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Perhaps a non-celebrity or a celebrity by default, Tammy Faye Bakker started the trend of pampering pets on a grand--some would say a grandiose--scale by equipping her mutt’s doghouse with air conditioning. (Tammy said she built the doghouse for her husband Jim to sleep in after he’d confessed to having an extramarital affair with his church secretary. “As a man of God, he was entitled to the best, even when he was in the doghouse,“ she says.) However, since her extravagance on behalf of her poodle was publicized, Tinsel Town celebrity doghouses have put the television evangelist to shame.
edit Fleabag Cruise
Tom Cruise and his child bride Katie Holmes have built a wing onto their house as a nursery for their
pregnant expecting bitch mother, Fleabag, who, according to the family veterinarian, Dr. Dogg, who took an ultrasound of the pregnant expecting bitch mother at his posh Beverly Hills Pet Hospital, may bless the Cruises with “eight new additions to the family.” The nursery contains a huge $30,000 canopied four-poster bed with an Intelli-gel mattress; wallpaper featuring the cavorting stars of Walt Disney’s 101 Dalmatians; a canine buffet service; eight matching half-mile-long treadmills, complete with automatic leash feed; hundreds of doggy toys; a full bath, with tub and shower, so that the dogs may be bathed or showered; and a host of other amenities. Once the dogs are housebroken potty trained, they will move into their own domicile in Bel Air. Naturally, Tom says, the dogs will attend services at the Church of Scientology, like his and Nicole’s Katie’s daughter, Suri.
edit Kimberly Carpenter-O’Donnell
The ever-controversial Rosie O’Donnell and her wife, Kelli Carpenter, have built a Malibu mansion for Kelli’s lesbian Lhasa Apso, Kimberly, whom Kelli had trained to perform “special tricks” that O’Donnell found “distasteful.” “Actually,” Kelli claims, “Rosie is jealous of Kimberly, because Kimmy’s tongue is much longer than Rosie’s, Kimmy slobbers more, and she is inexhaustible in performing her special trick, although Rosie wins over Kimmie when it comes to the use of her lips.” Insiders claim that Rosie initially intended to “put Kimberly down” (animal lovers’ talk for euthanize), but Kelli said she’d leave her if she did. As a compromise, Rosie built the Malibu mansion for Kelli’s
muff mutt and agreed to “visiting rights” for the dog. Kelli sees Kimberly once or twice a week, the couple’s friends report, and is always careful to remove any stray doggy hairs before returning home to her husband, because “Rosie is allergic to dog dander.” There is no truth, both Rosie and Kelli maintain, concerning the rumor that Rosie built the house for her first lover, actress Anne Heche, as part of a palimony settlement and that Anne has agreed to give Kimberly a home with her or that Kelli and Anne are carrying on an affair. Since Kimberly’s eviction, Rosie and Kelli have adopted kittens because, as Rosie explained, “We both love pussies.”
edit Precious Spelling
Would-be actress Tori Spelling, daughter of the late television producer Aaron Spelling, has built a $50 million doghouse for her Airedale, Precious, on 50 acres of Beverly Hills real estate. Surrounded by hedges and a 25-foot-tall “privacy wall,” the landscaped grounds, which include a swimming pool and Jacuzzi, are maintained by a team of 10 gardeners, and the household staff includes 10 maids, two butlers, a veterinarian, a dog walker, and a canine psychologist. Since the death of Tori’s father, or, as Tori prefers to put it, “Precious’ granddaddy,” the dog has been “listless with grief,” prompting Tori to engage the full-time, permanent services of the therapist. Because Precious is “getting on in years,” Tori has also scheduled the pooch for plastic surgery, her friends divulge. “Nothing serious--a face lift and a tummy tuck, the same procedures as Tori is having herself.” The same surgeon (who sculpted Michael Jackson's famous face), attended by the family veterinarian, will perform both sets of procedures on Tori and her dog.
The stars’ pampered treatment of their pooches has generated controversy. Even some of their fellow stars consider the behavior of the likes of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Rosie O’Donnel, and Tori Spelling “excessive.” Lauren Bacall considers Tom “vulgar” and “shocking” and, asked her opinion of the actor’s treatment of Fleabag, said, “He never should have gotten the bitch pregnant,” adding, ““When you talk about a great actor, you’re not talking about Tom Cruise.” By “bitch,” it was unclear as to whether she meant Katie or Fleabag.
Groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) also object to the pampering that these celebrities have shown to their dogs. Pamela Anderson, famous for her breasts and blonde I. Q. and an outspoken spokesperson for PETA, says, “Just because we shouldn’t sauté a pet doesn’t mean that it should live better than we do. I mean, I love my pussy, but the most I do for it is keep it trimmed.” A spokesperson for the ASPCA agreed, saying, “Pets are not people and should not be treated as such. We can traumatize dogs and cats by subjecting them to the stress and hoopla of human life, especially when human life also involves the drama that so characterizes celebrity life. Even having a dog’s ears, nose, or belly pierced could be considered cruel and unusual treatment.”
Hollywood animal handler Ima Wolfe agrees, pointing out that “Rin Tin Tin and Lassie never had it so good.”