Meet the barn dogs of the Torano family

PHOTOS BY Vicci Valenti/Kind Media

Jimmy, JJ with Ginger, Natalia with Poppy and Danielle with Wolfie

Jimmy Torano operates the hugely successful JET Show Stable based in Wellington, Florida, and Mohrsville, Pennsylvania. JET Show Stable offers premier training, showing, and sales services. He frequently visits Europe and is one of the nation’s top importers of up-and-coming young show jumpers, equitation, and hunter prospects. Many of today’s champions were originally imported by Jimmy. He is also a Big “R” judge who has judged many major classes. His wife, Danielle, is one of the top amateur-owner hunter and jumper riders in the history of U.S. show jumping who has earned tri-color ribbons at all the nation’s most prestigious events.

I always had big dogs when I was growing up, and we got Jack Russells when I was probably 12 or 13 years old. We ended up breeding one and had a million puppies. I remember them all being in a playpen in our house.

Jimmy didn’t have dogs growing up. But when we first got married, I wanted a dog really badly. We were at one of the indoor shows, and there were Jack Russell puppies for sale. We were staying at a very nice hotel, and Jimmy said that if the hotel would take dogs, I could get one. I’m sure he was thinking that there was no way the hotel was going to take dogs, but they did.

So we started with that one, Jimmy’s first, and then at one point we ended up with three. This was before kids, and suddenly they were like Jimmy’s kids. He would wake me up in the middle of the night and say, “Oh my gosh, look at the way Buddy is sleeping.” He went crazy for little dogs, and then we had kids, and we continued to have dogs.

Later, we got two big dogs from Danny & Ron’s Rescue from their Hurricane Katrina project. They were huge, like small ponies. They were named Cheech and Chong. I think Ron called me because they knew we had the farm, and they wanted to keep them together. That was our first dealing with Danny & Ron’s dogs.

Later, I told Kim Tudor, Danny and Ron’s director of marketing, that we wanted a Pomeranian. I wasn’t sure we’d ever get one, but a few months later, she called. Of course, now the Pomeranian, Wolfie, is my dog.

They also had a Jack Russell. It was Christmas time, and we had lost our other Jack Russell not long before. We’re not sure how old she was because she was abandoned in an apartment.

It’s almost impossible to say in words what Danny & Ron do. They’re so talented in taking care of the dogs and in matching them with the right new owners.

Wolfie has become a one person dog. He’s my little guy, and he definitely has little dog syndrome. He acts like he’s a he’s a big dog. If someone comes through the door, he runs out and acts like he’s going to eat them alive, and then he turns around and comes back in. But he definitely wants people to think he’s big and scary.

On the other hand, I think Ginger might go with anybody. She makes you feel like you are the only person in the universe. She’s very needy, and she wants a ton of attention. She is a people-dog like I’ve never had before. She can’t get c