Sometimes when a man's alone, all you got is your dog and they meant the world to me
Miami (PRWEB) February 12, 2009
Feb. 8th marks the two year anniversary of playboy model and reality T.V. superstar Anna Nicole Smith's tragic death. But we here at Only for Pet Lovers have found a beacon of light to shine on what became a heartbreaking ending to a sparkling career.
Her four beloved dogs Sugar Pie, a black toy poodle; Marilyn, a white Maltese; and two Shih Tzus, Frankenstein and Puppy are all in warm homes.
Howard K. Stern, Smith's boyfriend and former attorney, is now caring for Marilyn, Puppy and Frankenstein. While Sugar Pie, a frequent face on E!'s Anna Nicole Smith Show, is staying with a close friend of the family.
"At first, they were with me in the Bahamas and now they are in my home in Sherman Oaks, California," said Stern in an exclusive interview with ONLYforPETLOVERS.com
"Wherever I go, they go. They used to follow Anna everywhere and now they follow me. When I sleep, they sleep in my bed."
Stern says he was devastated after his girlfriend's death. His life was distraught with the media turning on him and his pending paternity lawsuit over Dannielynn, Smith's daughter. However, he believes, the only thing that kept him through were the dogs.
"I love these dogs. They have helped me more than I've helped them. They were my constant companions after Anna's death, and were by my side the whole time. They were probably my only source of joy."
Stern added that he relates to actor Mickey Rourke, who recently thanked his dogs during an acceptance speech at the 2009 Golden Globes.
"Sometimes when a man's alone, all you got is your dog and they meant the world to me," Rourke said after winning Best Actor for his role in The Wrestler.
According to Stern, Puppy took Anna's death the hardest. For a while, he wouldn't stop shaking or leave his travel bag. But now, two years later, he is doing much better.
"Puppy is the leader of the pack. He eats before the other two. When he runs out of the room, the others follow. They are a family. He's the big brother and Frankie and Marilyn are the little sisters," Stern said.
Sugar Pie had to be separated from the other dogs due to aggression problems in her old age. Before Anna Nicole's death, Sugar Pie began developing vision problems, which will eventually lead to her blindness.
Because she was Anna's first dog she never became accustomed to sharing the spot light with the other three.
"Sugar Pie is staying with a friend because she got really violent with Marilyn. A couple times she even got her by the back of the neck. I was concerned that she could actually do serious harm, so we separated the two of them," Stern said.
Besides Sugar Pie none of the other dogs seem to have any health problems.
An average day for these celebrity pets is not that different from other dogs. They enjoy chewing up bones, sitting on laps and most of all being pet. They live north of Los Angeles in a well-sized house with a big backyard.
They do, however, have certain pop idol tendencies dating back to Smith's nurturing.
"Anna used to feed them human food. So for a while after she passed away, we were feeding them the same types of food like chicken or beef and rice. But gradually I've been transitioning them to dog food. Now, it is half and half because I am trying to get them to eat more dog food for health reasons."
The dogs also prefer cuddling to chasing tennis balls or playing games.
"They're not really dog's dogs. They are more like lap dogs. They always want to be on you being pet."
They love taking trips in Stern's car, and have travelled to New York, Atlanta and the Bahamas several times.
The main difference fans may notice is the dog's hair. Stern has trimmed it about an inch and a half shorter to avoid knots
"They all have shorter hair than Anna kept them. The Shih Tzus hair would go all the way to the ground. Even though I brushed it every day, it was so thick that when she scratched herself she would get her nail caught and pulled off," Stern said.
He thinks the dogs even prefer the shorter hair because when he pets them he actually touches skin as opposed to the outside of their fur.
According to Larry Birkhead, Dannielynn's father, the decision to give Stern the dogs was a difficult one. But because of Sugar Pie's tendency to snap at people, Birkhead figured it would be best to keep her away from the newborn baby girl. Plus, he believes splitting up the other three would have been overwhelming.
"It was decided that Howard would keep all of the dogs and I would get Dannielynn a dog of her own that she could play with," said Birkhead. "Raising a two-year-old and three dogs would be tough for me! So, Dannielynn got a new Yorkie named Pop Tart."
Stern insists any rumors of Sugar Pie being run over by a CNN truck in the Bahamas were totally false. He believes the truth is no longer a priority within the media, and the story was just a publicity stunt.
Regardless, all of the dogs are healthy and cared for. They get plenty of exercise in the backyard and spend entire days together. Slowly, they've adjusted to life without their passionate mother, and luckily have had the good fortune of falling into the hands of a loving and caring father
He is just as grateful to have them as they are to have him.