Saturday, January 26, 2019

I Had to Beg -- Postively Beg!

I see what you have, Pop.
Don't you think you should share?

My pop knows I love cheese corn.
But do you think he offered me any?

He usually tosses pieces to me to catch
but this time I had to beg and beg!
When I beg I just stare at what I want.
And finally, finally, he gave me some.

I think Airedales with cancer
should get everything they want,
whenever they want it without begging.
Don't you?

from Hannah.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Meeting Willow at Ikea

How often do you meet a live Airedale at a store?  In my experience, not often, but while my daughter and I were wandering through Ikea the other day we were surprised to see a furry, black and tan Airedale.

Airedale Willow at Ikea

She was wearing a halter with "In Training" on the side so, before petting her, I asked if we could greet her.  Her owners hesitated just a second then said yes.  I told them that we had an Airedale, Hannah, at home.  I asked if I could take some photos and they said sure, but when I pulled out the camera, I realized that Willow and Hannah have in common a dislike of being photographed.  Willow turned her head for most every photo.

Airedale Willow at Ikea

We learned that her name is Willow and that she was a breeder rescue when she was about 8 weeks old.  The breeder found that Willow's mother, one of his dogs, had been bred and was tied outside along with four puppies.  Willow's owner said the breeder took the dogs back and found homes for them.

Willow and Hannah sounded so much alike when they first arrived at home:  fearful of everything and lack of knowledge of so much that most puppies learn early in their lives.  Willow's owners have been working with her since she came to them nearly three years ago to help her become a well-adjusted Airedale and become a Canine Good Citizen.

Airedale Willow at Ikea

Visiting Ikea was part of her training.  She was such an obedient girl and seemed unruffled by anything.  Her owner said that she'd learned how to give hugs:  kneel down and pat your shoulder.  How sweet to receive a hug from Willow.

We all agreed that Airedales are the very best dogs in the world!


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

You Can Still Hope Until....

You can still hope the vet is wrong -- at least until the results of the tests come in.  And then there are just tears and sadness.  Now we face the reality. 

In mid- December we received some of the saddest news an Airedale owner wants to hear.  Nearly a week after Hannah's visit to the vet, the vet called with test results.  Hannah has kidney disease, spindle cell/soft tissue sarcoma, and lymphoma/lymphosarcoma.   

The spindle cell cancer is slow to spread.  But the lymphoma is another story.  It could take Hannah's life in as little as six weeks and she could go from doing well in the morning to being on her deathbed in the evening.  It's an awful prognosis.

I go through my days now wondering, which will be the last carrot I peel and chop for her breakfast?  Which will be the last night Hannah cuddles against me on the bed?  Is this playtime the last I'll see her bounce around and toss her toy in the air?   

Hannah's first two years left her with a broken spirit and a fear of everything and nearly everyone.  When she came to us she was underweight, knew no language--not even her name, had no idea how to go up and down stairs, and got carsick with every ride.  She loved me first, maybe because I slept on the floor with her the first night, and adopted me as her mum.  We were just going to foster her but I couldn't put her through one more transition.  She's been with us 10 years, going on 11, and has adjusted to so many challenges.  It's all just too sad to think her life will end with cancer.

We love Hannah to bits and continue to enjoy our time with her, whether she's sleeping near me on the couch, watchful for food that's fallen to the floor, nudging me for an ear-rub or a treat, or just playing.  She is a dear, sweet Airedale.

I wish I could turn back the clock to before the test results, when there was still hope.