This black beauty was part of a trio brought to the Brooklyn CACC. The owners were moving, and decided to drop off their three dogs at the shelter: a Keeshond, an Eskie, and a pup originally listed as an Eskie-Keeshond mix. Keeshond rescue took the Keeshond, leaving Toni, the mix, and Winter, the Eskie (see Winter’s story). We agreed to take Winter and made arrangements to pick him up. Once there, shelter workers made a plea to take sweet Toni as well. She was getting sick and would surely have to be put down by the end of the weekend if that were the case. Toni was released to Heart Bandits and brought to the vet to be treated for kennel cough. Her foster family absolutely adored her and the kids so badly wanted to keep her permanently – but didn’t tell their parents until after she was adopted for good. While she was there, we had tons of inquiries on this “black eskie.” She was placed in a New York City home only to be returned because of severe allergies that were not known about prior to the adoption. Lauren and Steve thought Toni would make a perfect addition to their family; and we did, too. The only problem was, they lived in North Carolina! We had to make arrangements to drive Toni down there. The first leg was driven by Audra from Long Island to Diane’s house, near Philadelphia, where Toni was supposed to stay overnight. It turned out to be a little more work than anyone had bargained for, as Toni had scratched herself in the eye somewhere along the ride and needed an emergency trip to the vet. The next day, Diane drove Toni to meet Angela, an Eskie Railroad volunteer, in Virginia. From there, Angela met Lauren near the border of North Carolina. Once in her new home, Toni was renamed Charcoal for her beautiful coloring and some research was done on the possibilities of her breed. Black Spitz was the closest thing that came up. Once Charcoal became more comfortable, her mischievous side came out. It took some time for Charcoal to warm up to her fuzzy siblings. She had to learn how to share the attention. She mostly ignored them, except when she went into surprise heat, when she wanted to make one of them her best friend. Vets had seen a scar and assumed it was a spay scar. This was immediately taken care of and Charcoal is back to herself. Here is an update from Lauren:


Yes, we noticed she was starting to blow coat so Steve and I each got brushes and spent around thirty minutes pulling the hair out of her. I said, "NOW I know why they got rid of her!" She loves to be brushed. When I get the brushes out, she and my little one, Shadow, follow me outside and push each other aside to get brushed. She is a little touchy about her tail being pulled but if you take it slow and easy she is fine.


She is super smart! We just started leaving her outside last week while we are gone for a couple of hours (we wanted to make sure she didn't try to dig under or climb over the fence first). She learned with just three tries! Neither of my other two could learn something in just three lessons! So now she will have the freedom of the yard when it is nice outside! We still haven't ever left her loose in the house yet. I am not worried about housebreaking. She hasn't had an accident in months. She tends, though, to help herself to things (like pencils left too low). We have low to the ground windows that allow her to look out the blinds. She gets very excited if she sees a squirrel and races around the house whining and knocking stuff over. I believe soon we might try an experiment to see how she does. The cage is fine for a few hours but I hate to see her spend long periods of time in it. Plus I would like to get it out of my kitchen! It is sized for a lab so it is right big. She thinks she is a hunter. She had discovered that night is a good time for that. Lately she prefers to stay outside during the evening and lay on the porch and watch. You will hear her taking off like thunder whenever she spots something out in the yard. She is smart about that too. She stops at the edge of the porch and if she sees a squirrel she will take off. But she doesn't run towards the squirrel! She has learned they tend to head for certain trees and she will make a bee line for a tree. You see the squirrel actually heading towards her until it realizes what it is going on and veers off. She hasn't ever caught one yet, but she has come very close! Well, I must go to bed. I will try to take some pictures of Charcoal when she has just been brushed & looks spiffy.