LeAnn Rimes tells Animal Fair about her 7 dogs and 2 cats!
So tell me about this. You have seven dogs and two cats?
I have seven dogs and two cats, I have three Pomeranians, two Chihuahuas, a Boston terrier, a German shepherd and two cats.
Well my ex-boyfriend actually bought me my very first dog Raven which is in the photo shoot and he’s eight years old. And when we broke up, he actually had a dog which was his brother and they got separated, so I decided I wanted to get another dog, so I got another Pomeranian named Jude. That was Dean’s and my first dog together – Dean my husband – and we lived right by a pet store right by where we went to breakfast every morning. And I’d always walk in and I’d be like “I’m going to bring home this dog today.” So I started this thing of collecting animals. I seriously just love animals. I grew up around animals all my life and I just wanted a ton, and I have seven dogs and two cats.
24:05 Seven dogs and two cats. Who takes care of all these animals?
You know, when we’re home Dean and I are very good at taking care of all of them and we have a wonderful assistant, Courtney, who takes care of all of them and my mom helps out so they’re like little grand children.
Did you ever think you were going to have seven dogs and two cats?
No, never. Especially inside dogs, and they’re all inside animals. And they’re all small, except our German Shepherd, really. So no, I never thought I was going to have this many animals. Like I said, I grew up around a lot of animals, and I always wanted to have a lot of animals. But I didn’t, I never thought – especially living in LA. We had seven dogs living in LA. And I never thought that would work, but somehow we made it work.
…A Chihuahua. She’s about five and a half, almost six years old. She is one of my favorite dogs. She travels a lot with me, she’s a really good traveler. She’s the temperamental one of the bunch, to say the least. Her name fits her very well. She can be very prim and proper and precious, and a little bitchy to the rest of the bunch. So her sitting on my lap right now, acting like the sweetest thing in the world is not the norm. Oh – she’s getting mad at me so now she leaves. But she’s fun. She really is, when she lets you play with her. But she loves to cuddle too.
And Precious, you got from where?
I got her in LA at a pet store. And its funny because I hate saying I got animals from a pet store because – I was so young that I thought about adopting from a shelter. I thought an animal was an animal. I really didn’t pay attention to know enough about it. So now that I do, my next animal will not be from a pet store, it will be from a shelter.
So tell me about Raven, the infamous Raven.
Raven I got him eight years ago, my ex boyfriend gave him to me as a gift, so he’s Dean’s step child, but that’s okay. Not at all. Dean loves him to death and he’s one of my favorite dogs ever. He’s been with me through everything in the last eight years so he has a very special place in my heart.
So now, tell us about the other five dogs.
Jude is our biggest Pomeranian we have. He’s about sixteen pounds, which is very big for a Pomeranian. He’s massive and he’s full of fur, white and brown. He’s a beautiful, beautiful dog and he’s hyper and he loves to go on walks. His favorite thing is to go on walks in the park. He’s such a great dog, because he’s got this cute little baby, bubbly personality which, no matter how old he is, will never go away. He’s seven years old now. Nick is another one of our Chihuahua’s, he’s brown and white and he’s a deer Chihuahua, so his legs are very long and he’s so cute. He’s the wimpy one of the bunch, he likes to cuddle. All he likes to do is cuddle all the time. But we love him to death, and he’s not the baby but he kind of acts like it, I have to say. Harley is our Boston terrier, she has one eye and that’s because – I say Precious is the temperamental one – but that’s because it’s really all because of Precious. So Harley, our Boston terrier has only one eye. We came home from the CMA awards one night, and Precious – what he think happened – because she had blood on mouth – decided to bite the corner of Harley’s eye. And the eye – it was the grossest thing I had ever seen – had popped out and was literally hanging on the side of dog’s head. And she was running around the house like nothing was wrong, everything was fine. So we took her to the emergency vet and they saved the eye, but she can’t see out of it. She’s got that little pirate thing going on. She’s our bruiser of the bunch, she loves to pick on everybody. But being the baby, that’s probably why. Tex is our German Shepherd, we got him when he was two and half from Slovania, he’s a shinsen-trained attack dog. Although he’s the sweetest dog we’ve ever had. His temperament, especially with all these little dogs jumping on him constantly, he really deals with it very well. He’s never, ever gone after them. He’ll bark at them every once in a while.
How did you get an attack dog?
I wanted to feel safer in my home. Obviously being a celebrity, I just wanted to feel like I had something in my house that wasn’t a gun that made me feel safer in my home, so I got a shitsen-trained dog.
Was this pre-Dean, or with Dean?
No this was with Dean.
Can’t Dean protect you?
Oh absolutely, he can protect me. But I wanted a bigger dog in the house to protect me. But I was really skeptical about getting a dog in the house, especially one that was trained to attack. So we got him and realized what a sweet animal he was. So I’ve seen him work with a trainer to keep his skills up, but I’ve never seen him attack anyone. He loves small animals, he loves kids. Our dogs can literally – our Boston terrier can stick her head in his mouth – and he’ll just kind of play with her. So he’s a great, great addition to the family.
Did we miss any of them?
Raven, Jude, Tex, Harley, Precious Nick, and Virgo. Virgo is our teacup Pomeranian. She’s like four pounds and the sweetest thing in the world. We kind of rescued her – this is my rescue story – but it was one of those pet stores where she was not taken care of correctly. She was born on my birthday which was August 28th, which is why we named her Virgo. And she almost died a couple days after we got her because she was so malnourished. But we nursed her back to health and now she’s a beautiful sweet little thing that loves to hop around. She looks like a bunny, she loves to hop around. And she plays this little game called “you can’t catch me.” She’s just a doll, she really is. And then my cats Ally and Amy are Bengal kitties, which are bred down from wild cats. So they’re very aloof, but they’re very sweet girls.
Tell me about the names. Why did you name your dogs these certain names.
Raven was, I was trying to figure out a name for him. I was in Hawaii and was at a restaurant and our waitress was named Raven and I thought, what a fun name. And of course, having all these little black spots I thought we’d name him Raven. Precious came from her just being so cute I kept saying, “she’s so precious.” And she very much lives up to her name. Virgo, of course because she was born on my birthday. Tex came with his name, which was kind of appropriate because I’m from Texas. So it worked perfectly. Harley was given her name because she looked like a little biker chick. So I named her Harley, after Harley-Davidson. Jude was named because of Jude Law.
How did you name him after Jude law?
Well, Dean and I, one of our favorite movies is a movie that Jude Law did called music from another room so its kind of our film. So we decided to name him Jude. Nick was one of Dean’s best friends. We named him after Dean’s friend. Amee and Ally came from Dean’s little sister’s name, and Amee was a friend of ours and we spell it Amee.
What car does Raven remind you of?
Which country star? I don’t know. That’s really tough.
Charlies Daniels? No. That’s a really tough one.
Clint Black? You could be Clint Black. Or are you the Porter Wagner type? Would you dress up like? He’s like “mommy don’t compare me to anyone. I’m special.”
So what type of breed is Dean? If you were going to describe him as any type of breed, what kind of breed of dog is he?
He’s very close to our German Shepherd, Tex. They’re like inseperable. I would have to say German Shepherd. I mean, Tex loves to run, he’s very athletic and he’s always wanting to get outside and he’s very loyal and very loving and always right by your side. And that’s kind of like Dean, same characteristics I think.
We are doing a documentary on Puppy Love. It’s giving hope to the hundred and four million singles in America?
What would be your advice? You and Dean have such a fabulous relationship. What’s the better relationship, with the dogs or with Dean?
Oh my gosh. Wow. With Dean I think, obviously – some of these guys get to travel with me. But Dean’s with me most of the time on the road. So that’s nice. So I probably spend more time with Dean than I do with most of my dogs. But I have a pretty good handle on both of them.
What would be your advice? You’re obviously very successful and happy. What would be your advice on having a successful relationship?
Don’t take everything too seriously. To be able to laugh at each other and laugh at ourselves. And we do laugh a lot together, we do have a lot of fun. That’s probably our advice.
So tell us a little bit about your upcoming projects. Any big plans, with your pets in them? Any songs with your pets included?
For one of my last videos, Something’s Gotta Give, my friend’s cat was in it.
Why weren’t your cats in it?
I didn’t know we were going to have a cat in the video, so it was just kind of a prop – literally a prop that was upstairs that day. We were filming in my friend’s building and so we’re like, bring the cat. And it was one of my friend’s cats. Who knows what they’ll be in. Anytime they get to be in front of the camera, I love it. And they’re so good at it.
What’s your favorite place to take the dogs in Nashville?
We usually go Percy-Warner Park or Radner Lake and take a walk. Jude and Tex are usually the ones that like to go for walks. So we take them out to the park a lot. We take them out to my dad’s farm to go horseback riding, and they follow us around. So those are their favorite places to go?
So would you take them to restaurants to eat with you outside, is Nashville becoming a friendlier place for pets?
Nashville is becoming a friendlier pet town. There are a few places where you can take them and we can sit outside and eat. But we haven’t quite gotten there yet, so hopefully if I ever open a restraint here, that would be one of my top priorities – to sit outside and enjoy eating with your dog. I would love that. Hopefully Nashville would become a little more pet friendly.
Is there anything else you want to say about your pets? Are you working with the Nashville Humane Society?
Pedigree just moved their headquarters to Nashville, and I did a dog walk the other day which was to raise money for the Humane Society here and Nashville, and I led the dog walk. We had a blast. Tons of people showed up. I was really surprised to show up to support the cause, because here in Nashville we’re really not into the whole dog scene yet. So hopefully we’ll be able to raise more awareness, especially for the Humane Society. We had a blast.
So what other charities are you involved with?
I have been the international spokesperson for the Children’s Miracle Network for the last three years. I’m also involved with another organization called Salute Heroes which reintegrates wounded soldier back into society when they return home. Those have been my main two.
Why the wounded soldiers one?
Salute Heroes actually brought men and women back to my concerts a few years ago. And they just kind of held a very special place in heart, and I just kind of got involved after meeting some of them. And I wanted to get more involved – it’s a non-partisan organization – and they just didn’t have a voice and their were so many of them, I wanted to help them out any way I could so I lent my voice and my face to the cause. Actually I’m going to be on all of your Kellogg’s cereal boxes in May, with wounded soldiers and all of the money from a song that is exclusive for Kellogg’s, all the money raised from downloading my song and donating money to the organization will go to Salute Heroes.
Thank you so much, I appreciate it.