Over the past year, we’ve interviewed many members of the hospitality industry, and one constant among the interviewees has been a profound love for their pets. We thought it would be great to share this love with our readers. That’s why we launched an ongoing feature called “Wag Wednesday” to showcase industry peeps and their pets. Know someone who wants to be featured? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week, we’re featuring Dallas Wynne, Executive Pastry Chef at Ariete, and her dog, Cali.
Your Name: Dallas Wynne
Your Pet’s Name: Cali
Age: 8 months
Breed: German Shepherd and Rottweiler Mix
How did you come to own your dog? What drew you to her?
During college, I became very involved with the Humane Society of Greater Miami; I would volunteer there as often as possible because I absolutely love animals. However, my lease at the time did not allow pets.
After moving into a new home that did allow pets, I began considering getting a dog. I was scrolling on Facebook on my day off from work and came across a post from the Humane Society with a picture of multiple puppies that were up for adoption — I immediately fell in love with a picture of a little German Shepherd mix.
I jumped in my car and drove to the Humane Society and told them that I wanted to adopt that specific puppy. Unfortunately, the couple next to me was in the process of filling out the paperwork for her. To my luck but unfortunately for them, they did not qualify to adopt so I immediately filled out my paperwork — before even interacting with Cali — and adopted my bundle of joy.
What truly drew me to Cali was her floppy little ears. She kind of has a dopey face (sorry, Cali), and I thought it was absolutely adorable.
What’s the story behind your dog’s name?
Cali got her name because my dream for quite some time was to move to California after getting my bachelor’s degree from Johnson & Wales. However when the time came, I had such amazing opportunities here in Miami that I decided to postpone my move to a later date and figured that if I couldn’t move to California, I could at least have a little Cali in my life.
How would you describe your dog’s personality?
This one is pretty easy: she is the most rambunctious energetic dog that I have ever met. At 8 months old, she is a total handful and definitely keeps me on my toes. She loves playing “fetch” even though she doesn’t really understand the concept of bringing the ball back to you and is a huge fan of tug of war, whether it’s with her rope or your dirty socks.
How has owning a pet made your life richer?
As a chef, you spend A LOT of time with your work family, which doesn’t leave much time for a social life. Coming home every day to Cali puts a huge smile on my face. No matter if my day at work was rough or amazing, she always greets me with a wagging tale and a hefty jump.
Dogs have a way of just reading your emotions and reacting to them. If I am excited, its like there’s nothing better in the world to her — she celebrates with me and gets just as excited. When I’m sad or down in the dumps, she reminds me to smile and is the best tissue there is. I couldn’t imagine not having her in my life.
It’s said that dogs reflect their owners and vice versa. How does this apply to you and yours?
I recently had a friend tell me that Cali is definitely my “child.” I laughed at this, but then completely understand why he said this. When I’m at home, Cali is pretty much my shadow; if she could be with me every second of the day, I guarantee she would.
She’s always outgoing and loves meeting new people and wouldn’t hurt a fly if she could realize her own strength. She pretty much always tries to have the spotlight on her, and whether that is a good thing or bad thing I would say I’m pretty much the same way.
Tell us a funny story about you and your dog.
Well, Cali has quite an obsession with hair ties, and like every girl I have a ridiculous amount of them around the house. She loves putting her paw in them and then stretching them out as far as she can.
Well, I came home from work one day to Cali madly rolling around on the couch like a lunatic. When I went over to her, she had managed to get the hair tie around her snout and was having a field day trying to get it off. I got lots of kisses for removing it, but they are still one of her favorite “toys”.
Are you involved in any pet organizations or philanthropies?
Although I haven’t had much time lately, I am still a registered volunteer and foster parent for the Humane Society of Greater Miami, which has brought me much joy and led me to the adoption of Cali.
We follow a lot of dog social media accounts like Doug the Pug and Menswear Dog. Do you? Which are your favorites?
I do! Maya_on_the_move is definitely one of my favorites — such a cute little face!
See past editions of Wag Wednesdays here.