AIREDALE RESCUE – FROM NEEDING A LIFELINE TO GIVING ONE
In Fall 2015, Cindy Johnstonbaugh received a call from the local SPCA that they had a senior female Airedale. They didn’t have much history except that she was having accidents in the house and didn’t get along with their other dog. The volunteer brought out a small Airedale with light red fur and said her name was Aire and they were told that she was about eight years old.
Her geriatric blood panel revealed a raging urinary tract infection and the exam found teeth desperately in need of cleaning. After 2 rounds of antibiotics were completed, we scheduled an appointment to have her teeth cleaned. The doctor called to explain that the cleaning was much more involved than they expected. When they touched her teeth, they fell out because of the infection that went far below the gum line. Each socket was filled with puss, and they had never seen teeth this bad. She lost 14 teeth in total. None were pulled – they simply fell out when they touched them. The vet commented that only an Airedale could have tolerated the amount of pain that she had to have suffered with for years. Her remaining teeth are fine and she is completely able to eat.
In the meantime, the Lukaszewskis were chosen to adopt Amber (changed name). They just happened to be therapy dog trainers and they thought Amber would be perfect. What a wonderful new lease on life Amber was about to have!
Mary Lukaszewski found out that Amber did not know any commands; she had never had even the simplest training. Just a month after her arrival, the semi-annual training session for LEAP (Learning Education Assistance Pups) was scheduled to begin and Mary was going to be the teacher. Amber began the class with Mary’s husband Joe and was a star student.
Amber did well on the final test, which consisted of knowing the basic obedience commands of sit, down, heel and stay and was just what the doctor ordered when tested on her reading and listening skills and her interaction with children. She knew she had done something well when she was awarded her LEAP bandana and her ID card – she wagged her tail for the audience.
Amber now is a therapy dog, helping children read at Lake Forest Elementary School in Delaware and we couldn’t be more proud of her and the Lukaszewskis. Amber continues to study for her CGC class over the summer months and surely will pass with flying colors in the fall. Within less than a year, Amber went from near death to making a difference by helping the children in her community. Well done!!
Airedale Rescue and Adoption of the Delaware Valley serves Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. If you are interested in adopting an Airedale, fill out an adoption application here.