By Amy Christiansen Special to Published Apr 14, 2008 at 5:12 PM

Meet Milton. As you can tell from these pictures, he's just happy to be alive.

Milton is a 4-month-old neutered male who has physical and behavioral characteristics of a Lab / Akita mix. Last week as my son, Jack, and I were walking through the kennels at animal control, evaluating dogs released for adoption, Milton immediately caught our attention. We took him in the play yard and he was thrilled.

So were we: Milton is a very smart but silly boy. He learned "sit" very quickly but easily got bored and decided to run around with my keys (which he'd snatched from my back pocket when I crouched down to take a photo) in his mouth for several minutes. He seemed to enjoy the noise he was making with them, as well as being chased by me in an attempt to get them back. I'm pretty sure I heard him laughing.

Milton is one of the lucky ones -- he has a lifetime commitment for care from The Companion Animal Resource and Adoption Center. Until adopted, he will remain in our foster care program. After adoption, we maintain an open door return policy. If at any time his family is unable to keep him, they are encouraged to contact us to schedule a return, regardless of cause or length of time since adoption.

We do not euthanize animals in or from our adoption program except in cases of extreme health or behavior that cannot be maintained or modified.

Milton is available for viewing with our adoptable dogs every Saturday and Sunday at the Petsmart located at 74th Street and Edgerton Avenue in Greenfield, from noon until 3 p.m.

Amy Christiansen Special to

Amy Christiansen is the Executive Director of the Companion Animal Resource and Adoption Center (CARAC). CARAC is located in the upper level of Southridge Mall and is dedicated to saving the unclaimed strays from the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission.

Amy grew up on the South Side of Milwaukee and now lives in Muskego with her husband and son and their three cats and three dogs. She also takes in the occasional foster dog.