'Doggie Moms' Makes TV Debut
(Photo Courtesy of Next Millennium Productions)
New reality show highlights pet moms and their fur children.
New York City isn't always the first city that pops into people's minds when considering an ideal place to have a dog. But a new reality TV show, "Doggie Moms", which premiered on Feb. 16, shows that New York offers possibilities for nearly any dog owner, including the most enthusiastic and involved.
"New York is the pet friendliest city in the U.S., in my experience, and I would venture to say in the world," said Leslie Hughes, one of the Doggie Moms and a Louisiana native.
New York's tradition for glitz and excess doesn't get lost on these Doggie Moms, who tend to take their devotion to their dogs, or "fur children," to the umpteenth degree, rotating their social lives around their four-legged companions.
"These women go beyond the normal dog run activities," explained Elsa Lai, of Next Millennium Productions, executive producer of the show. "They integrate their dogs into their lives a lot more than the regular pet owner and just do really social things with them."
Fundraisers, parties and even formal events like "puppy proms" dot the social calendars of Doggie Moms and their respective fur children, including Karen, and her Chihuahua Eli; Grace and her Yorkies Portia and Rosie; Leslie and her Yorkie SalliSue; Erika and her terriers Cubby and Ginger; and Ashley and her Pomeranians Zoe and Misty.
The gatherings are in good fun, but also serious affairs that require hours of preparation as Doggies Moms are seen, in the first episode, grooming their dogs and deciding on which outfit would be best suited for the special occasion.
Competition eventually ensues, with the cute, pint-sized dogs acting as the innocent bystanders.
"There is a certain competitive aspect to the show, with the women competing for the same modeling or TV guide with the dogs," said Brook Jones, the series creator.
But Jones expects the bird's-eye-view this show provides of the ultra-involved dog community in New York will serve as a lure to viewers, as well. After all, as she says, "every pet owner has a little bit of Doggie Mom in them."
"It's always good to find a subculture that is sort of fascinating to see from the outside and this just seemed natural," said Jones. "All these ladies are very active in the scene and have a good sense of humor and complex relationships with each other."
Leslie Hughes says she knew the majority of the Doggie Moms before she was selected to feature on the show, as a result of her years of hosting the "Barking Beauty Pageant," an annual beauty pageant for dogs in the New York area.
The show follows her as she develops last year's pageant, and she says promoting the fundraising event was one of the main reasons why she wanted to appear on the show.
As a singer and actress, Hughes didn't find getting followed around by cameras to be especially strange -- though her Yorkie, SallieSue, did get a little caught off guard when the cameramen got down on their knees to film her walking, for instance.
"She's modeled since she was six months old so knows how to walk around and what to do when lights are facing her, but she wasn't used to cameras just appearing like that," Hughes said.
Nothing on the show is scripted or exaggerated for the purposes of entertainment, Hughes maintains.
"There is some competition between us women and our dogs. It's real. There is one woman on the show who is very insulting, and that isn't made up -- she really says those things to me, but the rest of us are regular representatives of concerned and involved Doggie Moms in New York City."
The show also touches on some more practical aspects of dog ownership. The commercial-free show instead offers intersitials, which provide educational messaging about adoption, volunteering in NYC, regulations about cleaning up after your dog, as well as the importance of spaying/neutering, licensing and microchipping.
"It shows people why New York is a great place to have a dog and what services are available to them here," said Brook.
"Doggie Moms" premiers at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 16, on NYC Life, the flagship station of NYC Media, and runs for six episodes; viewers outside the tri-state region can also watch the show for free online, at the channel's Video on Demand website.
What do you think of "Doggie Moms"? What reality shows would you like to see about pets on TV? Tell us below!
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