My Airedale Experience


Many people on social media and in real life know how much adoration I have for my four year old Airedale Terrier named Emma (“Emmadale” is her Internet Alias). Not a lot of you know my love for the breed in general. The Airedale Terrier breed has meant a lot to me. We’ve had three of them: Amie, Baylee and now Emma.

My mother had Airedale Terriers growing up. My grandfather had trained them as an auxiliary member of the Royal Army in the last legs of World War II. He was too young to enlist but there was an Royal Army Complex nearby with a kennel. His love, our family’s love for the breed stems from that moment.

Amie was our first Airedale Terrier we owned as a family. We got her the Christmas of 1998. December 18, 1998 to be exact  this bundle of joy that brought so much love to our family came into our lives. I was the only one that didn’t know we were getting a new dog. My siblings and parents knew. My siblings went with my mother to visit with the breeder and the newborn pups over the course of the last four months.

I remember when my mother and my siblings brought Amie home for the first time. I was the happiest of teenage boys. I was in a rot of depression since the Summer of ’98. We gave up our German Shepherd Husky Cross Samantha to one of my Uncle’s. She would later reside at my grandparent’s. I would get to see her every weekend but I was still torn that we had to leave her there. She was my best friend in the whole world but that all changed

Amie. One of the greatest dogs and ‘Dales I’ve ever known. She was the happy go-lucky sort of girl that absolutely loved and adored everyone. She gave the best wet mustache and beard kisses (a breed trait). She was also the most cuddliest out of all the ‘Dales we’ve had. I enjoyed our morning cuddles on my parent’s bed before I left to go school. One of my fondest memories of her is the Ameripeeonher Incident. A story for another time, perhaps.

I have some great memories of my beloved Amie dog. I’m tear jerking here as I try to write all these memories down. You see, it’s true: a boy and his dog are inseparable. In February 1999, I lost my Grandpa Tractor (a nickname I coined when I was about 4 and it forever stuck). I entered into a miserable rut. I remember one day I didn’t want to go out for supper with the family so I stayed home with the dog. She never for one moment left my side while I watched television. She cuddled next to me and licked away my tears. She knew what was up and comforted me. I knew in that moment that she was special.

Amie and I were inseparable afterwards. I had a newspaper route and my mom would tell me that she would whine and carry on the whole time I was gone. Since she was too small we placed her in one of my schoolbags on my back with her head sticking out but room enough to move around and the bag open enough that she could have fresh air but not fall out. She wouldn’t catch up since I enjoyed rollerblading it.

She didn’t like that too much because she wanted to go running! So I decided it was time that she got out of the bag after only two attempts. She had a BLAST of a time. She ran the whole way and still was eager for more! We continued doing this rain or shine until I gave up the paper route.

We lost her October 2009.  I was devastated. But I still had my Emmadale!

We got Baylee in the Spring of 2001. None of us knew at the time we were getting another dog. None of us. Well except for my mother. I found the pup known as Baylee in her kennel. I was happy when I saw her. She was asleep so I whispered in enthusiasm to my mother if she belongs to us. She said yesYou see, I’ve always wanted two dogs at the same time. This was a dream that became reality. Especially two Airedales under one roof! It took a while for Amie to get to use to Baylee but they got used to it.

Oh man, their personalities were so much different. Baylee was more of the rabble rousin troublemaker. She also was a “cave dog” and loved to lay underneath desks and coffee tables, especially the coffee table in the living room. She wasn’t as loving as Amie was. She didn’t like cuddling but she gave kisses when they were warranted. My favourite memories of her are all the times she escaped out the front door.

I was worried sick that she’d get hurt. Amie would tag along of course. I believe if Amie didn’t go we would have never found Baylee. Baylee was the little over protective sister of her older sister. So she slowed down to make sure Amie wasn’t too far behind. But luckily Amie was easier to see since unlike most Airedales her ears stuck right up!

Baylee passed away at the age of six in the Fall of 2007.

Emmadale is special to me as Amie and Baylee were. I like to say she’s one of my favourites. She has the best temperament out of the three of them. She’s not the cuddly type like Amie was or the cave dog as Baylee. Nor the run away come catch me kind either. She’s gentle around little children. She also hangs around with me A LOT. Always in my room. Always wanting to go for walkies. Always up for an adventure.

Have I ever said how much I love my Airedales? I do. I love my dogs.