a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Checking out the Hmmmm dog

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Checking out the Hmmmm dog

SUMMARY: Evaluation meeting.

Backfill: Added March 30.

Met Chip and his current owner at a dog park up in Palo Alto. I asked an agility friend who lives just a couple of blocks from there to join me and give a sanity check.

Chip's story in a few words: Adopted Chip from the shelter at 5 (!) weeks old. Divorce. No more house or back yard. Working long hours. Feels terrible about not giving Chip the attention he deserves.

My basic observations.

  • Chip is sooo skinny. Not unhealthy, no, I mean that his build is so slender, much thinner than Remington. Hard to tell compared to Tika or Boost because they have so much more hair. I can see why they might think Whippet, but otherwise he doesn't look whippetish to me.
  • He is *fast*! He loved playing chase with any dog he could convince to chase him. He looks well-proportioned for running and jumping, in my limited expertise of evaluating build. Upright more like Tika than low-slung like Boost.
  • He wants to fence-fight at other dogs approaching the park. Tika is like that, too, when there's a fence between. Like for Tika, it doesn't seem to be truly hostile, but more like wanting to have access to the other dog, and then everyone's happy.
  • His fur is soooo soft. He is sweet and gentle with me and just a happy guy. But very much more interested in the other dogs. That's not surprising; that's why he's been coming to the dog park, to run and play with the other dogs. 
  • He and my dogs were fine as we all hung out at one end of the park, as I expected--Tika's not that interested in other dogs other than an initial sniff or two, and Boost just wants someone to throw the tennis ball.
  • Oh, my, it's been enough years since I've had boy dogs that I'd kinda forgotten about the marking-everything thing.
  • He kinda comes when called. Current owner says ruefully, yes, one of the many things that Chip wasn't taught well. Wouldn't let him off leash somewhere because owner would spend a lot of time chasing him down.  Well, not like I've never dealt with an enthusiastically exploring, independent dog before. Right, Tika?

I confirm that I really am interested in him, at least on a trial basis. We agree to get together later in the week to do the hand-off.

Driving home, I'm going through a checklist of things that I'll need to do--emotionally, mentally, around the house, short term, and long term. Well, it's just for a trial basis to start with. Plus, the dog has a kid whom he sees every couple of weeks, and they're not going to do a final goodbye until we decide it's final.

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