Our little imp, Benji, is 7 pounds of charm! Only one year old, this cutie was surrendered by his owners who were unable to keep him out of the unpredictable hands of children. It takes some patience and skill to integrate dogs and kids, and judging by the numbers of dogs in rescue because of kid issues, those qualities are not widely practiced. Poor Benji is just one more casualty of the "lackluster owner syndrome," in which someone picks up the end of the leash, only to drop it as soon as the goin' gets tough.

Benji deserves better. He simply needs a savvy, committed person, who will take the bond seriously and lead him down the road to Canine Good Citizenship. This sweetie has loads of potential and already has grasped the obedience basics.

Benji appears to be a mix of Red Miniature Pinscher and Chihuahua. His stature is proud and strong, and he bears the characteristic apple shaped Chi head. He is slightly underweight, and adopters should focus on his nutrition and healthy weight gain through a nutritious grain free diet, rich in vitamins and omega fats.

When Benji came to us, he had been traumatized by the shelter process. He is a sensitive dog, who quickly became shellshocked and terrified by the chaotic pace of shelter life. The shelter vet noted that he was fearful and difficult to handle. This assessment excluded him from the adoption program, and sentenced him to euthanasia; after only one year, Benji's life was over.

We figured that Benji needed some time to decompress and learn some new coping behaviors. We were tickled to death when we saw his playful puppy side emerge. Benji has transformed into quite the joyous character, and, with very simple changes to his routine and handling techniques, he is now ready for his new home.

Benji would be a good companion to an active single or couple who have some experience in training small dogs. While Benji's confidence level has improved considerably, he will need strong leadership and discipline. He shouldn't be relegated to purse accessory, but rather be put through his obedience rituals on a daily basis. Benji needs to be challenged and receive a fair amount of exercise and playtime to expend his puppy energy.

Benji could easily join a multi-dog home, with 1 or 2 calm, well trained dogs. He is mild mannered enough to co-exist with cats. We'd like to place him in a quiet adult home, where he can receive the attention and focus that he deserves. Benji is the ideal lapdog and cuddle companion, and he will reward his adopter's patience with puppy hugs and kisses.

Benji's house manners are good, and he is house trained and becoming crate trained. He will cry a bit at first when left alone in his crate, but eventually will settle down nicely. He travels well in the car, and is small enough to ride under seat in an airline approved Sherpa bag.

Benji is in good health and is neutered. He is vaccinated for rabies, parvo, distemper and is negative for heartworm, lyme, earlichia and and anaplasmosis. If you are interested in Benji, please write to Denise@eskiesonline.com or call Denise at 720-903-0636 for more info.

Eskies Online is a 501(c)(3) Multibreed rescue group that serves unwanted American Eskimos and other dogs in need. Our group of volunteer foster homes spans the North East, and our adoption territory extends from Maine to eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and parts of northern Maryland. Once an adopter is approved, we arrange transportation. We do not adopt dogs beyond our territory. Please visit our website: www.eskiesonline.com for more information about our group and our adoption procedures.