Diane Petrozzo is a Retired Human Resources Professional & Teacher who has Dedicated Her Life to Rescuing Dogs


Q: When did your love for senior dogs begin? 
When the first dog I raised on my own, Tessa, became a senior, I fell in love with senior dogs. I raised her from 8 weeks old until she passed away at 13.5 and she was always such a beautiful soul. She was always so gentle with my friends’ dogs, and I realized that she would be a good companion for an older dog. When Tessa was eleven, I adopted Dottie, a ten-year-old black Lab, whose family dumped her because she was “old” and subsequently replaced her with a puppy. Her calm demeanor and need for peaceful surroundings, along with her pure and sweet soul drew me to her. The moment I adopted Dottie, I knew that it would be my mission to save as many senior dogs as I could for the remainder of my life.

Q: What made you want to write a children's book? 
I adopted a 12-year-old senior Golden Retriever named Bella, whose family dumped her at a shelter when they moved. Bella turned out to have so much personality, enthusiasm, and energy! She was so spry for her age. We would walk 2.5 miles every day to and from my house, always stopping to say hello to the squirrels, smell the flowers, and greet passersby. We always stopped at my local coffee shop for a pup cup. It was the highlight of her day and when we were a few blocks away she would pick up speed so she could get there quickly and get her much deserved whipped treat. I made several friends because of Bella, and she brought smiles to the faces of anyone she would meet. I told myself that I would someday write a book about her. When she passed away from cancer in 2022, I felt like I had no purpose. One day, I was on a walk with a dear friend and was telling her how sad I was without Bella and how much I missed her. I mentioned that I always wanted to write a book about her. My friend encouraged me to do so and that same day I went home and started writing “Bella Dreams of Whipped Cream.” My book exemplifies the beautiful life of a senior Golden, how fun she was and how much life and love she had to give. What started as an homage to Bella became a mission to highlight the importance of senior dog adoption. 

Q: Was there a moment in your life that was pivotal to getting where you are today?
I’ve been involved with dog rescue since 2010. Witnessing how many dogs, especially seniors, are dumped because of their age or physical decline was the turning point for me. I started to spread the word about senior dog adoption and then adopted my first senior in 2014 and have continued to do so to this day. It has become my life’s work and my “ikigai” or purpose to help save as many seniors as I can.

Q: You mentioned your goal is larger than bringing awareness to senior dogs in need. Can you tell us a little more about your overall mission with Four Worn Paws? 
I created Four Worn Paws as a tool to sell my books, spread awareness and use some of the royalties to help rescues save as many dogs as they can. My bigger goal is to someday open a senior dog sanctuary, where the forgotten, neglected, and discarded seniors can rest their heads and receive care and comfort they so desperately need for the remainder of their lives. It’s my hope that Four Worn Paws will be the vehicle to do that.

Q: Do you have any more books in the pipeline?
Yes, I have a new book coming out this summer about a service dog, named Mitchie, whom I adopted when he retired from service. The book is about his life as a service dog before he retired.

I am also currently working on two more books. 

Q: What is one word of advice you can offer to young women who want to reach your level of success?
I did not have a role model in the workplace until I was in my early thirties. I would tell young women to find that one person in the workplace or in their daily life whom they admire and ask them to be a mentor. I would encourage young women to ask questions, and challenge even those above them in the hierarchy. I did not do that until I was older and felt more comfortable and confident in my abilities and skills, even though I always knew I was intelligent, had good work ethic, business acumen and good ideas to share. I never felt confident enough to share them until I was older and more experienced.

Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments of your career?
Before I retired from business, I was an HR Consultant. I worked with top tier clients. I was chosen to help launch a company as a joint venture between my consulting firm and Microsoft. At that time Microsoft was one of the largest and most prestigious companies in the world, and everyone I knew wanted to be a part of whatever they were doing. I was the HR lead on the project and when we launched the company in record time, I finally knew (and believed) what I was capable of doing.

Q: At the start of your career, what do you wish you had known? 
I wish I had known that I could do anything I wanted to and not what I was trained to do. I was a business major in college and went on to work in Banking, Teaching, Human Resources and then Consulting. I earned an MBA and continued on that path, even though I had other interests. I have always been a writer. I started writing poetry and short stories when I was eleven. I wish I had started publishing my stories sooner.

Q: Which woman inspires you and why? 
Most people would choose a spiritual or political person. For me, it’s one of my closest friends. Her name is Carole, and she is a powerhouse in business and in her daily life. I admire her intelligence, her diplomacy, and her wit. What I admire most about her is the fact that she is the most loyal and faithful friend. Carole encourages people around her to do better and be better. I always feel like I can do anything when I talk to her. She encouraged me to write “Bella Dreams of Whipped Cream” and she is one of my biggest supporters and cheerleaders.

Q: After high school, where did you feel your career path would take you? 
I thought I would go to law school and work as a prosecutor in NY. Instead, I went on to work in business, teaching and now writing.

Five Things About Diane Petrozzo

1. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time?
I go for early morning walks every day. It’s the time of day where the birds are starting to chirp, the sun is rising and I pray, meditate, manifest the things I want to achieve in my life and invite the peacefulness around me into my heart. It’s my favorite thing to do every day.

2. What’s the most amazing adventure you’ve ever been on? 
I walked part of the Camino de Santiago twice. The Camino is a pilgrimage in Spain that started as a Christian pilgrimage to honor the apostle, St. James. Today, people walk the Camino for various reasons, but most people say they are changed after they walk. The entire Camino is 900 kilometers, but I walked the last stage of it (100 kilometers) and the second time I walked 144 kilometers. I felt such a sense of peace while walking through quaint Spanish towns. I met so many interesting people along the way and felt a sense of accomplishment when I finally made it to Santiago. I believe it is the most amazing adventure I have ever been on because it pushed me mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. I hope to someday walk the entire Camino.

3. Among your friends, what are you best known for? 
I am best known for saving dogs. Whenever I am with my friends and we meet someone new, they always mention how I rescue senior dogs. My friends know that saving senior dogs is the most important thing in my life.

4. What’s your favorite quote or saying? 
Robert Frost’s “…and I - I took the road less traveled, and that has made all the difference.” I wrote that in my high school yearbook, and I believe I have followed the road less traveled my entire life. It has made a difference in how I live my life and how I follow my own path to do things I strongly believe in, even though they may not be the norm. When I meet people and they tell me they could never rescue senior dogs because it’s too hard, I know that the path I am on is the right one, and I will continue to follow the road less traveled.

5. If you unexpectedly won $10,000, what would you spend it on? 
Dogs, of course! I would donate it to one (or more) of the local rescues to save as many dogs as they can!


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