Their owners might be Broadway stars but these pooches take center stage
- Last Updated: 7:38 AM, July 8, 2012
- Posted: 9:46 PM, July 7, 2012
They've been barking up the right alley for years. We speak of Broadway Barks!, the star-studded adopt-a-thon that fills Shubert Alley each summer with bright-eyed, frisky hopefuls — and the dogs and cats are cute, too! This year’s edition meets July 14, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., with actors from nearly every show on Broadway coming out to introduce the animals; details at BroadwayBarks.com. Every animal lover has a story. Here are four.
*JOEL GREY (and Miguelito)
“I had had cats for about 20 years, and then, on a trip to Hal Prince’s place in Europe, I met someone who had a long-haired Chihuahua. I’d always thought they were yappy, but this little guy was delightful!
“I went every week to these pet stores on Lexington Avenue and finally saw this little 2-month-old pup and thought, ‘This is the one!’ The owner said, ‘Don’t take him. He’s not good enough for you — you should have a champion dog.’ I said, ‘Do me a favor. Let me out of here with this dog!’
“He was named after my father, Mickey Katz, who worked in an LA nightclub called Slapsie Maxie, where the performers got dressed in the kitchen. All the waiters were Spanish and called him Miguelito Katz!
“He’s not the kind of dog you dress up. He’s just a wonderful spirit. One morning when he was about 3 months old, he looked up at me and went ‘Rolf!’ I said, ‘What was that?’ He’s never barked since. He’s funny, he’s sweet and stubborn — he has to smell every flower in the city and put his name on it. People say we look alike. I don’t mind looking like him!”
*BERNADETTE PETERS (and Stella)
“I named her Stella after ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’—‘Stel-la!’ She was about 5 months old when my husband found her at a shelter. We’d already gotten our dog Kramer from the ASPCA and we were going to foster [Stella] after she came back from the vet. But when he brought her home I thought, ‘I’m not going to give her away again.’ So we kept her.
“I didn’t know the breed. The American pit bull terrier used to be a family dog — they were called ‘the nanny dog’ — and Stella loves babies. When I had a party for ‘A Little Night Music,’ we put Stella in her crate, where she could see everything. Someone brought a baby, and she tried to kiss the baby through the wires! She has the biggest heart and soul, and that’s what these dogs are really about. They stay with us during the hard times. They’re called companions for a reason.”
*MARY TYLER MOORE (and Spanky)
“My housekeeper and friend, Anna, went looking for a blond cocker spaniel and found a black-and-white pit bull instead. The woman at the shelter said he was named Sparky, but I guess Anna didn’t hear her well — she called him Spanky.
“It’s been seven years now, and he’s a very well-mannered dog, and a very good dinner guest. We were invited to a dinner party in Bermuda, and I said, ‘We have our dog with us and don’t have a sitter,’ and they said ‘Bring him along.’ Little did I know [he’d] end up sitting on a chair there!
“We have three other dogs, and he’s the gentlest. Spanky’s like, ‘Hi, my name’s Spanky. What’s your name?’ All the dogs are besotted with my husband. He’s the one who gets up early in the morning, feeds them and lets them out. But they’re fond of me, too!”
*MICHAEL CERVERIS (and Gibson)
“It was 1994 and I went to the ASPCA looking for humane mouse traps. I’d always wanted a dog like the RCA dog, but I didn’t think I was ready. I thought, ‘Well, while I’m here, I’ll take a look.’ And there was a tiny version of the dog I imagined! She was 8 weeks old. I named her Gibson, for the guitar.
“They make you go through a whole application process and actually called my references, one of whom was my stage manager. They said, ‘He’s an actor. Is he financially stable enough?’ And she said, ‘Well, he’s playing the lead role in “Tommy” on Broadway. So, yes!’ ”
“It was probably the single best decision I ever made. Gibson came to nearly every dressing room I was in. She traveled around the world with me. On my days off, I’d rent a car and drive off to the woods somewhere, to let her run . . . She passed away in January, age 16½. I’m not sure I’m ready, but if I don’t come home with a dog from Broadway Barks! this year, it will be a miracle.”