Sunday, August 3, 2014

Leia Arrives!

This afternoon we drove out to the Wings Airfield to pick up Temporary Dog #25, a black Lab/Dachshund mix named Leia. At 20 pounds and an estimated 8 months of age, Leia is a little smaller and a little younger than most of our fosters have been, but not by all that much. She's available for adoption through Almost Home - Doylestown.

I had never gotten a dog from the Pilots N Paws volunteer air transport group before -- in fact, I'd never even been to one of the small private airfields they use -- so I was pretty curious about this new experience.

The airfield was located in the prosperous-looking suburb of Blue Bell, PA. This was what the "parking lot" for the private planes looked like:

The cars in the vehicle parking lot skewed toward high-end sports cars and luxury models, which I guess is not all that surprising, but as a group they were still pretty funny to see parked out in a grassy field in the middle of suburbia.

This was the waiting area/lounge/customer service building, where we hung out for maybe 10 minutes before the combination of overactive air conditioning, lack of available chairs, and godawful TV news programs chased me back out to the parking lot:

The flight was about an hour late, since storms in NC forced the pilot to delay his departure there. But, eventually, the plane pulled in and the dogs unloaded and we leashed up Leia to take her home. That's her plane in the background there:

Sad Hound Look on the way home:

It's too early yet to tell much about her personality or behavior. So far, Leia seems to be a very sweet, affectionate, cuddly young dog. She's fine with Dog Mob and hasn't noticed the guinea pig yet. It doesn't appear that she's had any formal training, and she doesn't really know how to walk on leash, but I think she'll make progress quickly on those things.

I don't see a lot of sport potential in this dog, except at the very most casual recreational level. That isn't based on her temperament (it's much too early to tell anything about that), but structurally, Leia's got a very Dachshund-like build, and that is not going to be much of a selling point to most people looking for sport dogs.

That actually works out okay for me, though. Dog Mob is just beginning to dabble in nosework, and I was thinking that after I got through the basic foster dog curriculum, it might be fun to try doing a little beginner nosework with Leia, mostly just so I could have some practice working with a totally green dog and seeing how that goes.

So for now, tentatively, that's the plan: get Leia used to living in the city, knock out the basic life skills training stuff, and then play with nosework until she finds a home.

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