On the sixth season of The Real Housewives of New York City we’ll watch Kelly Killoren Bensimon’s public life unfold. But it is her private life, which she keeps hidden from the camera, that makes her who she is. Family plays a huge part in all this and she nurtures the foursome – two daughters and two dogs – with affection and considers her pups the ultimate luxury because of the love they return.
An impromptu Valentine’s Day gift from Kelly to daughters Sea and Teddy, Fluffy became a Bensimon on a whim. “We were walking down the street … and they saw the sign ‘Puppies’ and you can’t really just show a child a sign that says ‘Puppies’ and then take them away from that,” Bensimon recounts. The girls were smitten, named the Havanese after her appearance and a doggie diva was born.
Not to be outdone, Bear has his own backstory. A descendant of a fine English line of blue bloods, the Jack Russell is small in stature, but big on attitude. Traveling wherever Bensimon does, he demands to do so sans leash. “He’s like, ‘Leash? I have no boundaries!’” says Bensimon. And his star quality? “A Bond man,” she says, “because he’s always around the ladies.” Fluffy is a young Joan Collins.
Big personalities for dogs?
Maybe, but Bensimon believes dogs are reflective of their parents. Of her co-stars, she says, Jill Zarin is like a Labrador, “always friendly, always nice, always ready to play. Loyal.” And Countess Luann deLesseps? A chic, elegant dog; perhaps a Greyhound. Ramona Singer reminds Bensimon of a Havanese-Westie-Jack Russell mix because her dog personality says, “Let’s go, I’m ready! If it’s good, bad or ugly, I’m ready.”
Speaking of readiness, Bensimon’s dogs are always ready to go in a flash. “We don’t decorate our dogs … No fashion,” says Bensimon. “No bows. No nail polish.” But where are they headed? “My dogs are my family … I just take them to the beach.”
By Stacey Howard
Photograph By Animal Fair/Natalie Ross