Wag Wednesday: Kaytlin Dangaran & Beretta


Since starting the blog, 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 bark@miamifoodpug.com.

This week, we’re featuring Kaytlin Dangaran, Executive Chef at Verde, and her black Labrador retriever, Beretta.

Kaytlin Dangaran - Beretta Dangaran 3

Your Name: Kaytlin Dangaran

Your Pet’s Name: Beretta Dangaran

Sex: Female

Age: 14 weeks

Breed: Black Lab

How did you come to own your dog?

Growing up, we always had a lot of animals — always a couple Labrador retrievers, a cat or two, and some random animals that a couple of small girls would beg their parents for. You can imagine the gerbils, hamsters and bunnies over the years.

We were blessed to have the time and the space to take care of all these animals. Unfortunately, moving away to college, I was not in the same position. Afterwards moving to New York, living in a small studio and working in the restaurant industry, I REALLY didn’t have time or space so I waited … and waited … and waited. This year after settling into Miami and moving into a house with a nice backyard, I was ready!

What drew you to her?

I had asked for a puppy for my wedding present. But rather than getting Beretta the day of the wedding, my husband set up a time to go meet a local family dog that just had a litter of puppies. When we got to the house, we were instantly attacked by a pack of puppies. We must have been there well over an hour, picking up each and trying to play with them all and build a connection.

Like my husband said, Beretta found us. I really had wanted a boy dog, but when you know, you just know. We knew right away when I picked her up and held her to my chest because she snuggled in and began nursing on my chin. It was a sign. There was no separating us after that point.

What’s the story behind your dog’s name?

Both my husband and I grew up with labs, and both our parents are hunters. Growing up, all my family dogs were also trained to go hunting with my father. They were the best dogs — so well trained and so sweet. Since Labradors are also referred to as “gun dogs,” we thought to stick to the theme with Beretta. Plus, I’m an Italian chef so I’m sure that had something to do with it, too.

How would you describe your dog’s personality?

She’s such a sweat heart. She loves everyone and everything and is always excited to meet new people and their pets; she thinks everyone she meets is her long-lost best friend!. Beretta is high energy –think “puppy mode” at all times — and will not hesitate to get straight up into other dog’s faces and kiss them or jump on other people. She loves getting picked up. She’s also a snuggler, which I love!

How has owning a pet made your life richer?

Working in a high-stress environment, there is nothing better than coming home to her. She makes all the issues of the day melt away and seem so less important. She gives me something to look forward to, forcing me to exercise more than I would like and makes me want to be a better person. The unconditional love from a dog is a beautiful thing.

It’s said that dogs reflect their owners and vice versa. How does this apply to you and yours? 

Well, she is either running full speed or asleep. She doesn’t have a middle speed, which has been said of me. She is very vocal and will let it be known if she feels ignored. Her bark is big, but she really is a lover not a fighter.

Tell us a funny story about you and your dog.

I was very protective of Beretta before she had all of her vaccinations, so we did not go out to many places. So on her first big trip out, we brought her to a friend’s house for a BBQ. Now this friend of mine also had a new puppy that was smaller than Beretta, and I was worried she would be too playful.

Not the case at all … Beretta on her first outing not only got beat up by a puppy a quarter of her size, but also knocked over every beer in the house and ended the night by throwing up in the hammock. Not a successful first outing, but she’s pretty resilient for sure!

Are you involved in any pet organizations or philanthropies?

We are starting orientation with Camillus House.

We follow a lot of dog social media accounts like Doug the Pug, Rocco’s Contemporary Life, and Menswear Dog. Do you? Which are your favorites?

YES! “My Dog is Cutest,” “Just Labradors” and of course “Beretta the Black Lab“!

See past editions of Wag Wednesdays here.