All posts by KarenC - Alberta

Sheena, before and after…

I thought that some people might be interested in seeing a before and after shot of our Sheena.

Sheena Before and After

In her “Before” shot, Sheena was 99 lbs and her hair was so matted we had to shear it all off. Her hind mammary glands were hanging down to her hocks. She could barely bend her body enough to turn a circle. Her obesity meant that she had a hard time getting up from sitting or lying down. She had to literally lurch herself upright. Her nails were very long making it all the harder for her to walk properly. That was back in early February. Almost five months ago.

In her “After” shot, SheShe is now around 80 lbs, fully recovered from a mastectomy that removed the troublesome mammary glands. She can turn a circle with ease, walk, run around the yard, jump on the couch, run up the stairs taking two stairs at a time (thank you very much), and ta-DA…she can do a tuckbuttrun like any self-respecting Airedale! Well, her version of it anyway! It’s so nice to see her feeling so perky and funny. She is back to enjoying life and I think she plans to live it to the fullest! Sheena is still looking hard for her forever home! Can you keep up with this ten-year-old-going-on-eight? If you can, email or fill in an application at

Sheena is still looking for a home!

Sheena is growing her hair back! It’s still thin over her back, but the new hair now growing in is a lovely wire in beautiful copper and black. It seems that all we needed to do was to get her thyroid medication into her at the right time each day.

Sheena subsequently got a staph infection on her skin and needed some antibiotics and a way to help eliminate the bacteria on her skin surface. That too is clearing up nicely and looking lovely!

Sheena has a lot of energy for a 10 year old. This morning she initiated some goofy play with my boy Rio, but I had to ask them to tone it down a little because Rio likes to bite her on the neck and I didn’t want him to cause any irritation. She’s definitely more playful though. It’s all good! Sheena is a mischevious girl and what you THINK she should be like (a sedate matron) is a far cry from what she’s really like. She’s curious about everything, she’s got a sense of humor and a sense of adventure, that’s for sure.

Close up of Sheena's shirt

Sheena has a new shirt to show off….who says mosquito protection can’t be cute as well? This one subtly states that she’s royalty!

Sheena has been in foster care for nearly five months. Somewhere out there, surely, is that special someone who can give their heart to her. In return, just know that you will get a dog that loves you with every cell of her being. She really deserves to have someone of her own to love, to walk (or run!) with and to share her days with. A special bond that she won’t be taken away from, ever again. Please consider this senior who apparently hasn’t a clue that she should act like a senior…because she clearly doesn’t! If you are interested in being Sheena’s special person

Just call me “She”

Sheena has had a lot of healing to do after her mastectomy, but she’s all healed now and doing great! Her only other issue at this time is her hair loss. It might be from alopecia or perhaps not timing her thyroid medication just right? We’re not 100% sure so first of all we’ve adjusted when she gets her thyroid medication and we’ll see first if that helps her regrow some hair. While waiting for that, we decided that Sheena really needed a little protection from the sun and those darn mosquitoes.

So we went shopping. Trying to be thrifty, we’ve adapted a couple of girl’s tank tops. That seems to work really well, actually, to give her some light cover from sun and insects. I embellished the tanks a little. Here Sheena (or “She” as we’ve been calling her) models a summery little number in blue and white tie-dye with cute buttons and a couple of pink flowers. I still need to add a little tie around the waist to show off her new figure.

Sheena in her summer shirt

Sheena continues her walking and diet regimen to help her lose weight. It’s going slowly, but it’s going we think! After her stay at her previous foster home with Gary and Marie-Andrée, she is very fit for a ten year old and can jump and bounce and dance in the kitchen as her meals are prepared!

Sheena is 10 years young, gets along fine so far with other dogs, the cat (the cat disagrees, but then she’s a bit opinionated and grouchy, so what does SHE know) and of course all people. My dog Rio had grouched at her a couple of times, and she hasn’t even thought about retaliating in any way. She is a very sensible girl.

She is currently on a raw diet and it would be preferable if she remain on that kind of diet. Her only medication is her thyroid tablets. They are inexpensive and easy to administer.

Sheena loves, LOVES her walks and sometimes takes the leash in her mouth to hurry you along. She will sleep a good portion of the day away, but as soon as she hears the tinkling of her leash and collar being picked up, she’s at the door in a heartbeat and ready to go! She will pull occasionally on the leash, and she IS strong, but she doesn’t do it a lot and it’s not hard to convince her to walk more politely and be mindful that she’s attached to a human on the other end of the leash. Sheena also loves to cuddle. We have “dog couches” downstairs in the tv room and she easily jumps up to curl up beside me, or she’ll just curl up on one of the dog beds available.

Sheena may or may not regrow all her hair. She may always have some thin or bald areas. We’re just hoping that someone can see past that to the happy, active, I-love-my-life girl underneath it all! Sheena continues to wait for that special person to show up who will just give her the best life possible for the rest of her days….which, at the rate she’s going could be several good years! I know it takes a big heart to adopt a dog knowing that they won’t have her for the same length of time as one might expect when adopting a puppy or much younger adult, but she really deserves to find that person.

Here is a fun video of walking with Sheena, with a little emphasis on the bittersweetness of loving a foster dog and knowing you have to send them on to their forever home at some point.

If you are interested in adopting Sheena, please contact

Sheena, Pretty in pink!

Sheena in Pink!

Sheena had a bandage change and for a while there, was very color coordinated. She subsequently had the bandages removed entirely so that air could get to the incision site. She has a lot of healing still to do, but is doing well. She is now on full walks. Sheena is counting the days to when she will be ready to go to her very own forever home. Will she have a home to go to? That’s up to you. She would love to move in to that cozy space in someone’s heart, as well as that cozy space on the couch! If you have that “spare room” that Sheena is longing for,

She would also appreciate it if everyone noted how slim and beautiful she is!

Bandage, leash and collar - all pink!

Sheena is out of surgery!

Sheena with a gold bandage

Sheena’s surgery went well, according to the vet. They removed all but two of her mammary glands. All but two had little pockets in them and rather than risk them filling with fluid, they removed them. Her thyroid was tested with Dr. Jean Dodds in the US, and we now have an appropriate dosage of thyroid medication to give her. We are hoping with all the balancing of her diet, her thyroid and her exercise, that there will be some hair growth soon and her thin coat will be a thing of the past. Fingers crossed!

Sheena will spend the night at the vet clinic and tomorrow she should be able to go back to her foster home and begin her convalescence! Keep sending those good thoughts for speedy healing!

Once more, all the kudos have to go to her foster parents who are doing such a remarkable job of getting Sheena healthy and in shape, and giving her back an activity level that will keep her from getting old before her time.

More than anything, this dear Matron of Airedales would like to have her very own home, complete with an active human or two, a cat is optional, another dog is optional, and a comfy couch to lounge on, well, that might be a bit more on the necessity list than the optional list. If you are in Alberta and think your heart is big enough to provide all the love that Sheena needs for rest of her life,