I fell in love with an Airedale Terrier...
I didn't know I was looking for an Airedale Terrier. I was in my twenties when I got my first "Dale". I have had 3 others in the last 20 some years. I had been looking for a dog.I didn't know what kind of dog but I had owned a terrier as a kid.
I was self employed and didn't want to raise a dog, expecially a larger dog such as an Airedale Terrier in an apartment. So I bought a mobile home and began to save for a down payment.
I am a chimney sweep...
so I am in my truck much of the time going between jobs. To fill the time I listen to talk radio. Living in Colorado I listen a lot to KOA, a major talk station. At the time of this story there was a host, Alan Berg, who eventually gained national notoriety by being assasinated by a white supremecy organization.
That's a completely different story though. Alan had a dog that he would talk to over the air-waves during his show. Every once in a while he would call out "Get the ball Fred... Get the ball." While some may have found this annoying, I found it compelling.
Fred, it turned out was an Airedale Terrier...
I had heard little of the Airedale Terrier, but Alan would describe Fred and his antics often. I started to investigate and liked what I found. By the way, Fred found a good home when he lost his master.
When I finally was able to afford a down payment on a house the first thing I did on the property was to build a six foot fence around the back yard and a four foot one around the front.
I was ready to find an Airedale Terrier.
I looked through the Denver paper and found an Airedale mix that looked good. I couldn't get to Denver because it was in the middle of my busy season so I asked my brother who lives in Denver to go over to the breeder and pick me out a good pup.
I went through work that day hoping I could trust my brother to know how to pick a good candidate. He called me that evening saying he had picked out a feisty little boy. I got down to the city that evening to pick up my "boy" who was only six weeks old.
When I got back home I spent some time with "Buster" getting him used to me and trying to introduce him to Max the cat. While playing with him on the living room carpet I rolled him over on his back and disovered that he was a she.
I've never let my brother live that one down either. It's a great story to tell around the Thanksgiving table.
So I had to change "her" name as I didn't think I wanted to stick with the name Buster. I was listening to the radio and "The Beatles" Hey, Jude was playing. She became Judy and was the light of my life. I finally had an Airedale.
Even the veterinarian I took her to for her initial checkup could not determine what other breed was in her mix but it must have been a terrier and except for the straighter hair she looked and acted all Airedale.
I fell in love with the breed...
Judy taught me the Joy of Airedales... Unlike most puppies she was never un-graceful. Oh she left her share of pee on the rug and a few surprises in the corner, but she always knew what to do with her body.
Stairs were nothing to her. She took to the leash like it was second nature. She was never that gangly scatter-brained pup that you think of. This was her greatest quality which would be her greatest asset throughout her life.
That was Judy. I'll get into why this quality was so important to her in her later life in another story.