Friday, September 14, 2012

Pubb, the ultimate gentleman

Incentive winner from yesterday is Elise Simon.
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donate by 8pm EDT Sept 14, 2012
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Today's rescue story is provided by rescue volunteer, Marti Touchstone.  

Over two years ago I wrote a bit of a love letter to the young woman who originally rescued Pubb in 2003.  This is that letter;

April 18, 2010

Dear Bishop,

You may remember that in 2003 you picked up an Airedale in a lot of trouble on the side of the road and named him Pubb. He was on three legs, 25 lbs underweight, had little hair, battle scars, plenty of heartworms and every other possible parasite. You and your family nursed him through the most critical phase of recovery and then the Airedale rescue group in our area transported him to us.

Pubb on arrival at Marti's.

Let me say up front that this isn’t one of those sad letters written upon the death of a dog—he is absolutely fine and still acts like a puppy. Getting a little stiffer in his advancing years, but still would rather hike with me than breathe. Wrestles and plays endlessly with the three other Airedales in the house, and was the first to befriend the now-seven month old puppy Punch. His signature is a bulldozer-like move through one’s legs and he has been known to pick small people (I being one of them) off their feet. And when people hear how old he is (we guess about 13 now—estimates of his age when you rescued him were 5 to 7), they are in absolute disbelief.

Anyway, this is by way of a love letter from Pubb, and it’s by way of letting you know the ripples of good things your good deed created. For my own part, I don’t think there has been a day since he arrived that Pubb (also called Bubbie—Pubb morphed into an affectionate Pubba-Bubba and thus he answers to Pubby, Pubb, Bubbie, Bupps, Bubb, Pubbster, Boobert and the rattle of a food bowl) has not made me laugh aloud, and the value of a dog that can do that is inestimable.

Hanging on to needed love
Look at those paws holding on to John.

My husband and I were to be his foster family. Since our list of then and previous dogs comprised Posie, Paw, Puff, Piper, Peach and Pixi I should have known the deck was stacked for me to flunk fostering when a dog named Pubb walked in the door.

He was in the second worst shape of any dog I’ve ever fostered, and that was after two weeks of loving vet care with your family. I shudder to think how he must have presented originally. It must have taken great courage to stop and pick him up. And, it was worse than you even knew—when we took him to be x-rayed to figure out what could be done about his crippled rear leg we discovered he was full of gunshot, and from more than one gun. There were different gauges of shot. It was at that point, as if it hadn’t been a foregone conclusion anyway, that my husband said, “That dog isn’t going anywhere ever again.” So I reimbursed our Airedale rescue group for the vet bills and he became ours. After surgery he’s now on four legs with a slight hitch in his gait.

He has become a therapy dog extraordinaire, fabulous with disturbed kids, abused kids, kids with reading problems, and most of all, sick kids. Other than a couple of hand signals, his repertoire of tricks consists of “Gimme five” and “Speak” and he will do them endlessly for any child who asks.

He was my late husband’s favorite and as John grew sicker, Pubb stayed closer. Since he was a therapy dog, he could come and go at the hospital and made those awful inpatient days so very much better, not only for John but for everyone he encountered. When the dreaded call came at 1 a.m., it was Pubb who came back to hospice with me. And he was with John when he died, just as they both would have asked if they could. Afterwards, he dedicated himself, as best a very light-hearted and comedic dog can, to being the man of the family. On his best days he even managed to look serious for a brief time. On the rest he settled for pinning me under the blankets while I slept.

The three Airedales and I hiked our way through grief and Pubb loves those outings. In the late summer of 2008 we were on a familiar trail when Peach disappeared around a corner and we heard a crash and a canine scream. Pubb, Pixi and I ran forward, and there was Peach, under a black bear. The three of us charged the bear barking and yelling and somehow in the melee Peach regained her footing and I was able to call them back to me. But one look at the dogs with every hair erect and eyes wild told me I wouldn’t be able to keep them under verbal control indefinitely so I started loping sideways away from the bear, calling the dogs and clapping. What that brilliant move succeeded in doing was calling the bear after ME. …. And those three Airedales went into a dance that looked as if they’d rehearsed every day of their lives: one would charge the bear from the right and as the bear went for it, the next would charge from the left, then the center dog, etc. And the whole time they were doing this incredible routine of parry and thrust, they were backing me out of there. Pubby gained hero status far beyond the confines of this household where he’s always been one, and Peach escaped with only minor injuries.

I could go on and on. But I wanted, while he is hale and healthy, to thank you from the bottom of my heart for saving this incredible, beautiful, hilarious miracle of a dog. There is no way to tell you how much happiness and laughter and comfort he’s brought into my world and the world of everyone who meets him. I truly do thank God every single day for him—and for you, for saving his life.

Again, with more thanks for your brave, compassionate and generous rescue than I can ever express,


Update August 22, 2012
We lost our beloved 15 year old Pubb yesterday. Like the gentleman he was, he chose to leave us at the vet's office so we would not be terrified at home by the sudden onset of strokes and seizures and so his beloved Dr. Amy could be with Rick and me. 
Rather than write an obituary, I think re-posting the above letter is the best eulogy.


                                                 Pubb age 15

                                                     Please leave a comment on the blog for Marti.

Please donate today 

in honor of Pubb and all the rescue workers 

that give so much effort and love 

to the breed we all love. 

Incentive prize is a "one day" only opportunity  

donate by 8pm EDT Sept. 14, 2012

Handmade and donated by Terry Stevens!shop-the-terrier-boutique

Airedale planter
for outdoor use
has drainage holes in feet
10" long and 6" high 
made of clay, 'Las Vegas Buff'

even his tag says 'Rescue' 

 inside the planter


  1. What a truly special boy! Our thoughts and prayers go out to Marti. Godspeed, Pubb. You will be missed for a long time to come.

  2. Marti,
    Pubb was a terrific dog. Our condolences on your loss last month, but what incredible memories he has left you. Libby

  3. What a wonderful letter to a caring person who found and initially helped Pubb and a very touching tribute to a special Airedale. I cried at what cruelty was done to him and laughed at the string of silly names that we all give our Airedales. I was touched by the photo of Pubb w/your husband. These dogs know when they are loved and they give us so much back. Thank you, Marti, for giving him such a good and loving home for the years he had left. Thank you for sharing his story with us. Candy

  4. The love in that photo of man and dog is incredible. thank you to all that were involved in this incredible story of love and rescue. Much sympathy. A very bright star in the night sky, it will be Pubb.

  5. What a lovely tribute to an amazing dog. Run wild and free Pubb! Lots of love to you all and Big Aire Kisses all around...

    Lulu & Bogart

  6. What a wonderful dog Pubb was. Thank you, Marti for sharing this heartfelt tribute to him, a true "Aire-Hero" and devoted companion. Andrea Shaw

  7. Oh Marti what a lovely letter - what a magnificent dog and how lucky that you all found each other. Thank you for sharing such special memories. Lizzie (Chester @ Wombat Bend's Mum)

  8. Marti,
    What a beautiful love letter and most fitting tribute to Pubb, the Airedale who loved in spite of the horrible beginnings he had. You can see the love he shared with you in all the experiences you shared together. Deepest sympathy on your loss, both of your husband and Pubb!

  9. Marti, thanks so much for sharing Pubb's story with us. His personality shines through bright and strong. I'm sorry for your loss. Thank goodness for wonderful memories. I can imagine Pubb waiting there at the Rainbow Bridge, playing with and entertaining the other 'dales while he watches and waits for you. Won't the reunion be fabulous?!!! Blessings to you.

  10. Thank you for sharing your story of Pubb's. He was truly lucky to have you and your late husband in his life and vice versa. Sending many blessings to you and your entire furry family.

  11. Every time I read Marti's story about Pubb, I walk away with a solidified nod of an exceptional illustration speaking of pure love. By far, I do believe this foster/forever home is one of my all time favorites. What a wonderful life Pubb enjoyed in North Carolina! I don't know why, Pubb, but I think of you, often. That's the kind of impression you have made on me via your adorable face and the special bond you shared with John and Marti.

    Pubb, you are forever etched into my heart for all of the warmth and affection you brought to the Touchstone's. You are a blessing that continues to inspire, bringing much joy to all who love Airedales.


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