“Barley” (formerly known as Marley) is finally on his way home with his new family. First meeting met with great enthusiasm, tail wagging, and big grins on the part of all humans involved. Must say that he will be missed. Everyone who had a chance to get to know him, got quite attached to him.
Barley was a stray whose owner never came to claim him and that the shelter could not place, so they contacted Airedale Rescue and asked us to take him. He was a bag of bones when we got him .. only 45.5 lbs. He is now up to 55 lbs. on his way to his proper weight of about 70 lbs. He is estimated to be around 2 or 3 years old. He had no training when he arrived, but was very, very sweet and affectionate.
Wonderful volunteers Mara and Ted Miles, transported Marley/Barley, visited him frequently at the kennel, groomed him, took him to classes, worried about him, loved him and did everything they could to get him ready for a new home. Here are excerpts from the journey they took with Marley on his way to becoming Barley.
>Didn’t sleep too well last night thinking about him. I told Dorothy that I have not seen a dog in that poor condition. You can’t tell how thin he is because of all the hair. But there is NOTHING between a thin layer of skin and his bones. Breaks my heart! I am so thankful that SWAT is able to help this dog.
[Marley had kennel cough and was covered with ticks, so had to be boarded with a vet for treatment. ]
Here are some pix I took while at the vet’s today for his physical. (Ted wants to call him Marley because of the dreadlocks).
I was so relieved to see him looking and acting better. His eyes were bright and he is beginning to show some Airedale energy. He did sit for me–but I think it was accidental and once he realized he could get a treat by sitting, the frequency of the sit picked up quickly. He is pretty BIG. If he stands up (which he does frequently), he is almost as tall as I am. He is going to be a master counter surfer! His feet and head are large and might indicate that he will still do some growing once he is fed right. His temperature was down, the cough, although still there, has decreased, and he is definitely feeling significantly better. After the physical, Dr. Bradbury say he’s healthy aside from the kennel cough. There was a little debris in his ears but not much, a tiny bit of tarter on the very back teeth. A little congestion left in the lungs, but much better than a couple of days ago. He was given tick medication when he arrived and the ticks have been falling off.
He will do a tick panel on him as well as a CBC. We agreed not to do the Rabies shot for now because of his kennel cough. And he will bathe him once he is better. Marley is a love bug. I don’t think he has had much, if any training. But he loves to be loved on and leaned against me for more stroking and pats. And he stood very quietly while I slipped his collar over his head. (That was significant to me because I have been ‘bonked’ in the face by all my young ‘dales while putting on their collars until they finally learned to stand quietly while I did it.) I ended up keeping the collar because they don’t use them while he is in the kennel. Aside from needing some training, I think he’s a very sweet boy and will be a wonderful dog for the right family. He loves treats and responded really well to them, so I think training him will be fun. I will see him again on Tuesday. At that time I can take him for a walk and see how he is on a leash. And I’ll start on the grooming –it is going to be a project.
>Today’s visit went very well. Marley was feeling even better and greeted me enthusiastically. I hope he’s more trained by the time he’s at his healthy weight!. I didn’t hear him cough once while I was there. I had intended to take him for a walk but it was sleeting rain by the time I got there. So I spent time with him working on his “sit” and beginning the process of brushing him out. He’s definitely picking up the “sit” quickly! And he was very tolerant about my brushing him. I filled a waste basket with hair and was only about 2/3rds done when they started to get busy and needed the room. He didn’t seem to mind the brushing even though it must have pulled a bit because of the dense mats. He was getting tired of it by the time I left, so it was a good time to stop. We alternated between brushing and practicing “sits” for treats. By the end he was starting to look like a wooly bear. Ted joined us at the end of the session and got an equally enthusiastic greeting. He seems to love people. The staff all love him already. They tell me he’s ‘not bad’ on the leash. When you put your hands on his sides, he sighs and leans into you. He loves to be touched and told he is a ‘good boy’.
Marley continues to improve. Dr. Bradbury said he doesn’t think he is contagious. All of his blood work came back really good. The Tick panel has not come back yet, but he should have that soon. He’s gained a couple of pounds, which, although not much, still adds a tad more flesh between his skin and bones. He barely coughed while we were there. He’s definitely feeling more like an Airedale and has the energy to prove it. He greeted us with great enthusiasm and was eagerly searching for the treats he knew we had. And he remembered “sit” makes treats appear. Staff reports that he is pretty good on the leash. They also said he is “ready to be out of there”. He has a very large kennel, but it’s not the same as being about to let loose and run. We brought clippers and grooming tools and went to work on him. An hour later we were about half way through the job, but Marley’s patience was beginning to wear thin. I’m certain he has not been groomed much if ever before. He did amazingly well. We did not have a grooming table to work on so we made the best of the situation–one of us holding him while the other groomed. He was so badly matted that brushing him out was certainly not terribly comfortable, but he stoically put up with it. At one point he turned his head and put his mouth on my arm as if to say “that’s enough!” But there was no attempt to bite. We went through the better part of a bag of treats in the process–he is very food motivated. His head is the most challenging because he fidgets so much. He actually stood quite still while we worked on his body. Ted said running the clippers over his sides was like driving on washboards–bumping along over the ribs. We had to use a #10 blade because he was matted right down to the skin. We filled two wastebaskets with hair and didn’t even get started on the legs! The pictures will give you an idea of him–I’ve only gotten the legs brushed out and the face just started. Tomorrow we’ll go back and finish his legs and face. Won’t be a professional job, but he’ll look more like an Airedale and it will do till he can get a real grooming. Dr. Bradbury will get him bathed before we take him tomorrow. He’s plenty warm enough inside, but thought a bit of protection might be in order when he is being walked. Tried to buy him a coat at Walmart, but they didn’t have anything his size.
>I talked to Gail and she is willing to take him. So tomorrow I will move him to Mis Amigos. Dr. Bradbury said we can bring him back on Monday or Tuesday next week to be neutered if we want to go ahead with that. He loves to be stroked and told that he’s a good boy–leans into you and just soaks up the loving. I think he will respond well to training–seems to want to please you. He is going to make some family a wonderful dog if they put a little time into training. I think he would do well with the family with teenagers–they would have the energy to match his and he would love to have the kids to play with.
>Did some more grooming today–we’re getting there, but he grows tired of it and can’t stand still very long, so it’s a work in progress–especially his face. Bradbury was very busy today, so they were not able to bathe him and I would have had to leave him there until Monday when they open again, or take him to Mis Amigos this evening. I opted for the latter because it means I can continue to work with him tomorrow and perhaps on Saturday.
Here is more info about him that we learned from the staff at B’s office:
–he knows to poop outdoors, but will pee inside. Ted pointed out that he isn’t neutered and is probably marking territory, so it may not mean that he’s not house broken.
–he seems to do OK with dog savvy cats–they have on at B’s office and he’s not tried to kill it….:-)
–he loves people, greets everyone on his hind legs and want to exchange hugs (working on this….)
–he’s actually pretty good on the leash–good thing, because he’s going to be a strong, big boy when he is fleshed out.
–Dr. B said that even tho he tested positive for Ehrlicha, he shows no signs of it and he can’t be positive that he has it, but good to keep on the doxy for the full month regardless.
–He also said “he’s a goof-ball and should be in a house with kids that will rough-house with him”
–he was being fed twice a day, 2.5 cups.
–he damaged his kennel digging (they were not complaining, just reporting)
–he tries to dumpster (trash can) dive whenever he passes a trash can–they think that’s where he got whatever food he got
–At Mis Amigos, he will be fed 3 times, 2 cups at each feeding, Candadae grain free kibble
–Mis Amigos will see if they can get him bathed for us. The earliest they could schedule it was Jan 12th, but if they have an opening sooner, they will do it.
–They will continue him on doxy twice a day
–He’ll get turned out with other dogs and they will report to us on how he is doing
–They have free training on Saturday for the month of Jan. I plan on taking him and working with him to see how he does. In short, he has a very sweet “goof ball” disposition, seems eager to please, loves to sit for treats (he’s got that one down) and is already a master counter surfer. And he is a very handsome boy.
> Visited Marley today at Mis Amigos. He is doing very well. Was turned out with other dogs and played nicely. He was reported to be a little “humpy”, so he was turned out with another intact male who is also a little “humpy” and they kind of canceled each other out. No aggression from either dog.
He has not peed in his cage so far, so he may not be as unhousebroken as we feared. He continues to put on weight and the washboard ribs are not quite as pronounced.
They let us use their grooming table (happiness is a REAL grooming table with an electric lift!). So we were able to almost complete the trimming –still have a tiny bit more to do, but at least he’s not looking like a lawn mower went over him. He stood quite still for us on the grooming table–was very patient (I’m slow….:-) We took breaks from the trimming to play clicker games–worked on name recognition, come, and sit. He is smart and learns quickly.
Afterwards we took him for a walk. He is quite good on the leash, showed interest in barking dogs that ran up to the fence to greet him, but did not pull and even came away from them when I called him for a treat. Went past some chickens in a nearby pen–he didn’t even pull then!! Karma would have been at the end of the leash barking like crazy. But Marley merely looked at them as we went by. He got a goat-head thorn in his foot and let Ted pick it up and remove it, standing still like a gentleman while he examined the foot. He has already won the staff over–they love him!
>Saturday will be the first group training class–it will be fun to see how he does in that environment working around other dogs.
> Marley was nothing short of amazing in class today. There were 5 or 6 other dogs–so lots of distraction. I came armed with treats. After an initial Airedale enthusiastic greeting, he settled down quite well. I was able to keep his attention despite the distractions. We worked on sit, hand targeting, walking, coming and at the very end I was starting to work on ‘down’.
He learns fast and is eager to please. Although he was excited by the other dogs I was able to get his attention to come back to me without a lot of work. Honestly I don’t know if Karma would have done any better in that setting despite having more training.
Gail kept saying “He’s a REALLY nice dog!” He’s very affectionate, wants to shower you with kisses, loves to be stroked and preferred my attention to being at the end of the leash trying to get to the other dogs.
Gail’s staff told me that Marley did poop in his kennel this morning, but it was just as his handler was on his way to take him out. She thinks it was because it had been all night and he really had to go and couldn’t quite make it. He has not had any other accidents. She said she thinks he might be pretty much house trained and just needs a bit more time. I thought this was especially good news when we think of finding him a home. Better find one soon….I’m falling in love….LOL!
>I can’t say enough about how great Mis Amigos has been. They really did a lot for this boy. Gail had staff working with him on not jumping up (a ways to go still as you can will see from the photo of him meeting his new family) and on leash manners. When he had to wear his Elizabethan collar, he got to stay in the ‘deluxe suite’ so he had more room to move around, he was given 6 cups of food (2 cups, 3 times a day) and on and on. It’s been such a pleasure to see this boy start to come into himself!
Eagerly waiting for his new family!