Itamar came to visit yesterday.
The picture to the right is approximately what he looked like yesterday. The other pictures are from the Mississippi organization that rescued him.
I’d already been told he was very shy, very fearful, and he was. Well behaved but totally withdrawn. He settled behind a chair while his foster mom and I talked, and he only reluctantly went into the backyard with us.
The guess had been that he was part yellow lab, and I could see that. What isn’t so apparent in these pictures is that he has a rather chunky head and shorter legs than you might expect. A stocky build. The reason for that was more apparent when I got a note from the Mississippi shelter saying his mom is part yellow lab, part chow chow (not a breed I would knowingly choose). Some chow body type coming through, I’d say. You can see the longer coat in the earlier picture. The pups had to be clipped when their mange was treated, so as good as they look in the bottom picture, they still have a lot of coat to regrow.
For the sake of comparison, and to make Itamar feel a little more secure, the handler brought in another pup she had with her, Itamar’s buddy — a gawky black lab type. Talk about night and day! On the one hand, a puppy that didn’t even know how to be a puppy and that acted like an old dog; on the other hand, a slap-happy, awkward, long-legged pup that seemed to be going all directions at once.
After a lot of conversation, the foster mom left with both dogs. I felt guilty, but also thought Itamar maybe would be better served spending more time at his foster home with thirteen other canine friends to play with and learn from. With the two dogs together, I could see that my preference would be for a happy, outgoing dog, even though I’m perfectly capable of taking care of a shy one. The black pup was goofy and adorable, but not yet housebroken, and I hadn’t decided whether I wanted to deal with a dog that young. The second pup lit up that little dark place in my heart in a way that Itamar didn’t, and I need to consider that.
The experience was not a total loss by any means. At least, not for me. I learned more about what I want and don’t want. I got to see how well a medium-sized dog fits in my little house and yard. And maybe best of all, I am now “pre-approved” (as my son put it) for a dog from a nice rescue organization.