Four Legs Good: 10 Celebs and Their Famous Pooches


President Obama recently took some time out of his busy schedule to tell CNN’s Chris Cuomo about the latest addition to the First Family: a puppy named Sunny, who is Bo’s new playmate. It seems that if anything can distract us from the task at hand, it’s our canine companions. But often they are central to the task at hand, like Andy Warhol’s dachsunds, who were depicted in his paintings and were also regular subjects in his diaries. Here’s a look at ten famous Fidos—some of which have stolen the show from their celebrity guardians.

Alan Cumming, Honey and Leon

Actor Alan Cumming, who has two dogs—Honey, a Collie-Shepherd mix, and Leon, a shorthaired Chihuahua—claims his friends don’t think he’s a crazy dog person, although he admits, "My day is kind of focused around them." He may not be crazy, but his melodramatic Masterpiece Mystery! introductions—usually featuring arrestingly effective eyebrow raises, sideways glances and duck faces—hint at a wild and crazy guy within.

Rachael Ray and Isaboo

Rachael Ray brought her beloved dog Isaboo on her talk show to get microchipped in front of a live studio audience, urging all dog guardians to do the same with their precious pups. I honestly never gave much thought to Ray until I saw this segment and found out more about her work helping shelter dogs. I’ll have to try whipping up her Marsala Mushroom Ragout after all.


Picasso and Lump

This cute little animation by Raza Shah features Pablo Picasso’s famous line drawing of a dachshund (thought to be the artist’s own beloved dog Lump). In 2006, photographer David Douglas Duncan published the book Picasso and Lump: A Dachshund’s Odyssey, which revealed the duo’s close relationship through photographs taken in 1957 at the artist’s mansion in Cannes. Apparently, Lump was in charge.

Louis C.K.: An Old Woman and Her Dog

OK, so this clip isn’t about a celebrity and their dog. But it’s a celebrity talking about a dog; specifically it’s a bit about an old lady and her dog that comedian Louis C.K. performed in Phoenix in February that is pretty damn funny. Not sure if Louie is lucky enough to have a dog. I’ve seen him walking with his daughters, though. He was in a rush and all sweaty, kind of like his character in his awesome FX television series, Louie.

In the excellent heist film High Sierra (1941), Humphrey Bogart’s character Roy is befriended by a homeless mutt named Pard, played by the actor’s own dog, Zero.

Parker Posey and Gracie

The fact that I’ve seen Parker Posey and her dog Gracie walking around my neighborhood on several occasions isn’t surprising. According to Gawker, "everyone’s had a run-in with Parker Posey’s devil-dog"—though I’ve never seen anything other than a cute little canine behaving very well. But I’d hate to see what happens if Gracie ever lost her squeaky toy.

Ryan Gosling and George

Note to celebrities who don’t like talking about themselves on talk shows: Bring your dog. In 2011, when Ryan Gosling was a guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, the actor brought along his dog George. "He’s more interesting than I am," said Gosling, "so I thought it would be helpful."

Susan Sarandon, Penny and Rigby

When she stopped by The View, Susan Sarandon brought her two dogs, Penny, who was in at least two of the Academy Award winner’s films: Arbitrage and Cloud Atlas, and Rigby, "who just got out of rehab."

Kevin Spacey and Boston

In May, actor Kevin Spacey adopted a shelter dog from the Surry County Animal Shelter in North Carolina. The two-time Academy Award winner named her Boston in honor of the city. Two more reasons to love this guy.

The Obamas, Bo and Sunny

The White House recently unveiled the newest member to the First Family, Sunny, who seems to enjoy the first First Dog, Bo. Both of them are Portuguese Water Dogs, chosen partly because they are hypoallergenic, as Malia’s allergies require a breed that doesn’t shed. "Bo was starting to look a little down in the dumps inside the house," the pack leader-in-chief told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. "And Sunny, the new dog. she’s only a year old, and the truth is, she’s faster than he is. She jumps higher, she’s friskier…[Bo] is trying to keep up. But I think that ultimately, he’s loving it. I think that ultimately, it’s going to be great for him in the long term."

Man Buys ‘Poodles,’ Gets Ferrets On Steroids With Perms

Picking a pet is hard. There is so much to consider: how much space it needs, what your own routine is like, whether your asshole roommate will mind. There’s also the matter of knowing what the hell you want to buy really looks like. This part is essential if you want to buy poodles, and not ferrets made to look (kind of) like poodles.

An Argentine man is upset about spending $150 on a pair of toy purebreds that turned out to be “Brazilian rats,” or ferrets, who had been given steroids and had their coats fluffed out somewhat for a misleading, nearly-canine appearance—giving life to what till now could only be considered a popular urban legend.

Is $75 a good deal for a mutant ferret? Probably not. But if the guy seriously didn’t notice a problem until he went to the vet, he should just embrace this. Become the “poodle ferret” man, and let people take pictures with him/them for a small fee. Really I’m more curious about the groomer tasked with teasing out all that fur, and if they thought it better not to ask.

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Fashion Dog Could Be Evicted From His UES Penthouse

Oscar the six-year-old chow chow/golden retriever mix lived a dog’s life in his Upper East Side penthouse at East 68th Street and Second Ave. But not anymore: now Oscar’s rich neighbors are conspiring to kick out the pup after he allegedly bit three neighbors and the doorman.

Oscar belongs to 82-year-old fashion designer Edgar Bradau, an early mentor to Ralph Lauren who sold his clothing line to Saks and Neiman Marcus. He denies his pup (not the one pictured here) is a cold-blooded killer. "Oscar kisses babies," Brandau told the New York Post. "He comes to church with me all the time."

But still the co-op board had voted to insist Oscar wear a muzzle while entering and leaving the building.  Brandau, who has owned his 12th floor penthouse for 60 years, has not complied with their order, which is why the co-op board filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Civil Court to get Oscar evicted.

His owner says he and Oscar aren’t going anywhere. "I have letters from my doctors saying my dog is essential to my health," he told the Post. A likely story …

These neighbors had better step off. Everybody knows you don’t get between a rich fashion type and their beloved dog. 

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Why This Monday Rocks: Tonight’s Top Events

So it’s the first day of the work week and there are four more days to go. I get it. But why ruminate when you can start to make Mondays the best night of the week? This weekly column is devoted to finding the best events across NYC hosted by individuals and places that are doing amazing, crazy, wild, sexy things on Monday nights. And I am here to honor them. From Tony Award-winning shows to chocolate desserts, here are tonight’s top events.

Watch dogs show off their stuff:
Shampooed, manicured dogs and their owners get competitive tonight and tomorrow at the 137th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, where 3,000 dogs of 187 breeds stroll across the carpeting as they’re judged across seven divisions, such as toy, terrier, hound, and sporting. Expect lots of owners in pencil skirts and bowties, and nonstop canine cuteness. Airing live from Madison Square Garden tonight, 8pm, CNBC & Tuesday, 8pm, USA. All info here.

See the reunion concert of a Tony Award-winning Broadway show:
In the Heights – the exuberant 2008 musical about three days in the life of Washington Heights residents – returns to New York for a one-night-only concert performance featuring nearly all of the original cast. Written and starring renaissance man Lin-Manuel Miranda (our interview here), this is one of Broadway’s most ebullient shows. A must for not only theatre-lovers, but simply anyone who loves this city. Tonight, 8pm, United Palace Theatre, 4140 Broadway. Tickets & info here.

Eat tons of rarely available chocolate:
Chocolate Week 2013 continues on until Wednesday the 13th, just before V-Day. Participating restaurants and chocolatiers –  such as French spots A.O.C. in the West Village and Bar Tabac in Cobble Hill – are offering special, rarely available desserts like chocolate lava cake and chocolate creme petit pot. Couple this with Valentine’s and there is absolutely no hope for a diet. And that’s just fine. From now until Wednesday the 13th. All details here

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Cory Booker Adds Dog Rescue to Ever-Growing Résumé

America has learned an awful lot about social media-savvy Newark mayor Cory Booker over the past several months. For example, when much of the Eastern Seabord was wracked by Hurricane Sandy, Booker took to Twitter to directly address concerns of his constituents, and after one hungry Newark resident tweeted him about running out of Hot Pockets, Booker responded with words of inspiration and, as a result, the company offered coupons for free Hot Pockets to all residents. Later, we learned that he was planning to run for Senate in 2014, although Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg responded to his intentions with a little snark. 

And over the weekend, adding to the thing we already knew about Booker being really responsive when it comes to social media, we learned that he has a soft spot for our four-legged friends, especially those left out in the cold during wintry weather. When local broadcast news affiliate WABC tweeted to locals and specifically addressed Booker about dogs being left outside to freeze on a particularly cold night, Booker stepped in to bring one pooch, Cha Cha, who had recently had puppies (thankfully, not left in the cold), to warmth and safety while her owners were visiting friends in Queens. Naturally, our cynicismas media consumers and as people have kicked in and there are already some Cory Booker "truthers" declaring this a cheap press op (see the YouTube comments to the video below for proof).

But even if it was, what, do you want the dog to freeze? Come on, now. Anyway, Cory Booker rescued a dog, and got Newark Hot Pockets, and what have you done lately? Watch the broadcast—Booker, puppies and all—below.

Meanwhile, In Oregon: Brewer Makes Beer For Dogs

It almost sounds like a sketch from the upcoming season of Portlandia, doesn’t it? Daniel Keeton, who works at Bend, Oregon craft brewery Boneyard, has created and bottled Dawg Grog, which is, as you might imagine, an organic beer for dogs. Can’t you picture it, with Fred Armisen in a flannel shirt and newsboy cap, serving a bottle to Carrie Brownstein’s dog with a punny celebrity name, like Stone Cold Steve Pawstin or Kermit Ruffins? Or a fake advertisement for the stuff featuring dogs dressed like Hipster Puppies? Anyway.

Frat boys who have actually tried to get their dog drunk will be disappointed by the effects of Dawg Grog, as it does not actually contain alcohol, as that would be animal cruelty what the hell is your problem? But for those who merely wish to give their beloved pet an unusual treat, Keeton and the Dawg Grog team advise pouring it as a side treat or over dry food. The beer includes spent grain from the Boneyard Brewery (whose actual beers for humans include one called one just called “Girl Beer” and a stout named for notorious record promoter Suge Knight), along with vegetable broth, water and a powdered glucosamine supplement including ginger, cinnamon, flaxseed and honey. So it’s a nutritional supplement disguised as a beer, which some of you probably wish existed for humans.

Who knows where Dawg Grog will take the train of canine innovation? Now that they know the taste of beer, soon they’ll want to start playing poker. Oh, fine, I’ll just show myself out.

[via KTVZ Oregon]

RIP Monty, One Of Queen Elizabeth’s Last Corgis

Monty, one of Queen Elizabeth’s oldest and most-loved dogs, has died. And yet millions of ungrateful cats live on.

Monty, who lived to the age of 13 (that is, a ripe old 91), spent his days bounding around Buckingham Palace and the monarchy’s considerable estate with his fellow corgis, Willow and Holly, and even humbly consorted with non-purebred mixes like Candy and Vulcan, who are half-dachshund. He did once engage in a scuffle with Max, Princess Beatrice’s terrier, but was likely just defending his favorite couch.

Monty, descended from Susan, an 18th birthday present, will be greatly mourned even after his burial at the royal pet cemetery in Balmoral. Her majesty has continuously bred corgis from Susan up till 2009, when she stopped for fear any new dogs would outlive her. By my rough math, I would guess she has seen at least 20 corgis die in her long life and is almost certainly followed around by their happily yapping ghosts.

In any case: godspeed, you short-legged scamp.  

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