Isn't he gorgeous?
POSTED: Wednesday, October 07, 2009
There was nothing in Guylynn Gia's background to suggest stage-mom tendencies. A few years back, she was a first-year fashion design student at the University of Hawaii, before moving to California to study at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and California Polytechnic State University.
In 2003 she adopted a bright-eyed, 8-week-old white Pomeranian, but out of those ordinary circumstances sprouted a career that took her by surprise: his career.
Today, Gia proudly revels in her role as stylist for her dog, Bobby Gorgeous.
Fame came fast for the Pomeranian after Gia entered him in the Long Beach, Calif., "Haute Dogs Halloween Parade" last year. Gia's peacock costume design helped seal Bobby Gorgeous' victory over 600 dogs. This March he won $500 for being named America's Best Dressed Dog by Luxury Pet Pavilion, for which he now serves as celebrity spokesdog.
He's been featured on E! in a segment devoted to Insanely Pampered Hollywood Dogs; he's gained international media attention through participation in the Helen Woodward Dog Surf competition in San Diego, where he placed second in the small-dog category; he's been featured in OK magazine's U.K. edition; and he has cozied up to human celebs such as Sharon Osbourne.
As stage mom and stylist, Gia might be biased, but says of her charge, "He is very cute and charismatic, and he gets stopped wherever he goes. People cannot help but visit him and take his picture."
Since moving back home, Gia and Bobby Gorgeous are fixtures on the charity circuit, using his celebrity to raise funds for local animal charities, and the biggest purse is now up for grabs in the All-American Pet Brands search for the cutest dog in America. There's a $1 million prize at stake, and Bobby Gorgeous is pledging half to the Hawaiian Humane Society, Malama Na Honu and Mainline Animal Rescue if he wins the top honor.
Voting is online at http://www.cutestdogcompetition.com, where there are weekly competitions through Oct. 24. Twelve semifinalists will receive $500 each and be eligible for the grand prize.
While studying fashion design, Gia envisioned herself working in the field of women's contemporary design. Creating clothing for dogs was not in her plans, and in working with her dog, she said, "To fit a dog is much more difficult. He understands English to an extent, but he gets impatient and wiggles around."
For the most part, though, celebrity tantrums are rare because, she said, he actually likes wearing clothes.
"Some people think that it's animal cruelty to put a 2-pound costume on him when he weighs 5 pounds, but honestly, he gets so excited about getting dressed," Gia said. "When I get one of his shirts out, he starts dancing and barking because he knows he's going somewhere, and he loves to meet new people and get attention. He knows he has to put one foot in and the other next."
Not everyone gets the hoopla.
"At first, people (including her family) thought I was crazy. I think some of them still do. They say, 'You're way too into your dog.'
"To be honest, I don't think I would be doing this with any other dog. He just really knows how to smile and to pose. I don't know of any other dog who knows how to smile and pose like that. Some people think that's scary. They say, 'Your dog looks like a person.'"
Beyond the contest, Gia says the duo have a lot of events planned for Halloween, and there are projects in the works that she's not at liberty to talk about.
Bobby's career could kick-start Gia's in that she's often approached to design costumes for other dogs, but the material and labor costs would make it prohibitive.
"Materials alone cost $100," she said. "If I were to add in labor, it would probably cost $350."
But she puts Bobby's career above her own, though she admits to a twinge of jealousy when noting that he has more Facebook friends than she does, with 240 fans and growing every day.
"We're having fun and he's happy, and that's all that matters," she said. "Nothing makes me happier than to see him make other people smile."
Vote for Bobby Gorgeous at www.votecutestdog.com.