Airedale Terrier Information & Referral Resource
Desert Rose
(6/1/2000 (?) - 03/25/2015)

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Rose was found along side the highway and turned over to Airedale Rescue.

The person who found her on the highway said Rose was terrified of her car, but as soon as she opened the door and called to her, Rose trotted right over. Rose was in complete full-coated matted dreadlocks. The finder roughly clipped off her hair to give her some relief from the heat and that is when she realized there was something wrong with her rear leg.

It appears Rose was struck by a car about a year ago, fracturing her hip socket in three places and breaking her leg just above the knee. See photo gallery The injury was not treated and apparently she was left to heal on her own for the last year until she either escaped or was dumped. Almost everything is a new experience to her and she looks at the world with wondering eyes. She quickly adapts to new experiences and is ready for the next adventure life brings her.

Rose did not have a microchip or tattoo, no one has filed a report with the Humane Society or County Shelter, and no one has responded to the advertisements in the newspaper or on the web.

6/25/2002 -- Report from our trip to the vet.

Rose suffered from two fractures about a year ago. One fracture goes completely through the acetabelum (the cup that the ball of the hip joint fits into) and one right above the knee. Probably hit by a car.

She has remarkable range of motion, good muscle tone and is in no pain.

There is a lot of calcus and she will probably have significant degeneration and arthritis in the hip in the future.

The knee fracture has healed very well, although the leg bends to the left at that point.

There is a surgery that could be done to straighten out the end of the femur in order to relieve the pressure on the hip and slow down the degeneration and decrease the liklihood of a cruciate ligament rupture.

He says that she is between 1 and 3 years old and is probably the 2 years that I guessed.

Her eyes and teeth look good. They did her feet and nails for me.

It's very hard to predict the future, but even if the surgery were not done, if she were kept thin, well exercised (low impact), she has such a force of will that she will probably keep going for a good long time.

She is spayed already (yay!)

She had her rabies shot and I had her microchipped.

The vets are amazed at how well she healed from her injury. She has remarkable range of motion and good muscle tone. She is scrawny at 51 lbs. and 26-1/2 inches, but that is good because of her hip. She is very active despite her injured leg. She looks like a black and tan greyhound as she goes into a full-out run, stretching her long legs and leaving the other dogs in the dust, finishing off with multiple karate spins and playbows. However, her kneecap is displaced and the femur is deformed, angling to the inside. This makes her injured leg slightly shorter, putting a lot of stress on her hip and pelvis, as well as the knee. The tibia and femur are bone on bone.

It will be a couple of weeks before we can get in to see the orthopedic specialists. We will build up her strength and confidence in the meantime.


We ***finally*** have rain ... real rain ... large lakes in the yard kind of rain. Hallelujah!

And, I have my very first true WaterDale in residence. Rose went mad! Racing around the yard, leaping into the lakes, LYING DOWN in the lakes, ROLLING in the lakes. I finally had to remind her that she is a dog with a bum leg and that perhaps racing at full speed through the yard and sliding into lakes was not the very smartest thing to do. Boy, I hated to stop her, though.


After trotting all over my kitchen all morning, Rose woke up from her nap and decided .... eek! tile floors. I don't DO tile floors.

Jack and I sat in the middle of the kitchen floor and had a little string cheese party. Toss a bit over here, toss a bit over there, toss a bit close to Rose ... oh ... I guess I can put a foot on it to reach. Toss a bit over there ... hmmm ... two feet and a long neck stretch. Toss it a little further ... Out of my way, Jack! That's mine.

The tile floors don't seem to be a problem anymore. [:)]

7/30/2002 -- Consultation with Dr. Boulay.

Although there is nothing urgent about it, he doesn't recommend just doing nothing. If I did, she would feel more and more pain. She is not the type to ever show that she is in pain, but she would gradually slow down and become more and more reluctant to get up and go out for walks.

He says the hip is not a problem. She has excellent range of motion, no crepitation and shows no pain in the hip. A total hip replacement is possible, but he doesn't see that ever being necessary. He says that ultrasound and massage and stretching could improve the function of the hip even more. The difficulty in getting up and down is because of the odd angle of her leg, not because of pain.

The real problem is the femur and her inability to bend her knee fully and that it is bone on bone at the joint.

One option is amputation. Even though she does use the leg, he said that no matter how fast and agile she is, without the leg she would be even faster and more agile. What she does now is swing the leg around and just use it as a peg to push herself over to the other leg, but that it really gets in her way. Her muscles on her good leg are twice the size of her bad leg and he says what will happen is that the good leg will get stronger and stronger and she will use the bad leg less and less.

Surgery is possible. It would mean opening up her entire femur and realigning it. He did not see simply realigning the knee joint as an option. He felt that this would fail unless the entire leg bone were straightened. The preferred way to hold the bone would be a permanent plate with screws, but because of the mechanics of the injury, the cut will have to be made very close to the knee joint and there may not be room at the knee joint to affix the end of the plate. If that were the case, he would use the external framework.

The best case scenario following the surgery is that she would have a fully functioning leg. Unfortunately, it is also possible that even though she will have a biomechanically perfect straight leg, she will have problems because of the length of time her body has been adapting to the deformity. If that happened, amputation would still be possible (of a much more expensive leg!)

The argument for amputation is cost and the relatively simple recovery.

The argument for surgery is that she is young, strong, does currently use the leg as much as she can and has excellent range of motion.

He is willing to perform the surgery at minimum cost. I have asked him to write a letter describing what he would anticipate doing and what it would cost.

I described to him just how active she is and asked if I should be protecting her from herself. He said there is no need to limit her activity in any way. The more muscled she is, the better, and she is no more prone to injury than any other dog.

Even immediately following surgery, he would want her to get as much exercise as possible, so at least I wouldn't have to deal with keeping her confined and still.

He says I can allow her to gain 5-10 pounds to cover up her backbone and a lot of that will be muscle from running around with the boys.


The coyotes in the area we walk have been getting more numerous and bolder and bolder. The drought and development has driven them from the foothills into the few green areas left in the city.

This morning Rose spotted a coyote up by the horse stables and ran over to investigate. She was so proud of herself when it ran off ... until it came back with three of its buddies. It looked just like one of those nature shows on TV. They were running after her and nipping her from the front and flank. I think the intent was to run her and harass her until she tired and they could take her down.

While this is happening, Jack and Riley are off in some bushes investigating critters. I take off running toward Rose and shouting for Jack and Riley to "get 'em!" They came charging forward and ran the pack off into the wild part of the park.

Rose, absolutely unintimidated, helped chase them away and was the hardest to call back.

Just another day in urban Tucson.


I have received a lot of feedback from a lot of people and I really appreciate it. After considering a lot of factors, I have decided that I want to try to save Rose's leg. It would be one thing if the leg were merely a useless appendage, but as I watched her run this morning, she was using that leg. I think that the chance of having four good legs for the next 10+ years is worth a try. I looked at Jack and Riley running and asked myself what I would do if it were one of them. There was no doubt in my mind ... I would try to save the leg.

8/7/2002 -- Surgery Day

If we had put in our order, the morning couldn't have been better. There was a gentle rain all night and there must have been a huge rain on the east side of town because the Rillito River was actually a river! The water was running halfway across the wash, which meant there were great sandy beaches and shallows for dogs to race up and down and play in.

Rose was in heaven. She raced back and forth and up and down the bank and splashed and dove and wallowed to her heart's content. She's such a smart girl about water. At one point she waded out a little too far and the current started to catch her. She wove her way back to the bank, feeling for the solid ground.

Okay ... it's bath time!


Just talked to Dr. Boulay. They are just finishing up. The surgery took about 3 hours with another 3 hours spent on x-rays and planning.

She now has a nice straight leg and a working kneecap. He said it was a pretty ugly mess when they got in there, but everything went just as well as it could.

There will be a small amount of shortening of the leg, but she will put all of her weight on it and it will bend correctly. They took out a 25 percent wedge, which is about 1/4 inch in diameter. They were hoping to be able to use a technique where you take it out of the soft tissue only, but her muscles are so contracted that this wasn't possible and they had to take it out of the bone.

The shortening of the leg shouldn't bother her at all. He said that when people get new hips, if there is a difference of an eighth of an inch, it will drive people nuts, but dogs don't notice it at all. . I asked if there was something I could do to stretch the muscles and he said yes .. it might take four or five months, but they would show me how to massage and stretch the leg.

They were able to install a plate, which is great! They confirmed that her hip really looks pretty good and shouldn't be a problem.

They will keep her zonked out tonight and may keep her all day tomorrow just for pain control, but will call me in the morning to let me know how she's doing.

The operation was a distal femoral derotational and varus corrective osteotomy with leg alignment. The surgery was performed in Tucson by James P. Boulay, DVM, MS, and Barbara Gores, DVM, both Diplomats of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.


Rose is limping more today. She did use the leg a lot when I walked her yesterday and I also started the physical therapy, so I am assuming ... hoping ... that's why she is sore today.

When I bend her leg, I can feel a "click" in the knee. Is that normal ... am I doing the exercises wrong? Worry, worry. I have a call in to see what Dr. Boulay thinks.


Rose seemed to walk better this morning, back to putting more weight on the leg and after warming up a few steps, not limping.

Last night was her last Tramadol pill (painkiller). I have discontinued physical therapy until I can get in to see Dr. Boulay for a hands-on demonstration of exactly what I am supposed to be doing. Dr. Boulay did return my call last night; unfortunately, it was while I was in transit from work to home. I'll call this morning and just make an appointment.


Dr. Boulay fit us in between surgeries and is very pleased with Rose's leg. He says there is a lot less swelling than he had expected and he is very pleased with how much she is using it. He is actually glad to see her favoring it a little because it shows she is being a little careful and that means it is less likely that she will try to over-do and pop the screws out of the plate. (That might be true, but not if a coyote, squirrel, dog, etc., got her attention and she wanted to run).

The clicking that I feel is probably either soft tissue moving over the end of the plate, or could be a little cartilage in the back of the knee. It is not anything to worry about and shouldn't cause any problems. He says that sometimes if the plate really bothers dogs, they will take it out after the bone has healed, but they much prefer to leave it in.

He showed me the way to do the exercises ... glad I waited for the demonstration!

I should continue on with what I am doing and come back to get the stitches out.

I'm taking daily pictures of the incision so I can make sure no infection sets in.


Rose is doing great! She uses her leg more and more and with less and less of a limp. If she wants to move fast (i.e., across the kitchen floor) she will still pick it up and three-leg it. She is a little trooper about letting me do her knee bends for her. I can't see much more flexibility yet.

We have an appointment on Thursday to get her stitches out and then, assuming Dr. Boulay approves, I want to start hydrotherapy.

The physical therapist who used to do canine hydrotherapy in Tucson isn't around anymore, but I found a place in Phoenix.
I talked to Suzanne and she seems very knowledgeable. She is trying to see if she can get access to a pool over the Labor Day weekend and that way I will be able to get three days in without having to miss work. She says that after the three-day session, Rose should be very comfortable in the pool and I will know what I'm supposed to do, and I shouldn't have any problem carrying on in my parents' pool.

Rose is starting to show the effects of a lack of exercise, so I can't wait to be able to give her an outlet for all her energy.


Today Rose trotted several times across the kitchen floor using all four legs when she wasn't thinking about it. She also looks like she is putting more weight on the healing leg when she walks. She still doesn't put weight on it when she is just standing around .. just lightly rests it on the floor. Yesterday was her last day for all pills ... pain killers and antibiotics. She doesn't appear to be favoring the leg any more than before.

The time she has to spend on leash not only will allow the bone to solidly knit, but I think it is vital to re-training her to use all four legs equally. If she were allowed to run as she wants, I'm betting she would just continue to under-use the weaker leg out of habit.

We continue with twice-daily sets of 20 kneebends and I'm also massaging all of the tight muscles in her thigh. I think perhaps I see a little more flexibility, but can't be sure.


Rose had her stitches out today and everyone is very pleased with how well she is doing.


I think **hope** what has happened is that the swelling has now completely disappeared and the protrusion I am feeling has always been there and I am just now able to feel it.

I'm not sure, though, and she will go in tomorrow for the vets to take a look and x-ray, if they think it necessary.

Rose is not limping more. In fact, seems to be limping less, and putting more weight on the leg more often.

She is getting harder and harder to keep still. She hasn't been off the leash, but a couple of times she has been like a fish on the end of a line .... leaping and twisting before I could get her settled down.

The leg just feels a little different to me. Let's all hope that I am over-reacting.


Dr. Boulay felt everything and walked her around and said he couldn't see or feel anything wrong and didn't feel it was necessary to take x-rays right now. He agreed that what I was feeling was probably due to the swollen tissues returning to normal.

Whew! I'm so happy to be wrong! Now ... I'm off to pick up the girl and give her a big dinner since she didn't get to eat this a.m. in case she needed x-rays. She is up to 56.9 lbs. from 51.

8/29/2002 -- From Drs. Boulay and Gores

We have received some very nice messages and gifts from folks all over the world that have been following Rose on your website....she has a great support group. Thank you for your complimentary words and support of our work.

We plan to use Rose as a case example in an upcoming lecture at the World Veterinary Orthopedic Conference in Munich in 1 week....her celebrity continues!

Dr. Gores gave me photos of Rose's pre-op and post-op x-rays for those of you interested in medical things.

8/30/2002 -- Hydrotherapy -- Day 1

Rose cried almost the whole trip up. I don't think she had ever been in a car until she was delivered to me. She has been getting much better about traveling because we drive each morning to a field where Jack and Riley can run while I walk Rose. But, not only were Jack and Riley not with us, this was a much longer trip.

On the trip home, Rose didn't make a peep -- she was so exhausted that she slept the whole way. Now ... to fill in what happened in between.

Rose loves water, but was not at all eager to get into the pool. Suzanne (the therapist) stood in the pool while I was at Rose's head and **backed** Rose into the pool. Suzanne took her hind feet and placed them on the first step and said "step" and did that each step until Rose was floating. When it was time to get out, she had me hold my hand over the step to show Rose where it was and say "step." The first two breaks, Rose just stood frozen on the steps and we had to physically lift her out, but by the final exit, she had figured out the steps and got out on her own.

We had three 15-20 minute swimming sessions with 15-minute breaks in between for Rose to rest. It was really hard work. Rose has no fat on her body to help her float, so she is working all the time to keep her head above the surface. Rose was huffing and puffing in the water, but she quickly recovered when she got out.

Suzanne uses massage techniques such as Trigger Point, Myofacial Release and Craniosacral Therapy to assist in re-training and relaxing muscles while increasing strength and range of motion. All of this is done while the dog is moving in warm water.

Swimming really made it obvious that Rose doesn't use the reconstructed leg very much. The other three legs were paddling furiously while the healing leg mostly floated. But, by the end of the session, she was kicking with it a little more. Suzanne would point Rose away from me and then have me call her. Having to make the circle forced Rose to use all four legs.

Not only does Rose have a year-long (or more) habit of not using the leg, but the muscles have atrophied as well. I really have high hopes that swimming will not only build her muscles, but retrain the pathways to her brain.

A lady who has been following Rose's story on the website invited us to lunch when she heard we would be in Phoenix. She had a nice thick dog bed ready for Rose, who immediately stretched out and went to sleep. I had to wake her up for the trip home and she crawled into the car and went back to sleep.

Suzanne says she will be sore tonight and tomorrow will be the worst day. She advised some arnica and rescue remedy. By Sunday we will hopefully see progress and I will be ready to continue at home.

There are pictures at:

8/31/2002 -- Hydrotherapy -- Day 2

Other than two or three anxious whines, Rose was quiet the entire trip up. Perhaps it was because she was exhausted, but I hope it is one more fear that she has conquered.

Rose didn't seem particularly sore today, but when she got in the pool she definitely looked tired.

Suzanne says dogs have front-wheel drive, so it is easy for Rose to swim only using her front legs. To force her to use her hind end, Suzanne would push her back so that her hind end would sink, I would call her and Rose would have to use her hind legs to get her bottom up and swim to me. Rose doesn't have the strength in her hind end to do laps yet, so we will do a lot of pushbacks and circles until she gets more muscle.

Suzanne did a lot of muscle work on the healing leg and Rose said it hurt! As those long-unused pathways were pressed, she would shake her head in protest. But, after Suzanne worked on her for a while, the next time she let Rose go to swim to me, she was definitely kicking with that leg! (Maybe to get away from Suzanne more quickly.)

We have a lot of work to do to give Rose the confidence to use the leg fully. But, the encouraging sign is that Rose is willing to try to use it. She is kicking some and she does walk on the leg. Suzanne has seen dogs who are still holding the leg up months after surgery.

When the hour was over, Suzanne took her to the middle of the pool and let her go. Rose had had enough for the day, and swam strongly right for the steps and used all four feet to climb them!

She slept all the way home and everyone is sleeping peacefully around me.

9/1/2002 -- Hydrotherapy -- Day 3

Rose actually put one foot into the pool on her own at the start of the second set of this third session. We have been backing her in until now. It was a pretty steep step and she was unsure, so pulled back and we helped her in. I think in a couple of weeks she will be entering on her own. She must have mixed feelings about the water. She is still a little nervous, and it is hard work, but at the same time, she loves water and is able to stretch all of her limbs without pain or stress.

She did a lot of kicking today. Suzanne had me walk along the side of the pool while she and Rose swam beside me. I would then go back to the step and Rose would swim on her own back to me. She did several laps. You can tell she is exhausted. By the end of the third set, when Suzanne held her, she let her hind legs float and just moved her front feet enough to keep afloat. She is much more relaxed in the water and actually lay back in Suzanne's arms for a rest and massage.

Suzanne now wants me to let Rose rest all week and not try swimming with her until next weekend. Rose is definitely using her leg more when she walks and even when she trots, especially when she doesn't think about it.

Thank you, Suzanne, for getting us started.


Rose and I just had our first home session of hydrotherapy and it went very well.

I had my mom sit at the pool steps to give Rose a reference point (and to keep her from getting out). Jack helped by giving Grandma a shampoo with his tongue while she sat there. Riley declined to interrupt his noon nap for the occasion.

Rose quickly learned where the steps were and we did several laps and circles and push-backs. She seemed very relaxed and I kept it brief for the first day.


Rose was really KICKING today in the pool. I'm so excited. This is the first sign that she may regain the range of motion in her upper thigh.

My sister-in-law, a professional massage therapist who incorporates many alternate therapies in her work, worked on Rose yesterday and today. Yesterday Rose resisted quite a bit, but today after greeting SIL with lots of wags and kisses, she lay down and went to sleep while my SIL worked on her. I was even able to leave the room and Rose didn't stir. SIL would hold various points on Rose's leg and all of a sudden the leg would start quivering. It was fascinating. SIL was also able to do some very gentle massage on the thigh muscles. Yesterday, apparently Rose's body told SIL that it didn't want to be massaged, but today it was okay.

After a couple of hours nap, I took Rose down for her swim. She couldn't quite bring herself to get into the pool on her own, but once I put her in, she was off and swimming. At first she was just enjoying dog paddling around, without using her rear legs. I pushed her back end down a few times and she kicked enough to get herself up and going, but was just barely moving her rear legs. The turnaround came when she swam to the side of the pool and pushed herself off with her rear legs to head for the steps. She was really using those rear legs -- both of them! I had her do one more lap and she kept on kicking ... yay!


Rose is doing great in the pool. She got in on her own for the first time yesterday. We do laps together and she is really kicking with that leg. I love the way she goes to the end of the pool and then pushes herself off to make the turn.

I honestly can't say that I see much improvement with the leg otherwise. She uses it to walk, but she does limp. I don't know whether the limp is because it hurts, because it is slightly shorter, or because of habit. If she is standing around, she doesn't put weight on it. If she runs, she uses it some, but relies mostly on the other three legs. I can't see any increase in her ability to bend the leg. It is at the same 90-degree bend as after surgery. I think that I can see some increase in the muscle mass, but it is still much smaller than the other leg.

We have an appointment with Dr. Boulay on Tuesday and I hope he will allow her off leash. I will see if he thinks that she will continue to improve.


Today was Rose's re-check with Dr. Boulay.

The last time I wrote, I was kind of depressed because Rose seemed to be limping just as much as right after the surgery. The very next day she improved! I continue to give her very gentle massages and I think that might be helping ... in addition to swimming and long walks in the deep sand of the Rillito "River."

Rose's x-rays look great. The gap where they made the wedge is 95% filled in. The screws of the plate are solidly in the bone, which is mostly what they were checking.

There is this weird "lump" over the fracture site. He said it was callus and is very common in healing fractures. I looked up callus on the internet and this is what I found:

At the site of the break, bleeding occurs, allowing multipurpose cells to enter the injured area and quickly "clean up" the injured bony tissue. Next, some of these cells become osteoblasts, cells that create bone. They produce collagen, the protein framework for new bone. Then, calcium is deposited from the blood, forming tissue called "callus" (meaning "hard"). This bridges the gap and acts as a natural but fragile splint. Next, calcium and phosphorus crystalize into a latticework on the collagen framework, creating new bone. Finally, over time, the immature bone is refined and strengthened by a process known as remodelling. Unnecessary callus is reabsorbed.

He is very impressed with her progress at six weeks post-op.

He wants me to **gradually** increase her activity over the next three weeks and at that point she should be back to full activity.

He isn't worried about the bone as much as giving her tendonitis. He is happy with what I am doing in the pool, but he wants me to be careful not to make her do too much (I reassured him that wasn't a problem). He said what they found in hydrotherapy was that the dogs were able to flex their legs so much more than when walking that they were actually getting lame from overusing the tendons.

The break should be fully filled in another month, at which time he would love to take more x-rays just for his own file, but it probably won't be necessary.

He said that her knee is still swollen and that could take another month or two to finally resolve.

The bone will be fully mature at three months. He expects her to continue to increase her flexibility and muscle mass over those three months and limp less and less. At that point, he would expect her to be able to do anything she wants ... all day hikes, etc. At that point if the plate seemed to bother her, it could be removed.

The hip is also doing some remodelling with the leg in its new straighter position. He doesn't expect her to have any problems with the hip, although there is always the possibility of arthritis when she is older.


Rose was allowed to sleep with the boyz last night ... hmmmm .... that doesn't sound quite right. Anyway, the boyz were under strict orders that they were not to roar out of the house and to the fenceline to warn off the coyotes during the night because I didn't want Rose doing too much. It was a completely quiet, peaceful night. What well-trained dogs! Okay, okay ... pretty lucky.

Then, on this morning's walk, I let Rose off leash and told her she could stay off leash as long as she didn't start running wildly. She did very well and, in fact, was lagging quite far behind, enjoying the freedom of being allowed to sniff at things for as long as she wanted, and not at my pace. I looked back and wondered what dog it was that she was playing with. I didn't recognize it. Oh, my God! It was a coyote! It was sort of rushing at Rose, who was just dancing and circling to stay out of the way. I ordered Jack & Riley back to chase it away, which they did. The coyote had actually taken a nip at Rose. There was just a surface graze ... no hair missing and I couldn't even find a puncture wound, but a drop of blood. It was Rose's healing leg that the coyote nipped ... I would imagine that it was no accident. I gathered the three dogs in and we proceeded into the next area of the park, with the coyote escorting us from about 25 feet away.

On yesterday's walk, we saw a family of five coyotes ... two adults and three youngsters, heading into the park. It is very unusual because at that hour, they are usually heading out of the park and into the foothills. Unfortunately, a developer has fenced off a huge (at least 15 acres) parcel across the river which the coyotes used as a corridor and resting spot. More and more coyotes are being forced into the last undeveloped area left ... our park!

I think the coyote was probably just trying to warn Rose away from where the pups were resting.

Rose was a little bit depressed the rest of our walk, although that may have been because I wouldn't allow her to run and not because the coyote didn't want to play with her.


What a glorious morning in Tucson! I actually had a Goosebump or two as we set out for our walk.

Our hour-long walk didn't make an appreciable dent in the dogs' energy this morning, so all were thrilled when Rose found an ancient leather chew in the yard. The chase was on! Don't you love the way the dogs hold something with the edges of their front teeth and flip it up and down in front of the other dogs. You can just see the cartoon balloon over their head "Nyah, nyah, nyah ... I have it and you don't! Just try and get it ... just try!"

My parents and I were sitting on their porch having a cup of coffee and were entertained by the three dogs racing around the lawn in front of us. I just wish I had had a movie camera so I could share with you all what you have done for Rose.

This was the first day she has put on her full burst of speed since the surgery. She tuckbutted around the lawn, running circles around the boys, she wove through them as they practically crashed into each other, she crouched across the lawn and then did a series of 360's before flopping down for a little chew while looking coquettishly out the sides of her eyes.

It was so fun to see Jack and Riley act the puppies. They are usually such serious hunters, but they were obviously enjoying this flirtation. The playbows, the sideways glances with cocked head, the stiff front leg prance and the playbow combined with the stiff front leg prance. It was quintessential Airedale Play.

Somehow, Jack managed to fool Rose into dropping the leather and he swooped in for the grab. I swear that Rose and Riley then had a consultation on their best approach and took off, one coming at Jack from either side. But, Jack was too crafty and was able to escape their clutches. I think they would have gone on with this all day. I wish I didn't have to go to work!

I really had some serious doubts after Rose's surgery .... had I done the right thing? Should I have had her leg amputated? There is no longer a single doubt! This is one happy, healthy Airedale! I'm trying to get a picture of Rose's rear-end so you can see how the muscles in her left leg are almost the size of her right. Unfortunately, she puts her tail down and leaves every time I pull out the camera! She is such a happy looking dog that I don't want to take a picture of her with her tail tucked.

I now have Rose up on the website as an adoptable Airedale, but I will only place her if the perfect home comes along and I won't be all that disappointed if the perfect home never does appear. The only reason I am even thinking of placing Rose is that it will be difficult to foster the next needy Airedale who comes along with three in residence. But, as the three continue to weld into a tighter and tighter pack, I begin to think I could probably manage four! Ahhhh .... MAS Attack!


The dogs just got me up for a 3:00 a.m. "must repel the coyotes from the borders" run up and down the fence line, so it gives me a chance to get you caught up on Rose.

I am trying to boost her confidence when she is away from the HardieDale Pack and enrolled her in a wonderful doggie day care here in Tucson (Sit! Stay! Play!) for the day. The owner said she spent the first hour with her tail between her legs and panting, but then settled in. She didn't ever get to the point of playing with the other dogs, but she did follow them in and out and investigated everything.

I think it was good for her to learn that separation doesn't mean abandonment and I'm sure that if she keeps going back, she will be running the joint in two weeks.

Janet, the owner of the daycare, takes pictures of the dogs on their "first day at school" and gives them to the owners. I've added Rose's to her photo gallery.

Back to bed for an hour.


We are covering the pool with a solar blanket and it is still warm enough to swim. I haven't been swimming in years, but because of Rose, have started again after work every night and am really enjoying it. She only swims a little and mostly enjoys floating in my arms getting her hips massaged.

She has now injured her *good* leg! Hopefully it is just a sprain or strain and not a torn ligament. I can't get in to see Dr. Boulay until the 22nd. My vet manipulated everything and can feel a little crepitation in the knee, so thinks it may possibly be a partially torn ligament, but not totally. It could also be that her knee has always been that way and it is just a strain/sprain. We decided to just treat it conservatively with anti-inflammatories and restricted activity until I can get to Dr. Boulay. Hopefully, it will resolve. At first I thought she had a cactus spine in her foot because it seemed like it was her foot that hurt, But, I searched and soaked and couldn't find anything. It still may be a bruised pad or toe.

I decided this weekend that I can't give her up.


I saw Dr. Boulay today. When I made the appointment two weeks ago, I thought Rose might have partially torn a ligament in her other leg! However, five days of anti-inflammatory and restricted activity fixed her up, so it was a sprain or strain. I kept the appointment since it is time to have the follow-up x-rays of her reconstructed leg taken. Dr. Boulay felt all her legs and confirmed that everything felt just great. He apparently would be able to feel a slight puffiness in her knee if the ligament were torn We couldn't get the x-rays taken today because radiology was tied up with an emergency. We will try again on Tuesday.

Dr. Boulay is so pleased at how well Rose is doing. He is apparently doing a similar surgery next week on a 7-month-old puppy with a fractured knee. This injury is even worse than Rose's -- the knee is displaced downward instead of to the side. The people knew the knee was fractured, but didn't do anything for two weeks, which means it is quite a mess now. Dr. Boulay sent them to Rose's website to see pictures of what he would be doing.

Dr. Boulay was so happy to hear that I am keeping Rose. It is partly because he thinks she is such a nice dog, but mostly because now he knows she will stay in Tucson and he will be able to follow her through the years to see how his work holds up and can remove the plate if it seems to bother her.


Update: Rose is doing great. She uses all four legs and has huge thigh muscles in both rear legs from all the running she does in the yard and in the Rillito "River." The metal plate doesn't bother her, so it is still in her leg. No one seeing her run would ever know anything had ever been wrong. Because I know, I can see the slightly shortened stride. She is the only one of my Airedales that swims. She takes frequent dips during the hot Arizona summer. She bosses and teases Jack & Riley and keeps them from getting too stodgy. She loves it when we foster a younger dog who will play and run with her.


Update: Rose enters her 12th year! She is still going strong. In 2009, she began having problems with her legs, especially getting in and out of the pool, where she loves to soak several times a day during the summer. We thought it was arthritis in her back, but it turned out to be the ACL in her "good" leg. We only figured that out when it finally snapped. She had TPLO surgery in late 2009 and is doing beautifully. The benefit of the weakening right leg is that it forced her to use and bend her left leg a lot more and it actually gained flexibility. Now, with a steel plate in each hind leg, she is stronger than ever. Sadly, we have lost both Riley and Jack. She continues to keep a never-ending stream of FosterDales in line.

Photo of Queen Rose on her 11th Birthday
Queen Rose enters her 12th Year
Queen Rose in Pool
Queen Rose in her favorite summer spot
Merwin Portrait
Portrait by Sandra Merwin
Still the Queen
Rose at age 14 telling the neighborhood she is still Queen


Please watch for a bright star shooting across the heavens tonight. Queen Rose has gone to join the HardieDale AireAngels at Rainbow Bridge. I am sure that they were all overjoyed to welcome their Queen.

When Rose joined me on June 22, 2002, she changed my life forever. I have so many great memories of our life together. She was in charge of the pack from the day she arrived and maintained every dog's respect to the very end.

My beloved girl .. say hello Tyrone, Mai Tai, Smoky, Tycoon, Bar, Jack, Riley, Duke, Sallie and all the Aire Angel foster kids. You, and they, will be forever in my heart.

Rose's 2002 surgery cost was paid through the donations of Airedale lovers all over the world to the Airedale Terrier Club of America Rescue Treasury.

Rose has created a webpage to thank her benefactors -- individuals and organizations who have made donations to Rose in the form of free or discounted services and direct monetary contributions in her name.

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This page was last modified on 03/25/15