We've had our fair share of glamorous ladies in K9 Magazine, but this is the first time we've had one of People Magazine's 'Fifty Most Beautiful People in the World'. A fixture of American TV for years, Ali Landry really shot to global fame when she appeared in a Doritos advert at half-time during the Superbowl. Since then, her star has risen further. Film and more TV appearances have made Ali a household name in America. Now it's time for something different. Ali recently launched her latest venture Belle Parish, www.shopbelleparish.com – her first clothing range. K9 Magazine caught up with this southern Belle to talk about dogs, life and her wish for own pets to make a difference in the community.
Tell us about your dog. Name, breed, age and everything about them!
The brand new edition to our family is Toulouse, an adorable 6-month-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She is just absolutely beautiful in every way. Estela, my 3 year old little girl, and Toulouse are inseparable.
It was very important to us that we got a dog that was really sweet, kind, and that could be Estela’s best friend. Toulouse is that and so much more. I have never seen anything like it. She has the sweetest personality in the world. The closer she is to us, the happier she is. Her favorite spot is snuggling her face right next to yours.
I found out that pretty much the entire breed is this way. The name of the breed comes from King Charles II, and is a descendent of the King Charles Spaniel. King Charles was rarely seen without his two little spaniels, and he was so fond of his little dogs that he wrote a decree stating that the King Charles Spaniel could be let into any public place. The decree is still in existence today in England.
Toulouse’s name comes from the city in France and also from one of the kittens in the Disney movie, The Aristocrats. At first my daughter named her Africa, but a few days later started calling her Toulouse and it stuck.
One thing that we are really looking forward to is going through the training necessary in order for Toulouse to qualify as a service dog. We would love to be able to make visits to children at The Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles with her. This will be a wonderful way for our entire family to get involved in the community, and it will also be a wonderful bonding experience for Estela and her doggie.
When did your interest in pets begin and how long have you been a pet owner?
I think that a lot of my earliest childhood memories are with animals. I grew up on a dairy farm in Louisiana so I was constantly surrounded by animals. We had everything: chickens, cows, birds, bulls, cats, dogs, and even a hamster.
Our readers will know you from the infamous Doritos advert, but you've recently launched 'Belle Parish', a gorgeous line of children's clothing which shows you definitely can't be pigeon holed. Tell us a little about how you got from the advert to where you are today. Did you always feel you'd want to get into designing your own range of clothes?
I have always had a passion for marketing and branding. After I had my daughter, I found that it was the perfect opportunity to launch the “lifestyle line” that I have always dreamed of. This was the birth of Belle Parish. Using inspirations from the South and Paris, the line celebrates the pure, sweet innocence of childhood. The collection offers a vintage and nostalgic feel with whimsical detailing.
We launched with a girls only line, but will be coming out with a boys line for Fall 2011. We also plan on expanding to books and dolls.
Do you have a motto that you live your life by?
Love more, judge less!
If you were to swap roles with your dog for a day, how do you think they'd cope being you and what would you most love about being them?
That’s really easy to answer. I already know that Toulouse would not enjoy stepping into my life. It is way too hectic for her, but on the other hand…I would absolutely love swapping roles with her for a day. I could get the much-needed rest that I’ve been missing. I could relax, go on long walks and then come home and cuddle on the couch with my daughter. I can’t think of anything better than that.
For this question, we ask our celebs to match up the following people’s personality to a breed of dog, for example, Winston Churchill = Bulldog or J.Lo = Afghan Hound, Frank Bruno = Boxer etc.
Ellen DeGeneres – Aussie Doodle
George W. Bush – Labrador Retriever
Lady Gaga – Chinese Crested
Sean Maguire – Jack Russell Terrier
Which do you prefer and why?
Big dogs or little dogs – I really don’t have a preference. I, of course gravitate towards the dogs that I have more of a connection with.
Pedigree dogs or x breeds – It really does not make a difference to me; it just depends on the dog and their temperament.
Days off or days at work – Hands down, DAYS OFF. Especially Sundays. Sunday is family day, and we always do fun and adventurous things together as a family.
Describe the last time you laughed out loud because of something you saw a dog do.
The last time I laughed out loud was at Toulouse and Estela chasing each other around the house, playing hide and seek. Toulouse is a pretty relaxed little puppy but once you get her going she is something else. She becomes sort of like the guys who do the sport, Parkour. With a three year old and a puppy, we defiantly have constant entertainment.
If you had the choice to arrange a dinner party, taking three people (choosing from any era, past or present), who would you choose?
That is a really tough question. There are so many people that I would love to have at my dinner table, so to pick only three is really hard. I guess I will have to go with Jesus Christ, Oprah Winfrey, and my Husband.
What is your current favourite…?
TV show – Iconoclasts
Book – The Alchemist
Film Documentary – Dear Zachary: A Letter to a son about his Father
If you could sum it up, what do you think is the best thing about being a dog owner?
The sounds of laughter from my daughter when she is playing with Toulouse and the unconditional love our family gets from our beautiful little dog. She really is amazing. It is funny because I have had a connection with her from day one. She looks at me with those big brown eyes and I just feel as though she knows what I am thinking. She wants nothing but to please us, and to give and receive love. It is wonderful. Everyone who meets her knows that she is a special little dog.
Finish the following sentence, my dog is... like no other dog I have ever known. She is sweet, loving, calm, playful, wise and really, the list goes on and on. She is the perfect dog for our family. We are very blessed to have her in our lives.
And finally, this is always a tough question and often requires a fair degree of thinking time but….If your dog(s) had the ability to speak and answer one question and one question only, what would you ask them and what do you think that they would say?
I would ask Toulouse who does she like better, my husband or myself? It is a constant debate between the two of us. Knowing her personality, I think that she would say she loves us both equally, but I believe that since I let her sneak into the bed and cuddle, I am secretly her favorite!
Many Thanks Ali!
Hair & Makeup by Paul Anthony for SELECT Artist Mgmt using UNITE Hair care and Hard Candy make up.
Photographer: Lisa Rose, Lisa Rose Photography