Joan R. Hirsh

Joan with her companion

My mom was a great supporter of all animals. She and my dad were on their second Airedale when I was born. The ‘dales were always part of the family, even when they ate furniture, woodwork, doors….

Multiple times my mom came home from being out at the store (or wherever) with a dog that had been running loose in the parking lot and the owner couldn’t be found. We also had a cat for a couple months (while Airedale-less) because it ran in the door when she went out to get the mail and decided it wanted to stay.

We always had Airedales, though, for our own dogs. She’d say they were like having another person in the house. She really enjoyed attending Airedale Rescue events and talking Airedales. She and our rescue, Barry, were best friends who spent every day together.

She believed strongly that taking care of animals is the moral obligation of those who can. One of her favorite quotes was “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” – Gandhi. Shortly before she lost her fight with cancer, she insisted on attending a protest outside our city hall against the closing of our city kennel, sending animals from our city to the county kill shelter. The animals lost a good friend with my mom’s passing, and I know she had many furry faces welcoming her to that better place.

Margie Hirsh