Magic 8 + 1
by Paula Lackner
Over the years in rescue, I have received calls about Airedales being left outside in the bitter cold, one left behind in a home for over a week after his owner was taken away, and various other reasons. Some of those calls referred to a breeder selling Airedales in the southern part of Wisconsin and people would call me to ask if I knew of this place. Ads would be placed in the Milwaukee papers and people would contact the person regarding purchasing a pup. The breeder was often rude and offensive to people but they called to tell me about all the Airedales living in crates. I would explain to the callers that we were not a policing organization so unfortunately there was nothing rescue could do. I did contact our local Wisconsin Airedale Terrier Club to report him. Unfortunately, they also were not able to do anything about him as he was not a member of the club. Many people would purchase pups from him because they felt sorry for the dogs. Then the problems appeared as far as emotional and training issues, scared of their own shadow, and not walking on their own and needing to be carried.
In May, I received several emails in regards to an ad placed on craigslist. The ad stated the person had two Airedales, a male and a female, neither altered, to be traded for farm equipment. (Only in Wisconsin.) I had a volunteer call and offer to pick the dogs up on behalf of rescue. She was verbally accosted by the man on the phone and told never to call again. He made it very clear he wanted nothing to do with rescue. Many phone calls and conversations with this person from other volunteers did not result in any trade. Several weeks passed and the phone was not answered until one day the end of July. Lorry was able to speak with the farmer about his trade. He stated the male was already gone but the female was there. She did not have anything to trade but she would be interested in seeing her. He gave directions to his place. Lorry and a friend drove to Kenosha and found TJ was still available. Lorry did not want to leave TJ there so she purchased her and then gave her to rescue. When she was there, she had noted he sold produce there and she did not see any other dogs. Lorry made arrangements for TJ (now Tory Jean) to stay with Nancy F. until I could make arrangements to get her moved to Camp Lackner . We thought, “Okay, he only had the two and that was it.” We were wrong.
A few weeks passed and I was contacted by a Humane Society in Kenosha saying they had taken a male Airedale in and wondered if we would take him into rescue. The story told to us was the former owners purchased him from a man on a farm in the Kenosha area and had to carry him to their car as he did not walk on lead. For over a month they tried to get him to walk on his own and not be carried. They did not have the time or the energy so they turned him into the Humane Society. Could this be the male we missed? We found out later, he was.
Andrea D. and her hubby Neal picked him up (literally) from the shelter and transported him to Fond du Lac where they met up with State Coordinator Evi F. Evi had decided she and her husband Dick could foster him. His name was Rocco and was changed to Bosco . So on to Little Chute they went. Bosco was thrilled to be with his foster brother and sister. It was certain he needed to go to a home with other dogs to be able to adjust to his new life. After having fostered Bosco for over a month, he found his new home at the Fall Aire Frolic. The approved home of David and Theresa P. adopted their new boy and he is doing great with his Airedale sisters.
Andrea and Neal returned home to see a message from me regarding an ad in the Kenosha News regarding a male Airedale for sale for $50. I asked them if they would call the number and see if he was still available. Andrea called on behalf of ATRA and the man told her he was not interested in rescue and hung up. Andrea and Neal generously offered to pay the $50 for him. He made arrangements to pick up “no name” from the, you guessed it, the farmer. Neal was told there were no other dogs available. Andrea now dubbed him “Farmer Mike.” As Neal carried “no name” to the care, he whispered to him that he was lucky. Thus “no name” became Lucky. Farmer Mike had never vaccinated the dog so he needed everything. At the parking lot of the vet we confirmed our suspicions that Bosco was Lucky’s brother. Bosco also did not walk on lead. After several attempts, Neal made a sling and helped him into the vet office. Farmer Mike did not spend a dime on these dogs as Lucky also needed all his vaccinations and was in dire need of a bath. The vet techs cut the poopies out of his beard and shaved under his tail so he could do his business.
After making some phone calls and sending out emails, Sandi L. and Bob and Pearl D. offered to pick up Lucky and drive him up to Shawano to be boarded until a foster home could be found. So once again, great volunteers Andrea and Neal, met Sandi, Bob, and Pearl in Fond du Lac at Shreiner’s Restaurant. (After all of this, I think they are going to charge us for a parking space in their parking lot!) After some conversation, the four headed up to Shawano and Andrea and Neal back to Kenosha. Andrea called me and told me she felt Sandi was quite smitten by Lucky. At about 5 p.m., the four arrived at my workplace and the first words out of Sandi’s mouth were, “Can I foster him?” Of course I said yes. We all laughed as I asked Sandi, “Why didn’t you just call me instead of driving all the way up here to ask me.” Jim and I joined them for a bite to eat and then back to Oshkosh they went. After Sandi had him cleaned up and groomed she asked if she could change his name to Tucker. After fostering him for a little over a month, Sandi and Thumpa decided Tucker needed to stay, so he is now in his forever home.
September 29 rolls around and lo and behold another ad in the Kenosha News for a male Airedale for $50. Neal calls the number and yes, it is Farmer Mike once again. The guy that said he didn’t have any more dogs. Once again, I hear from Andrea. We're becoming very good friends by this point! Yes, we would take him in if Neal wanted to get him. Two hours later Neal had the second “no name.” Neal told him, “Buck up! Your life is about to get a lot better.” Thus the name Bucko. Off to the vet for a bath and vaccinations as, once again, Bucko needed everything. Yes, he had to be carried too.
The ad continued to run in the paper, so enter another dedicated Airedale lover and volunteer, Chuck R. Once again, Farmer Mike who stated he did not have any other Airedales, had another one he wanted to get rid of. When asked why he wanted to get rid of the dog, Farmer Mike replied, “Because he can’t stay here anymore.” Well that just about covers it. At the farm, the silence was deafening, no barking to be heard. So thanks to Chuck for picking up yet another boy named Griff. It was late so Griff stayed at Andrea and Neal’s home until the next day. The morning came and off to the vet Griff went. Once again, not willing to walk on lead, a harness was used. Bucko and Griff were thrilled to see each other again. On Saturday we again met at Shreiner’s Restaurant parking lot. After getting the boys comfortable in my van, Andrea and Neal asked me if I liked pie. Well that would be like asking me if I liked Airedales. Let me think...ah, Yes! We had some pie, some dog conversation, and made future plans of action in case there were others there. We wondered if there were any other breeding females other than Tory. We left on that note and off to Shawano we headed. Griff and Bucko arrived at the kennel together and got to play outside together for a few hours. That was heaven for them. Chris, the owner of Applewood Kennels, said she couldn’t believe their hair! What a mess they were. I thanked her for giving us such a great rate on their boarding and would be there the following weekend to groom them.
I no more than got home only to find out Farmer Mike had called Lorry and said he had two females and asked her if she was interested. She said she had a friend who would be and then called me. When Andrea arrived to pick up the two girls from Farmer Mike, he told her he had another female, would she be interested. Andrea called me after leaving Farmer Mike’s, with three, not two female Airedales in tow. Farmer Mike stated that the girls all had names, Lucy, Dolly and Cheyenne. He did mention that Lucy had an infection on her nipple. While Andrea was there, she also stated she did not hear one bark, not one squeak, nothing. Farmer Mike said the mud they were covered in was because it had rained that morning. (No, I don’t think so, try again.) Farmer Mike also told Andrea his groomer had been sick. (What, for five years?) Excuses, excuses and he stated he did not have any other dogs. He told Andrea he was getting out of the breeding business because of the economy. Could we possibly be that lucky? But he did tell Lorry he still had two young females.
Off to the vet the raggedy anns went. They were vetted and the infection turned out to be a burst mammary tumor and would need more medical care. They were bathed and the next day off for another adventure with Andrea and Neal.
On October 7, Andrea and Neal met a new set of volunteers at Shreiner’s in Fond du Lac. Barth and Penny L. offered to drive the three girls up to Shawano to be with their two sons. All three were pretty good riders on the way up to Shawano where there was a happy family reunion.
I had contacted my vet and set up all the neuter/spay appointments. I also informed my vet about the infection. On October 8th, Griff went in for neuter, then on the 9th, Lucy went in for her spay. Unfortunately, Lucy’s “infection” turned out to be a ruptured mammary tumor that had ruptured quite a long time ago and had never been cared for. My vet excised the area and good tissue around it. We waited for the test results. That Saturday morning I picked up Lucy from the vet and dropped her off at the kennel. Saturday afternoon, I picked up Cheyenne who would be the first one to be groomed. Jim was not home for the weekend, so I spent several hours scissor cutting all the knots and mats out of her long dreadlocks. She was scared witless but stood there the entire time and never made a peep. She had poodle ears yet but at least she had most of the mess off her until Jim could finish the rest of the grooming. On Sunday, Jim was home and we groomed Dolly. What a transformation! There was such a cute little girl under all of that hair! The next morning I took Dolly in for her spay . Everything went well and they loved her there. On Tuesday I found out Lucy’s mammary tumor was malignant and a high grade of carcinoma. My vet could not give me a time frame on how long Lucy would have. He stated it could be six months but with an Airedale he said it could be two years. On Thursday, I dropped off Cheyenne to be spayed and Friday Bucko was neutered.
On Saturday, I went and picked up Lucy to be groomed. She was in the worst condition and the most scared of the three girls. Well, all I can say about grooming Lucy is, OMG! What a fight. She did not know what a scissors was, a brush, let alone an electric clippers. She was covered with unbelievable knots and dreadlocks. We took several breaks as she would work herself into a frenzy . We never did use the clippers on her face, only a scissors and brush. It was obvious in her five years of life, she had never been groomed. Jim and I finished grooming Cheyenne the next day and she looked so pretty when we were done.
The following weekend we groomed Griff and then Bucko. Griff is scared of his own shadow and wanted to lie on the grooming table. It makes it difficult to groom legs when they don’t want to stand. So I held him up while Jim worked on what he could. After awhile we put him on the floor and he would stand so Jim was able to groom him. Bucko lived up to his name, as in a bucking bronco. He is much younger than Lucy but his hair was in worse condition than hers. He had dreadlocks and knots that were down to the base of his skin. To get a comb through it was virtually impossible. It took several hours and he was really frightened by the whole experience.
The first of the five at the kennel is on her way to her foster home this weekend. Thanks to Karen D. and Allen H. for opening up their hearts and home to help Dolly learn to live in her own forever home.
If you can help with the Magic Eight by fostering, spending some time with them at the kennel, transporting or helping with home visits, fundraising for their expenses, please contact me.
Magic Eight Summary & Update
by Terry Kratchman
TORYâ€ˆJEAN No one will ever know how many litters she's had but we do know she did her best to protect and shelter many, many pups while dealing with an unhealthy diet and the elements. She’s so timid but shows such a tender quality. It is soon to be her turn to be the protected. It's her time to be someone's baby. UPDATE: Tory Jean has been adopted.
BOSCO He was one of the initial dogs rescue from "Farmer Mike" and initially appeared to be a shaggy sheep. Alas, he was a handsome Airedale under tons of putrid mats. Bosco was lucky to have been adopted at the Fall Aire Frolic by a previously approved family and is now part a great pack. What a beautiful sight it was!
TUCKER Upon arrival this guy immediately found a foster home with his rescuers who ultimately adopted him. They were shocked to discover his coat was so matted he couldn't relieve himself properly through the caked on filth. He still has a lot to learn but is growing emotionally and beginning to forget the old days. Now, he has something to give him sweet dreams.
BUCKO This guy had no name. When his rescuer picked him up to load into the car he said, "Buck up because you're on your way to a better life." So, Bucko it is. He lived up to that name at his first grooming. Even the finest cowboy couldn't have stayed on for that ride. But, there was never a sign of aggression.
GRIFF Griff is only one year old and should be full of pep and mischief. Instead, he's afraid of his own shadow. Like the rest of the eight, his coat was so long and tangled he was barely recognizable as an Airedale. Such sad eyes and heartbreaking stiffness about him. Will he ever change? YES! With patience and guidance his mystery family will cherish the moment he first wags his tail or seeks out attention. UPDATE: Griff has been adopted.
LUCY This little lady is almost six years old and has never been kissed. After a wild grooming session she was transformed into a Hollywood glamor girl. She is just like one of the old time beauties with style. All she needs to make it big is confidence, coaching, and reassurance of her worth. Lucy came in with what appeared to be burst mammary tumor. Further tests have confirmed it is a ruptured tumor that had never been addressed and is now high grade carcinoma. Her vet says he'd give any other breed six months but since she's an Airedale, maybe two years. Lucy, whatever time you have you'll never be alone.
DOLLY Dolly is now in a foster home.
CHEYENNE Maybe her named should be spelled SHYenne right now as she's nervous and unsure of everything. Full of dreadlocks, she was terrified during her recent grooming but like the others, not a threat to anyone. She may take a while to catch up and get into the swing of things but she will do it.
Eight miracles are just beginning their rocky road to freedom. Eight terrified and confused minds that don't yet know they are intelligent and worthy individuals. Eight motley, matted, and filthy bodies that have never known the joy of a warm, soft towel after a good scrub. Eight sets of distrusting, sad brown eyes afraid to trust because no one has ever shown them kindness. Eight broken souls with no faith. There is no faith for ones so badly beaten down. Eight tucked tails that must be taught there are people who want to make them happy. Eight heads bowed, afraid of being kicked from behind and treated with less respect than a plow. Eight swollen bellies full of parasites and grumbling from hunger. Eight sets of legs weakened by fear of the unknown, lack of proper nutrition and no place to run. Eight precious Airedales now safely wrapped in the tender arms of a very large family of Airedale lovers who see their faces and care. We know you. We see you. We accept you for who you are now and what you will become. We will support you until, some day, your horrific past no longer haunts you, you savor only good memories and your long journey ends in peace.
A standing ovation is in order for all the volunteers who succeeded in bringing these eight dogs to ATRA. Andrea and Neal D, Lorry, David, and Theresa P, Sandi L, Bob and Pearl D, Jim L , Evi and Dick F, Nancy F, and Chuck R., Barth and Penny L and Shreiner's Restaurant for the use of their parking lot. Bless you all.
Please help if you can. Perhaps you know someone not currently getting the newsletter. Donate $20.00 in their name and give it to them as a Christmas gift. Forgo one pizza or movie and make a difference in a precious Airedale’s life.
LATE UPDATE: The Magic 8 is now the Magic 9. ATRA just took in another male named Beau.