are often asked how Planet Airedale came to be and how we got involved with
Airedale Terriers. The answer is: by accident!
of us have always had dogs in our lives and during 2001 we were living in The
Cotswolds, UK. As we were living (and working from home) in a country
cottage, with a large garden and surrounded by open countryside, we decided
the time was right to give a home to a needy dog. We discussed what sort of
dog we wanted to give a home to and we decided he or she could be any sort, as
long as he or she was a rescue and a big dog (we didn't
want a small dog).
went to a number of different dog shelters but just could not find a large dog
needing a home. On our third trip to a shelter in Cheltenham, we came across
a big 14 month old bitch called Belle. She had been locked up in a flat by
someone who worked all day and had finally ended up at the shelter. She was
big and smelly and it was doubtful she had
ever been washed or groomed. The shelter told us she was an Airedale
Terrier. We knew nothing about these Airedale Terriers, other than they were
‘just’ another breed of dog we had heard about. We found out later it was
almost unheard of to find Airedales in regular shelters.
took Belle into the shelter’s enclosed field and let her off the lead. This
is where we first experienced the joy all Airedale owners’ experience – your
not coming back. After 15 minutes of running around the field after her, we
did finally catch her, whilst
muttering about who would ever want a dog who wouldn’t come back. It started
to rain (this was mid-winter) and we retreated to the shelters ‘getting to
know you room’ – somewhere where you could go inside to spend time with your
dog. This was a smelly old caravan where a muddy Belle proceeded to jump over
everything, including us.
It wasn’t really a hard
decision though – we knew we wanted to give her a home. She’d been spayed the
day before so we had to wait a number of days until we could pick her up.
In the meantime, we decided ‘Belle’ didn’t suit her and tried to think of a
new name for her. After days of thought, we chose Molly – and it suits
her so well. We also started to research the breed, Airedale Terriers.
There was quite a lot of information on the web and in books but it was all on
breeding and showing and nothing on the day to day stuff of sharing your house
with an Airedale.
Molly came to join us at
the end of January 2002 and over the coming months, we experienced
I’m-not-coming-back, escaping from an escape-proof garden, digging, mouthing,
nose pokes and the joys of grooming the worlds largest terrier to name a few.
The day after she came
home, our families and friends wanted to know what she looked like (“an
Airedale Terrier, what's one of those then?”). We took a few pictures of her
and put them onto some web space we had – nothing fancy, just a few snapshots.
the coming weeks, we kept adding to the pictures (new holes in the garden,
muddy noses, cute upside-down pictures). We started to add a bit of text
about Molly and, for fun, we wrote everything from Molly’s point of view. We
were experimenting with web design and so The Airedale Appreciation Society
was born. The web site had about five pages, and most of them were pictures
of Molly being Molly The Airedale!
was about this time we started to receive emails from other Airedale owners
around the world who had found our small web site: Barbara with Conner, now
sadly missed, & Cutter, Sue with Justice and Cindy with Clancy
(and now joined by Chloe). The
emails said, amongst other things, how there were no Airedale web sites
available for owners to visit, for help, friendship and fun! All the existing web
sites were all about breed standards and showing, as we had found.
We increased the size of
The Airedale Appreciation Society with extra pages of pictures but we soon ran
out of space. We discussed what we should do next and decided to build a new
web site and to try out a forum, so other Airedale owners could meet up and
struggled to choose a name for the site. Finally 'Planet Airedale' just came
to us and it seemed to sum up ‘everything Airedale’. We registered the domain
and started working on the site. It took about a month of intensive work to
build the first version and Planet Airedale was officially launched on
February 1st 2003. As the site has
grown it has evolved and, we hope, improved! We are so proud of the
growth of the web site, we have a fantastic growing worldwide membership and a
busy friendly forum where we can all exchange our Airedale stories and tails,
share our favourite Airedale photos, take part in competitions run by Members,
give your opinions in surveys, enrol in the worldwide present exchange and compete for the
famous Airedale Idol trophy. When you start to make a list it is amazing
how much content we have on Planet Airedale now and we haven't even listed it
We are now based in Scotland and as we are sure you know, Planet
Airedale has grown and is updated on
an almost daily basis. We have increased
our Airedale family with two more Airedales,
Harry and Dylan,
as a direct result of the website. Harry’s previous owners asked us to give
him a home as they could see how much fun Molly was having
and they wanted Harry to have the same life. When Harry met Molly it was
double Airedale fun all round! Dylan needed rehoming as his owner
became very ill. When Dylan met Molly and
Harry they all got on very well and are now inseparable. We wish we
could take in more Airedales personally but if we were
to take in every Airedale who
was offered to us, we would have
We are very proud of Planet Airedale
and particularly of the work we do in the UK
to rehome needy Airedales. We have made so many great friends all
around the world and our door will always be
open to fellow Planet Airedalers! Our love and enthusiasm for Airedales
has never faltered and we will always stop you in the street for a chat if we
see you with an Airedale!
Here is just one of the hundreds of emails we
I think your
site is fantastic - so much information, the pictures are great and it's
a lot of fun - just what Airedales are about really.
I have to
admit that when I first looked at your site (pre August 2003 before
Woody our Airedale entered our lives) I thought you must all be
completely barking. Having never owned a dog before I thought there was
something slightly odd about people who photographed their dogs in their
cars and homes and wrote about them as if they had personalities.
have changed! We got Woody as a pup in August 2003 and he has just had
his first birthday, which we celebrated by going to the South of England
Airedale gathering. My wife Kate, who had an Airedale as a child told me
what to expect - but who can prepare you for such a brilliant
besotted and have taken loads of photos - I even let him sit in my
open-top MG! I'm like a proud dad all over again and spoil him rotten,
culminating in one lunchtime working at home when all I had for our
lunch was a tin of spam or tuna. Yes he got the tuna I settled for the
spam - but then he thieved that as well while I was on the phone! But
it's impossible to get cross with such a great character.
discussions now are about if and when to get Woody a friend! So many
apologies for thinking you were all slightly crazy - I understand
completely now!! Will send a picture of Woody to you in the near future.
Best wishes to you and Molly, Harry and Dylan.
Planet Airedale is only
the great success it is today because of you, the Airedale Terrier owners of the
world! Thank you so very much for all the support you have given us since our
launch in 2003.
Planet Airedale forever!!
Richard & Linda.
Airedale Terriers – on a
Planet of their own!