She once said, “My love and attachment to dogs is totally authentic. I have always had at least one dog. In fact my family’s entire history could be recorded as to what dogs were alive at what time.” Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? But not what some might expect from the woman who played with such authenticity the evil Cruella de Vil.
Five-time Academy Award nominee and two-time Golden Globe winner, Glenn Close, has always been a dog lover who has had at least one dog for most all of her life, starting with childhood dogs, “Chipper,” and “Docus,” a tri-colored Collie also known as “Merry-Mark-of-Mooreland” (she often wore Docus’s collar as a belt). Then there was the loveable mutt, “Penny,” who came from a Tennessee farm and became the mascot at the William & Mary Theatre Department because she attended all of Close’s classes. A Coton de Tulear named, “Gabby,” was in the clan, as was an “unforgettable Scottish Border Terrier called Belle” whose name appeared low (as in dog level) on the door of Close’s dressing room door during the Broadway run of Sunset Boulevard.
Close has written a “dog blog,” Lively Licks, which shared interviews of celebrities and their dogs (such as Martha Stewart, Debra Messing, and Ted Danson), as well as profiles of avalanche dogs, bomb-sniffing dogs, service dogs for our wounded warriors and dogs in need of rescue and adoption.
And speaking of “avi dogs,” it was while skiing in Utah at the Sundance Resort that Glenn her husband, David, became acquainted with the avalanche dog, “Mick,” and his trainer/ski patrolman, Tracy Christensen. In a 2008 interview for FetchDog.com (a dog accessories catalog and Internet site she co-founded in 2007), she wrote of the experience, “Fascinated by Mick’s talents and by the amazing affection and trust we saw between Mick and Tracy, my husband, David, and I volunteered to participate in what the ski patrol calls “a problem.” They would carve out a coffin-sized hole on the side of the mountain and we would crawl into it and be buried for as long as it took Mick to find us. It was dark and scary in that hole, but around the 15-minute mark, we heard Mick barking above us and were “saved.”
These days, Ms. Close’s companion is “Pip,” a Havanese. During an interview with Andrew Lloyd Webber in advance of the release of his memoir, Unmasked, Close brought along Pip who remained nestled next to her the whole evening. When Close hosted the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 30th anniversary gala in 2018, she brought Pip onstage with her and he was an instant hit. A dog like this has his own Instagram page.
Like any dog, he misses his mum when she’s not around. Pip took matters into his own hands as you can see below:
Dogs are not forgotten when it comes to her favorite charities. Close to Close’s heart is the Puppies Behind Bars, where prison inmates train puppies as service dogs; and Broadway Barks which rescues and helps homeless dogs (their website seems to have been inactive of late).
As an aside, you might be interested to know that a couple of years ago, a study conducted by the Kennel Club in England that measured the heart rates, blood pressure and cognitive thinking of participants found that the Havanese had the best calming effect on individuals. You can read up on that study here.
Image of Glenn Close and “Pip’ from his Instagram page