After the Adoption


By Evelyn Colbath

Now that I’m home, bathed, settled and fed,
All nicely tucked into my warm new bed,
I would like to open my Baggage,
Lest I forget…
There is so much to carry –
So much to forget.
Hmm, yes here it is, right on the top –
Let’s unpack Loneliness, Heartache and Loss,
And there by my leash hides Fear and Shame.
As I look on these things I have tried so hard to leave,
I still have to unpack my Baggage called pain.
I loved them, the others, the ones who left me,
But I still wasn’t good enough, for they didn’t want me.
Will you add to my Baggage?
Will you help me unpack?
Or will you look at my things
And take me right back?
Do you have the time to help me unpack?
To put away my Baggage,
To never re-pack?
I pray that you do!  I’m so tired, you see,
But I do come with Baggage –
Will you still want me?

Thank you so much for giving a rescue Airedale a wonderful new home.  We hope you have many happy times together.  To help you start off on the right foot – or paw, so to speak – we have put together some thoughts to help with the transition and make your life together more enjoyable.  Please remember that we want to see this placement succeed.  We are always here if you have any problems at all – just give us a call!  We have many resources and lots of experience to draw on.

Safety First

Many of these items are common sense items, but we like to remind our new adopters about them just in case.
►    Never leave your Airedale outside unattended. 
Airedales have been stolen (used as bait for dog fighting), poisoned, and shot in supposedly “safe” neighborhoods.  Every day dogs are stolen from fenced yards and kennels.
►    Never “tie out” your Airedale where you can’t see him.  This can result in hanging or choking to death.
►    Use a leash!  Even obedient Airedales can dash across a street after another dog, cat, rabbit, squirrel or child.
►    Put away trash, chemicals and dirty laundry.  Airedales often eat things such as corn cobs, worn pantyhose, underwear, food wrappers, and other indigestible items.  These can either perforate the bowel or cause an obstruction and can kill your Airedale.
    Keep proper, legible ID tags on your Airedale at all times.  One should be the ATRA tag the dog came with.  The other should include your home phone number and address.  We suggest using “Airedale” rather than the dog’s name.  If someone knew your dog’s name, it would be much easier for them to keep your dog should they find your dog – or even worse – steal your dog.
►    Leave your Airedale at home on warm days.  If you must run errands with your Airedale in the car, take a spare key along.  Lock the car with the motor and air conditioner running (only if the car is outdoors!).  It can take only a matter of 5 or 10 minutes for a dog to overheat in a closed car on a warm day – even with the windows down.
►    Choose the proper collar.  Never leave a choke chain on your Airedale while unattended.  He may catch the ring on an object and strangle.  You can leave the choke chain attached to the leash at the door and simply slip it on in addition to your Airedale’s nylon or leather collar.  This eliminates the need to change collars!

Daily Bread

The best gift you can give your Airedale every day is to feed him quality dog food.  The small extra cost is reflected in better health, fewer allergies, less itching and skin problems, smaller stools, and a shiny coat.  Quality food starts with real food ingredients (lamb, chicken, turkey, rice and barley) and does NOT contain artificial color, flavors, sugar or salt to enhance flavor.  Your dog will absorb more nutrients and therefore require less food.  Better quality dog foods are found at pet supply stores, not the grocery store!  These include Iams, Eukanuba, Science Diet, Nutro, ProPlan, and Nature’s Recipe.  Dogs with skin and allergy problems will benefit from lamb and rice food, which is naturally preserved.


Airedales are high-energy dogs who very much enjoy the company of their family.  Including physical exercise in your dog’s daily routine will help him release some of his pent-up energy, especially if he is crated or confined for some part of the day while you are gone.  It also helps avoid some behavior problems and keep him fit and trim.  Plan to take him to obedience class – even if you have been to one before.  This will not only reinforce what he may have learned before, but it will give the two of you some quality time together and help him bond with you.  Set aside some time with your Airedale every day for some one on one with you.  Walks are a great way to exercise your Airedale – and not a bad thing for us humans either.

Good Books

ATRA offers several books to assist you with your rescue Airedale.  These can be found on "Annette’s Airelooms", our on-line shopping store.  You can also find a list of recommended reading that includes other books at "Books to Assist"

Heartworm Preventative

Our policies regarding heartworm preventative result from treating dozens of infected Airedales, some of whom died of complications.  We recommend that preventative be given all year long!  If the history of the Airedale is unknown, they must be re-tested six months after the initial test, and kept on preventative all year long.  “Plus” preventatives include protection from common intestinal parasites as well.  This is a horrible disease that infects thousands of dogs each year.


We know that many of our adopters are very excited when their new furry family member comes home with them.  They may have other pets at home to introduce the Airedale to or may simply want to show the Airedale off to family and friends.  We advise you to take it slowly.  Introductions to other pets are best done outdoors in a “neutral” setting before bringing them inside.  If this is not possible, use a baby gate indoors to let them see and sniff one another before getting together.  With family and friends, it may be best to wait a few days to let your new Airedale get settled in and used to you first.  It has been our experience that it takes about two weeks for the dog to start feeling comfortable in a new home.


Airedales are a “high- maintenance” dog when it comes to grooming.  Like most dogs, they should be brushed daily.  This removes dead hair, improves their coat and gives them another opportunity to get your undivided attention.  Airedales also need haircuts at least four times a year to keep them from looking shaggy and getting matted.

Airedale Attitude

Airedales can be headstrong, take-charge dogs.  They will “test the waters” with you every chance they get.  They will jump up on people, counter surf, forage through your trash and get on the furniture if you let them.  We know you can’t help but love their furry little faces and want to hug them every chance you get.  However, they respond very well if you take the role of “leader” in your household and set some rules and boundaries for them.  The book How to be the Leader of the Pack addresses this wonderfully.

About ATRA Adoptions

We sincerely hope your Airedale will remain a loved member of your family for the rest of his life.  If circumstances change, and you are unable to provide the quality of life we have agreed upon, PLEASE contact any member of the rescue team on our "Rescue Network" page.  We will take them back!


Click on the "After the Adoption Pamphlet" below to get a pdf file of the discussion above on questions concerning what takes place after the adoption in a tri-fold format.

"After the Adoption Pamphlet"