Remember Dennis and Vinny?


In the summer 2011 issue of Our Four-Footed Friends we brought you the adoption story of Dennis and Vinny. Dennis, a first-time dog owner wanted a moderately active dog with a mellow personality that he could take for jaunts around the Back Bay with his wheelchair.

Vinny, a rat terrier mix who came to the Boston shelter as a rescue was at first very skittish and hand-shy (flinching if you’d reach over him in a certain way). However, thanks to extensive work from the Animal Rescue League of Boston and The Center for Shelter Dogs, Vinny became much more comfortable around people and took to Dennis immediately.


Vinny was fostered by Senior Applied Animal Behaviorist, Dr. Sheila D’Arpino. “When he first got here, Vinny was very skittish and hand-shy, he’d flinch if you reached over him a certain way, “ D’Arpino explained. “We worked closely with him to find ways to make him more comfortable and luckily he was very food-motivated.”

As you can see, a year later, after continuing to work with The Center for Shelter Dogs on issues such as overcoming Vinny’s fear of elevators and getting him to walk with Dennis’s personal care assistants, Dennis and Vinny are doing great!