Category Archives: Life with Airedales

Ellie’s (Betty’s) Success Story

An update on Betty ~ now Ellie as per her new family’s request.

We’ve named her Ellie! Ellie found a bunny in the yard this morning, wow that was neat! She loves tummy rubs and nose scratches! Ellie has decided she’s my shadow, so she has to lay down where she can see me. She really likes all the attention!

Ellie didn’t think I should go to work this morning. I made her sit, patted her, told her to stay home, and be a good girl! Then did the same pats and instructions with a hug to my 15 yr old daughter. She came up and stuck her nose between us, wagging her tail like “Hey ladies, group hug!!”  Oh my, what a love. She’s so happy here, and everyone who’s met her says her new name suits her perfectly. I’m sure we’ve given Ellie the best there is. Thanks Airecanada, for all you do.Catherine and Ellie

Buddy & Oakley: Another AireCanada Success Story!

 Buddy & Oakley were adopted about two years apart by a wonderful family who live in BC’s Cariboo region. Very Airedale experienced, they welcomed the quirky Oakley first to their home and, this past year, added Buddy as well. These dogs have both become 4-H projects for the teenagers in the household who are working successfully to teach obedience to their companions. Continue reading Buddy & Oakley: Another AireCanada Success Story!

Can You Help Us?


Volunteer help is desperately needed, especially if you live in the province of Quebec.  Please consider helping us? Summer is here and with it comes the surrender of so many Quebec Airedales. In the last month we have had three Airedales land in shelters or rescue and we have very limited resources in Quebec. What this means is without transport, fostering or help with home visits, these Airedales are sitting in shelters languishing while waiting for their forever homes. In the past we have done our best to transport these dogs to Ontario or the Maritimes and place them in these provinces but with the lack of volunteers this is becoming almost impossible. PLEASE, please, please consider volunteering with AireCanada.  We are looking for any help we can get. Volunteering with us does not have to be a heavy time commitment.  If we get several people to help do small parts each, we can help these abandoned Airedales and really make a difference. Please contact Steph at rebels_mommy@yahoo.com if you would like more information.

5 Easy steps for grooming an Airedale Terrier

Most of us with pet Airedales (meaning we are not grooming a show dog) like to let our dogs get a little shaggy looking in the wintertime, so that they have more coat to keep them warm with during the winter months. Dale parents will know that weekly brushing helps keep the coat unmatted. Here are top grooming tips from Margaret Glass to keep your airedale’s perm looking perfect: 

1) For dogs with softer coats, to keep the legs looking nice and to help prevent bad mats, use a slicker brush each week – pulling the brush up and down the leg, repeating often – try to remove as much undercoat as possible.

When using a slicker, Mars rake, furminator or combs, always remember not to scrape the dog’s skin with the tool, which can hurt and irritate the dog’s skin.

I recommend brushing out the undercoat on a weekly basis. This helps keep the outer wirehair lying flatter, and the dog looking tidier.  

2) After removing what undercoat that you can, if you have a dog with a really excellent hard coat, it doesn’t hurt to fluff up the jacket backwards, so that the wirehairs are standing on end, then pluck the highest hairs. This will keep the jacket making new wirehair underneath, and when you come to strip the jacket in the springtime, there will be a new jacket underneath. Keep in mind you are only removing the very longest hairs; the dog will still have a long jacket.  You can also do this with the legs just lightly plucking the very longest hairs. 

3) Check the pads of the feet, and remove any fur balls between the pads. This should be done about twice a month. Keeping the hair trimmed around the pads helps prevent these fur balls starting. If there are fur balls, trim with curved scissors, or carefully use clippers to remove them. A comb helps to pull the fur ball out a bit if you need to scissor it all away. One wants to be very careful not to cut the pads. Grinding or cutting toenails at the same time helps to keep the nails short. 

Trim the hair around the edges of the feet helps prevent mats and makes grinding/cutting toenails easier and safer. 

4) I like to keep the hair fairly short behind the front elbows and under the armpits, as the fur tends to mat up there.  It is good to keep the tummy area, particularly for the boys, fairly short and free of mats. 

5) The muzzle is a place that quickly gets matted with the Airedales’ long beard hairs and their proclivity for sticking their noses into everything, so brushing it regularly is important. Trimming the hair around the dog’s lips regularly helps to prevent some of the worst matting. 

A note on Bathing:

Airedales should only be done when absolutely necessary, (some Terrier diehards never bath their dogs). If you do shampoo your dog make really sure that you rinse every vestige of soap out. I personally like to use a conditioner after the soap, such as a mixture of Keri Lotion and water. Some people use a light spray of mineral oil on the jacket. Always towel the jacket going from the head to the tail sort of like a back massage, and repeat often – it feels good for the dog and gets the coat lying flat and shiny. Then towel the furnishings every which way to get them all fluffy-looking. Carefully comb any mats out of the furnishings.  If you are dealing with removing burrs, twigs, etc., spraying a little moisturizer on the furnishings first helps with gently brushing/pulling the offending items out of the hair. 

In between shampoos, if the coat needs a little cleaning, spray a mixture of Listerine (or witch hazel) and water over the jacket and furnishings. Towel the jacket from head to tail, and then brush the furnishings. I have an all purpose skin and hair moisturizer which I like to spray on the dog just before I have finished brushing; it smells nice and it helps to give the jacket a little extra sheen without being oily at all. Toweling/brushing the jacket repeatedly makes it look nicer. 

Voila your dale will look lovely or handsome!!

Margaret Glass, AireCanada

Skeena: a Cautionary Tale of Hardship and Luck

Airedale puppy Skeena was born in 2007. A year later, her owner developed an illness and subsequently lost his job. He could barely afford to feed himself. Providing his puppy with food became a nearly impossible task. Dependent on table scraps and dog food provided by his friends, Skeena survived but did not thrive. She became thin and her coat grew dry, her skin flaky and inflamed.  Desperate for cash, her owner decided to breed Skeena so he could sell the pups to earn some money. Fortunately, for Skeena’s sake, this plan did not come to fruition. Poor starved Skeena might have died giving birth to puppies; she certainly did not have the physical resources to feed them.

Enter a pensioner with little money herself – a friend of Skeena’s owner. Extremely concerned about Skeena’s condition, she managed to gather together a few dollars and offered to buy Skeena. The owner, luckily, agreed. This Good Samaritan took Skeena to the vet at her own cost and had her bathed and groomed as well. She planned to keep the dog but, in the end, was unable to do so. She offered Skeena to AireCanada.

Skeena turned up at my house to be fostered – an emaciated skin-and-bone skeleton covered in rough, wiry, brittle hair through which infected skin could be glimpsed. We promptly put Skeena on a diet rich in nutrients and protein. We urged her to play with our three Airedales to improve her stamina and develop muscle. She fell in love with our young male and the two bonded like littermates.

Throughout all her hardships, Skeena remained a bouncy, bubbly, happy little girl – one who was ball crazy in the extreme. Skeena chased a ball for as many hours a day as someone could be persuaded to throw it for her!  Fostering Skeena was guaranteed to result in a sore arm. Skeena was checked out thoroughly by our wonderful veterinarian, Dr. Pawel Cichon at Sunwood Veterinary Hospital. Once she was deemed strong enough, she was spayed. 

While Skeena’s medical bills cost AireCanada over $500, we were committed to helping her get ready for a better life. That life became a reality when a wonderful and Airedale-experienced couple adopted Skeena. They dote on her endlessly and care for her as if she were a very precious treasure. 

Despite a very rough start to her life, Skeena has found friends who genuinely care about her, who saved her from a painful death by starvation and now are ensuring she lives happily ever after. Truly, Skeena’s story is a cautionary tale of how life takes unexpected turns and knowing when to ask for help is so important to the whole household. When jobs are lost, the family pet can suffer equally along with other family members. Skeena was a victim of tough economic times and possibly one of the luckiest dogs we have ever fostered for AireCanada. 

Maureen Scott, AireCanada