Gurney's Inn
April 18, 2007

Shelter Stories

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I'm getting desperate about our Pit-Boxer mix Kisses. If you have an idea for a new name, maybe we should change hers. But Kisses are what Kisses gives. To everyone. By the way, she has never been adopted out and returned. I was asked that question about this beautiful dog with the hard luck story that everyone knows by now. She spent her puppyhood in a junkyard on a short chain. The police and the Humane Society saved her life and RSVP adopted her last year. Her only day out of the Riverhead Animal Hospital was spent with a woman from Montauk recently. She said that Kisses was smart and likes to drive in a car. She loved going on errands. Kisses also is curious and gentle when taking treats. Nanette, her foster mom for a day, also reaffirmed what we already knew: Kisses showed no aggression when her food was taken away.

A good report card for a dog who's never known a home or had much socialization. Kisses also likes male dogs and got along well with a neighbor's male who wasn't neutered. (Please spay and neuter. That's my mantra, readers. ) It was a rainy day and Kisses had one "accident" in the house. I was surprised about that because she's never had a real home and was never taught how to be housebroken. Had the weather been better, the accident may never have happened. She also was quiet in the house, "calm and well behaved," Nanette reports. Kisses is not a barker and didn't roam from room to room restlessly as shelter dogs often do at first in a new environment.

The only problem was Nanette's two cats. The cats hissed and Kisses growled back. Behaviorist Peter Borshelt says that's not unusual. Cats and dogs who don't know each other have to be introduced very, very gradually. But because of the cats, Nanette didn't want to take a chance. I felt so bad for Kisses that this happened.

But she had a full day, complete with a walk on the beach, which she loved. Nanette even let Kisses sleep on the bed with her. She reports she "slept like a log—until 9:30 the next morning." And Kisses is a leaner. She wants to get as close to you as she can. No wonder. Her contact with humans was limited to a junkyard, readers. How she got to be such a great dog is a mystery to me. Nanette thinks a name change might attract a male owner who will give Kisses lots of exercise. But she loves women, too. I just don't know. If you have an idea for a new name, please let me know. My e-mail is Also, if you have access to cyclone fencing, let me know. One of our volunteers Sue Hanson wants to set up her yard so that young Duke, that great big puppy who's over at the Kent Shelter, and Kisses can get out of a caged environment for a few months for proper socialization in her home and yard. Please help Sue with this, if you can. Call RSVP at 631-728-3524. Any fence company reading this? You'll get a tax deduction for this good cause and the satisfaction of doing a good deed.

The Golden mix, King, Merri, last week's dog, Arrow, and Trevor, who loves his new pen, are still waiting. Frank Iaccio spent a week with Trevor working with him on the farm. Debbi the Groomer gave him a bath. What a difference. Don't forget them.

A sad story I won't tell you much about, but say a special prayer for a lovely dog named Ollie who just died. He was loved. And a feral cat I couldn't rescue whom no one knew. She was badly injured and ran away to die alone as did Ollie. You can't save them all but you can still try.

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