The quilt measures 64" x 71"



Original Drawing
Quilted Block

Back of quilted block

Jeanne wrote: “The Jester is Sandy, of course.” 

Jeanne's Sandy (at Rainbow Bridge)

Progress Photo for the Jester:

Progress Photo
Block ready to go to assembler
Closeup of hat

Closeup of scepter

Sandy's Story by Jeanne Esmond
August 15, 2002 to November 16, 2013

Sandy came into my life on June 5, 2005 after the devastating loss of my first Airedale, Roxie, to adenocarcinoma the previous April. Princess Roxie had been my “nurse” dog, caring for me through a divorce, pneumonia, cancer and four surgeries. While I was ill she would never leave my side, refusing even to go for a walk unless I was with her. And while I recuperated from all the illness she slept by me, tolerating my fitful movements, which she would never do when I was well. She was my best friend and I found myself in a terrible place emotionally after her loss, vowing never to have another dog.

But my friend Pam McKusick, coordinator of ATCMW Rescue, knew me very well and knew that what I needed was another a dog in my life as quickly as possible. She had received a call from a couple who were experiencing an illness in the family which made it impossible to care for their Airedale. They had dropped him off at a kennel and authorized the kennel to contact ATCMW to find him a new home. After several weeks of telling Pam “No,” I agreed to foster Andy until she could find the appropriate home for him. We took off early on that beautiful June morning to pick up “Andy” from the kennel. We found him in the kennel owner’s house with her own little yippy dogs that Andy loved. She told us that Andy slept in the house on her sofa under a little blanket that she had for him and that he was a very scared boy. During the several hours long drive back to my house I decided that I might just keep him. (Andy’s name was changed to Sandy when I adopted him. It was an easy transition for him and my littlest niece’s nickname was Andy. She was not happy that a dog had her name.)In the next few days, I discovered that Sandy was afraid of plastic bags, trash cans, road signs, men of all types and sizes, children , things held in one’s hand and strangest of all, the wind blowing. The next day Sandy and I began training.

We started our training regimen with the plastic bag toss. There are quite a few elderly

folks in my neighborhood who still get the newspaper. One morning, Roxie and I had seen one of the oldest neighbors struggling down her front porch steps to get the paper. From that day on,

when we walked in the morning we put her paper—then every paper in the neighborhood—on the porch. When Roxie passed away, I stopped the deliveries. Resuming the deliveries seemed like an excellent way to get Sandy over his fear of plastic bags! So the deliveries began anew. Within a month or so, Sandy had lost his fear of plastic bags.

Every excursion was an opportunity for training. On trash day, we would walk close to the trash cans with Sandy on a short lead so I could keep him out of the street. We would walk by signs and get closer and closer every day. When he startled at an item in my hand, I would offer it to him to smell and soon he was accepting various items without fear. Things seemed to be going well until a Saturday in November when we walked to the local bakery for bread. The wind was blowing and the plastic bag of bread was swinging and flipping in the breeze. I thought that I had control of him until he had had enough and pulled us into the street, narrowly missing a run in with a passing car. I realized that I had gone as far as I could go in Sandy’s training by myself. I was frankly out of ideas to help him. First I tried a dog psychiatrist. He was very knowledgeable about problem dogs, but light on solutions for a “cure” for Sandy. Then I heard about clicker training, but thought that it was just too odd for me. I frankly did not get it. But I was desperate for help and thought I would give it a try. We signed up for a beginner’s class in Obedience in Leesburg with Corally Burmaster. I was slow to get into the rhythm of “click and treat” and felt like a total klutz. The miracle was that Sandy got it. After a short period of time, my food-aholic boy figured out that if he did what I wanted, he got a snack.

We took classes in beginning and advanced obedience, Rally, and even passed Canine Good Citizen twice! We took advanced off lead classes where Sandy shone. We even competed in one Rally competition and earned a Rally Novice leg. Sandy blossomed in the training ring. He enjoyed the partnership that we developed over the years. It was all just play to him. He liked nothing better than my talking to him encouraging him to run with me spin, turn and jump. Our final competition was a Barn Hunt in Pennsylvania, just before he crossed the Rainbow Bridge. At the ripe old age of 11 he finished 2nd in a field of almost 30 dogs, all younger than he was.

Sandy was one of those Airedales that needed a job. It was apparent to me that he was happiest when he was working. And he taught me how to be a proactive rather than a reactive trainer. I learned to look ahead and plan for his behavior in advance. It was much easier to avoid a problem than to have to fix it later. I learned to see the goal and plan the steps required to achieve it. I have many happy memories of my sweet boy, but the best memories are of our partnership, training, playing and just hanging out together. He had a sweet disposition and a joyous sense of humor which never failed to delight me. He is much missed.


  1. We just love this block and we love the story of Sandy. What a special boy he was ♥

  2. I love the story of Sandy too! Pam certainly knew what she was doing when she asked you to foster him. Sounds like it was a perfect match!

  3. what a super story of Sandy! and your block makes me smile---so Airedale perfect it is. thanks for all you do Jeanne. and a big thanks to Candy for making this blog possible and keeping us so informed!