As they say, it travels right down the leash." Working with dogs has always been a part of Ferrara's life.Back in Williamsville, his Italian American father had been a hunter who trained teams of German shorthaired pointers.Among scores of incidents, he was first on the scene when the late senator Robert Kennedy's son Michael Kennedy, 39, fatally struck a tree while skiing in Aspen in 1997.Ferrara was steeped in the stoic culture of the first responder, and instinctively knew how to take charge in chaotic situations. In the swirl of the dome lights, through the flickering of a dozen fires, Ferrara drank in the surreal horror of the crash."The thing is," he said, "I drive by here every day. Nobody comes to Aspen thinking something like that is going to happen.They look at these beautiful mountains and see paradise.
"Dogs pick up on whatever's happening in your life.
He went to work for the Alyeska Pipeline, on Alaska's North Slope.
For one year, he lived above the Arctic Circle at the base of Atigun Pass, near the western boundary of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
At a dog trial one day, when Ferrara was 15, his dad had a massive heart attack right in front of him and died.
So from an early age, death and dogs in the outdoors became curiously conjoined themes in Ferrara's mind.