I first met Terri Shumsky when I created a discussion list called Yorkieland in Fall of 1998. She was one of my first members. I created Yorkieland to know more about Yorkshire Terriers as we had one and I didnít know much about them. I wanted to learn and make friends with others who did know and had them. My first Yorkie who is still with me today is Teddy and he is the reason behind the creation of Yorkieland. Terri Shumsky gave me marvelous advice over the years for how to care for him and was the main person I would turn to for advice if I had a problem. I was in awe of her experience with the Yorkshire Terrier. She truly had a great love for this breed. Whenever she would give advice, responding to a post for help, her main concern was the Yorkie that was going to benefit from the advice given. She could not bear a Yorkie to suffer in any way. Sometimes her gruffness in response was not understood, as clash of human natures gets in the way. But ultimately most understood that the dog was her main concern, and the human she expected to be its caretaker and champion. With over thirty years of experience with the breed, she had learned a lot through her own sorrow, heartache, trials and errors. She sought to be knowledgeable so that she knew she was doing all she could to offer the best care to the Yorkies she bred and cared for. She wanted all of us to be the best at it too and thus she shared what knowledge she had gained.
Over the years we became very good friends and I learned much about her private life and she mine. We talked about our private problems and concerns and she and I both learned about each other that we had both lost our mothers when we were children. Terri not only mentored me, she 'mothered' me and I was appreciative of her friendship, her advice, and her compassion for others as well as for myself. We both understood each other, even if we didnít always agree and both had respect for each otherís viewpoints. I understood her nature, and she mine. We respected that we might not always agree, but would agree to disagree if we came to that point, as our friendship was most important.
It is due to Terri Shumsky and Gloria McLeod that I have Savannah, my now 2 year old Yorkie. Terri knew how badly I wanted to have a Yorkie of her breeding and she had gotten out of breeding by this time, due to her health. She talked to Gloria and Gloria graciously allowed me to purchase Savannah. I will forever be grateful to them both for allowing me to be Savannahs 'mom'. When I look at Savannah, my snugglebug, I see Terri's spirit going on, in her wagging upright tail and her sturdy little body I see the breeding of over thirty years of experiences in breeding. I think of all the advice she gave me and how I will try so hard to take that advice. I feel grateful to both Terri and Gloria for having her here in our home, a member of our family.
The most important thing to Terri and John as well, was to find an end to liver shunt, the disease that effects our breed so badly. It is my desire to continue to help her legacy to not be forgotten and to reach the end goal. Terriís goal was to find an end to liver shunt by finding the genetic marker and thus her focus to help Dr. Tobias in her study of the disease to find the genetic marker to set in motion the end of liver shunt to the benefit of all Yorkies and other breeds as well. Until that goal can be reached, Terri sought to help those who were financially unable to get the surgery for their liver shunt affected Yorkies by creating fund raising to help them.
Her Legacy to the breed of Yorkshire Terrier is to be remembered for spearheading the need to face this dreaded disease and not hide it, because hiding it only hurt the dogs involved and the breed as a whole, and was devastating to many Yorkie owners who love their Yorkies as members of their family. It was Terri's bravery to say, it effects good breeders as well as not so good breeders, and it effected her lineage too. That we all needed to be aware of getting our puppies tested, that we all needed to take action, owners and breeders, to be responsible for doing what each of us can do and to work together whenever possible for the betterment of the breed.
I truly hope that all of those involved will keep Terriís Ultimate goal and her Legacy in mind always. That despite human foibles and disagreements that may arise through human natures, we can continue with the fund raising to help those effected by liver shunt disease and to support of Dr. Tobias until the goal has been reached. If we allow ourselves to be caught up in human nature we will lose sight of Terri's goal, due to arguments and getting caught up in them, in a small matter of time. But if we have respect and honor for Terri and John Shumsky and their memory, we shall work together, in all forms, to find the path to the end of liver shunt forever.
With this sorrowful tragedy, I choose now, to think of them both, healthy and happily walking along the flower strewn and sweet clover fields at Rainbow Bridge with Fannie Mae and a troop of frolicking Yorkies that had passed on before them who had patiently awaited their arrival and now feel at home and in peace.
Yorkieland list mom
Tribute to Terri from Terry Van Kirk at DaZHill Yorkies
Tribute to Terri from DeeGee in Sunapee, NH
Tribute to Terri from Paulette "barbie" Young
Tribute to Terri from Barb Beck in Indiana, NW
Tribute to Terri from Donna, Roman, Mikey, Sweetie & Maxwell
Tribute to Terri and John from Deb, Family and the Ridgecrest Yorkies
Tribute to Terri and John from Valerie in Seattle with BeBe & Scootie
Tribute to Terri from Toni Lowery at Yorkieland
Tribute to Terri from Vicci Doyle
Tribute to Terri and John from Karen at Yorkieland
Tribute to Terri and John from Lois Doswell in Morgan Hill, CA
Tribute to Terri and John from Bill and Smoky
Tribute to Terri from Maxwell's Mom, Karen Coffey
Message posted FROM Terri, April 18, 2001