This peppy pup is a near replica of his namesake, a predominantly Pekingese mixed breed adopted in 2004 by the daughter of sponsors Pamela Bennett and James Wong of Dublin, California. Jennifer named her dog after the iconic fashion brand known for eclectic and bold advertising campaigns. Diesel was a happy little rescue dog who loved people, walks, napping, and tummy rubs, and won hearts wherever he went.
And oh, he could run! If there was an Olympics for dogs this guy would take the gold medal in the 100-meter sprint. Jennifer lived in Arizona and had only had him a couple months before he sprinted out the door and under the gate. He was too quick to catch. Thanks to an embedded microchip, about a year later, she received a call from animal control located a good fifty miles away. They’d found Diesel roaming the streets. It was clear he had once again escaped and had been running wild from whomever found him after he slipped away from Jennifer.
A few years later, Jennifer moved from Arizona to San Francisco for a new job and was worried she couldn’t find an apartment that allowed pets. Her parents offered to help find Diesel a new home. Pamela worked at a children’s dental office where Dr. Randall Wiley had recently lost his beloved dog. Diesel was welcomed to the office, where he brought so much joy to the staff and children. It was the perfect match, allowing full time care for Diesel as well as regular visits and sleepovers for the pup at Pamela and James’s home. Years later, life circumstances changed for the Wiley family, so Pamela and James permanently had Diesel come live with them. And that’s where he stayed until it was time to say goodbye, in April 2018.
Pamela and James had been interested in Albany’s carousel for years, and were rejoiced when organizers said Diesel had been chosen for the one remaining alternate spot on the inside row. Artist Terryl Whitlatch worked with the couple to create a perfect likeness of their happy little dog. He’s wearing his signature red jacket, pocket filled with a dangling leash and his favorite treats: sausage sticks and heart-shaped “cookies” from Trader Joe’s. On his collar are the names Jennifer Jo and her daughters, Élodie Jo and Chloé Jo. On the non-romance side, a flowering cactus represents Diesel’s original home in Arizona, with two shamrocks and a poppy for his home in Dublin, California. His name tag reads “Diesel” in the middle, with Pamela and James on the top and bottom.
Diesel’s head is turned to smile at his many admirers and all four feet are stretched out in his favorite pose—running to find new adventures for all the children and children-at-heart whom he takes for a ride at the Albany carousel.