The life and times of an English Airedale Terrier puppy

Monday, April 23, 2007


Hey all, hope you all had fun weekends! Mine was pretty good. Dad's girls were here for the weekend so I had plenty of fun playing with them. They have just got a new puppy themselves, a Border Collie called Maisie. Apparently they got their mum to buy Maisie lots of toys the same as mine, yay!

I also realised that my Doggles can double up as safety specs! Not only are they cool, but they're practical too. What more could you ask for?

Now then, you know how scruffy I have been looking of late? Here's a reminder if you need it! Well, on Sunday mum & I went to a stripping class. No, not that kind of stripping! Hair stripping. You see, us Airedales don't really shed apart from when we blow our coat all at once twice a year. We have a double coat - a soft undercoat & a harder, wiry top coat. Left to our own devices, we would end up looking like a big woolly mammoth or a tumbleweed on legs, to quote 2 peoples opinions! Our coat can be clippered, but this can lead to the tan of our coats becoming very pale, & the black jacket turning quite grizzled. It will also mean that our coat is soft rather than wiry. The alternative is to hand strip our coats, whereby the undercoat is removed with a stripping knife or fingers allowing the wiry top coat to grow through. It is fiddly & time consuming, but the result is a much better coat & is it the required grooming method if Airedales are to be shown.

As you know, I have been clippered before, but I was starting to get a lot of white hairs coming through, which mum thought it was a shame as I have a very good coat otherwise. She decided to give the stripping class run by our local Airedale club a try. She had been told that Ruth, the lady who runs the class & the other members who go to class were all really friendly & helpful & thought that it would be a nice afternoon out if nothing else.

When we arrived, another car had just pulled up too. It was a 7 month old girlie called Ruby with her mum & dad. As we were a bit early, we went onto the field for a play. She was GREAT at bitey face game, & we played with my aire Kong on a rope, both running round with it in our mouths. Mum had left her camera in the car, so no photos of her, but hopefully if we go next month I'll meet her again.

There were some boys there too. Some of them such as Rupert were at the show in Hewish that we went to back in February. This time we could play outside properly like adolescent boys should. It was fun, but because most of the other guys are show dogs, they still have all their boy bits & they were all obsessed with trying to hump me! I got my revenge with some Kung-fu moves though.

You can see what I mean here. At one point I had 3 of them trying to mount me. All mum was doing was laughing. Thanks mum. Luckily I'm a good natured boy or they could have got big ticking off from me.

Anyway, once we had had a play it was down to business. There seemed to be lots of hiding under things going on. This old guy wasn't interested in playing with us pups, so he decided to hide under his grooming table.

And look who was hiding under the chairs! She's called Willow & is just 12 weeks old! She was so sweet, I kept going over to give her little licks on the head. Mum was so impressed at how gentle I was with her. Please can I have one mum? I would so love a little sis like her! She went to the class last month when she was just 8 weeks old, & she behaved like a pro on the table this time. Way to go Willow.

Here's my friend Ralf & his mum. Doesn't he look a bit like he's being hung, hehehe! Remember I met Ralf & Molly the other weekend for a romp in the woods? We are going to meet up again this coming weekend, yay! I think we're going somewhere with lots of water, so me & Molly are going to have such fun splashing about together.

And here I am on the table. Mum was shown what to do & she worked on the top of my back & shoulders. After the initial shock of having my hair ripped out, I was pretty well behaved. Only joking, it really doesn't hurt. Ruth, who runs the class said I was a big wimp though as when she started doing my face I was whimpering loads. This eeevil (mum: extremely nice) man Phil held me as Ruth was scared she was going to poke me in the eye with the stripping knife. She told mum it was her fault not mine that I wriggled as she should have got me more used to it at an earlier age. See, I'm perfect mum, it's you that's BAD!

Mum didn't take many photos of me at class as she was too busy balding me. You should see how much hair came off the little section of me that was worked on! Ruth said it was a perfect time to start stripping me as my hair was good & loose. Mum learned lots & we will have a little go each night until my body is done. When we go back next month, Ruth will help with my ears & muzzle & blending my body into my legs.

You can't tell too well from this photo, but the hair on the top of my saddle & going down my front shoulders is a lot thinner. A lot of the dead hair has gone & new hair will start growing in very quickly.

This is the eye & side of my face that Ruth did. I can see again! It looks so much tidier. I still have my Airedale eyebrow, but it is much better shaped. She left the other side for mum to do now that she has the one good side to work from, so I'm a little lop-sided at the moment, but we are going to work on it today. I was so pooped by the time we got home last night that I could only flop.

My profile is starting to look more like the "wedge" that it is supposed to rather than a big fuzzy mess.

There's still a lot to do, so something tells me I'm not going to get much peace this weekend. As long as I get plenty of treats while we work I should be OK though.


Oscar x


Boo said...

gosh, all those standing work sure makes you tired. i was pooped too when i reach home my morning play yesterday.

wet wet licks


Maggie said...

OMG Oscar! I thought I heard you ask for a sister! Are you nuts?! Don't you want to be king at your house? Your status will change with a sister, trust me!
Mom thinks it's so cool that your mom knows how to strip! I wish we had classes here to teach us!

Love ya lots,

Pappy's Fella said...

Swindon, Swindon, Swindon... I remember hitching a ride from Avebury to Swindon to catch a bus after hiking the Ridgeway path from Letcombe Bassett. Let see... that was... a really long time ago. I went back to Avebury twenty years later and it was a whole new world.

Marvin The Dog said...

those are lovely pictures, Oscar!

We especially like your doggles!

Sorry we have been so quiet, but we have been away!

trying to catch up with everyone's news now!

love and licks, Marvin xxxxx

Ruby Bleu said...

I've never seen so many airdales in once place...that is so cool. It was very interesting to read about stripping. Even with your lopsided face you still look handsome!

Lots of Licks, Ruby

Tadpole said...

Okay, seriously, Oscar - my girl cannot stop giggling at you and your Doggles!!! She keeps saying "he's SOOOO CUTE!!!!!" and stuff like that. I respectfully ask that you stop wearing them, because I'm beginning to fear I'm going to be getting some soon....

Jackson said...

You certainly were popular with the other male Airedales! How many Airedales are there round where you live?! Are you planning on taking over the world or something? That stripping class is such a good idea. I sent J1 on a one year part time grooming course to learn how to do it. J x

Joe Stains said...

I am so glad I don't have to do that grooming stuff. Willow was a cutie but you DONT want a younger sibling, trust me on this!!

Toby said...

Looking cool in you doggles Oscar! Hee hee!

Looks like your mum learnt lots at stripping class - I bet she'll be chuffed to be able to keep you looking nice and handsome by herself...though I don't know how you have the patience to stand for ages for all that grooming!

Aww Oscar you want a sister too? I'm a bit disappointed because I think I'm getting a brother now....but I really wanted a sister! Not 100% yet - maybe I'll go on recall strike until mum says she's getting me a sister! Hee hee!


Pippin, the Gentle Pup said...

Wow, that is a lot of work you're having to do. The least your mom could do is get you a puppy for yourself. Boy.

See ya

Rachael said...

Moxie wants me to tell you shes glad she's not a terrier, because she hates being brushed, this stripping nonsense sounds horrible. It doesn't involve squeaky toys or tennis ball! How does one endure such a thing!

Chelsea said...

Oscar, you are so brave with that ....noose around your neck



Pacco de Mongrel said...

beside of sum regular brush...i never been for a grooming b4...wonder how's d experience of being shave...n bath by a total stranger..

Nugget said...

You're very brave Oscar. I am glad I don't need to be stripped!

Simba said...

Everyone is cutting hair cuts, it must be spring.

Simba xx

Fu Fu said...

Hey Oscar, you have really cool Kung-fu moves there. Willow is a really cute doggie. You had me worried there when you said you went for stripping class. Hee hee

~ fufu

Buster the Wired Fox Terror said...

I get clippered - Mommy was taking me to be stripped but I can't stand anything pulling at my fur and I turned into an evil snarling snappy devil dog the lady refused to do me anymore!

Bussie Kissies

Sunshade said...

Hey handsome, you are looking just as handsome LOL if that made any sense at all!

STINKY gets stripped too and he falls asleep when mum does it. I told ya, something's wrong with that guy.

By the way, when you said your mom saw white hair coming through you. Did you mean white hair through your black saddle?? Or did you just mean faded hair?? Some bloodlines produce dogs with grizzle saddles. They are still wiry coated, it's just they get some white wiry hair in mids of their black hair.

Was that a sheepcoated dog I saw in the background in your first video where you tactfully escaped the other boys?? I hope he doesn't get stripped..... and your friend Ralf too.... OUCH!

Love nibbles,
Miss Sunshade

Suki said...

Oh, poor Oscar. Those doggies should have left you alone! You were so nice not to get upset, though :)

That puppy, Willow, is adorable! need a sister. Now. Hehehe. Oh, and your coat looks very nice, now, although I like the wooly mammoth look, too :)

Puggy kisses

Faya said...

Ruby, Willow...... Hum hum hum....

The Airechicks said...


We love your look like Bogart...very HANDSOME...

We don't hate cause you're beautiful... It's not easy but you take very good pics and make it look easy...

Your human sis is very cute....

Velvet said...

trust me Oscar, u wldn't want a sister!!! they're lil' monsters!!!

i see ur bein hand-stripped now too. no worries yea be a brave boy! my mom strips me since i was a lil' gal til now...i'd fall asleep on her lap while i was still a teeny weeny gal! brave boy...


jaffeboy said...

Welcome to the stipping club. Yup, MaMa does her own stripping for me too. It's the most boring day.

Super Boy & Baby-Licious said...

Are you sure you want a sister? Look at the brat that i am stuck with. You better think twice.


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