Move over pizza goat (because you are probably dead :( )—NYC has a new favorite gourmet-food-nibbling fish-out-of-water pet! Meet Smokey, the three-week-old lamb who has been delighting NYers in recent days out at trendy spots around Greenpoint, the Lower East Side and Williamsburg.
— New York Post (@nypost) March 20, 2015
The Post has a profile of Smokey and his foster parents Maxine Cher and Sandy Dee Hall, who brought him into their LES apartment when he was four days old. Smokey apparently was abandoned by his mom, and was discovered by a farmer nearly frozen at Violet Hill Farm in West Winfield, NY. Hall, a 34-year-old chef and co-owner of Black Tree, regularly buys food there, but decided to go in another direction with Smokey: "I’d been wanting to foster one for a while, and he called me up and told me he was bringing down a lamb for me," he told the Post.
Smokey first came to people's attention earlier this week when he was spotted at Five Leaves on Bedford Avenue near Lorimer Street. "I turned around and saw there was a couple sitting there with a lamb like it was a dog,” said Nick Ramsey, who shot the photo above, told them. "My first thought was: Wait. Doesn’t this restaurant serve lamb? And, yes they do!"
Here's our big takeaway from the profile: despite how precious this little grass-muncher is, owning a baby lamb in the city is a serious pain-in-the-butt. Smokey needs to be bottle-fed three times a day; he needs to be burped after every meal (LIKE A BABY); he needs to be bathed very regularly ("Soap will literally shrink him," Hall says, "just like a wool sweater"); he needs to sleep 14 hours a day; and he isn't potty-trained, so their entire apartment is covered in wee wee pads.
Even though lambs are technically not allowed to be kept as pets, no one has fined or complained about Smokey. This may also be because NYers apparently don't know what a lamb is.
“A lot of people think he’s a goat,” says Cher, originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia. “Two people have even asked if he’s a kangaroo. New Yorkers aren’t familiar with animals.”
Regardless of the Health Code, a NYC apartment is clearly not quite the right place for a fully-grown lamb to live. To that end, the couple will be giving Smokey up to the farm once he's weaned off the bottle and eating on his own. But they will formally adopt him so he won't be killed. "My maternal instincts are kicking in," Cher added. "I hope I love my future children as much as I love this lamb."