Pupper West Side: Smidge Is a Squirrel-Hunting, Novel-Reading Scholar

Name: Viola, but I go by my nickname “Smidge.”

Age: 4 years old.

Breed: Wire-haired Dachshund.

Profile/history: I’m a rescue from Animal Care Centers NYC. When my Mom showed up early in the morning one day, she glanced around and saw me in a back corner of one of the cages. She said, “Hello! Want to come home with me?” and I took that as my cue to respond with licks of appreciation. At that time, my hair wasn’t coiffed like it is these days, so she wasn’t sure what breed I was until we made a visit to the salon. I’m a young pup, but my eyebrows and beard make me look older, wiser, more scholarly – wouldn’t you agree?

Daily routine: I sleep on a sofa in the living room and then usually crawl into bed with Mom around 6:30 a.m. Later on, my walker will stop by and we’ll prepare for our daily adventures around the Upper West Side. I love my large social circle of friends and neighbors. Well, except Maisie – my arch nemesis. Maisie is a dog who lives on the same floor of my building and we tend to get into arguments. Putting up with New York neighbors – amiright?! Anyway, back to my daily routine! Most days it’s a leisurely walk in Central Park or Riverside Park. I’m an avid squirrel hunter and turtle watcher. Later on, I might join Mom and her friend Judy for a card game of Rummy.

Loves: My toys, including my favorite one – a little stuffed blue dog that sort of resembles me.

Does not love: Maisie. Also, rain. Both of which I encounter too frequently.

Favorite store or business on the UWS: When I’m not snacking on delicious warm cookies and milk from Levain Bakery, I like to peruse the treasures at Westsider Books. Reading great books adds to my aforementioned professorial je ne sais quoi.

Favorite treat: Carrot sticks.

Favorite park spot: The lake around the Ladies Pavilion in Central Park. There’s a special wooden bench there that makes for a lovely spot to enjoy the seasonal views.

Speaking as a fellow book lover, have you had a chance to check out The Strand at its new location on Columbus Avenue? I have indeed! It’s a beautiful store and a tremendous addition to the neighborhood. I don’t know about you, but there’s always been something about quietly browsing stacks of books that makes me feel simultaneously calm and inspired. A couple of my recent favorites include “Euphoria” by Lily King and “Women’s Work” by Megan Stack. I’m delighted to have another independent bookstore in the neighborhood.

Read all our Pupper West Side interviews here!

If West Side Rag readers are interested in becoming pet owners, we encourage you to consider adopting or volunteering to be a foster parent with one of the many shelters and nonprofits based in and around New York City. These include but aren’t limited to: Muddy Paws RescueAnimal Lighthouse RescueAnimal Care Centers of NYCNYC ASPCAHumane Society of New YorkBideaweeSocial Tees; Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue and Animal Haven.

COLUMNS | 14 comments | permalink
    1. Janet Coleman says:

      Such good photos! Thank you, Audrey
      Smith’s Mom

    2. Janine Jones says:

      Viola, What do you and Maisie argue about? I heard that Maisie believes that dogs do not really exist. Is this the kind of thing that gets you going.

    3. Sarah says:


    4. Amanda says:

      Smidge is a beautiful dog.

    5. Judy Harris says:

      The Smidge is a smart girl and has my vote for president

    6. So proud of our girl Viola aka Smidge. Her photos are beautiful.
      It is a pleasure to be her groomer.
      See her on ig @thetravelinggroomer

    7. Lorene Farnsworth says:

      My favorite pupper’s interview yet!

    8. Maisie says:

      Allow me to retort!

    9. Smidge you are ADORABLE!! I hope you won’t be offended when I tell you I laughed out loud when I read your story. I’m sure Maisie has her good points-you might try bringing her some warm cookies and milk from Levain Bakery next time, who knows, she might become a good friend. Sleepovers are much easier when you live so close:-)

    10. Bev says:

      My dogs favorite thing to do is run around in Central Park and/or socialize with his doggie pals. If I took him into a book store he’d probably pee on the stacks. Afterall, he is a dog!

    11. Charly says:

      Big thanks to Smidge’s mom for adopting from the ACC!! There a lot of great dogs out there like Smidge that need homes.