Jack the Airedale passed away overnight...one of those things you knew was coming, but leaves a sadness anyway....I buried him under the raspberry bushes in the back yard...joining LT, Duke, and Josey Wales....as permanent residents in the garden area....We have had Airedales on a continuing run since 1974...33 years since I purchased Molly Mop Rags on a farm near Houston, Ohio in November 74....I think we went 2 weeks without an Airedale in September 1996 between Jose's passing and bringing Jack home....his daughter Reagan, age 9, is who we have left.....along with the Cat....whom I'm sure it was Jack's regret that he didn't get one more chance to take her out before he left the world.
When we lived on the farm, we bred over 100 pups in a 10 year span.....some of Max, Rags, and Pippy's XXXXGreat Grandpups are still roaming houses and farms from Wisconsin to Idaho, to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and other states today.
Have had and raised Airedale Terriers since 1974. My first experience with the largest of the terrier breeds was back in 1963. We had moved from south Florida to the Celina, Ohio, area the previous fall....living on the west side of Grand Lake near the game preserve we had access to all kinds of wildlife and places to roam.
One morning our neighbor Hubert Becker(who had a large commercial Beagle Kennel) came over to the house and began telling dad about hearing dogs howling back in the preserve...we ended up going back and after some searching found two dogs...one was a Airedale(not purebred, but without a doubt mostly Airedale), sitting and giving a death moan while watching her partner a black and tan with his butt sticking out of a hole. What had happened(guessing here) the two were chasing a raccoon and the hound dog had followed the coon into a hole...once in, he couldn't get out....dad and Hugh pulled the guy out, put leashes on both dogs and headed back home.
Strange thing...the dogs had Michigan Dog Tags(at least 90 miles north)...after a few weeks, nothing in the paper, the dog catcher had nobody contact him looking for the animals, so we were a mixed Airedale and a Black and Tan richer(poorer)...Brownie and Blackie is what we called them...Blackie didn't last long, but Brownie stayed with us for a few years before passing away...I do remember she took out a few cats in the neighborhood, not exactly winning us any points with our area partners.
Brownie always stayed in my thoughts when I was on my own and decided what kind of dog I wanted....I raised coon dogs from Blueticks to Redticks to Walkers....those were my outdoor hunting dogs...after work a few of us would go out, take the dogs to the woods, drink beer and BS...the dogs would run...Hell we never cared if they caught anything...we didn't really like to kill wildlife anyway, we just loved to sit and talk and listen to the dogs run...even Patricia went with me on occasions...those days come flowing back like water over a fall.
Anyway when it came time for my dog of choice to be a house dog I looked for Airedales...hard to find, and rather expensive..but I found a litter which had 3 females left...this was November 1974...I went to a farm outside Houston, Ohio, and picked out a 3 month old female...and that is how our family love affair began with Airedale Terriers...before our kids came along, Rag and Max(a year younger and a LARGE dog, 100 plus pounds), were our kids...they went with us everywhere, from Wisconsin vacations to weekend camping trips to central Michigan...I think the only place they didn't go with us was on our Honeymoon trip to Florida.
When the kids came along, the Airedales took a back seat, but they have stayed a part of our family for well over 30 years...
The List of Houseworth Airedales that have shared our home:
And a few others that have been with us for varying amounts of time, until we sold them..or ? Will we have another after Reagan passes on? Who knows, we are getting up in age ourselves...pets, like kids, if you want to raise them right, take time and money.....but it's been worth the ride.
I should add we are not Airedale snobs...we've had our share of mutts and hounds, beagles, etc....we've shared our lives with lots of dogs.
So Long Jack![photo Jack sitting on the swing earlier this summer]