Everyone loves them because they look so cute and cuddly, and who can resist those innocent eyes and puppy breath? Airedales are so adorable as puppies and adult Airedales are just as cute as the babies! They look like a big cuddly teddy bear so its not hard to imagine why people are drawn to them.
What they do, or fail to do, after bringing one into their home is often the reason we see them surrendered or dumped at the shelter.
Oftentimes the scenario goes something like this: The family decides they want a puppy and choose an Airedale. The puppy comes home and everything is going just as planned. Airedales are intelligent, so potty training is going well. They purchase a crate because puppies need to teethe just like babies, except babies don't have access to the things puppies do, like that favorite pair of shoes or Aunt Betty's antique table. The puppy gets into mischief but he's small so they ignore the mischief, or just put him in his crate.
A few months go by and the puppy is really growing. Soon, what was viewed as mischief (or cute) is downright destruction. It's not so cute anymore and much more difficult to put a 50 pound "puppy" somewhere he really doesn't want to go! Somewhere in the back of your mind you remember someone telling you about Airedales and their level of energy. They may have even mentioned the importance of early training and socialization. If only you had taken the time....
What can you do?? You have a job. You have to go to work everyday. We all have jobs. Well, almost all of us...Except for the puppy who desperately needs a job, for example learning to sit at the door, walk on leash without dragging the owner down the street, cute pet tricks, obedience class, anything!!
Dogs need jobs. If they don't have a job-- don't worry---they will soon become self-employed and believe me--you won't like the occupation they choose! They may choose to be an interior decorator, or a landscaper, garbage collector, the possibilities are endless! They need mental and physical exercise just like their human families. When they are deprived of it, they get into trouble and soon there's a 60 pound dog that is out of control. The family had good intentions in the beginning but now they have a puppy that weighs 50 or 60 pounds with no training and because he's so lonely and bored with nothing to do--you guessed it--he's a self-employed handyman who can do almost anything! He loves his family and can't understand why they seem so angry when they get home. After all, he's so happy to see them since they've been gone all day and he's been working so hard on all the housework!
Things aren't working out too well indoors, from the families perspective, so they decide to move the dog outside to live, after all they do have a fenced yard just for him. For the puppy/dog it's solitary confinement. Dogs are highly social creatures and want nothing more than the love and attention of their human family. This dog has decided his new occupation will be escape artist! Soon he's running the neighborhood and streets. The family makes a couple attempts at bringing him home but one day he disappears... They figure he's found another home... If only they had called rescue, this dog would be on his way to a wonderful forever home! He wasn't so lucky.
Now he sits staring through the fence of his small run surrounded by other dogs who don't understand what happened to their family. He's found another home alright, but unless someone rescues him from this "home" it will be the end of this dogs life.
That's where we come into the situation because here is a young Airedale that became too much trouble for his family through absolutely no fault of his own. All he needed or wanted was to be a real part of the family and, just like the children, be taught manners and given responsibilities. Now he sits at the local dog pound awaiting whatever fate lies ahead of him.
It's a sad story with a happy ending!
Because of rescue organizations just like SOAR, this dog and many others will have a very long and happy life with a family that understands their needs.
Of course not all dogs are young rescues from situations like the one described above. Some owners surrender their beloved Airedales due to their own personal health problems and not being able to care for the dog anymore. Family situations can change due to many reasons, but it's comforting to know that no matter what the situation is for the homeless Airedale, we are available to lovingly care for the dog and find it the best possible home.
written by Susan Fox