Sunday, March 19, 2006
Graying muzzle, bouncing puppy.A family came in tonight to visit with a young seven-month-old black lab. As our adoption process requires, they brought their resident dog to be introduced, to see if it would be a good fit between the two dogs.
(Despite how badly the potential adopters want it, sometimes it is just not meant to be. The resident dog may just not be as interested in a new canine companion as are the human residents. Or the new dog might not be as deferential to the one as he should be.)
Their dog was a 15 year old black lab mix. In fact, he looked like an older version of the younger dog. He had a grizzled muzzle, peppered with white. He had patches of skin where fatty lumps had recently been removed by a veterinarian. And obviously had more fatty lumps that would need to be removed in the future.
He was clearly well-loved, and has lived a good life so far. No lab-type dog reaches the advanced age of 15 without a family looking out for him. Regular vet visits, lots of exercise, good food: it was apparent this dog was luckier than most.
Watching through the courtyard windows as our two staff members made the introduction, I saw two dogs sniff at each other cautiously, then decide they'd each found a new friend.
The puppy was respectful and energetic. The grizzled dog was engaged and showed short bursts of energy. Often puppies annoy older dogs. They sometimes look at their owners as if saying, "You are not bringing THIS THING home with us, are you??"
But this old guy was having fun chasing the puppy around, even though "chase" lasted only about four or five paces.
It was a good match and it made me happy to watch.