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Gaston is available at the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter.

Gaston, a 4-year-old, neutered-male, short-haired Chihuahua, has been with us for a few weeks and seems rather confused as to why no one has snatched him up yet. We are, too! He is a gem!

He was first seen running the streets of Watsonville in the company of a Siberian husky at the beginning of February. He was brought into the shelter by someone concerned about his safety. Gaston is too small a guy to be out there on his own!

The name Gaston can be traced back to "gasti," which means stranger. He doesn't want to be a stranger though; he wants to be your best friend forever! Sometimes the little pale ones get overlooked. There are so many small, tan-colored Chihuahuas that stay at the shelter. But by overlooking this little guy, you are missing a lot! Most other dogs are bigger and many have brighter colored coats to attract your attention, but give Gaston his chance and he'll show you he has a huge heart full of love in this tiny package.

Gaston is of the opinion that everyone he meets is just a friend he hasn't met before. He has a wag and a wiggle for people and other dogs alike. If you get close enough, he'll probably try to sneak in a few kisses.


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Even though he is a super sweet little guy, we recommend a six-week basic training for all of our newly adopted dogs. Taking part in such a class is very helpful to learning how to communicate with your new canine companion and establish a bond meant to last a lifetime. We offer a list of local positive reinforcement trainers and a "welcome home" handbook to all of our dog adopters.

If you are looking for a lost pet or are interested in adopting, becoming a volunteer or fostering, visit the shelter or go online to www.scanimalshelter.org.

The Santa Cruz shelter, 2200 Seventh Ave., is open noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Watsonville shelter, 580 Airport Blvd., is open 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed noon to 1 p.m. for lunch. Call 454-7303, ext. 0, for more information.