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Best Friends: Carla Pederson
Get to know Carla Pederson and her supportive survivor
Best Friends Carla Pederson
Carla Pederson and Fonzie - photo by Marissa Weiher

Carla Pederson, Monroe, talks about her best friend Fonzie, an 8-year-old labradoodle.

Pederson didn’t get Fonzie until he was over a year old. Before that, he had a stressful and traumatic life. 

Fonzie was kept at a facility in northern Wisconsin where he was trained as a service dog. Someone broke in one night and stabbed and choked Fonzie and two other dogs. Fonzie was the only one to survive. 

After that, Fonzie was placed as a service dog for a boy with autism. There, all he did was work and when he was home had to stay in his crate. He became stressed and eventually stopped eating. He was then sent to IDOGS Rescue, an organization that rescues labradoodles and golden doodles, who placed him with Pederson’s daughter, Tracey, who convinced Pederson to foster him.

When Fonzie first came to Pederson, he was cautious of people and would even growl. 

“Now he likes contact with anybody,” Pederson said. 

Best Friends is a weekly feature designed to highlight a local resident and his or her pets. To suggest someone for the series, contact Marissa Weiher, photographer, at

Describe Fonzie’s personality.

He is very friendly and he shows it. He gets along with other dogs and people. With me at home he’s usually obedient although he does have one bad habit of getting into the garbage. 

What do you and Fonzie like to do together?

He doesn’t really know how to play fetch. If I throw the ball he’ll go get it, but then he expects me to chase him. He loves to go for walks and for rides. He’s great company. 

What has it been like having Fonzie in your life?

I live alone so he’s been a lot of company to me. I talk to him all the time, that way I’m not talking to myself. He’s just a lot of company. He’s also funny. He loves to play, he jumps like a deer and loves to look out the window and guard the neighborhood. He really doesn’t like the UPS guy.