Annie – ATRA Airedale Terrier Rescue & Adoption


Airedale Assisted:
Rescue Group:
Airedale Terrier Rescue & Adoption

Annie, the Airedale, had to undergo emergency surgery on her back to address a ruptured disc that left her paralyzed in her back legs. Leading up to this point in her short 6 years of life, Annie, the Airedale, was placed into the hands of Airedale Terrier Rescue at the age of 3 months with what was thought to be kennel cough. Her foster home nurtured her and cared for her but she never got better, she was a very sickly pup that weighed only 7 lbs (or about the size of a 3 month old Miniature Schnauzer). Once she was evaluated by her foster home’s vet, it was discovered that she was very malnourished and had a severe case of pneumonia and was given a 50/50 chance of survival. After breathing treatments and a regular healthy diet, she flourished and because the Airedale she was meant to be. Her foster home quickly became her forever home and she spent her days learning tricks and doggie manners, learning agility, running and chasing birds and squirrels and once even cornered an opossum! Annie enjoys keeping the backyard free of pests and chasing and romping around the yard and house with her best friends Maddie and Maycee, the Miniature Schnauzers. Annie also very much enjoys learning new tricks and is a true work horse when it comes to showing off her tricks, especially for the cameras! The best description one of her friends said about Annie is she is like a “bee on a string.” She is always excited and ready to go, always ready to face the world and see and meet her people – who happen to be anyone within eyeshot of her. Annie’s tail was pretty much always wagging – and as the saying goes – a dog smiles with its tail. If this is true – Annie never stopped smiling. When it was discovered that her back legs were not working properly, she was rushed to the vet – who then urged the visit with the surgeon – stating that time was of the essence. During each vet visit – Annie still wagged her tail, gave kisses and kept her attitude high. By the time the surgery took place, Annie could not feel her back legs at all … and her tail stopped wagging. She lost her smile. A day following the surgery, she has been making wonderful progress and attempting to stand on her own. And her tail wag (smile) is slowing coming back. She has a long journey ahead of her and with the help from caring friends, she will be well on her way back to making everyone smile and laugh again.


From Annie’s Mom, Sara: This is probably one of the hardest things to have to write. First, I want to say how amazed and grateful and appreciative of each and every one of your support. Words do not even come close to expressing my gratitude.

 Immediately following her surgery, Annie’s vet was not optimistic at all that she would ever walk again. She said the discs in her back were so compressed that she was not able to clear everything and there was still pressure on the spine. She did have some feeling in toes – if we squeezed REALLY, REALLY hard then the leg would react and pull away. So we had some hope. We took her home and Annie was a trooper through it all. She had a great attitude, wanted to play and wanted to be with her people. She was Annie … except without the crazy running all through the house. We thought we were seeing progress. One morning when we got her up, we were walking her and holding up her hind end, she turned to go outside – we tried to direct her back to her bed and she was Airedale determined that she was going outside. So we went outside to sit for bit … and she poo’d – we thought this was a great sign, that she knew she had to go. That was on a Saturday. By Tuesday, she had no reaction when we squeezed her toes, and she was in excruciating pain. The vet said what was likely happening was that all of her discs in the lower back were just compressing and caused ruptures and the spinal cord could not take it. The verdict being that we are now looking strictly at a quality of life for Annie. She would never walk again, she would never chase away the birds or tree a squirrel or butt herself between out legs. The vets said if she were a small dog, it is much easier to manage a paraplegic … but her size is very limiting. We talked it over with a couple other vets and did some research … and the extremely difficult decision was made to give Annie the life she deserved and that was to run free with her siblings at Rainbow Bridge. The house is eerily quiet now … and our hearts are very heavy. No matter how “right” the decision was, it doesn’t make the pain any less … six years with Annie was not enough. But I am so glad that I had those six years … even when she tore up the new couch or ate the Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. Annie was filled with so much life and had so much to give … and I hate that we couldn’t give her more.