Kerry Blue Terrier, Ch. Torum's Scarf Michael

From "Whatever Happened To...", Dogs in Review, February 2012

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Ch. Torum's Scarf Michael“Mick,” as he was known to most dog folks, was born May 1, 1996 in Liverpool, England. His breeders were Ron and Carol Ramsey of Torum kennels. His official name was Eng./Am. Ch. Torum’s Scarf Michael.

His career highlights were many, but to mention a few: BIS at Crufts, National Terrier, Morris & Essex KC, Montgomery County (twice), the AKC/Eukanuba Invitational, and last but not least Westminster KC. He won BIS at his last five shows in the UK before arriving in America, big championship shows with a total entry of over 62,000 entries — something I’m told nobody had done before him. His record in the US was 113 all-breed BIS, and he was Top Dog All Breeds in 2001.

Mick was owned by Marilu Hansen of New Jersey and Arizona. He was handled in the UK by Geoff Corish and Michael Coad, in the US by Bill McFadden. He was cared for on a daily basis by the McFaddens, Dana Schumacher, Luke Seidlitz and Tomoko Saeki.
He died October 3, 2011, at nearly 15½ years of age. He lived a long and healthy life, which slowed down with age, but he never lost his appetite or missed a meal.

As a sire Mick was also a success. He was used frequently and made an immediate impact, with his sons and daughters following him as top Kerry Blue Terrier for several years after his retirement. He is close to the record of champions sired that’s held by the great Ch. Melbee’s Chances Are, from the 1960s. We have a few straws left, but are waiting for some more advancements in the science of frozen semen before we take a chance on using it.

Mick’s days were spent being hen-pecked by a succession of bitches, mostly my Wire Fox Terrier girls, but also a Giant Schnauzer bitch, who was the dam of Taffe’s big winning “Spirit” (Ch. Galilee’s Pure of Spirit). It was a sight I wish more people could have seen, as Mick was thought by many to have a very wild and difficult temperament. I knew better and used to laugh watching him being pushed around by the girls, as he adored every moment of them!

He watched and observed with a careful eye the daily grooming rituals at Bold Oaks kennels. In the early years of his retirement Mick was very eager and willing to get in the truck and go to the show, so we would take him on occasion and walk him around just to let him show off and see some of his old friends.

Mick was retired after BIS at the Garden. He was nearly 7 years old. We brought him out one last time at Morris & Essex 2005. It was a Kerry Blue Terrier specialty and also the scene of his BIS in 2000 that made him an American champion. He won the Breed at the specialty under Bob Forsyth and placed 3rd in the Group under Walter Goodman.

I thought he looked gorgeous at 9½, and in a breed that doesn’t always age gracefully I was proud to show him off. How many dogs are ever going to have the chance to compete at back-to-back Morris & Essex five years apart?

My personal favorite moment in Mick’s career out of so many was his first weekend out at Great Western Terrier Association. I had been walking him two miles a day since I got him, just to get used to having a stallion on the lead. As we entered the Group ring under Ken McDermott I was acutely aware of both the entire ringside and everyone inside the ring falling under his spell.

He won Group 1st and BIS from the Open Dog class. He followed this the next day under Lydia Coleman Hutchinson, who was equally smitten. I still remember the way it felt (and I do not have a good memory). It will always be my most favorite moment in dogs, because having judges fall in love at first sight is such an incredible thing!

For me personally Mick was a game changer, a once-in-a-lifetime dog. The gift and good luck of having him is something I am reminded of daily.
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