Gurney's Inn
July 11, 2007

Shelter Stories

Let's start with some good news. There's interest in the cream colored "police dog" Jerry, our dog of last week. And Tiger and Prince are staying with their original owners. When they realized the fate of unwanted dogs, something clicked, and they moved with them to another location. Dogs can't be treated like disposable items.

Phoebe, the black lab mix, is as near to suffering from a broken heart as I've ever seen. She's still at Riverhead Hospital – a beauty. Why people do such awful things – dump these animals like so much garbage – I'll ever know. I wish I had thicker skin. Writing this column is painful. I hear so many terrible stories, and lately, not enough happy endings. This week's dog is a case in point.

Rambo. Terrible name for this black, male Pit-Bull mix, a stray, about a year old. He's suffered too much. Rambo's at the Riverhead Shelter with a raw gash around his neck from a collar that had cut into his skin. Spent his whole life tied to a fence, no doubt. Through it all, he has a smiling face and playful disposition. That's the great thing about Pits, if you know them as I do. They are wonderful, resilient dogs.

Let's hope Rambo doesn't make a mistake. I haven't seen much mercy at the Riverhead Shelter, or rehabilitation. And I'm speechless about the Riverhead Town attorney's limited interpretation of state law. Remember poor Sweetie and John Gallo's dog Junior who's been in isolation since May? This nice dog is being wrecked by isolation and no love.

Next we'll be hearing he's killed a rabbit or attacked an employee, although Junior's only sin so far was defending his property from an unleashed dog. Never hurt a person and a minor bite to the offending dog on his property. This case needs to have a happy ending. Surprise me, Riverhead officials.

Or is John's family the problem? Is Junior being given a fair shake or is it guilt by association? I'm hearing snide things I don't like. Nasty gossip. I don't know many young men who would do what John has done to get his beloved pet back. Back to Rambo. RSVP's Linda Mosca has gotten Rambo a harness to wear while his neck heals.

He gets so excited when visitors come to see him. Happy wagging tail and a wriggling stocky body. Rambo's a quick study and is learning fast. And he loves fetching balls. For more information, please call RSVP at 728-3524. Please visit him. Rambo is a loving dog who's had a terrible start in life.

Like poor Sweetie. I will mention you every time I can, Sweetie, to remind the people who did this to you that what goes around comes around. Maybe not right away, but it happens. And remember Junior. Let's hope he can hang in and not go kennel crazy from isolation and being around people who don't like him.

Trevor, Merri, King, Phoebe and Bugsy sit and wait at the Riverhead Hospital. Tigger and Kisses are in foster homes for now. Don't forget Jerry and Rambo, readers. You're all they have, as I keep reminding you.

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