We met Carol from Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary on Sunday and picked up Melia. Melia has been in the "system" since October. She was fostered and sheltered, and was so grateful for a little peace, quiet and personal attention. For the trek home, she started out in a frightened ball in the very back of the station wagon, but an hour later she had hopped over the back seat, with confidence, to snuggle up with Toby and be closer to the conversation. If she'd had her way, she would have been in our laps!
When I got home I realized she had gotten sick in the very back. Even though there was a HUGE blanket back there, she has managed to throw up her breakfast in the one tiny spot where it trickled down under the back seat. Uck. While I cleaned the tight crevices of my car, Melia romped and explored in the back yard. Carol had mentioned that she wasn't too playful. She liked other dogs, but was really shy and submissive. We weren't expecting her to be playful with Toby at first.... but we were wrong. Once out of the car and romping in the fenced in back yard, she pawed at Toby, got him to chase her in circles and explored with grand independence. She came when we called her, but was comfortable enough to explore on her own.
She doesn't know how to play with people. We tried "catch me, catch me, if you can" and we tried "I'm gonna chase you" and we tried "chase the toy". Nothing. Instead of playing with us, she would run up to us and just play dead. Literally, she would roll over or crouch down very submissively.
From the best we can tell, Melia is half golden retriever and half love bug mutt. We keep hypothesizing what the other half is... she's about 50 pounds and "short" for a golden, but her body is kind of long and her paws are pretty big and webbed--more so than Toby's. She has these amazingly expressive ears. They're a little beefier than most Golden Retriever ears, but they're oh-so-soft! And she melts at your feet if you reach down to pet them.
Melia's age seems to be as much of a mystery as her DNA. One vet that assessed her thought she was about 1 year old. Another vet thought maybe 8 years old. Carol thinks she's in between. Maybe a sprightly 5 years old? She shows no sign of being a senior dog and yet she's way too mellow to be a puppy, in spite of her small statue and puppy-ish expressions.
We've only had her for about a day... more to come!
If you or someone you know is interested in adopting Melia, please contact Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary (http://www.almostheaven-golden-retriever-rescue.org/)