Well… we had a nibble regarding Sparky, but the family decided on a different dog. Sparky has turned out to be an interesting kind of dog. When we first got him, he was defensive and didn’t seem to want to be in the house or with the other dogs. But now, after 6 months, he seems to really be warming up to the home. He greets me when I come home, he follows me around in the morning when I am getting ready for work and always wants to be pet. He has even started laying down on the floor and rolling over on his side to have his belly scrubbed. Previously he wouldn’t let you touch his back legs or belly without growling.
So, I think Sparky has had issues adjusting to being thrown out of his home. After all, he lived there for 7 years and had a family and then one day he didn’t. He never had a bunch of other dogs to contend with so I don’t think he initially knew how to play with other dogs. But now when I take them outside, he runs with all 3 other dogs, chases the ball, and races around the yard with Clifford.
And he has learned some manners. He now gives paw on command, he sits at attention for his food, and when I sing the breakfast song he comes running down the stairs instead of shyly sitting at the top of the stairs waiting for a personal invite. When I sing the doggy treat song (yes, I sing to the dogs and they understand the different songs and know where to go when they hear the different tunes) he runs to the refrigerator and sits there patiently waiting for a treat. And he is great at taking treats. Clifford and Remy bite your hand off if you aren’t careful. Kira always gently takes it from me but will bite Mike’s arm off when he gives them treats. But Sparky is just as gentle as can be and will take the treat without even touching your fingers.
Speaking of his changes, Sparky has started wagging his tail. For the first 5 months his tail stayed curled over his back like a chow, but he never wagged it. You couldn’t tell if he was happy to see you or not. But lately, when I walk down the hall, he will wag is tail. It is a gentle little 2 inch side to side movement over his back (nothing like the wag of Kira that literally goes from her left shoulder to her right shoulder knocking off anything at tail level that might be in the way. But he wags ever so gently and seems to be happy.
And, he occasionally sleeps on the dog bed in my bedroom. That just started about 2 weeks ago. He use to always sleep on the futon up in Mike’s office or he would sleep on the dog bed in the hallway. But now, when I get ready for bed, he will show up and lay down in the bed beside my bed. But in the morning he is always gone and is back in the bed in the hallway. Still, I think this is progress and a good indicator that Sparky will adjust to any new home provided that the family gives him time to fit in.
As for my assessment for what home would be best for him. I would say a home with an older person that stays at home. I wouldn’t trust him with small children because he is quick to defend himself if you take his bed or rough him up. But he is a wonderful companion dog that seeks out affection occasionally but for the most part doesn’t need constant attention. He likes other dogs and gets along but he doesn’t sleep with the pack and he doesn’t interact with them unless he is interacting with a human at the same time. So, I think a single adult or a couple with no children would be a perfect home for Sparky.