Ginny, the dog who loved cats
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) -- This will probably be the first time a dog's memorial service is attended by 300 cats. A schnauzer-Siberian husky mix named Ginny will be eulogized Nov. 19 at the Westchester Cat Show, where she was named Cat of the Year in 1998 for her uncanny skill and bravery in finding and rescuing endangered tabbies.
Ginny died in August at age 17, after a long career as a one-dog rescue party for cats on Long Island's South Shore. The club says she saved hundreds of cats who were abandoned, injured or in harm's way.
Her owner, Philip Gonzalez of Long Beach, has written two books about Ginny and the cats she found, several of whom moved in with him. Among the best-known rescues is the time Ginny threw herself against a vertical pipe at a construction site to topple it and reveal the kittens trapped inside. She once ignored the cuts on her paws as she dug through a box full of broken glass to find an injured cat inside.
Gonzalez, 55, said Thursday that over the years he has tried to train other dogs to do what Ginny did, but "They just didn't have it."
"I didn't train her," he said. "Ginny was just magical in a way. I adopted her from a shelter, and they said she's never been with cats before. But she just had this knack of knowing when a cat was in trouble."
As he used to do with Ginny, Gonzalez still goes out every night to feed stray cats in the area, with the help of the Ginny Fund, which pays for food, medical care and spaying or neutering.
The cats seem to miss Ginny too, he said.
"They want nothing to do with my other dogs," he said. "They used to come up to Ginny and rub against her, even if I was putting food out."
The memorial service will be followed by this year's Cat of the Year award, which is going to an actual cat - Zoe, an 8-year-old ragdoll from Larchmont who saved her owner from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Other cats of the year have included a cat with a cleft palate who taught herself to hold her feeding tube and a cat who campaigns against rules that prohibit pets in senior housing.
In another news, MAIL HIGHLIGHTS: Did I pay to put cats to sleep? , my comment is that SPCA should be your last resort if you don't know where to send the abandoned pets. It is sad but SPCA received like 3000 pets, on average every month. And the shelter can only accommodate half of that. 1 solution is for people to start spaying/neutering their pets. Then there will be less abandoned pets. Sigh.. i just wish that none of the pets in SPCA will be put to sleep. Not until all of us learn how to be a responsible pet owner.