We visited him tonight at his foster family's house. On purpose, we did not bring a leash or the Jeep, which is more the official dog transport car in the family. We visited, talked with the foster people (really nice, welcoming people), then went out for coffee and to take a moment to really think about this. Honestly, we were already snared. When we met him, he seemed sweet, gentle, then had a bit of a puppy frap of dashing wildly about the room at breakneck speed from person to person, then wandered about with interest, and even settled down for a rest every few minutes.
And when we went back to the house to tell the foster people that we wanted him, I discovered one of Rosie's old leashes in the trunk and a Nylabone on the back seat of the car. Just right. My husband just introduced him to our cat, then praised Parker for conducting himself in a very fine manner (mild sniffing and no barking or jumping). The cat is not so sure. She stayed off the ground and looked mildly, well, pissed off. She is most likely thinking, dang, and I just got control of the entire house.
He's from the Midwest Labrador Retriever Rescue organization. This picture shows the most Lab-looking part of him: his ribcage, legs and paws. His fur is a very pale yellow, but his head definitely has a touch of something not Lab, and he can hold his ears directly behind his head as though in a giant wind stream.
And the only thing that I could take a picture of that was not moving: his new Kong. (For you non-dog people, it's a hard rubber toy that bounces crazy when you throw it, and you can stuff it with treats or peanut butter and it will entertain the dog for most of the day as he tries to prize the treats free. You know you have a dog again when there's need to stop at the pet store for food and Nylabones and kongs.)
I have no idea what will happen when we try to go to sleep. Parker did, voluntarily, walk into and out of the crate a few times, with no urging. But this is the part of having a dog that is most like being a parent with a new baby: you have no idea whether you'll be sleeping through the night or getting up every hour to check on the new being, and in this case, take him outside for a bathroom break.