I believe the phrase is, “we have a winner.”
I found a dog at Houston Humane Society that passed every test I could think to throw at her—literally. Her name is currently Delilah, although I’ll probably change that to something I can get closer to saying, like Leah or Leia. She is technically a GSD mix, but she appears to just be a underweight grayish GSD to me. Anyway, she did easily beat three other dogs in my tests, exhibiting good food and play drive (loves tennis balls), no significant prey drive (she showed deference to a male Chihuahua of all things), no negative reaction to the wheelchair, fair retrieval response (not great, but adequate to our needs), and she seems to be outgoing and confident. She was all I could ask for in a recruit so I started the adoption sequence, and she should be ready Thursday. Enclosed is a short video of Delilah cantering besides the chair to check her locomotion.
I’ll still want to bring her by GCVS for an orthopedic x-ray series. I would also really appreciate it if Kate or Dr. Beale would reach out to HHS and talk to their vets about suturing her stomach to the abdominal wall at the same time that they spay her. They probably won’t, but I hate the thought of opening the poor dog twice in rapid succession. The suture procedure is something I do to my working dogs as an insurance measure. It isn’t an absolutely guaranteed way to prevent what is commonly called “bloating,” but it does greatly reduce the chances and severity of an incident. I learned that lesson the hard way after nearly losing Lilly and being raked over the coals by Dr. Li$ka for $3600. I sure wish HHS would agree to let GCVS do both procedures.
I must say that dealing with Houston Humane Society was a pleasant change from I’ve had to deal with since Ari’s death. I had a mother/daughter team dutifully trotting out dogs on my list, and helping with the tests. As it turns out, HHS is the only local shelter that admits to occasionally being visited by something called “Service Dogs, Inc.” for recruits. It was nice to be able to operate completely above board and not need to shade the truth any. (Although, if you think about it, my basic tests are no different from what any decent pet adopter should be doing!)