written by Connie Versagi
A puppy who sought the attention of humans, rather than romp with other pups or chomp on a good bone stole the heart of a woman looking for an Airedale companion. It was love at first sight and so this button-nosed, black and tan eight week old pup was taken home with her. Little did either one know that Watson would become her greatest companion and her greatest frustration and heart-break, all rolled into one Airedale package.
At 3 months old what was thought to be a hot spot developed. Good news – no fleas, sent home with medicated shampoo. So began a long road fraught with many, many baths.
Three months later Watson began scratching and digging at his face. Soon his skin was bleeding. Off to the vet again. The skin was dry and cracked, so antibiotics were prescribed and cleaning the site.
Soon the condition had worsened, consuming large areas of Watson’s body and face. He was scratching constantly and now missing large areas of hair. His owner was broken-hearted watching him so miserable. She literally went from vet to vet, exhausting her funds, giving numerous medicated baths, changing his diet, all to no avail. His condition continued to deteriorate with open sores. Then came allergy testing, steroids, treatment for a yeast infection of the skin. By January 2007 Watson and his owner were miserable and he was no longer to even maintain his body weight, though eating as if he were an Oorang.
It was at this point that major life changes for his owner were on the horizon. She decided to enter a monastery and needed to give up all her earthly possessions, including Watson, so he came to ATRA.
An ATRA foster home who had previously nursed an ailing Airedale back to health offered to take Watson in. Now they began with a new set of vets, searching for an answer for the poor boy who literally couldn’t seem to tolerate living in his own skin.
It didn’t take long, just one smart vet to catch what had been missed – demodectic mange. As the treatment was started, everyone held their breath that it would finally provide Watson some relief. Bingo! Right on the money. Relief is coming to Watson slowly but surely as the pervasive mange is losing its grip. It will take many months of treatment for Watson to be cured of this mange, and his ATRA foster mom is dedicated to seeing this boy through to being healthy, happy and ready for a forever home.
Donations are being accepted to help pay for Watson’s continuing successful treatment and eventually a forever home will be needed for Watson too. If you can help with either of these things, please contact ATRA, tell them it is for Watson, the boy who is finally getting comfortable in his own skin.
Make a Donation for Airedales like Watson
To make a credit card donation, click here.
To make a paypal donation, use AML9848@comcast.net
To to make a donation by check, make your check out to "ATRA" and send it to
1123 Vesper Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103