Indy doesn’t floss. I don’t even think Indy owns a toothbrush. We came to this conclusion shortly after meeting our newest friend Indiana at the shelter. Indy, a speckled Heeler mix of some kind, is from Lyon County, Nevada. He was picked up as a stray and never claimed. The shelter where he was living would most likely have euthanized him if not for the efforts of the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe. Indy now has the chance, like me, to live the Tahoe dream. All he needs is a person smart enough to adopt him — and maybe a breath mint.

Indy is about 6 years old and weighs about 45 pounds. His name was not originally Indy, which explains why he does not respond when you call him. Unlike Indiana Jones, he also does not appear to know much about archeology, but he does love to dig. He may have been searching for the lost Ark of the Covenant when we went for a walk, or maybe it was just some gophers. Judging from the amount of digging he did, he could probably get a job with one of the local excavating companies. Indy has what we call in the dog business a strong prey drive. He loves to chase squirrels, chipmunks, birds, or any other small animals he can find. I don’t think he will be able to catch any of those critters, but his breath alone might be strong enough to take one down at close range. I really shouldn’t make fun of Indy’s oral hygiene. I was the runt of my litter, a fairly sickly puppy when I met my folks. Consequently, all my teeth didn’t develop. I have a few spots on the side of my mouth where I have no teeth at all. I can barely keep my tongue in my mouth. Often it just hangs out of the big gaps between my teeth. I do brush and floss regularly though, and I don’t drink coffee. That stuff will stain your teeth and give you bad breath. No one wants to see a black lab all hopped up on caffeine, either.

I got to spend a few hours with Indy and, while I tried to appear as aloof as possible, I liked this guy. He came over to my house and met Tobias the cat. He met the kids and even dealt with me barking in his ear while we waited to load up in the car for a hike. My folks can’t even deal with that. The barking makes them a little crazy sometimes, but I just want to make sure they don’t forget me. Indy was nice to Tobias and got along with the kids. Once we headed out to the meadow for our hike, Indy was great. He rides well in the car and, for a middle-aged fella, he has wheels. I still think I could beat him in a race but it would be close. He doesn’t pull too much on a leash, and he met other dogs and people without incident. According to HSTT, he is a fast learner, is cuddly, and loves to chew on rawhides. I can vouch for the fast learner part, but we didn’t get too cuddly. I just don’t do that type of thing on a first date.

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Indy would make a great family dog. At 6 years old he still has tons of energy and loves to give, but doesn’t have all the issues a younger dog might have. After his visit, the 5-year-old person at my house asked if we could foster him. The folks said yes and now Indy will get a break from the shelter and will chill at my house. We might even cuddle sometime on the furniture, but for now we are taking it slow. Indy is still available for adoption and will still be on the HSTT website and should be at all the adoption events until he finds a permanent home — unless he already has. We’ll see how it goes.

There are plenty of other fine hounds (that will not be living at my house) still at the shelter, including Doberman puppies, a Chesapeake Bay retriever named Pogo, and my favorite mutt Monty. There really is a great selection right now. Check them out at hstt.org. Have a great month.

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