by Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith
Sure, they love their private jets and designer duds, but the real way to many stars' hearts is through their best friends -- and we don't mean people. In a business in which connivers, users, and yes-men are the norm and trust is a rarity, love blooms quickly between celebrities and their pets.Or, as pet lover and animal activist Alicia Silverstone
explained it to us, "Humans are greedy and selfish and spend a lot of time taking and not giving. Animals aren't like that."
Of course, since it's a way of life around Hollywood to enjoy perks and lavish spending, it's not surprising that the benefits extend to fido and kitty. For instance:
Halle Berry and Elizabeth Taylor carry their beloved itty-bitty pooches around in $1,500 Hermes doggy bags. Britney Spears, Debra Messing and Jennifer Lopez favor $400 PuchiBags for their pups. And supermodel Gisele Bundchen transports her dog in a $1,000 Louis Vuitton "Sac Chien," a gift from Leonardo DiCaprio.
has been known to dispatch her limo to ferry her dog Diego to and from the Pet Spa in West Hollywood.
Adoring celebrity pet owners like Pamela Anderson love the perks available for their four-legged friends at Cabo San Lucas' Las Ventanas Al Paraiso resort -- including a world class pet spa where dogs and cats can get a stress-reducing massage before chowing down on dinner from a special menu, served in a metallic bowl encrusted with realistic gemstones. Accommodations for people and their pets go up into the $3,000 a night range.
Viewers of "The Osbournes" and "The Anna Nicole Show" know that their pets have the run of (or control of, one might argue) their houses. The late comic Buddy Hackett allowed all but one room of his Beverly Hills mansion to become a cat sanctuary, with dozens of cats taking over areas from Buddy's sunken tennis court to his fine art-filled living room.
And many celebs seem to relish sharing the spotlight with their pets. Renee Zellweger managed to get her dog a role in "Nurse Betty," playing a seeing-eye dog. Madonna put her Chihuahua to work in her "Human Nature" video.
In Hollywood, you'll find celebrities taking their pets to animal communicators (a.k.a. pet psychics) and blue ribbon behaviorists (complete with dog show judging credentials). There is even a sort of doggie boot camp for problem teens -- er -- make that wayward German Shepherds, Rottweilers and pit bulls, run by dog disciplinarian Cesar Millan.
Also a prosperous business in La La Land is doggie day care -- not to be in any way confused with traditional boarding. Sun Valley's Paradise Ranch is one of the many favored "canine country clubs" hereabouts, boasting four poster beds, playgrounds and a wading pool for guests.
If you've seen "Legally Blonde" and/or "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde," you've seen the work of Fifi & Romeo, THE chic canine clothier of the moment, which dressed Reese Witherspoon's Chihuahua.
Dog fashion offered at the chichi Fifi & Romeo Beverly Boulevard store reportedly appeals to such celebs as Meg Ryan, Cameron Diaz, Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell, Madonna, Faith Hill, Christina Aguilera, Kid Rock, Ray Romano, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Robert Downey Jr. Here, one can find mini-cashmere sweaters and down-filled pillow beds for bowser. Faux fur lined raincoats go for $250-$300.
Sara Michelle Gellar reportedly purchased a handmade turquoise and pink F&R sweater for her Maltese, Thor. Rose McGowan, Lara Flynn Boyle, Bette Midler and Barbra Streisand are also said to be fans of F&R's handmade beaded and embroidered dog wear, plunking down $200-$250 for such goodies.
Fifi & Romeo's collection also is available at Barney's in New York and Beverly Hills as well as several other stores nationwide, and via the web at fifiandromeo.com.
Of course, F&R aren't the only upscale fashion providers for pets. Ralph Lauren offers a $95 cashmere sweater for dogs up to 18 inches. Coach and other luxe outfitters also offer pet clothing. And hottest of all, there's Corey Gelman, creator of the Chic Doggie by Corey line, a favorite of celebrity pet lovers.
Gelman, who gave the world $450 leather dog coats with sheared beaver trim, uttered the observation, "Once your dog wears cashmere, he will never want to wear any other fabric."
A thought, dahling, worthy of any diva dog.