Piper Fox

It is with an absolute broken heart that I tell you we have had to say goodbye to Piper.

As most of you know, she was diagnosed with Cutaneous Lymphoma on April 25th of last year, just a few months after her fifth birthday. As was her style of fierce determination for what she wanted, she defied the odds and kept watch over our family until Monday evening when she could no longer fight the battle.

When we went to the breeder to choose a puppy, there were two litters of puppies. We were to choose from the older litter but when I looked at them it just didn't feel right. I told Jim I  wanted a puppy from the younger litter because right behind me was a puppy standing on her hind legs determined to get our attention saying "pick me, pick me!!"  All her littermates tired but she was relentless. Needless to say, we insisted on getting this particular puppy and when she was 47 days old we brought her home.

From the day we brought her home life was full of surprises!  It's just amazing the lengths you go to for four legs and a wagging tail!

It took me some time to understand the terrier way of thinking, but through Piper I learned more about people, life, friendships, and most importantly myself. She taught me important life lessons that will be with me always. Together we learned about building a solid relationship based on trust, what it meant to truly help others, and how important it was to be persistent, a trait that some, outside the Airedale community looked upon with disdain, but one that served her well on more than one occasion.

My epiphany came after a dog class one evening when the "instructor" looked at both of us with such a look of disapproval because she was doing what dogs do to communicate--bark! On the ride home I realized that the single thing I truly owed her was the right to be who she was and not who someone else thought she should be.  I'm certain the instructor could never have imagined how such a hateful negative look could have had such a positive impact....

Piper was persistent in her quest for life and love. Without her, I wouldn't have been introduced to the exceptional people that make the rescue of our precious Airedales possible, or some wonderful friendships developed through educating myself on positive training methods. We traveled many places in our journey together. Her best friend Hannah joined her on many of our trips to dog camp, seminars, and Airedale events. Piper was truly an ambassador of love. It was unconditional love that was a reflection of what our hearts felt for her.

Of the many dogs we brought into our home to foster, she treated them all the same, with kindness, love, and understanding. She loved everyone and everything and it didn't matter if you had two legs or four, she was happy to see you.

Piper loved going for airplane rides and prancing around the airport with her goggles on bringing a smile to everyone that saw her. The employees at the airport always loved to see her on the other side of the door. When she appeared, suddenly you would see 3 or 4 men waving wildly at this dog on the other side of the glass and quite pleased when she waved back to them! On more than one occasion, I'm certain the pilots passing through the area thought the staff was half mad when they witnessed these men all waving to a dog!

Even though we knew the day was coming that we would have to say goodbye, we could never prepare our hearts for such a profound loss.


In memory of my bestest friend, Piper Fox. We had so much fun together and you taught me a lot. Life will not be the same without you. I will miss you forever and a day.

Love, your best forever friend,
Hannah McMain



Amazing how one extraordinary gal named Piper impacted our lives. From the time I first met Piper and realized that her exuberant energy made our Border Collies look like they were standing still, Piper and I truly loved each other. I will remember her bearded greetings with love forever.
I have to laugh at some of my memories of Piper. Okay, at most of them. She had such a great sense of humor. When I would drive over to pick up Piper for her vacations at our house, I would carefully have her sit and wait at the door while I  snapped her leash, then open the door and carefully make sure that she waited so that we could gracefully exit the house. She always got the jump start on me. She would literally drag me out to get in our van. It was our own little game we both enjoyed. The first time Piper spent camp at our house, Susan took her to the vet because she appeared lethargic after getting back home. Our Vet explained to Susan that if she had been at our house for a week with the BCs she was just tired!
Piper blended in with our family of old and young dogs when visiting.  I have fond memories of this rowdy girl being ever so patient with not only my Mom's elderly blind poodle but with my little old Poodle, Oreo.  Gabby and Oreo would grumble at her as Piper would bound around our backyard. Piper never took it personally and would try her best not to stumble over them as she streaked around with the BCs. 
At one early "camp" with us, we discovered that Piper had a habit of stealing things that were not hers and running around the house to get our attention. She has a great sense of humor!   We had a heart to heart training session with Piper and from that point on during her visits, she would run in to raid the dog toy baskets and pile all the dog  toys on "her" rug as if to say, "Okay, I understand that these are the dog toys let's play!" 
Piper's spirit was truly one of love. There was not a mean bone in that dog's body.  For those who met Piper and missed recognizing a great spirit of  exuberance for a true love of life, that was their loss.  I was proud and honored to be Piper's friend during her journey in this life. Thank you Susan for sharing her with us.

One more Piper story about Piper's Spirit. Even after passing, Piper's Spirit gave me a precious gift.  Earlier this week, after Piper had passed but before Susan sent us the email about Piper's passing,  I felt Piper's spirit rub up against my arm. I looked down at my arm and I knew that while physically, Piper was not beside me, it was Piper giving me a nudge. I felt her presence and briefly saw her gorgeous  Airedale Coat.  I was afraid to contact Susan because I didn't want to hear that our dear Piper had passed.  I consider her nudge a priceless gift, one that I will cherish as I picture Piper bounding around so full of life even in the next journey. I don't believe in coincidences and I don't think it was just my imagination that even after she passed from this journey Piper found a way to touch my heart and to assure me that life goes on even for a four legged exuberant Airedale who loved life.


Susan - I am sobbing as I type this.  What a beautiful tribute to such a beautiful animal.  My heart is broken for you and Jim......

She has been such a blessing to so many Airedales as I am certain her life encouraged you and so many others in the rescue program.  Dogs DO GO TO HEAVEN!  If they don't, I don't want to be there either! 

Dee Newbanks

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Airedale Information

The ATCA Rescue & Adoption Committee maintains and updates a network of contacts across the country to aid in the re-homing of purebred Airedale Terriers who are lost or abandoned. These contacts are volunteers located in several states, as well as Canada, working to help Airedales in need, adopting them to permanent loving homes.
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