The quilt measures 64" x 71"


Chester - SWAT - 6 yrs old
Nicole Wobbe-Espinoza  and Rusty LaFrance shared Chester's story.  Warning - Kleenex Alert. This is long, but I didn't know how to cut anything out.  It's a very touching story and I had tears in my eyes reading it the first time and the second time.

Chester had a very hard life before he came into Rescue. but throughout his trials he retained his amazing personality and loving nature.  We aren't sure what happened, but Chester has one back leg shorter than the other and is missing two of his toes on that same leg.  As a result, his gait is a bit unsteady and has led to some arthritis in his hips which causes a bit of pain.

When he first came to us, he was on death's doorstep.  He had given up on life and was not recovering from having been neutered.  His little body (well little to those of us who have robust, big Airedales) was so skinny and it just wasn't coming out of the anesthesia.  He couldn't really walk, refused to eat or drink anything, and his eyes were so incredibly sad.  He clearly had had enough.  Luckily, a wonderful woman at the shelter where he had been turned in saw him and wanted to help.  She took him into her office in the shelter and put him on a bed and tried to let him know that there were people who would love him.  He wasn't buying it and was still giving up.  Then she called SWAT.  I went over and carried him into my car and took him to the vet to see what we could do to save him and get his body hydrated and see what we could do for his legs.  The initial outlook wasn't good, and the next 24 hours were tough.  But I sat with him in the kennel, with all the IV lines and monitors hooked up to him and let him know he was about to embark on a wonderful life.  He just had to give us a chance.  After a few days of loving touches, good food and pain relief, I was able to bring him home and get him into a snuggly bed and get some yummy home cooked meals into him.  It took us about 2 months to get him really walking again on his own and being able to stand up for more than a few minutes.  But look at him now, 5 months later...he just walks wherever he wants and "hollers" at us to let us know we need more training in his care because we are doing it wrong.  He's going to need extra care and medication for the rest of his life. 

Chester is a sweet gentleman as well as gentlemanly as any Airedale can be, because he still wipes his wet beard on any leg he can find.  He has a very gentle temperament, unless you are a cat (who are his nemesis, I think), and loves to be with his people.  He is a bit of a couch hog and would prefer to be with a family that is home more than they are gone.  He enjoys traveling in the car, slow meandering walks, lots of hugs and loves, and long drinks of cool water.  Chester was looking for a family that will support him through his challenges and that has a more relaxed atmosphere/ schedule.

Chester is a special needs boy.  He has one leg that is slightly shorter than the other and is missing a toe or two on that same foot.  As a result, he will be on a low/medium dose of medication for life to help manage the pain and arthritis that is a result of the strain put on his joints.  He also cannot walk long distances and may need a ramp to be able to get into vehicles.  Chester is 6 years old, approximately 70 pounds, neutered, and up to date on shots. 

Chester is starting to settle in and has found his "old man" voice. I think he drank and smoked way to much in his previous life..<grin>. He's got a hoarse bark, but is only using it when excited. He's got a case of kennel cough, which is to be expected as I've never gotten one from the humane society who didn't.

Based on what we could tell, he must have already been dehydrated when they took him into surgery, and because he was crypto it took longer than expected and he just couldn't recover from the anesthesia without help. We fully expected him to die the night we took him into the vets (serious shock, they had a hard time getting a vein, almost white gums), but with some fluids and a shot of serious antibiotics he was on his way to recovery. The vet doesn't recommend him ever having surgery again, unless life threatening and even then we will need to talk with the vet in that it took him about 3 days to come out of the anesthesia and would need to be hospitalized for at least a day on serious fluids.

The problem that is going to stay with him longer is that he has very bad hips, and may have one leg that is slightly shorter than the other. He is going to need to be on some sort of anti inflammatory/pain med for the rest of his life. He is missing two toes on the leg that he struggles with the most. We didn't see any signs of infection/fungus on the xrays. His knees look ok, and they are sure it is not ACL.

He is a very sweet tempered and gentle. He needs more leash training but loves going in the car. He has a random prey drive (if they move or meow he's on it), but he doesn't always notice. He's mostly house trained, just needs some extra praise, and we are working on that. He has done well in a crate as long as it has a good bed. He hasn't been destructive and is pretty good in the house. He's ok with the two boys, but he's a little shy upon first meeting. We haven't really let him play as I worry about his stitches.

Update:  Chester went to his new home over the weekend!  Hurray for Chester!!  Chester's new family is amazing and already loves him a lot.  They lost their Airedale 3 years ago and were quite heartbroken and weren't sure if they could do it again.  And then they met Chester.  Chester instantly wagged his tail and nudged them in that Airedale way, that almost knocks you over.  You could see that Chester thought they might fit the bill.  After the home visit, it was clear that they were his people and he needed to be their Airedale.  He laid down and rested while the humans were talking and let his new family-to-be know they should give him a good tummy rub.

Here is what they shared after his first night with them.  "He is such a sweetheart.  We love him!  He keeps us laughing with his food motivation.  He "woofs" at us when he can see there is still a crumb of something we didn't give him him!  In true Airedale form, he's delightful!  We just think he's a treasure.  It feels so right to have him in our home.  You guys are amazing - what a gift you are providing these sweet puppies.  Thank you so much for doing what you do."

Chester with his new family


  1. So happy that because of Airedale Rescue, Chester has found his forever family!

  2. Thank you for the Kleenex warning! Chester's story brought tears to my eyes too. I'm so glad it had a happy ending. Congratulations to Chester and his new family. Looks like a prefect match!

  3. You were sure right about the Kleenex. What a handsome boy and we are so very happy for him☺

  4. Fantastic news! A home! Bravo!!