Rescue Coordinator: Sharon Arkoff
Rescued in Massachusetts
Nunzio, an intact male, is among the sweetest guys I have ever met, of any species.
Like his sister, Nunzio resembled a walking haystack at rescue and so was shaved down, earning himself much praise and adoration at the groomer's, where he apparently was extremely charming. He also has the soft loose silky coat and adorable white dot on his chest, and having had his bath and shave and now on a new diet, his skin and coat are improving and a couple thin spots in his coat are already beginning to grow in.
Nunzio is a "leaner," and is only too happy to find a human, any human, and lean against their knees while gazing softly up at them and generally melting the hearts of even the most curmudgeonly "I'm not a dog person" persons.
Nunzio is very smart, most of the time, and in two days learned how to climb stairs all by himself, and was extremely proud of this. He hasn't figured out how to get started on the stairs without a running leap, though, such that it is very entertaining to see him gathering himself, judging the distance, and then lurching for the stairs. Nunzio figured out walks by the third trip around the neighborhood, and now trots along on a loose leash exuding willingness to please and interest in the world.
Nunzio is wonderful with my grade-school age children, and loves to lie on the couch with his muzzle on my husband's stomach. Nunzio likes playing with toys well enough, but generally he just kills them with a few quick shakes and then stuffs them into the corners of the couch and is done with them.
Nunzio has no clue of how to behave around other dogs, and was never allowed to interact with his sister due to concerns that they would be aggressive with each other, but Nunzio has been appropriate when meeting friendly dogs. Well, that's not exactly true. He is frozen in cluelessness when meeting other dogs. Today an off leash Pomeranian-ish mix ran up to him and began pleasantries, and Nunzio stood there in shock while she repeatedly whopped him in the face with her luxuriant tail. However, he is beginning to understand that when you meet other nice dogs, everybody sniffs and then moves on. If other dogs are reactive toward Nunzio, he returns their posturing and barking and lunging, but is extremely easy to redirect and actually he hasn't even been reacting to other reactionary dogs, the past few days. He is learning social skills from several very large, very low-key males in the neighborhood and doing well.
Nunzio has two speeds: 1) alert and engaged and attentive to your slightest move, and 2) asleep. He can sleep anywhere. Right now he's asleep, upside down, on a semi-deflated air mattress on the floor of my office. Nunzio also likes to lie in the "flying frog" position, on his belly with both hind legs straight out behind him, which is cute.
Nunzio has lovely leash manners, and is far from an alpha dog, but he also has no clue of what training is, and gazes at you and cocks his head in sympathy with your insanity when you issue commands. He does seem to understand "no" and "off," though he can't believe you're really serious. Nunzio would be best as the only pet in the home, due to his former owner's concerns about him being aggressive to Roxanne, though so far we haven't seen Nunz-man initiating aggression.
Nunzio is not good with cats. We're working on it, but..... He is not good with cats.
Nunzio reportedly had one episode of what his vet thought was autoimmune hemolytic anemia a number of years ago, which was treated with steroids and resolved. This disease normally is progressive and fatal, as I understand it, so maybe it wasn't really autoimmune hemolytic anemia. In any case, all his blood work is great at this time, though he would benefit from some routine arthritis support as is normal for a dog of this age.
We would like Nunzio to find a forever home where he will get lots of affection, walks, nap-time company, and gentle but clear guidance as for any terrier.
September 20, 2015 Update
Nunzio has been adopted by his foster family.
In the words of his permanent family: "Nunzio has become a wonderful family companion, amazing with kids and guests, full of charm and quirks and personality, and a very funny boy. Plus, he seems so happy here, we couldn't bear the thought of asking him to leave. He will never be a dog park dog, but he is learning how to behave appropriately around other dogs and slowly getting better with the cat. He has tried so hard to be a good member of our family, that we have no choice but to tell him: You're stuck with us."