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"Chiristmas holiday in Ohio " by Shino Sugimoto

I stayed with my friend Nancy in Ohio from Dec.20 to 27. She is an elementary school teacher and she belongs to the Airedale Terrier Club in Ohio while she is a member of rescue teams. I first met her when she visited Japan to study in Autumn of 1998, and we have been friends since then. She visited Japan again in summer of 2001 and she was stayed with us for three weeks. After that, my husband went to US and Nancy took him to Montogomery show. And my husband visited Nancy again when he went to US on business. We have been exchanging e-mail almost once a week or every ten days. We had a promise that I would visit Nancy someday. At last the dream came true!

Christmas holiday was the best time for going on a trip for me. My little Airedale Diane became one year old and she can stay at home all day long without somebody. Sometimes she is a bad girl though. They made me decide to go to US. My husband had to go to work and look after four Airedales while I wasn't at home. I was sure it was very hard.
The primary purpose was to spend traditional Christmas holidays in US. It's like a drem. The fantastic scene of Christmas movie came into my mind. An another purpose is to see Airedale which is a member of families in US. I would like to participate in the Christmas party with Airedales, but it ended before Christmas holiday. Almost all American people return to their homes and spend time with their families during the Christmas holiday. It is similar to a new year's holiday in Japan.


Nancy's house is in the tranquil country. It takes fourty-five minutes by car from Columbus in Ohio. There are woodlands and big farms around her house. Squirrels sometimes run about her house and deers occasionally cross the backyard. Actually I saw squirrels running on the trees but I didn't see deers. However I found deer tracks on the snow around her house. She lives with her husband George and three Airedales. The oldest Airedale is Chelsea, twelve years old and a girl, and other two were rescued Airedales. One of them is Nicki, a girl which was once treated cruelly. I can't understand why somebody did such a terrible thing. She is so cute and obedient! Loco is seven years old and a boy. His prior owners couldn't keep him because of their health problems. Nancy rescued him and tried to find a new owner. But she couldn't find because of his age. One day, the couple offered to adopt him and Nancy took him to them. But Loco is too energetic to handle by them. They thought he was a rough boy. He always wants to be with owner and he is jealous of other dogs. That is a typical boy Airedale I think. I love Loco so much!

They are free in the house while Nancy or George are home. They are mild and obedient and are seldom scolded. Of course sometimes they are run in the house though. They don't seem to be too excited. They are neutered or spayed and it probably causes them to be mild. And Nancy and George are very good at leading their Airedales. Thanks to them, I didn't get homesick.

George, Nansy, Shino

Nicki, Chelsea

I expected to visit the breeder since I decided to go to US. DROFFATS AIREDALES is very famous and it is recommended as a good breeder by ATCA. Nancy made an appointment to meet Mrs.Sue Stafford and we visited her. She welcomed us although she was very busy in the middle of the Christmas holiday. We also saw Mr.David Johnson who is a professional and very popular handler. They showed us her Airedales. The Airedales seemed to get along well with each other and the Airedales looked so happy and lively.

Sue first saw an Airedale in a park when she was 23 and thought it was the most beautiful dog she had ever seen. In 1958 she got her first Airedale, her second in 1960. In 1980 she began breeding.She is living with 16 Airedales. There is a big kennel in her spacious yard and it has a lot of pens and crate for Airedales. Sue washs and trims the dogs there.

She exercises all dogs, show dogs and pets, 20 minutes three times a day. The exercise is running free, not walking or running on a leash. All seven of her male dogs have free exercise in fenced yard together without a person watching. She believes fights occur when the dog sees a person and they all come to visit the person. When they get too close to each other and compete for attention from the person fights can occur. Most of her dogs bark, rather than bite in these situations. She has an older dog play with a puppy during exercise time.

Sue wants to breed healthy Airedales with good temperaments. She wants many good Airedales in a litter, not just one or two. She keeps the best one or two from the litter. She shows dogs almost every weekend of the year. Each weekend she is at the show is usually Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but occasionally includes a Thursday show also. She trims the dogs and travels around US for the shows with dogs. I admired the petite lady who has so much talent and expertise about Airedales.


CH. Droffats Downtown Brown Too
Sue and Shino

Kim is a member of the rescue team and Nancy's good friend. I heard that Kim has a lot of Airedale goods from my husband who visited her last year. My eyes popped out when I saw her house overflowing with Airedale goods!
She lives with her husband and three children and two male Airedales. Diablo is a champion and achieved remarkable results in Obedience and Agility. He is a superdog! Angus is a rescue dog and has now became a member of her family. Kim coaches Obedience and Agility trainning. Diablo and Angus are good friends though they are both adults. I was very surprised they always play together happily in the house and yard. I asked her "Are they obedient by nature?" She said, "No". I wonder why they don't fight. I think one of the causes is they are neutered. Diablo was neutered although he is a champion. I heard his sperm frozen and saved for future breeding.
It sounds very rational , but it would be hard to put into practice in Japan because breeding by frozen sperm is not accepted in Japan.


We visited Shelly after we came back from Kim's house. She is also a member of rescue team and Nancy's friend. Shelly and her husband Dave are living without Airedale. Actually their girl Airedale, five years old passed away the summer of the year before last. Her brain had a rare infection that came on suddenly. A brain surgery specialist of the Ohio State University Veterinarian College tried everything to cure her sickness, but nobody could save her life. Shelly and Dave are still overwhelmed with grief.

They have the lovely house which is called a timber- frame house. They built it for a long time. A lot of wonderful pictures which were drawn by Shelly, decorate the wall. And she draws pictures on the wall itself using stencils and paint. How talented she is!

Shelly was looking at the album of Airedales I brought and she gazed on the puppy's pictures. She seemed that she dreamed of living with an Airedale.
I heard she rescued a girl Airedale recently. I think she might adopt her.


My precious eight days passed by before I knew it. I went to the church on Christmas Eve, I and Nancy's family enjoyed Christmas dinner with a turkey Nancy roasted. We exchanged Christmas presents, and of course I enjoyed shopping at the after-Christmas sales. I bought some Christmas ornaments although I have no Chirismas tree. I have to buy a Christmas tree next year.
I and Nancy went to see a ballet " The Nutcracker" and visited "Stan Hywet Hall" and "Kelton House".

Everything is a great memory indeed. I was so happy to see Nancy's friends and breeders.
I talked with Nancy about show dogs many times. Most Airedale owners in US think it is difficult to show an Airedale because they can't do hand stripping themselves and don't want to hire someone to do the hand stripping due to the cost. And a professional handler shows almost dogs. It is similar in Japan. However in our club, at least we trim dogs by ourselves and we show dogs by ourselves. I believe it is a very good environment for us.

I have another thought. All rescue dogs I saw were very cheerful and obedient but they must have had a hard life before they were placed the present home. It makes my heart ache when I think about rescue dogs. I heard there are a lot of rescue dogs in US. Various reasons exist for rescue dogs. In the meantime, to my sorrow, I occasionally have heard about rescue Airedales in Japan.

I believe it is important that the people think about their pets and the breeders do proper breeding.