Saturday, December 11, 2010

Veronica's Pack

Veronica's pack is a kaleidoscope of constantly shifting dogs. I can't keep up, so I like to check in now and then to remember our old pals and see who's new in the pack.

Soon after I watched her pack while she drove 40 dogs to Tucson to save their lives, 3 of her fosters got transported up to SafeHaven Humane Society in Oregon.
Shiloh, Blondie, Lily. Credit: Veronica Ferrantelli

Remember Blondie? That was my name for her. Her rescuers called her Malibu, as she had been tossed from a Toyota Malibu truck. She was snatched up in no time from SafeHaven, a person undoubtedly falling instantly in love with her beauty and spunk just like I did.

Lily, on the right, was adopted a couple of weeks later by a very nice family with five acres of land and a couple of older kids, who Lily absolutely loved.

When I first met Shiloh, I was intimidated by him, but soon I learned his true nature—calm, smart, loving and loyal. On my last visit with him, he jumped up on the couch with me and nuzzled his face into my thigh, his fur so thick I felt like I was snuggling with a bear. We'd been worried he wouldn't get adopted but eventually he did, by a great guy who loves Shepherds and whom the SafeHaven staff really liked.

Veronica missed them dearly when they left, but knew they needed "a chance at a real family and the love they deserve. I know it is a good thing - it still breaks my heart."

I'd spent a lot of time with her summer pack; my heart ached after they left, too.

Several dogs have come and gone since then. Newest additions are Momma pit bull and her pups. Veronica had been concerned about introducing Momma to the rest of the pack (let's face it, you have to be extra cautious with pitties), but Momma was golden.

Credit: Veronica Ferrantelli
I think they look like a bad-ass gang, but I know how sweet they really are. Veronica says this photo will save Momma's life: it shows she gets along with other dogs, so the pit bull rescue in Oregon will take her in.

Even Tommy got to meet her. We were worried he'd get territorial and start a fight or be a relentless bully. But instead Momma was the pushy one. Tommy acted like an aloof older teenager with better things to do, like sit on the couch with his human. Tommy was the mature one. Imagine that.


  1. Question: I know dog rescuers socialize their dogs with other dogs but do they ever expose them to cats? I like big dogs with pointy ears and that Shiloh is a dashing dog. I also really like greyhounds but that combo could be "deadly" in the true sense of the word.

    I have a friend who sports a tribe of rescues, mutts and pits (but she's keeping them). She too has cats but they are a bit nuts and kept from the dogs. It's interesting with dogs, I've never met one that wasn't loyal.
    btw: did I meet Veronica the other night?

  2. Momma is beautiful :)


  3. I was really thrilled to meet Veronica at the Arroyo Verde event the other night. What a wonderful woman! I wish I had her talent, energy and devotion to dogs. They're an amazing pack. I don't know HOW you get them all to look right at the camera. Great photo!

  4. I always love seeing the happy "new beginning" stories. Your photo of Momma and her bad-ass gang made me laugh ~ it's wonderful! I can see how this would reassure the shelter as to her social skills with the other pooches. Have a beautiful weekend, Susan.

  5. Here's something the Chieftess sent me that speaks to the dog/cat question:

    Yes, that was THE Veronica, PA. She's effervescent, isn't she? I met her before I met Susan. Long story.

    They're all such lovely creatures. I have a soft spot in my heart for pit bulls. Looks like these guys have kind of taken to Momma.

  6. Such kind beautiful words. My eyes are filled with tears as I write. It is so hard being a foster. They come with issues and you show them it is safe to love again and then you say good bye. (but what is the alternative if I stop) I miss them dearly as I know you do. Every time I rescue a dog, a part of me gets rescued. Here's to the under dogs of the world.

    The kindness, love and support from your blog world has so warmed my heart. It was such an honor to meet everyone at the Arroyo Verde Bloggers Celebration. All the bloggers united, coming together, standing up for what you believe in and look at what you all have accomplished together.

    You truly are a wonderful group of people. Cheers to the bloggers!

  7. PA, if a potential adopter is interested in a dog, and a cat is in the house, rescuers should definitely test first. I think most would as it truly can be a deadly combination. I'm not sure how greyhounds are with cats, but I'm sure you could find the right dog if you wanted to. Are you thinking about getting a pooch?

    And yes, as Petrea says, that was THE Veronica. That last comment ( is hers, so as you can see it's a mutual admiration society.

    Bellis, Veronica was thrilled to meet you too. I owe so much to her. She introduced me to Petrea, so in a roundabout way connected me to the blogging world (it is a long story). And I agree her dog photos are amazing!

    Thanks, Shell. I like the gang photo as well. Veronica has a talent. Hope you had a wonderful weekend in steamy Brisbane!

    Petrea, I have a soft spot for pit bulls, too, just like Kari.

    What a wonderful video! I LOVE it.

    Veronica (thedogrescuer), cheers to you!

  8. Sue - LOVE LOVE LOVE the PITTIE gang! Veronica sounds like someone very special and cheers to her and her big heart and big mission. And cheers to you for memorializing her stories........

  9. Thanks, Liz. Cheers to you too for your huge animal-loving heart!

  10. I love this story! What amazing work Veronica is doing, and what a wonderful labor of love. I do love the picture. But I don't see a gang, I see a bunch of rock stars.

  11. hi sue
    your entries get more delightful each time! love the gang and their stories and how they seem scarey, but when you get to know them they are all so sweet and loving. Kind of like everything in life right?
    Love you honey thanks for the positive energy.
    much love and sincerely,

  12. Click on Veronica's link and check out her site. It's amazing what she does.

  13. Thanks, Petrea.

    Please do check out Veronica's site, The Dog Rescuers - the first link in the Animals Rule section on the right. I've also added a link in the first sentence.

  14. Margaret, you're so right - they are rock stars. I love that.

    Thanks, Kris. It's a delight to have you visit.

  15. Veronica is an Angel!! Yay for Tommy too. Its always a challenge introducing new members into the pack. Daisy is fine with other dogs as long as they have calm submissive energy. So far the 3 dogs and 2 cats all get along :)

  16. Veronica is an angel. So is daisydog, the canine and the human.

    Thanks, Miss Janey.

  17. Thanks Petrea ....

    Susan Greyhounds have been known to kill cats because they're trained to race by using a rabbit (fake I think) held in front like a carrot. When a cat makes a getaway it cause the chase reaction.

    I may adopt a dog for a walking companion after Tova passes. I've never owned a dog.

    another question from the insiders. I have a cat "Peoples" he's a stray who hung out until I took him in. Two of his canines are broken (removal) he may have some eurinary tract infection (pees slow and leaves a red dot of blood) and he may have mange...twitch...itch...loosing hair. Like most I'm thin on funds. Are there low cost vets that take pity on those who took pity on Peoples? I'm willing to pay but can't afford a 1000 vet bill. I've heard of a vet in Sunland and I remember one that was near or off of San Fernando road (or maybe it was ave 26)



  18. Oh, yikes, PA. I never knew that about greyhounds. And yikes about Peoples. So good of you to take him in. I'm so sorry about his health problems. I'll do some research and ask around tomorrow. Can't keep my eyes open at the moment.

  19. My dog Phoebe is absolutely fascinated by the two rescue greyhounds down the street. Not sure why.

    PA, have you called Pas Humane Society for any suggestions?

  20. Good idea, Hiker. They gave me a list of good cat vets when I adopted Ramona. I'll look for it.

  21. PA, I noticed sometimes there's a free or cheap clinic on site at Centinela Pet Food. You might call and ask if they still do it.

  22. Poor Kitty Kids: outside of the feral keepers, help is limited. Thanks everyone. Don't stop, it's still in the air.

    actors and others for animals: dead end
    Centineala: dead end
    Pasadena Humane Society: they passed on a organization (Paws?) that works with human seniors (Mr V) lots of paper work/application. If he gets in then they'll connect us to vets who are affiliated with the program.

  23. PA, these vets came up when I searched the Echo Park Animal Alliance message board for inexpensive vets. A couple of responses disputed the "inexpensive" claim, but it's worth investigating:

    L A Central Animal Hospital, 220 W Ave 26, (323) 225-4228
    Dr. Simon, Dr. Bandele

    Warren Animal Hospital, 2417 Riverside Dr, Silver Lake, (323) 664-2188
    Dr. Martin

    Also, I brought Ramona (did I see that that's your mom's name?) to Gateway Animal Hospital when I first adopted her from PHS. They get mixed reviews but I had a good experience and it is supposed to be one of the cheapest vets around. Here's the info:
    431 W Los Feliz Rd, Glendale, CA 91204
    (818) 244-2934

    Keep us posted. Good luck.

  24. Dog lovers make the best Lovers!

    Btw, PA, we try to socialize with those cats but, well, they ignore us. It's best they don't do that when we're hungry.

  25. Cafe Pasadena, thanks for visiting. Is that a bumper sticker? If not it should be.

  26. Gateway! boy that sounds familiar. I think that is the one I was trying to remember but mistakenly believed it to be on San Fernando road. Yay! good job.

    thanks Susan

  27. PA, you're welcome. I'm sorry I didn't think of telling you sooner. I've had escrow on the brain this week. I hope Peoples gets better soon.

  28. SC, you're welcome. I really need to visit this dog blog more often especially since another blogger told me "good things come to those who leave comments!" I1st visited you about a year ago if my brain still has enuf memory.

  29. I think those who foster us rescues are simply the "cream of the crop", "angels without disguise", the most loving of loving people. I can imagine how hard it is to release a dog to another home, and you selflessly do it time after time. May you be blessed abundantly.

  30. Cafe Pasadena, I agree with your friend - good things *do* come to those who leave comments.

    Daisy, what a sweet message! Of course I agree with you.

  31. Thanks for visiting my blog! I love that Veronica's pack takes on "double trouble:" pit bulls and black dogs. Let's hear it for open minds!

  32. T2, thanks for dropping by! It was my pleasure to read your blog. I'm so inspired by your commitment to pit bulls and the love and compassion you show to your dogs. And you have great stories.