Montana and Teagan

written by Connie Versagi

Sometimes it is the smallest among us who need a guardian angel the most. 

If you are a regular to the website, I am sure you remember the litter of 10 puppies featured as Spare Dales a few months back.  Mother and father taken into Rescue from a backyard breeder situation, and then the ATRA 10 were born.  The 10 wonderful colored ribbons, around spunky little Airedale necks for identification.  Their guardian angels were watching.  All 10 found ATRA approved homes. 

Two girls from the litter now find themselves in need of guardian angels once again. 

First there is Montana (Peach Ribbon).  Montana found a wonderful forever home with Rhonda Casady and all was looking well.  Soon Rhonda noticed that Montana was limping, couldn’t quite get herself up into the car and lots of trouble going down stairs.  It was discovered that Montana had severe hip dysplasia and needed Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO) surgery.  This is a very costly and extensive surgery where the hip is broken in three places, rotated and pinned with brackets to improve function.  Only one hip at a time can be done. 

In the beginning of November Montana had her first TPO surgery performed.   The healing process for her has been a painful one.  So hard for Mom Rhonda to watch her whimper in pain, even as she slept.  The healing process also provided many challenges, both for Mom and Montana.  Okay, try to keep an Airedale puppy quiet and still.  Right.  Oh, and don’t forget, leave those stitches alone!  A tall order.  Nonweight bearing, rest, and clean stitches are an absolute must for a successful recovery.

A sling was used to support Montana when she went out to relieve herself, which the vet wanted all outside “activities” accomplished in five minutes and back to resting.  Mom Rhonda has compared this to taking Grandma from bed to wheelchair in her Hoyer lift!   Of course there has been plenty of resisting of the collar to protect the stitches.   What self-respecting Airedale would quietly tolerate such a contraption?  A vet tech showed how to use a T-shirt put on backwards, fashioned into underpants to help protect the stitches.  It is amazing how resourceful everyone has been to help this wonderful pup deal with all that is happening to her.

Now the hard work has begun to pay off, with Montana beginning to show her old perkiness and spunk.  Even her old bark is back.  Music to Mom’s ears!  Taking a late afternoon rest on the deck on her foam mattress, letting the breeze blow through her puppy curls.  Dreaming of playing and chasing and being a strong healthy girl soon.  Oh, to dream of the day when she can chase a pesky old squirrel without pain.  Just running like the wind, with full abandonment to the chase.  To be an Airedale. 

Her next checkup is on December 12th.  At this time if all has healed well with the first surgery, the other hip will be done as well.  Rhonda feels better equipped to handle this scenario the second time, knowing what to expect. 

Now comes Montana’s sister, Teagan (Pink Ribbon).  Teagan found a forever home with Robert & Michelle Neumann and Airedale brother Keighley, who has the same sire as Teagan.  If you are wondering about her name, Teagan is Irish for Beautiful Girl.  What an appropriate name for her.   Unfortunately, Teagan needs the same surgery as Montana.  The same nagging hip problems plague her too.  Teagan is being taken to the University of Missouri Vet Clinic for her surgery on December 1st.   We will post updates on Teagan and her recovery.

Yes, the girls surely could use guardian angels again.  This time to sponsor the expenses incurred for their surgeries.   The pups will probably never meet their angel benefactors, but oh, to carry in your heart the knowledge that you were part of providing these pups with a pain free life.  By sponsoring these girls, you provide ATRA with the funds to help the next pup who needs us.  Wouldn’t it be amazing to be a Christmas Aire Angel?

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