Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Reagan the Airedale...turning 13

Happy Birthday Reagan the Roo!

Another hot one yesterday, and as I headed off to Lima Shawnee High School, I was pleased that it was my umpiring partner, Tim's, turn to do the plate....we were scheduled to do just one game, but in the heat, that would seem to be plenty.  Ended up not to be so bad...Shawnee and Allen East were in the final of the winners bracket of the Lima ACME Sectional...the host Indians jumped out on top early and cruised to a 15-2,  four and one half inning win over the Mustangs, dropping AE into a elimination final tonight with Lima Central Catholic.  Two teams from each sectional move on to the Districts at LCC this weekend, where I have 2 of those games next Tuesday and Wednesday.  Meanwhile Sam, back from Columbus, and I were selected to work a double header in the split Mercer/Auglaize/Shelby/Van Wert County District.  Not sure who the teams will be, but the Van Wert winners and runners up will be there, our games begin on the turf field(which promises to be HOT) at 1pm.

Sam took a Little League tournament game tonight as a favor...after working the Junior ACME District at Parkway last night.  In those games Crestview remained undefeated beating Coldwater 6-1, while host Parkway lost to league rival St Henry 6-2.  I had those teams early in the season and Parkway had come away with an easy you never know, but of the four, Crestview seems to be head and shoulders above the others.

Reagan The Amazing Airedale_____

As I have written about many times on this blog, Patricia and I have raised and bred Airedale Terriers for over 35 years.  We picked out our first one in 1975 on a farm down in Shelby County, near Houston, Ohio.  That was Rags...she was followed by heading to a small town near where the Houseworth clan branched out, called Roundhead, Ohio.  Roundhead is located some 40 miles east of here, near Indian Lake...that was Max, he turned out to be a money making stud dog, by pure chance, we never planed it that way, but House's Black Max probably sired 200 or more pups, and they brought in good money back in the decade of the 1980s. 

Rag and Max were our companions for many years....the followed us from Celina to the Northwoods of Wisconsin in 1977, then to an apartment in Kokomo, Indiana.  After that it was Dodge City, Kansas....when I finally decided to stop the insanity of moving around for my career in Radio, we returned to the Celina area, where they both lived out their long lives on the farm on Coldwater Creek.  Those dogs ran free along the creek and through the farmland and woods...Max fell through the ice one winter, both got injured getting hit by speeding cars, but both survived, and I always felt good that the two had the freedom few dogs get to enjoy...dogs Hell, few people get the freedoms that Rag and Max had.  They were indeed "Lucky Dogs".  Rags passed away in July 1987 at 11 years, 11 months.  Max was the longest living of our Airedales, until Reagan came until the ripe old age of 12 years and 7 months, passing away in March of 1989.

After Max died and we moved to town, we stopped breeding for the most part, but kept the line intact for awhile.  With the passing of Josey Wales and the early death from cancer of Duke, our Max line, at least with us having a part of it, ended....and Jack, from an Indiana breeder, came along.  Crazy Jack was a runner, and lived to the age of 11.  In that time we did match him up with my college roommates Mick and Sue Szabo's female Ivy...with that mating they produced 8 least two of those dogs from 1998 have reached the amazing age for Airedales, of 13.  July 6, 1998 was the day, and both Reagan and the Szabo's dog Xena, have hit lucky 13.  Sadly Xena has outlived Suzi Szabo who passed away this past April of cancer, at 57.  Time slips away like a thief in the night.

Reagan(named after my favorite politician and President) was house trained from the beginning.  We always favored females, as did the Szabo family, because they are easier to train, and more family friendly...although I have never met a mean Airedale.  If you find one that is mean, you can be sure that it is because the owners are either cruel or idiots, or a combination of both.  Airedales however come in all temperaments, and males especially, can be hard to train for those not willing to work long hours with them.  Rag and Max were our companions for years....because Patricia trained them well.  Until Reagan came along...the rest have been outdoor dogs, and frankly that is where Airedales thrive best.

Reagan has had s variety of skin allergies throughout her years, and with steroids and other injections it didn't seem that she was destined for a long life....I guess someone forgot to tell her.  She hits 13 today...ol' sure, she looks a mess, sleeps 20 hours a day, but still eats well, and does get out in the back yard with me to play ball and lay in the shade.  It's not likely she will be around much longer, but Hell, it was thought she would not make it much past 10...and she had fooled everybody.  No longer on her medication, she seems to have thrived, and I no longer am surprised at her will to "hang in there".

I have said she will probably be our last Airedale...after-all we have had a good run of luck over nearly 40 years...and it may be time for no dog or a smaller dog, after all, the next one may outlive me, if we choose to invite another into our home.  But you know what?  I really don't know...anything can, and usually does happen.   Anyway Reagan and the Airedales past have surely been a large part of our lives....and that may be the biggest understatement I have made on this blog in months.

back later>>>>

Photos-top left Reagan in her younger days, then with her favorite basketball, still playing in her older age...Rag and Max pups, born in 1978, in northern Wisconsin, these  11 were our first litter, and Rags only one, they were a success...Max was to produce a couple hundred more over his 12 1/2 years.  Rag and Max in rural Wisconsin during the blizzard of 1978, then treeing a squirrel at Dodge City in 1980.  And finally "Jack Drambuie" in his short time as a "house dog"...Ol' Jack was not comfortable in the house, and he made the back yard his home for the rest of his 11 years.

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