It's way sooner than I had planned, but I volunteer with a local shelter and a really well-socialized 9-month-old red heeler came in who appears to be everything I'm looking for. Even in a scary, noisy kennel environment among strangers she's friendly to everyone, unflappable, absolutely toy-crazy, energetic, strong prey drive, smarter than heck and very well-built.
She's also glommed on to me as her favorite person, even though I've barely handled her (relatively speaking...but on the other hand I am her main walker, but we've only been out once) and don't feed her. When we were sitting in the lobby yesterday to give her a chance to socialize with a group of people, she went and said hi to everyone and played with everyone a bit...then came and laid down across my feet, even though the employee who does most of her care including her feeding and is fantastic with dogs was sitting there as well. LOL It's been a running joke in my life for the last 10 years or so that I attract heelers, and my streak seems to be continuing. My last one was Wooby, who decided for herself to come live with me--before that she lived with my neighbors, who'd raised her since she was a puppy and were very kind to their dogs! But nothing we did would entice her back, so now she's mine.
So, I'm picking the red heeler up on Monday (she hasn't even been there long enough to have a name yet!), and a couple of days later a few of my teammates are going to meet me to do a preliminary evaluation on her. She's not fully vaccinated yet (just begun the series) so she can't go to team training sessions yet, but if she passes the evaluation, we'll just have to finish her puppy shots and I'll have another search dog. If she doesn't, she'll go back to the shelter, which is no-kill.
Basically, it's sooner than I wanted, but it seems like such a win-win situation that I can't pass up the chance to at least give it a try. Plus, I've always wanted a red heeler...all my others have been blue!
Sorry for the non-GSD post, but since I've posted about Hector I figured I'd share. And I'm really excited.