Update 9/16: Friends have adopted Mitch! He's in a terrific household, and he's a perfect dog for them. I love a happy ending.
Original post: In NYC, small-breed puppies don't stay in foster care long. Most live happily in cramped apartments, and you can keep them in buildings that have a size limit for pets. So I was surprised today to come across the Foster Dogs NYC listing for Mitch, a sweet, five-month-old mini-Schnauzer mix.
Personally, I like big dogs (60 pounds and up), but I figured a little guy would be easy to take care of for a few days, so I offered to take him in. The couple that's had him for the past few days was sad to let him go, because he's really a love. But their Yorkie was staging a loud, ongoing protest against having another dog in the apt, and nobody, dog or human, could live with that.
Here's what we know about Mitch:
* He's 10-ish pounds, and he appears to be about five months, so he'll probably grow to 15 or 20 pounds total.
* He's wire-haired and thus will not be a shedding nightmare.
* He's neutered and up to date on his shots. Though he seems generally quite healthy, he has a bit of a cough; the previous fosters didn't think it sounded like kennel cough, and he's not on meds for it.
* The previous fosters report that he's house-broken, both in that he'll wait to go outside, or he'll use wee-wee pads inside. (Being a big-dog person, I have never used these floor diapers before, and I was kind of stunned to see that they work.)
* He's ridiculously trusting and sweet. When I went to get him, I brought treats to win him over. Totally unnecessary. He just got in my lap immediately, and he seems willing to let me touch him all over. When I started writing this, he snuggled up next to me on the sofa (an excellent laptop dog). Then he moved to the floor and cozied up on my foot. When he's awake, he doesn't make a ton of eye contact, but that appears to be pure puppy distraction. He has no abuse behaviors I've seen yet, and his tail is exuberant.
* The previous fosters thought he was brought to NYC from California by a rescue effort last week. They said he'd been with other dogs in California, and he seems totally dog friendly. Apparently, he loved their Yorkie; it just wasn't requited. [Tangent: While I can understand that people sometimes abandon dogs in NYC parks, I think it's gravely misguided to import dogs on the theory that there are a lot of people here. There are also tens of thousands of dogs that need homes already in the five boroughs. Once we run out of those, we can start flying in dogs from all over.]
* After picking Mitch up, I brought him to meet some friends. They have a cat, and she told him right off that she was going to be boss. He did just what you'd want: he backed away, and then kept a respectful eye on her. He did bark at her a couple of times after that, but he doesn't seem like a big barker generally, and he'll quiet down if you distract him. The previous fosters say they hadn't heard him bark at all.
* I'm not sure yet how he is with kids. He's at a chewing age, and he'll nibble on your arm, which wouldn't be cute with young children but should be readily trainable. I'm going to work on that while I have him.
* He let me put him in the carrying crate twice, and he was fine riding in my car.
* He's super-easy to walk on a harness. I'll holler if I can figure out any training he's had.
* He knows his name, but nobody will be surprised if you change it.
* His ears and tail are adorable. Maybe he's a Schnauzer/Muppet mix?
He's delightful, but he's about a tenth the size of my next forever dog. So if you're interested in fosterting to try him or out or simply adopting, shoot me a note (sarah dot milstein at gmail). I assume that a final adoption will have to go through Dimitra, who placed Mitch with the previous fosters, but we can work out those details when we get there. As I said earlier: small, young, sweetheart--he won't be available long. Act now!