Saturday, July 22, 2023

AireGirl Update, July 22, 2023

Airedale Nona, a bundle of fur
A bundle of fur.
Adopting an older Airedale is an interesting experience.  No matter the age, they come with their own personalities, but older 'dales come with everything they've learned, too, both good and less-than-good.  In AireGirl's case, she's comfortable with thunder and lightening but hesitant about the rattle of a pan in the kitchen and the thud of a book falling to the floor.  There are other common, everyday things that she's hesitant about.  It makes me wonder how much she did not experience in her previous situation....

Airedale Nona, her teeth showing
AireGirl completely relaxed.
AireGirl has begun to blossom in the three weeks she's been her.  She no longer feels like she has to stay by my side in our fenced yard.  She has begun exploring and investigating.  She discovered a cat on the other side of the fence and checks the area very time we go out.

She has begun doing tuckbuttruns.  The joy of seeing them!

She playbows to invite a chase.   What fun!

And she has--once--done a twirl or spin.   Does you Airedale do that, too?  She gets excited and then dances or twists in a circle until she's spinning.  She is only the second Airedale we've had who has done that.  Look out if she twirls too close because it could knock a person off balance.

She is not food motivated and turned up her nose at her dog food, ignored treats, and turned her back on food rewards for doing as requested.  All that until we discovered pill pockets/pouches.  They are soft and appealing.  I cut each into 12 or 15 pieces so she gets just a tiny taste, but they are motivating to her when I ask for a sit or a down.  That pleases me a lot because I found it hard to train with praise as the only reward.   She already gets so many pets and hugs, they didn't mean anything to her as praise for doing a job.

Airedale Nona looking away from the camera
What's going on over there?
She continues to be camera shy.  I hope that improves as I take more photos of her, and I hope my photo-taking skills improve, too.

I'm still working on teaching her to tell me she needs or wants to go outside.  We have a bell on the door but she's uncertain about it.  I try to remember to ring it whenever we go out, hoping she'll get the idea.

She does not yet have a new name.  Her previous name ended with the sound "see" and she seems to like and respond to names that end that way.  We've tried out many.  She seems to me like a Pippa, but her human sister has a cat named Pippa, so that name's out.  But maybe Pippin, Pipsy for short.  Other names we've considered are Minna, Jenna, Mia, Myma, Tansy, and Tedda.  Oh, and Lizbet --> Little Bit--> Bitsy.  She is a standard size Airedale but because of her demeanor she seems young. 

There's more -- isn't there always more with an Airedale?  But I'll post another time.


Monday, July 10, 2023

Welcoming a New AireGirl

It had been more than four years since the presence of an Airedale graced our home. 
Airedale Nona
We welcomed this new AireGirl on June 30.  She is a retired mama, a little more than five years old.  And she is oh, so sweet.

She is well-mannered both inside and out, watchful to see my next move, interested in our activities but not necessarily in joining in.  She walks well on lead and respectfully allows humans to go into and out of doors before her.  Best of all, she comes when called.  If outside, she races to me when I call and, if inside, she comes quickly.  She has some learning to do, too, though.  She won't sit or lie down on command, doesn't know wait or stay, and when greeting people she enthusiastically jumps up on her toes.  And there are plenty of other commands, along with hand signals, she can learn.  She seems a little hesitant or insecure sometimes.  Often, her ears are pulled to the side and her tail is down, indications that she is nervous or uncertain.  (And who wouldn't be uncertain when in a new and unfamiliar home with strangers?!) 
Airedale Nona running toward the camera
It was fun to see her outside yesterday, ears alert, tail high, racing to the fence to tell the neighbor he shouldn't be mowing so close to her fence, then racing back to me when I called her.   

She loves being near me, especially, though she likes other family members, too, and enjoys being petted or getting any kind of attention.  She's not much interested in treats or toys--a real people dog.

We had visitors yesterday.  She came in from outside, greeted them, and asked for pets.  (She did not jump up, I think because they were here when she came in.  Had she been inside when they came, she would probably have jumped to welcome them.)  She tried to sniff.  (Bad manners!)  Then she laid on the floor and eventually stretched out on her side for a snooze.  I'm glad she felt safe.

Observations about AireGirl since she's been here.
  • She does not like to walk in grass after a rain and does not like being out in the rain.  (Me, either.)
  • She doesn't like fireworks but instead of cowering or trying to hide as our previous Airedales have done, she comes to me for assurance in the form of pets.
  • Outside, cats are critters of interest, to be chased if possible.  Inside, cats are animals to be respected because they hiss.  Two cats visit us periodically. 
  • Much like Hannah, AireGirl does not like to be photographed, at least not these past few days.  I hope that changes. 
  • The water in the water bowl is dirty if she's taken a drink and she will not drink from it again until it's been rinsed and has clean water. 

She will have a new name but we haven't decided yet what it will be.  What name will fit her personality (which we're still discovering)?  It needs two syllables with the accent on the first.  We should decide soon so she can learn it.

I hope you're having fun with your Airedales!

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Airedale Behavior: Snorfle

snorfle, v.
loud and enthusiastic sniffing of the ground by a large dog in the hope of something to eat or something dead to roll on.
There seem to be various definitions of this word, but this is the most accurate one I found as relates to Airedale terriers.  It's the "loud and enthusiastic" part that makes this different from the common sniffing the ground.  Sometimes the 'dales use their noses to move leaves and dirt around to get a deeper snorfle.  Ya gotta love Airedales!

I think every Airedale who's ever lived with us has snorfled.  How about your Airedales?