Interview

Pet Set: Réal Andrews (Taggert, GH)

Animal Attraction: “Diamond is 3 and a British Bulldog rescue.”

How did Diamond become a member of the Andrews family? “Diamond was being abused — beaten with sticks, cigarette butts burned on her and all that kind of craziness and somebody brought her by the house because I love dogs — and the minute I saw that little precious baby it was love at first sight. But the truth was I was still in the place of [late pet] Bear was our family dog and Bear was on his last legs. I wasn’t sure how Bear would handle Diamond, so I wasn’t down, initially. My wife talked me into it as Diamond being her dog, so she became a member of our family. But as you can see, me and Diamond bonded and she is really my BFF and mini-me.”

How did Diamond get her name? “Like I said, when Diamond came to us she was definitely a diamond in the rough — you know. skinny, scraggly, shy, very timid and afraid.”

Describe her personality. “Well, she has an amazing personality. I mean, obviously, what I love about her the most is that she loves me unconditionally, no matter what. She’s very in tune with me and I love her different facial expressions. I love how she’s always at my side and has my back. She is also very jealous and protective over me. If my wife goes to hug me or kiss me, she goes crazy. It is pretty funny. I also love when I go for a car ride and I go, ‘You wanna go bye-bye?’ She starts running around all crazy doing 360-degree sprints, getting all fired up. It’s so fun.”

Is there anything about her personality that is challenging, or any behavior issues you’ve had to work on? “Not really. She barks, but hey, she is a dog!”

Is she a total daddy’s girl or is she equally attached to your wife, Michele? “She is a total daddy’s girl, 100 percent.”

Does Diamond sleep in your bed? “Absolutely. She loves to sleep in our bed and she loves to do what we call ‘baby in the middle’ where she lies in between me and my wife. And then, of course, when she does sleep in the bed, she usually sprawls out over the whole bed. She also has her chair, her favorite chair that sometimes she chooses to sleep on.”

How do you spoil Diamond? “Any way I can!”

Does Diamond have a wardrobe (clothes, dress collars, etc.?), or are you anti putting dogs in clothes? “Yeah, Diamond is a bit of a diva, you might say, so she doesn’t really get down with the clothing things. She likes different cool collars and stuff like that, likes to get her nails done and painted sometimes. But other than that, she’s not having dressing up. I tried to put a #Taggertsback face mask on her and she ate it!”

She’s your workout buddy, right? “Yes, absolutely. However, she likes to dictate the workout and tell me what to do and watch rather than participate. She also likes to put together the workouts for my [personal training] clients and decide if I’m giving them a hard enough workout or not.”

What are your other favorite activities to do with Diamond? “I love taking her for car rides. I love when I’m at work at my desk or whatever; she loves to hang out right underneath my desk right on my feet. When I get up early in the morning, the first thing I do is kneel next to her and we pray and then she’ll follow me downstairs where I have quiet time and hang with me. I also like to talk about ideas, visions and dreams because she gets me. And I can really dream big because there’s no judgment, there’s no dream-stealer, naysayer, negative attitude with her.”

Do you have a favorite funny story about Diamond? “Definitely! One day I took Diamond to the Pico stairs [in Pico Canyon Park] with me that I run every day and she’s a champion, running up and down three times, and I take her home and she’s all fired up, so then I go to take her to the stairs again and she’s all excited, she’s in the car, she’s jumping out of the car and we’re walking along going to the stairs all happy, got a pep in her step, looking up at me like, ‘Oh, this is so much fun, Daddy,’ thinking she’s just going for a walk — and the minute we turn the corner and she can see the stairs for the first time, she turns around and takes off like something was chasing her! Like, bolted right out of her collar, her little heinie was just shaking and she’s looking back, running as fast as she can, she’s going, like, ‘Hell no, Daddy, I don’t want none of those stairs. Last time you took me I couldn’t walk for a week!’ ”

What’s the best thing about having Diamond in your life? “Her unconditional love and having somebody get me and understand me, having somebody to hang with, who isn’t looking for anything in return and just likes to be with me.”

Anything else you want to say about Diamond? “Well, I do want to say that I did have to get special permission to do this interview and she does have photo approval because Diamond has become quite a diva now and she doesn’t like pictures. It’s crazy! Whenever I pull out the phone she literally knows I’m taking a picture and she’s constantly telling me to call my agent Paula [Benard, wife of Maurice Benard, Sonny] — or her agent, Paula — and make sure that I have permission. She is getting more and more demanding and she’s starting to request appearance fees and all kinds of stuff, so I’m not sure but I think I’ve created a monster [laughs]!”

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