Vanessa Petit, NY

Senior Writer

Vanessa believes storytelling is a way of making sense of the world around us, and speaking fluent English and Spanish is a superpower that allows her to communicate in two very different ways. She earned a master’s in Political Science from the University of Belgrano, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a bachelor’s in Journalism from Catholic University of Buenos Aires. During her time in Argentina, she worked for the Los Angeles Times and Radio la Red. Upon returning to the United States, Vanessa lived in Miami, working as a reporter for the Associated Press, before relocating back in New York, where she worked as an editor to three Spanish language magazines. She has over fifteen years of experience as a bilingual writer, editor, and translator, and has written hundreds of articles on a variety of topics that range from education, women’s and children’s health, immigration to celebrity profiles and entertainment/lifestyle features. She now currently resides in Long Island with her husband and two children.

As a Story Terrace writer, Vanessa interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below.

The Gentle Giant

My heart was racing with excitement as we approached the wrought iron gate of the colonial-style house. My older brother had somehow convinced our parents that we really needed a dog. We had just moved to Argentina from the United States, my parents’ home country. Although the move was not a surprise, I was heartbroken and felt homesick. I missed my friends and was finding it hard to make new ones. A dog, my brother said, would help us all adapt to our new circumstances. He already had his eye on a puppy and wanted me to be the first to see it. I was not a dog lover and was not convinced that we needed one.

As we drove through the cobblestone streets of Caballito, a tree-lined barrio with old houses and beautiful parks, I was unaware of what we were going to see. In my mind, I figured we were going to see a small dog. We rang the bell and were immediately buzzed into the foyer that led into the house. My brother pushed the heavy gate and as we both stepped inside, two huge dogs darted towards us from the end of the hallway. I instantly froze and pushed myself against the wall. The dog owner, a small woman with black curly hair, ran behind the dogs yelling at them frantically. I closed my eyes and held my breath. “What kind of dogs are these?” I whispered to my brother, still not opening my eyes. Halfway through the stone floored hallway the dogs slipped to a halt, right in front of us. I had never seen such huge animals.

“They are Great Danes. Follow me and I’ll show you the puppy,” said the dog owner. My brother’s bright blue eyes were beaming. His mind was made up. This was definitely not what I envisioned as a pet.

We spent the next few hours in the back room and all I could think about was why this was not a good idea. Nevertheless, that afternoon, we left with a nine-week-old beige colored Great Dane puppy in tow. Her paws were huge, her eyes droopy and she looked like she had tons of extra skin. We called her Milu. She grew to be big and strong, but was gentle and affectionate. I fell in love with her playful and larger-than-life happiness. And so, in the blink of an eye, I became a dog-loving person and Milu turned out to be the best idea for our family.

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