This was to be our fourth Airedale, and we had put a lot of thought into it. It was definitely going to be a male and under two years old UNTIL we met Hana. Sidney Hardie was recommended to us at Airedale Rescue in Tucson. She asked if she could bring a female that she had been fostering for a few months when she did the home visit and politely, we said "of course." We were greeted by a regal female who had an air of dignity about her. And WE FELL IN LOVE! OK, so she was a female and not a male as we had prayed for!! And she was 5-7 years old instead of the two years that we had insisted upon but she needed a home, she was beautiful and she would be ours. Life is full of little turns in the road. Be open and willing to take the other path!
When we picked her up at Sidney's in Tucson, she was aloof and untrusting as we discovered on the two hour ride home in our 4X4 pickup with her in the back seat and very close to us. When we would look around at her we would be greeted by a large set of canine teeth and a guttural rumble which was more than intimidating. I had forgotten the traits of this wonderful breed of tough dogs. This only continued for a few days until she realized we were intending no harm and that she was in a safe place.
Hana taught US all she knew; very obedient, willing to please, able to heel, and best of all, comes when she is called, thanks to Rusty LaFrance, Nevada Airedale Rescue coordinator, her initial savior. She loves our desert home and the outdoors of our log cabin in northern Arizona. She loves walking with us through the woods in the afternoon and then settling by the fire in the evening. She loves to travel in the car and see the sights as we travel from the cabin to our home in the desert for the other half of the year.
Hana is a master of her craft and guards our homes ferociously, allowing no entry by anyone but us two without a menacing interrogation. Outside the home she will greet anyone with a wag and a nuzzle. The vet can probe and prick without the slightest adverse reaction from her. She loves other dogs in the neighborhood but remains cautious with the horses. A wise lady she is.
Six months after bringing Hana into our family Dorene met a lady who was giving up her Lasa-poodle. 17 pound Oliver joined our happy home and has become a constant companion for his 78 pound Aunt Hana. They sleep happily together on the same mat at our cabin and in adjoining crates at our valley home. Two year old Oliver keeps Hana on her toes and a lot more active than if she were alone with us. When he wants to play he pulls on her collar then ducks under her, darts out to jump up, and under again, backing up when she does, keeping out of reach except for those big front paws Hana uses to give him a playful bat. They are the Odd Couple and we love them both.
We are so thankful to all those who made this relationship possible and filled our home with the unconditional love of our wonderful Airedale Terrier Hana (the word for "Flower" in Japanese).
Dorene & Tom Dahoney
Photo is a past CoverDale: In exchange for a $25 donation to National Airedale Rescue, Inc., your favorite picture of a rehomed Airedale will be featured on the front page of the ATCA Rescue & Adoption Committee website for one week.