Lori Simonelli

Treasurer

Irish Wolfhound Association of the Mid South

I loved animals as long as I can remember especially dogs.  My first birthday cake was in the shape of a dog. My first goals in working were to pay off my college debt and to buy my own place so I could have a dog. Within two years I accomplished that goal and I had my first giant dog, a Giant Schnauzer.  I also met my future husband; I know I met the right man because he took me to pick up my second Giant Schnauzer.  Over the first years, we had four Giant Schnauzers.

We started investigating other breeds, their nature, needs, health and life span. Once we met Irish Wolfhounds, we were hooked.  We got our first Wolfhound in 2001, Faylyn.  After living with an Irish Wolfhound, you always want to live with an Irish Wolfhound.  Over the years since, there have been 8 wolfhounds in our life; 5 have crossed the bridge.

Currently, I have 3 Wolfhounds, Harper DOB 10/26/2014, Siobhan DOB 12/06/2017 from IWRMS and Liam DOB 03/26/2018 from IWRMS.

I was introduced to IWAMS by Heather Burns in January of 2017 after two of my wolfhounds decided to wander out of our woods and into the neighbor's driveway.  Their naughty behavior became a Facebook post which showed up on Heather's radar.  Heather's warm, friendly and effective system let me know about the girls' shenanigans.  At first, I was just a Facebook member then in 2019, I became an Associate member. In 2021, I became a regular member and part of the rescue committee.  During the time that I have been affiliated with IWAMS, I have had the opportunity to meet others who are owned by their hounds. I am now a part of group of local wolfhound people who support each other.  The greatest eye-opening experience for me was the rescue operation.  How the hounds were identified.  How the people needing to place those hounds were supported through the process of making the decision to give them up, which was often a hard choice for them to make.  How the hounds were evaluated and matched to new families.  For me, meeting a rescue hound with their new family, and seeing how happy they were together, changed my mind about adoption. As a family, we decided to adopt rescues instead of looking for a puppy which is why I have Siobhan and Liam.

My experience with IWAMS made me want to actively support its objectives of Education of owners and public about Irish Wolfhounds, Support Irish Wolfhound health research and testing initiatives, Insure Irish Wolfhound Welfare and Act as Guardians of the Breed in Rescue.