Mikey’s April Update

mikeysmile

Mikey is doing as well as can be expected for a 10 year old dog! The vet says he’s slightly arthritic, but we have him on a daily glucosamine supplement. He has a cataract in his right eye. He may have some slight hearing loss, but maybe that’s just Shiba Inu selective attention!

Mikey is such a wonderful, relaxed, mellow dog. He is absolutely no trouble at all. He ignores the resident cat and all other dogs on the street. He never barks, chews on things, bolts out the door, or jumps up on people. He has no food guarding issues or separation anxiety at all. He stays off the furniture, even when invited to join his foster family on it! He doesn’t beg, but he does hang around and watch his fosters very closely when they eat their dinner. He walks beautifully on the leash. He loves to sniff anything and everything while on his walks! I wouldn’t describe him as “friendly” exactly, but he politely tolerates strangers petting him. He’s crate-trained and housebroken. He’s a great, low-maintenance, low-energy senior dog. He has no desire to destroy the house during the day when his fosters are at work. He’s happy to just hang out or sleep in his dog bed.

He snarled and showed his teeth to 2 dogs while on a walk and to the cat, once. This only happens when an animal gets up close in his face. He ignores them otherwise, even if they sniff at him. Pacing isn’t a problem, but it is a behavior that’s been observed. When in a new place, he paces through the rooms over and over. It’s harmless, and probably reduces anxiety. We call it “doing his rounds” or “patrolling.” But he’s fine if he’s restricted to one room and can’t pace.

Mikey sleeps on his dog bed in his crate. He doesn’t even want to sleep on the bed with his fosters. They picked him up once and set him on the bed, but he was very anxious and wanted to jump down. He’d probably be happiest sleeping outside the crate, on his bed or any soft surface like a rug. He is kept in his crate just in case of accidents, although he’s only had one overnight accident, on his very first night.

Mikey does great being left alone all day while his fosters are at work. He’s the perfect dog for people with full time 9-5 jobs and long commutes. His foster family has a dog walker to take him out in the middle of the day and he sometimes doesn’t go to the bathroom on these walks. He spends his time alone curled up in his dog bed, asleep or just watching the world go by.

When he’s left alone during the day, Mikey is gated into the main room in his fosters house. He just hangs out when he’s alone, sleeping or looking out the window. (Note: This is exactly what he does when his fosters are all hanging out together in the evening, so they believe he’s happy doing that.)

Mikey shows no interest in balls, chew toys, playing fetch, or in tug-of-war.

He’s only been observed with kids a few times, while on walks, but he sniffs their hands politely. Since he’s so relaxed and mellow, yet can be anxious in new environments, I would say a house with dogs, cats, and/or older kids would be fine. Mikey is an AWESOME dog and whoever adopts him will be so lucky.

Mikey

Comments

  1. K. Durkin says:

    Hi! I’m Mikey’s foster. He’s still doing great. On walks he’s a total heartbreaker. People just fall in love with him. Random strangers come up to me to say how gorgeous he is!

    Usually, Mikey ignores other people, but sometimes he does this one cute thing on walks. He’ll just stop walking and stare at one person. This person might be on a bench or in a car or just waiting somewhere. Of course, Mikey has those cute little black eyes and his adorable fuzzy face, and soon the person leans over to pet him, saying, “Aww, who’s this guy?” It’s so cute. He’s melted the hearts of plenty of big tough guys, including a grizzled NYC cab driver.

  2. K. Durkin says:

    Hi, it’s me, Mikey’s foster again! He’s still doing great, breaking hearts on his walks. In the last two days, SEVEN people have come up to meet him! They ask if they can pet him and I always say, “Of course! He likes under his chin best”, because he’ll duck away if you pet his back or the top of his head. They tell him how gorgeous and sweet he is. I can’t believe how many fans Mikey has!

    I learned that Mikey responds and immediately pays attention when he hears a person give sharp, high whistle. Unfortunately, I can’t whistle at ALL! Maybe someone in his forever family will be able to!

    Last night my partner and I were eating dinner and discussing how Mikey eats his wet food but usually leaves his kibble. I even soak it in water first, but Mikey’s all “no thanks!” It’s so funny– if I mix the two foods together, he’ll actually spit out the kibbles, like they’re watermelon seeds! While we talked, Mikey wandered in and was snuffling in his bowl. Panzer, our cat, also walked in and was crunching on his kibble. It was a family dinner!

    Later when my partner went to clear Mikey’s bowls, he shouted, “Look at that!” I looked. MIKEY HAD EATEN ALL HIS KIBBLE. I think it’s the family dinner that does it!

    What a good boy. Whoever adopts him will be so lucky.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Uh oh. I think he’s the one for me/us! Going to fill out an app now and pray!

    • K. Durkin says:

      Good luck, Jennifer! He’s such a good boy.

      • Jennifer says:

        Faxed completed app today and received confirmation email. Guess now I just have to cross my fingers and pray and wait! Hope fate brings us together!Faxed completed app today and received confirmation email. Guess now I just have to cross my fingers and pray and wait! Hope fate brings us together!

  4. K. Durkin says:

    Mikey’s foster here again. Mikey has been sleeping outside his crate for a few weeks now, and he’s doing great. He shakes himself off when he wakes up, so when I hear his collar tags jingle in the morning, I know it’s time to get outside! In fact, the only time he has an accident is when I ignore the jingle, wishing he’ll go back to sleep so I can sleep in a little more, and he can’t hold it! (Those accidents are my fault. After all, I’ve been warned!) I can also tell when he needs his pre- bedtime walk. He gets much more active and excited, and starts to walk around more inside the apartment. And in case I’m not quite getting it, Mikey starts to hold his tail up– half- mast or higher. Then I KNOW: leash up and head out!

    His dog walker says lately he’s been good about doing his business (both #1 AND #2!) on his midday walks. Initially he wouldn’t do either, and he’d have to hold it until I got home from work at 6! Despite this, he had very few accidents! Mikey is such a good boy! And whenever we take our walks and he does his business, he comes right up to me after because he knows he gets a treat for doing it outside. And it’ll be a GOOD treat too– a few tiny bits of cheddar or a few tiny bits of hot dog.

    Mikey’s patrolling around the house now. I think he’s making sure every room is safe from intruders. Such a good watchdog!

  5. K. Durkin says:

    Here’s a link to Mikey’s May update. At the moment it doesn’t seem to be appearing on the main Mikey page…

    http://nycshibarescue.org/2013/05/mikeys-may-update/