog was a Kerry Blue Terrier.

She called her new dog, “Finian the Foundling,” and discovered she could show her dog because you didn’t need papers back then. She smiled when she remembered that she even beat Anne Clark in the breed ring with her new Kerry Blue.

That was the beginning of a love affair with Kerries that has lasted over 50 years. The young girl who rescued the “poodle-like’ dog was Mrs. Walter Fleisher, or Zippy to most of us who know her. The Am Bruth Kennel of Kerry Blues is founded on her interest in dogs and a love of the breed that started when she rescued her first Kerry Blue from the local pound.

Open up you heart to a Kerry Blue in need of rescue, and your life may be changed forever.

Carol Kearney


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