Ornella Gabriel is one of the most caring and passionate people that I know. Her love for animals is limitless and she's also very generous toward humans.
When she moved in San Francisco with her husband Sebastien in 2012, she had no idea how her passion was gonna take such a huge room in her life. She's now building a career path to be around dogs.
She is a really great friend of mine and deserves to be treated as a hero. She's selfless and always ready to help others. She's a wonderful listener and, despite her sensitivity, she's way stronger than she thinks she is.
Ornella is also capable of singing every manga theme songs and knows each Pokemons' name ;)
So, I understand that you work with puppies all day long. Even if they’re adorable, is that your dream job?
I've always loved cats and dogs and I've always been around them all my life.
When I started volunteering 3 years ago at the SFSPCA as a dog volunteer, I didn't know that shelter would change my life. I realized I could not live without dogs!
I'm a real sensitive person and I cry easily, but my doggies made me stronger that I would have never imagined. Training and working with a shelter dog teach you patience. That's the key word! The SPCA taught me to be more self confident.
"Training and working with a shelter dog teach you patience. That's the key word! The SPCA taught me to be more self confident."
How/when did you realize this was your destiny to take care of animals?
Probably 2 years after my first day. A 6 month old puppy was returned. That puppy was really traumatized. In fact, he had been abused by his owner. But with dedication, patience and love, he started to came out of a shell and started to act like a real happy dog. It was really rewarding to see him progressing in a positive way!
Later on, I've decided to take care of the shy and fearful dog.
Who was your favorite superhero/villain growing up? Why?
I don't really have a favorite super hero. But there was this Pixar movie named The Incredibles that stuck with me.
My favorite character was Violet. She possesses the ability to become invisible and generate an impact-resistant force shield. At the beginning of the movie she uses the invisibility to protect herself because she is uncertain, shy and socially withdrawn. But, gradually she has to use the force shield to protect the ones she loves. Her confidence bolstered.
I find myself in that character because before volunteering I was kind of like her. I had to push myself to be stronger and like her my confidence bolstered.
You know that Batman has his Batcave and Superman his Fortress of Solitude. What's your favorite place/environment to do what you love?
My favorite place to do what I love is the SPCA.
Over there, I really feel myself and I know this is the place where I should be.
What superpower do you wish you had and why?
I'm torn with 2 superpowers that I wish I had. The first one would be reading minds. When I work with shy dogs, I wish I could know what they're thinking, so I can help them. I want to tell them "Everything is going to be ok!"
The second one would be Teleportation. I miss my family and I wish I can go see them just for one day and hug them! Also, I love traveling and I wish I could visit any countries that I want. It's good for the ecology not using aircrafts ;)
What is your personal Kryptonite?
Probably myself. I'm still fighting with my sensitivity. I have to cope my emotions so that my family knows that I will be ok.
What is your definition of a modern hero?
We already have traditional heroes like firemen, soldiers fighting for their country. But, for me it a superhero is:
▸ Someone I wish I could be.
▸ Someone who stands by his actions.
▸ Someone who surpasses himself/herself everyday and who faces the difficulties of the life.
▸ Someone who accomplishes things without expecting something in return.
Who inspires you everyday? Your very own heroes.
You will find this cliché, but the persons who inspire me are my mom and my husband.
▸ My mom is a fighter and everyday I wish I could be more like her. Actually she is my hero!
She turns her weakness into determination. She is strong and brave. She is loyal and will always be there for you. She is spontaneous and not really diplomatic. She will tell the truth no matter what. She can be a little bossy :p She has a big sense of humor. She is generous, but she is also sensitive and sometimes she can be uncertain and vulnerable, but she accepts who she is!
▸ My husband is a real perfectionist. He doesn't like to show his emotions and doesn't like to talk too much, but he never says something pointless. Sometimes people think he is cold or haughty. But, he is very generous and adorable. He will never judge you. He has his weakness and fears about future, but he will always cope obstacles.
One more thing... Mask or Cape?
At first I wanted to say cape but on second thought I would say mask. I wanted to say cape because I love outfits and having a cape is kind of majestic, but I'm not someone who likes being noticed.
Like I said, I'm still fighting with my sensitivity and my self esteem. I would rather hide myself behind a mask. I would wear a cape only if I'm enough comfortable with people.