I got my first Airedale in 1999, an 8-week old puppy, and fell in love. I had never given rescue a thought, until one day in late June 2001, I got a call about an Airedale-mix at the Memphis Animal Shelter, a high-kill shelter. After contacting Airedale Rescue Group and learning that they would help me with this young pup, I brought him home and nursed him through an apparent case of “kennel cough.” After 6 weeks of fostering and a little obedience training with this smart, mixed ‘dale, we found a home for him with a family whose Airedale-mix had recently died. I’ll never forget how happy the family was to meet this little guy and how quickly he took to them, especially their young son. I was hooked. It was gratifying to experience such a happy ending. And that’s what we all are after, isn’t it? Happy endings.

Rescue is not easy and not for the squeamish. And sometimes, the happy endings are too long in getting here. But to see a once-neglected, or worse – abused – Airedale warm to a new friend, take food from an outstretched hand, sleep curled up on a rug instead of in the dirt, or gaily wag its tail, is not just rewarding, it is life-affirming. You begin to believe that you can make a difference in a small way in someone’s life – both the dog and the forever family!


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