Starting Over…

This was the year the Kerry pack moved to a new domain largely because…


[heavy sigh]

The man I considered to be my soulmate insisted on drinking on a daily basis, for purely medicinal reasons – of course. Chronic pain is a terrible affliction, and with it a tendency toward negative health habits that spiral downward insidiously degrading the body, the mind, and the soul. My life experience has caused me to feel that chronic pain is contagious. And I am sure beyond doubt that drinking is contagious, as it is very hard to tolerate unless you indulge at least enough to take the edge off.




Way back when, the Kerries and -Dales met at a time when life was simple. It was just Aoife with the mother monkey, and the male had two dales. Though all people have a pain body, by some coincidence the two monkeys had each become mindful of that fact. They recognized the potential within each other. They eagerly faced the challenges of life together, and played really hard without taking life too seriously.



Overtime this all changed. The male took a different job with an odd working schedule. The mother monkey got more involved in dog fancy; showing dogs with less time on the trails. Stirling was added to the Kerry pack, and later Nollaig. The monkeys stopped playing together. And when alcohol hit the scene all reason was packed up and shipped to who knows where.



Before you judge the exodus, please factor in a pack of 5 with two unaltered male and two unaltered female terriers. People like to brag about their terrier packs getting along, and truly these people have bragging rights. No matter how great a dog’s basic disposition, sanity flies out the window when a bitch comes into season. With experience wise people become adept at canine body language, and precautions are taken well before disaster. In my experience, while Kerry Blues are very sweet loyal and loving …if someone brings a fight a Kerry has every intention to finish it, and they will never ever forget. [Sub-note: In my perfect world experienced dog mentors would spend less time bragging on how their dog’s have sound predisposition and more time on sharing the basic skill sets that our people need to manage a pack. But that would make a good blog for another day.]



Our bottom line was due to poor management Jasper and Stirling could not face one another without it coming to blood. We had that horrible undesirable situation where someone always had to be crated or behind a closed door. Jasper was twice the size of Stirling with a dense gnarly coat, so if a mistake was going to happen Stirling was the one taking the damage. It is no secret how crazy I am about this dog, and no amount of logic would keep me from breaking up a dog fight. Factor in alcohol, and you can understand I was living in a very dangerous environment.

After much long suffering and failed attempts at trying to positively influence the situation at hand, I made a mindful decision to move the Kerry pack. My heart goes out to the pack of -dales. I harbor no ill feelings.  I miss the man. I can surely love what is good & pure, and forgive that which is ugly. In our life we have to make tough decisions.





Can You Dig It…


Jasper & Gypsy...Jasper found a varmint hole.  Curious about the critter inside, he started to dig deeper…  and deeper…




Until finally he was quite satisfied with what he had done.












Aoife took a closer look.








Being one sharp smeller, Aoife was sure the varmint lay just beyond reach in that hole. There was no convincing her otherwise.

Aoife was going in…







Surely it was a near escape.



Hatcher’s Pass, July 13th …Can You Dig It?




One Is Like None. Two Are Like Ten…




“One is like none.  Two are like ten…”

Many years ago my sister said this of children.  But did I follow her advice?  Absolutely not.  I had the second child, and all was well with the world.  Two felt like little more than two.  Now I cannot speak for others, as all children are so different…






DSC_0130Now I have the Kerries, and I think it may be obvious that I am all about them.  But I will confess that each is better one-on-one.  In a pair all sorts of inescapable naughtiness breaks out.




Although they know well the meaning of the “sit” command both verbally and in sign, when together they construe this as a bid to share in turn taking.  And “stay” is reduced to something more along the line of hesitate.  And their social graces with other dogs flies straight out the window, especially while together on the trails.  So this dog walking thing can actually be quite an exasperating workout.


Trees, Now Bare...There should be something peaceful about a dog walk, I should think.  And sometimes that is the case.  So just yesterday I was set on enjoying our walk.  I truly dislike ordering commands the whole time, so I was determined to stick with the attitude of less-is-more.


DSC_0178But out of nowhere Stirling was pulling ambitiously at the end of his retractable lead.  I brought him back to me and quietly took him by the beard to have a serious conversation about the trouble with pulling me down the airstrip.  He looked back into my eyes with full humility, and a promise of doing better.  ‘Quite convincing.


Aoife…But a quick glance over my shoulder proved Aoife was devouring a ripe lush chunk of horse manure.

Now moose nuggets are on the menu, though the pack is limited to one morsel each per pile.  But horse briquettes well-known for the laxative effect are strictly prohibited.  I am quite certain my girl knows that, and I am not at all convinced there wasn’t a conspiracy between them.







Trouble In Paradise…

Unadulterated straight talk from a one-handed hunt & peck…



Sunday evening – dog bite L forearm



Monday morning – Urgent Care

  • Redness outlined & dated; Photos of injury
  • Dressed arm placed in a splint
  • Antibiotic injection in rump & oral Augmentin
  • Work release for Monday & Tuesday
  • Planned recheck Tuesday morning



Tuesday morning – Urgent Care for recheck

  • Clean/dressed wounds
  • Referral to hand specialist
  • Work release for Wednesday thru Friday.

Tuesday early afternoon – Hand Specialist

  • X-Rays w/o fracture
  • Prescribed additional antibiotic Doxycycl & Epsom Salt baths BID
  • Recheck scheduled Friday morning

Tuesday evening – Home on Rest

  • 1st Epsom Salt soak in bucket
  • Ibuprofen continued to be my friend



Wednesday – Home on Rest

  • Explosive diarrhea
  • Epsom Salt baths in bucket x2 (forearm, of course)
  • Silver lining in cloud: 1st shower.  Wounds remain open & draining.  Tapered back on Ibuprofen.



Thursday – Home on Rest

  • Persistent diarrhea
  • General aches & pains from too much bed-time added to specific aches & pains
  • Persistent question: how to rearrange my life for zero % chance recurrence
  • Silver lining in cloud: Tolerated OOB all day!  Returning appetite.  Sense of humor grossly intact








Moral of Story; aka WARNING: DO NOT keep two intact male terriers and an intact bitch within the casual home environment. This may quite probably require a serious kennel setup.


Instinct trumps training.



Mudder Dog…





Now, I can admit I am more of a winter girl.  I have nothing against the sun or an occasional hot day, or even the rain.  …But winter is a much cleaner season!




Aoife in Heaven

But someone in our pack loves the mud.  And a rainy day in August would be one of her favorites…






Mud Goddess...

Mud Goddess…


Today we returned to the Tank Trail.  It is an off-leash venue for dogs, but we avoid it most of the time as it draws a healthy crowd.  But 8:00AM on a Sunday in the rain, we had the trail pretty much to ourselves.  …Although we did walk up on a momma moose with her young-un, and that was a little tricky.



On the way home, Aoife rides shotgun…

...Day Dreaming about her adventures

…Day Dreaming about her adventures




Spring in Alaska


Our Kerry pack had the best romp today.  We took the long retractable leashes, and I’m sure the two tripled my mileage.  I got dizzy at the chase circle as it took Stirling at least 4 rounds to catch Aoife.  Aoife is a power house when it comes to athletic sprinting.  Stirling is no sloth.

The trails are muddy, and we can’t go out without bringing back a bunch of souvenirs.  For that reason this is not my favorite time of year in Alaska, even though the warmth and sun feels so refreshing.




So they spend a lot of time in the tub, and on the table.