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Answering the siren call of desire

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Answering the Siren Call of Desire: Artemis in Action!

Posted by sirensays on May 21, 2009

The tagline of this blog is “answering the siren call of desire.” I chose this because desire comes in many forms, desire is intrinsic to human nature, it’s a very, very potent force, and it often leads us on countless adventures.

I believe that the extra-strength desire to embark on a big project, make real an idea or a dream or take a stand for something we believe in are all callings. In short, I believe that a calling is a form of extra-strength desire, but it’s often a desire that answers a call from something – or someone – outside of ourselves. For those of us of a spiritual nature, the call we’re answering is often from the Divine in its many forms, echoed within our souls. In my opinion, the Goddess Artemis is a great example of desire in action. Goddess of the hunt, of the wilderness, wild animals, fertility and child-bearing and protector of children, the Greek Artemis aims her arrow true, expertly reaching her target. Talk about desire! Talk about a Siren! Ok, I know Artemis is a Virgin Goddess not associated with siren myths, but she’s a Siren in my book, nonetheless.

And speaking of Sirens…there is a woman in Southern California whose desire in action has produced incredible results. Her calling is tough and rewarding, heart-scorching and joyful, adventurous and mundane. Her name is Tia Maria Torres and she is the founder of Villalobos Rescue Center, a pit bull sanctuary in Agua Dulce, California. Tia is a mom, a wife, an activist, an animal lover, a sensualist and a nature lover. Below is a marvelous picture of Tia, with one her her stalwart rescues:


Tia deals with Hollywood celebrities like Katherine Heigl and Danny Trejo and runs a number of community-related programs, including a fascinating one called “Underdawgz, Inc.,” that has parolees working with pit bulls. Tia also manages other programs, staff and volunteers, and she finds the right homes for the dogs she takes in.

Her calling is time-consuming, especially when being a mom, wife and activist are also factored in. Tia is a woman of ferocious energy, high intelligence, moon-led, star-strung intuition, sun-warmed wisdom, and a marvelously wry sense of humor. Possessing incredible knowledge about all dog breeds, Tia is a risk-taker and the owner of one of the most adventurous and generous hearts I’ve ever come across. I’d love for you to read this moving blog post “Lady of the Night,” about a loose pit bull roaming the woods of La Crescenta Park for a long time, in danger of being killed by coyotes. The stray dog would play peacefully with other dogs, but no one could catch her. Tia went night after night to the park, trying to catch her, to no avail. She was about to give up the hunt when she and another person, a vet tech, managed to wrangle the wild pit bull girl, and Tia took her to Villalobos. The end of this post has links to Villalobos, Tia’s blog featuring the hunt for the dog, now christened Lady, and a link to a How You Can Help page, in case you want to make a donation.

Here’s a picture of the wooded park, where Lady was found:
La Crescenta Park

Tia’s blogpost about the hunt for Lady, the community’s involvement, what it was like to be out in nature looking for Lady, is representative of what it takes for a place like Villalobos to survive. Tia’s determination, her love for dogs, her understanding of nature, her sense of partnership with others and her amazing ability to accept a dog as it is, offering deep understanding and providing what the dog needs to recover as much as it can from hardship – these qualities are the glue that hold Villalobos together. I think it’s the inspiration of Artemis and the siren call of desire.


There is so much heartbreak and drama in animal rescue work that it’s easy to forget about the many happy endings – or new beginnings – that animals have once they’re taken in and adopted. But my main point with this post is to highlight how desire and spirit intertwined, in an adventure that brought me a huge sigh of relief and renewed awe at the mysterious workings of our wondrous world.


I know that all of Tia’s work is deeply spiritual. Her relationships with animals, parolees, kids, law enforcement, Hollywood and the public are all aspects of how she priestesses her life. Her calling to work with neglected, mistreated, abandoned, overbred, misunderstood and demonized dogs is one of the most consistently potent examples of answering the siren call of desire that I’m aware of. Tia, you maverick Siren, the world is a better, brighter, more balanced and joyful place with you in it!

I am looking forward to learning more about Lady the pit bull, how she is adjusting in her new digs, and what lies in her future. I would also love to hear your feedback about this post, and I know Tia would, too. As Tia says at the end of her post – Blessed Be!


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