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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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. :)
 

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Tell me more about this SAR pre-eval, I am working now to get Felix in with my local team. He has all of the above attributes which is why I thought it'd be a PERFECT fit for him.
 

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Sounds great! It would be well adapted to your climate too I would think.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We need pictures!!!
I will get some and post them as soon as I get her home, and maybe even tomorrow when I go to volunteer (I'd actually be bringing her home then except I have a commitment that will keep me overnight this weekend, so not ideal for a new dog!). I'll be taking her out and I'll try to snap a few pics. :)

I'm still figuring out potential names so I'll likely post a pic and ask opinions. ;) I won't tell you what I'm thinking yet, though, so as not to bias anything. After all, even if she goes back to the shelter, she'll need a good name for her new life. :)

Tell me more about this SAR pre-eval, I am working now to get Felix in with my local team. He has all of the above attributes which is why I thought it'd be a PERFECT fit for him.
I'll send you a PM shortly. :)

Sounds great! It would be well adapted to your climate too I would think.
Definitely. That's one of the reasons I love heelers...they're bred for a similar climate to where I live--arid, extremely hot during the summer, but cold winters and downright frigid temperatures and heavy winter storms at higher elevations--and they're very well suited to it. I've actually also been eyeing a Husky mix who has unfortunately been in the shelter for a long time due to her temperament (which I love, and is well-suited to SAR, just too intense for most pet homes), but her trouble with the heat has prevented me from moving on her yet.
 

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The whole offlead thing can be a challenge for huskies that is not for herders. We do have a husky kind of mix thing on our team though and she worked through it.
 

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Wow, that sounds so exciting! I hope it all works out for you and her.
I recently met a really sweet red heeler puppy named Ruby, I thought the name really fit her. Good luck!
 

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hope it all works out!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, things moved more quickly...my boyfriend has the flu this weekend so we canceled our travel plans, and I'm currently sitting in the living room with a little red heeler sleeping at my feet. :) We actually already even did a little informal assessment with her as I picked her up on the way to a team training, and she passed with flying colors even with the stress of moving, meeting new people, sitting in the crate in the truck for an hour before the assessment, etc. All things considered, it's very promising. :) Also, turns out she's probably more like 6 months old, not 9 months like I originally thought.

Still no pictures and I don't want to move as she's had a big day and has finally relaxed and fallen asleep, but I'll get some this evening and post them.

The whole offlead thing can be a challenge for huskies that is not for herders. We do have a husky kind of mix thing on our team though and she worked through it.
Yeah, to be honest it wasn't just the heat thing...the dog has a great personality and drive for the work, but I had some reservations about the breed in general, both in terms of training challenges and the fact I have the most husky experience of anyone on my team (and I hardly have any LOL), and the kind of dogs I like to work with. Huskies are a little too independent, I like a dog who can work independently but checks in with me too.
 

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Ok. Time is up. Where are the pictures?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
LOL sorry, it took me awhile to get one that isn't just a red blur! ;) It's still not great but at least you can tell it is a dog! She's a lot redder than she looks in the picture, the harsh lighting and cheap phone camera kind of washed her out a bit.

Here is Abi:


I am in love with this little dog. I forgot how much work puppies are, but man, she is smart and intense! She's a blast to work with and learns incredibly quickly. Just the coolest little dog. She's meeting my teammates tomorrow so hopefully they like her too!
 

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Way cool! Looking forward to hear of her exploits.
 

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She's awesome! I love her coloring.
Ok, what are the name choices???
 

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Adorable dog and very nice story. Congrats to you and Abi. I LOVE happy endings.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
She's awesome! I love her coloring.
Ok, what are the name choices???
I jumped the gun on that too. She's Abi. :)

Zeeva, I will try to remember to get those other pictures posted. My others are all blue, but one is mostly white, so I've been joking that I'm the most patriotic dog owner you'll ever meet--I have red, white and blue dogs! ;)
 
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