When I experience the loss of a senior canine friend I always feel for her human companion. People who adopt our senior Dales, especially when they have a load of medical problems, hold a very special place in my heart as do those crippled old Airedales themselves. So my thoughts are with Trisha (Airedale Rescue volunteer) during this time and wish her comfort with the loss of her beloved Gracie.

Gracie had been in rescue far too long--often kenneled. I guess she was what many considered "hard to adopt" because no one wanted to take on an older dog with tumors, hip problems and as it turned out liver problems. But Trisha saw her photo on a website and she knew it was meant to be.

I met Gracie the day Trisha got her and I knew the two would be inseparable. It was mutual love at first site. Gracie was not the most glamorous Airedale I had ever seen and her medical problems were readily apparent. She displayed difficulty getting up from a down position and walked with a bit of a shuffle. Trisha in her reliably obsessive way scheduled Gracie to meet with her vet. The vet exam was extensive. Several cysts and tumors were oozing and were removed for biopsy, blood work indicated elevated liver enzymes (from rimadyl), her teeth were in poor condition and she exhibited a lot of pain. ATCA Rescue came to Trisha´s aid to help her deal with the first round of vet costs understanding that Trisha had taken on a senior Dale that would continue to need special care.

But I never cease to be amazed at the heart of an Airedale and how miracles seem to happen when connection with the right human is made. Progress was slow but day-by-day Gracie improved. The vet used a combination of traditional veterinary medicine and homeopathy to soothe Gracie´s weary system. While at first Gracie could only walk a block or two, by last summer she was up to one mile. Trisha followed the vet´s recommendations administering special herb combinations and preparing special food when needed. Trisha cared for her with absolute devotion.

Gracie was with us only 18 months. But she will be missed as if she had been here 10 yrs. On Christmas Eve my husband and I had been with Trisha and Gracie and Gracie was doing her usual inspection of the goodies. So the end came rather quickly. Her body was filled with cancer.

I write this tribute for Trisha and in memory of Gracie. But I also write it for all the true Airedale lovers who have it in their hearts to bring a senior Airedale into their home and love and care for them until the end comes. To me that is the most generous gift of all.

Dorothy Duff
New Mexico Rescue

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Airedale Information

The ATCA Rescue & Adoption Committee fulfills the Airedale Terrier Club of America, Inc. ("ATCA") obligation to protect and advance the interests of the breed by providing services to lost, abandoned, abused or unwanted purebred Airedale Terriers.
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