The Scottish Terrier was her favorite breed and she often depicted their comical antics . As quoted in “The American Magazine” of 1929, Kirmse herself noted, “Sometimes, I’ll be working in the garden and one of my puppies will assume an amusing position. Or I may wake up in the middle of the night with an idea that seems to have possibilities for an etching. I always keep a pen and a pencil by my bedside for just such moments.” “My Scotties,” was just such an etching. It charmingly depicts nine of her Scottish terriers coming down the driveway of her Connecticut home. As it is winter, and the dogs have been plying in the snow, the dogs’ black muzzles are covered in white. This is typical of her work, for she did not include a lot of detail in her etchings, but used the white ground of the paper to her advantage, in this case representing her snow-covered front yard.
Kirmse’s love of the Scottish Terrier was solidified when she met and later married George W. Cole in 1924. Cole was an avid Scottish Terrier fancier and for a time the president of The Scottish Terrier Club of America. While Kirmse eventually maintained an artist’s studio in New York City, the married couple also had a farm near Bridgewater, Connecticut. It was here at Arcady Farm that she bred dogs for the show ring, under the kennel name of Tobermory.
The Tobermory Kennels could house between fifty and sixty dogs and among the breeds she had were Airedales, Irish Terriers, English Setters, English Pointers, a variety of Spaniels, and of course Scotties. While Kirmse is certainly best known for her Scotties, her etchings of Setters and Pointers are among her most accomplished. She and George Cole maintained a second home in the Carolinas where they would travel for small game hunting. Kirmse and her husband were also very active in field trials, both in the South and the North. Not only did she run her dogs, but she also shot over them, winning many trophies at field trials.