Joan Baron  /  AP file
Ginny, a schnauzer-Siberian husky mix, relaxes with Blondie, the cat he lived with in Long Beach, N.Y., in the home of Philip Gonzalez in 1996. Ginny, who died in August, will be eulogized at the Westchester Cat Show.
updated 11/11/2005 10:24:32 AM ET 2005-11-11T15:24:32

This will probably be the first time a dog’s memorial service is attended by 300 cats.

A schnauzer-Siberian husky mix named Ginny will be eulogized Nov. 19 at the Westchester Cat Show, where she was named Cat of the Year in 1998 for her uncanny skill and bravery in finding and rescuing endangered felines. She died in August at age 17.

Ginny once threw herself against a vertical pipe at a construction site to topple it and reveal the kittens trapped inside. Another time she ignored the cuts on her paws as she dug through a box of broken glass to find an injured cat inside.

Her owner, Philip Gonzalez of Long Beach, said Thursday that he has tried to train other dogs to rescue cats like Ginny, but “They just didn’t have it.”

“I didn’t train her,” he said. “Ginny was just magical in a way. I adopted her from a shelter, and they said she’s never been with cats before. But she just had this knack of knowing when a cat was in trouble.”

As he used to do with Ginny, Gonzalez still goes out every night to feed stray cats in the area. The cats seem to miss Ginny too, he said.

“They want nothing to do with my other dogs,” he said. “They used to come up to Ginny and rub against her, even if I was putting food out.”

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