Sharing Steve :: New Stuff
Sunday, September 11, 2005
What Roger's up to
It's a dog's life at the Toronto Film Festival, as KMT finds:
Stars' pets get doggone pampered during Film Festival
CTV.ca News Staff
It's a dog's life when you're the pet of a Hollywood A-lister, visiting Toronto for the International Film Festival.
Pooches that come to town with their celebrity owners can get the star treatment at many of the city's finer hotels and can get spoiled rotten at one of the downtown's chi-chi doggie salons and day cares.
Pups lucky enough to stay at the Four Seasons hotel in the heart of the festival area can take advantage of the tony Yorkville hotel's VIP Pets Program.
Upon check-in, your star owner will receive a map from the concierge of the best walking routes in the area. Or, the hotel can arrange private pet-sitting in your room so you won't go lonely when your owner is downstairs making deals at The Studio Café or dining at Truffles.
Waiting for you inside your room will be two bowls of scrumptious doggie biscuits, all homemade by the hotel's own chefs, baked fresh on the day of your arrival. There's also be a big bowl of Evian water to wash down all those treats, because really, who drinks city tap water when you can have the finest?
The Four Seasons has hosted countless A-list celebrities and will go to any length to keep their star clientele satisfied, says the hotel's Samantha Geer.
"We once had a star who came to stay with us for a month and they wanted their dog to be able to lie out on a lawn," she recalls.
With green grass scarce in the downtown, the hotel accommodated the request by building a lawn on the guest's balcony so the pooch could sun himself all day without the annoying bother of paparazzi.
There is an extra charge for all these privileges, of course, since after you're gone, your room will need an extra good vacuuming and scrub down for the next guest who may use the room. But really, what are a few extra dollars when you're a star's best friend?
If you're feeling you're looking a little scruffy behind the ears and could use a trim, the hotel might recommend you pay a visit to Tire Biter, just a few blocks away in Yorkville. They're walking Steve Martin's dog while he's in town promoting Shopgirl at the festival.
This salon has seen dozens of celebrities come through its doors, says owner Emily Cartwright, who can instantly recall which stars had which breeds of dogs.
Courtney Cox Arquette and her husband David Arquette have brought their two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels for walks and trims. Kate Hudson has brought in her family of pooches: a Mastiff, a Pomeranian and a British bulldog. And Renee Zellweger has stopped in with her beloved Golden Retriever/Collie mix, Dylan, to check out Tire Biter's fun array of leashes and toys in their Chi-Chi-Chic Boutique.
Geddy Lee from Canada's own Rush, brings in his Cairn terrier for the salon treatment at Tire Biter. And fellow rocker Keith Richards has an adorable little Bijon mix pup -- named "Ruby Tuesday" of all things -- who likes nothing but the best.
Not only will Tire Biter walk and groom Fido, they also provide a cageless Doggie Daycare that allows all the resident pooches to play together, rest together and of course enjoy cookie time together.
And if your star owner has to work late or will be away overnight, you can take advantage of Tire Biter's Doggie Slumber Parties, in which one of the salon's staff will take you home with them, read you a bedtime story and tuck you in at night.
For celebrity hounds that like the exclusive treatment, Pampered Paws is the place for you. At either of their locations in downtown Toronto or Mississauga (or even at their two new locations in Japan), your owner can rent out the entire first floor of the salon for a mere $1,000. That way the salon's Artistic Pet Stylists can indulge your every desire while your parent enjoys an escape from the fans.
You can get a shampoo, a deep conditioning, a hair re-texturizer, a massage and a trim. If your fur's looking a little mousy, a stylist can give you highlights or lowlights -- or why not both? Think you would look positively precious in pink? That can be arranged with any of Pampered Paws' rinse-out fur colourings. And you can even have your toenails painted to match from the salon's selection of dog-friendly, quick-drying polishes.
If your doggie hair is long enough, why not have it French-braided? (Yes, it's been done, and it looks darling, darling) Finish it all off with some bows or a bandana and you're ready for your big red carpet moment.
"It's just fun for the owners," says Pampered Paws' Lesley Weeks. "These are wonderful owners who love their dogs and treat them as part of the family."
Dogs are not the only kinds of pets that get pampered silly. Cats can also come in for a grooming and fluffing. And the salon has seen other pets, too.
Weeks says there is a particular star (who would like to remain nameless), who takes his falcons with him when he comes into town for longer stays or movie shoots. He'll bring his birds into Pampered Paws for a claw trimming, a little grooming and a treat.
When you're the beloved pet of an A-list celebrity, why should any expense be spared? After all, when a star returns home from a long day of film festival paparazzi, media junkets, and bad reviews from the press, who else will jump up and down when they see them, wag their tails happily and love them so unconditionally?