The quilt measures 64" x 71"

DIRK - NY - ATCMNY AIREDALE RESCUE & ADOPTION

I have to preface this write up by saying that I remember all of the Airedales that I’ve helped to rescue over the last 20 years.  Some need a gentle nudge to bring their story to the surface of my memory, but there are a few others that are always in my mind at a moment’s notice.  Usually these are dogs that I fostered and had a very close connection with over the years.

DIRK is one of those dogs.  I rescued him in December 1994 from a very affluent area of northern Westchester County.  He was 8 months old and a tall drink of water even at that age.  I drove up and saw this Airedale tied to a line in the side yard between two trees maybe 20 feet apart.  He was charged with unloosed energy typical of that age and made more so because he had no outlet for that energy.  They did not have a fenced yard and when in the house he was either relegated to the narrow mud room or tethered to an eye bolt in the family room wall.  I took him with me that day.

Dirk only spent two days and a probably a night at my house.  Then he went to live with Helena Epstein, another rescue volunteer, for fostering until the right home could be found for him.  He was adopted by a young couple from southern New Jersey, who also had a male Airedale, Elvis, who was around the same age.  They came up to meet Dirk, and then Helena met them a time or two so the two dogs could get to know one another at a park.  On Jan. 21, 1995, Dirk went home with Nancy and Brian and Elvis.

First day at his new home.

He was a very affectionate Airedale but he needed a lot of training.  One thing that sticks in my mind was that he was nicknamed “Flannel Man” because of his penchant for eating anything made of flannel, from Dave’s shirt to the flannel duvet cover on their bed. But the main reason he  remains a very SPECIAL dog in my mind is that every time he saw me or Helena (usually once a year at the Rescue Bazaar on Montgomery Saturday), I would hear this dog crying loudly and pulling his owners towards me.  He would be so overjoyed to see me that he would run up to me, put his paws on my shoulders (he grew into a BIG boy) and give me kisses and kisses, crying the entire time.  People would stop and stare and wonder “what the heck is wrong with that dog!”   He would continue this behavior the entire time they were at the venue and he saw me.  It was very heartwarming and every year I looked forward to my “Dirk fix”.  He made me feel very loved.  He didn’t spend a lot of time with me, but he remembered that I rescued him from an intolerable life.


Dirk died at age 11 in early 2005.  Whenever I see Nancy and Brian and we start to talk about Dirk, we end up laughing and crying even after all this time.  Coincidentally, the year that Dirk died, Nancy’s daughter Tara, then 4 yrs old, won the quilt!  We all felt like it was a gift from Dirk.

*INCENTIVE #2 DRAWING ENDS TODAY @ 8 PM EDT.*
(Please see the blog for August 8th to see what Incentive #2 is.) 
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3 comments :

  1. What a handsome boy Dirk was and what a wonderful story!

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  2. I remember all of the Dirk stories you told me over the years. You have helped so many and it is nice you include him. He was a handsome boy.
    Thank you for the blog. You are doing a great job!

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  3. Dirk is a very noble looking fella! great story.

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