This started out as our diary of ownership by two rescued Airedale Terriers, Sophie and Murphy. Now we have added a Black Lab. We hope that our stories will amuse and educate you about life with Airedale Terriers and others.
We saw these pumpkin carvings in the Airedale and Welsh Terrier community on Google + and had to share. There is information about how the template was created and the eHow.com site that provides more details. Check out the comments on the photo to get the URL if you want to create one of your own. https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/101314266892737860742
Rewind to the spring of 2013, before Murphy joined us. We caught sight of a LARGE opossum early one morning in our yard. Sophie gave chase and briefly caught it before dropping it. We bought a humane trap and after a couple of nights, we had the mother opossum, but a baby was clinging to the outside of the trap. Opossum, as a rule, are nasty, but "Little Jimmy" was kind of cute. I caught the tail end of that incident (pardon the pun) as MacGyver managed to race in the door, yell upstairs to me, grabbed a net and an empty ash bucket and shot back out the door. (See why I call him MacGyver?) Little Jimmy was gone! I am sure that his mother told him to "Run, save yourself, it's too late for me now!"
Fast forward to August 18, 2013, Murphy's sixth week anniversary with us and what an anniversary!! Due to our schedules, we generally walk our dogs early in the morning. That Sunday was no exception with a 6 am wake up call and it was raining! It was very dark because of the rain. Murphy shot out the door as usual but was not seen or heard from for several minutes. Murphy is a large dog and usually we can keep track of him by sound. He did not come when called and so MacGyver was dispatched to investigate. Then I heard, "Come see this!" I knew it was not pretty. I refused to go any closer, which was a very healthy distance away. It was Little Jimmy. What if Jimmy was "playing opossum" and decided to end the game when I took hold of the flashlight? It was indeed Little Jimmy who Murphy had quietly and quickly dispatched to the "other side." MacGyver, once again was left with the dirty work of shoveling up Little Jimmy, who was now medium sized Jimmy, and putting him in the trashcan. When I took a bag of trash out later in the day, I confess I banged on the trashcan lid first and got the bag in the can as quickly as possible.
Sophie gave Murphy wide berth on our walk that morning. Must have been the opossum breath. Right now, it's all quiet at the OK Corral.There's a new sheriff in town and he ain't playing opossum!
Here is "the sheriff", taking a nap after getting the opossum.
Murphy a.k.a. Sir Ian Murphy, Big Wubba, is a love bug. He is motivated by play and loves a good belly scratch. Food has little appeal for him. We spent the first 10 days trying to find a combination of food that he would eat. He now eats the same kibble as Sophie made into a stew with water and 2 Tablespoons of canned food. Salmon is his preference. He is eating like a champ now; after getting used to a feeding schedule of twice a day vs. grazing all day and a little cat food to snack on too.
Initially there was some resistance to his crate. We had to de-sensitize him and remind him that his crate is a safe place. He does well if he has a chuck it ball in the crate with him. It serves as a pacifier for him and calms him. He usually has a ball in his mouth as you see in the pictures that follow. He loves to retrieve the chuck it balls. He gets so excited that his teeth actually chatter, as if he was cold. He is learning to trust that we will throw for him if he "drops" the ball he is holding and sits down. That is very hard for him. He left his previous home with nothing and I often think he probably left behind some favorite toys.
He likes the ocean and bites the water as it comes in close to his feet. He loves to smell the shells and is always interested in seeing what people are collecting.
He is a night owl. He loved letting us know the paper had been delivered with a loud bark at 4 am. We had to barricade our bedroom entrance to keep him contained. He remains a restless sleeper and he "talks" in his sleep, but he is beginning to sleep for longer periods at night now and is not wandering around as much.
Murphy has interesting toileting habits. He prefers to poop in bushes. Finding bushes tall enough for him on our walks is a challenge for him; gathering the poops up for disposal is a bigger challenge for his humans. There is not a shrub in our back yard that he has not run into, over or through. He has pooped in almost all of them and has a few select favorites. He is learning to potty on command and will go for us about 60% of the time with more than one reminder. He is easily distracted from the mission by numerous smells that have to be processed and investigated!
It is obvious that he was cared for by his previous family. We so appreciate that and that they cared enough to send him to rescue and then to be with us. We are sure that his crazy antics will continue to brighten our days!
Look at that magnificent tail! I forgot to mention that his tail is not docked! It is quite the conversation starter!
Murphy and The Boy, one of Murphy's favorite people
Murphy a.k.a. Sir Ian Murphy, joined us about six weeks ago in July, 2013; 85 lbs of love is how we describe him: loud bark, loves his chuck it ball, always up for a car ride. He is a dog for all seasons and Sophie hated him from the first hello! It did not help that Murphy ran right up to Sophie initially and then tried to assert his dominance by mounting her. She was not taking that and a small scrap ensued, resulting in a small ear puncture. Sophie became the aggressor after that initial episode. I think she took the "I am getting you before you get me" mentality. She jumped on Murphy at every opportunity.
By the end of the second week, she had more ear piercings than a rock star and a nasty bite on her neck. She looked like she was part of Michael Vick's former dog fighting squad and she lost every skirmish! I called in a trainer who told me to let them continue to work things out on their own, within reason. I believe the trainer's exact words were, "If you haven't needed the vet yet, it will work itself out." Comforting, NOT!
You see, Sophie had not done well initially with her previous fur sibling. 30 minutes after her arrival, Sophie had the other dog pinned down and crying! Scary! So with the arrival of Murphy and the loud and frequent skirmishes, I think I suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. No kidding. I just wanted everyone to get along. So the " let them work it out" advice was and remains a tough pill to swallow. Sophie knows I don't want a fight. I have seen her try to start a struggle in my presence with no provocation. I am learning to walk away and remove the screaming audience. We have had two weeks with minimal growling from Sophie and no paw to paw combat. She is beginning to do some play bows to Murphy and run comfortably with him in the backyard vs. jumping on him. The adjustment remains a work in progress.......
This is day one.
This is how close they would get comfortably after four weeks.
So how did we get started being owned by Airedales? Why do I say that? Who are we anyway? We are a family of three: there's ME, the Airedale Mom and writer of this blog; our son, The Boy; and my husband, MacGyver, who keeps this blog functional. We all play key parts in the stories to follow.
The picture you see with the title is Sophie, last winter, 2012. She is our original Airedale. She came to us from rescue about 3 and 1/2 years ago at the age of five years. (A word about rescue: these volunteers are angels in their own right.) She was overweight, had a hard history, bad skin and an attitude to match and we loved her immediately! Thus began our mutual Airedale ownership. You see Airedales love to rule the roost. They are voting members of the family, with fur. They like to exert voting rights at every opportunity and have required flexibility and a sense of humor that we did not know we possessed. We recently added Murphy, a six year old 85 lb lump of love. He is adding a new twist to the stories. Murphy also came to us from rescue. I will post some pics of him soon. It is all about the start today and that would be Sophie. This blog is really a way for me to talk about my dogs and not bore cat people with my stories. So off we go....happy tales to you.