It’s been a while since I’ve posted any new info for Animal House but I’ve been running with Mickey consistently once or twice each week for the past month. He did spend some time in a foster home in April but has been in the shelter since the beginning of May. I don’t think he has been doing well in the cramped kennels so I’d like to try to help find him a home or at least a temporary foster home as soon as possible.
Mickey is a bit of a problem case so I’m sure that the shelter managers will take extra care in matching him up with the right home. Anyone interested can contact Animal House for much more detailed information than I can provide. Evidently Mickey has had some aggression issues living in a home environment. I’ve personally never seen any behavior from him that would cause me to have any worries so I really don’t know what his exact issues might be. My best guess is that it is from fear and anxiety – he is definitely a bit shy around strangers and I’ve seen him get very skittish a couple times. I don’t think he does well being left alone for very long so I think an ideal home would be with someone who can spend a lot of time with him. And he would probably do well with another dog to keep him company. Every time I take him back to the shelter after a run, he cries and barks when I put him back in his kennel. So I don’t think he’d enjoy living with someone who leaves to work 12 hours a day. The neighbors probably won’t appreciate that either.
Personally I think Mickey is a fantastic dog and whatever his past behavior issues may have been, I think he would be perfectly fine with the right owner and home environment. Every time I’ve taken him out, he gets a little overexcited at first and will try to jump up on you (but who wouldn’t after being cooped up in a small kennel for days) but he really isn’t that hard to control. After a couple minutes, he’ll calm down and he is incredibly mellow and sweet. He knows all of the basic commands and is very smart and eager to learn. He even does great off leash. Of all the dogs I’ve worked with so far, Mickey is definitely one of the easiest to handle.
For the past month, I’ve been taking him out to our Tuesday evening social runs at Reservoir Ridge and I’ve taken him out for a few solo runs. Initially he was a bit shy and reserved around new people at the social runs but the last couple weeks, he’s really warmed up to people and will walk right up to strangers for attention. On this week’s run, we had about 20 runners and 2 other dogs and there were a lot of other people on the trail. Bikers past us and there were small children running around at the trail head. None of these distractions bothered Mickey at all and he was calm and well behaved the entire time.
For running, I don’t think Mickey is ever going to set any speed or distance records. He really enjoys going out for runs but he isn’t incredibly fast and 3-4 miles is usually enough to tire him out. I’m sure he could get in better shape with more frequent exercise but I wouldn’t count on winning the Fast and Furriest 5k or taking him out on ultra distance long runs. I think he’d really enjoy just getting out for a few mellow runs and hikes on a regular basis. I actually think this is a good quality. It’s a really big commitment to own a dog that can and wants to run 10+ miles every day.
If anyone is interested in adopting or fostering Mickey, please contact Animal House. And feel free to contact me with any questions or come out to Reservoir Ridge for our social run every Tuesday at 6pm to meet Mickey in person outside of the shelter.