Barbara Zatler is a Danish model who has taken the cover of most well known men’s magazines and has been published in more than 90 magazines worldwide. As she puts her TV work on Denmark’s 'Celebrity Masterchef' behind her, K9 Magazine caught up with Barbara to hear all about her love of dogs and the two biggest loves of her life.
Tell us about your dogs - we'd like to know everything about them!
I have two lovely ladies Coco and Rynke which actually means wrinkles in English. And she got the name because she actually has a lot of them on her body. Coco is my pure breed Chinese Crested, also known as the hairless, or naked dog. Rynke is a mix between Chinese Crested and Pekingese, and it’s funny because although she’s a cross breed she is almost more naked than Coco.
They are both my babies and are used to getting lots of hugs and kisses here in my house. They both love cuddles and always sleep in the bed and under the duvet beside me.
Both girls are easy to handle and get on well with everyone. I socialised them from an early age so they have a good mind and lovely personality, but they are spoiled little brats (laughs). I really let them get away with too many things, but what can you do when you love your dogs too much!
Rynke sure is the worst as she is the most naughty one and she gets very offended if I tell her ‘no’ and she can’t. She will give me a look like she is saying ‘look at this face, how can you get mad and say no?’. Normally, I have to be honest, that will let her get her own way and she’ll charm her way into getting what she wants.
Coco is the easy dog, she always does what she’s told and comes when she’s called, unlike Rynke, who just stares at me and keeps on walking (laughs). Queen she is, but I love them both very dearly.
When did your interest in pets/animals begin and how long have you been a pet owner?
I grew up in a family with many pets and farm animals around so I have always been very fond of animals, and my parents taught me that a dog is your best friend - and they sure are. As much as I love all animals, I have to say that dogs are my favourite. I now have two dogs and one cat, but if I could I would have a whole farm filled with animals. A dream that I hope to have come true some day soon.
Danish dog lovers will no doubt remember you for your recent TV appearance on 'Celebrity Masterchef' but you're also a well known model having taken the covers on GQ, Esquire, FHM and many more around the world. Something readers might not know is you're a huge comedy fan and also take to the stage regularly. It seems variety in what you do is important to you, would you say that's right?
Yes that is right but nowadays I have come to the conclusion that I do prefer to model and have taken a step back from all the comedy and acting so I’m more focused on my modeling career now than have in the past. I sometimes do a guest star on a TV show, but I can’t say if I will go back to do acting or comedy again. For now I a taking a break from all that and try to get my modeling career to its peak.
Your job must take you travelling around the world on a regular basis. Apart from your dogs, what do you miss most about home when travelling and where would you say is the most pet friendly place you've visited?
I think I would have to go with Sweden. They’re somewhere which takes good care of their animals compared to other places in the world which I visit pretty often!
As for what I miss most? Oh, that must be the food! I really love Danish food so much when I am away! Not that I don’t like to try out exotic food, but Danish food is my top favorite!
When you picture the future, where do you see yourself in say, 10 years time?
That is a tough question to answer. I never tend to plan that far ahead so it is difficult for me to say. I live in the present and let time tell me where I’ll end up. But maybe I will be married and have some children.
What three words best sum up your personality?
Stubborn, warmhearted and a huge animal lover.
Do you have a motto that you live your life by?
Yes, I always say why wait doing something tomorrow that you can do today. I always get things done as soon as possible or I can’t stop thinking about what needs to be done! It is a bad habit but also a good one at times because things get done around here then (laughs).
If you were to swap roles with one of your dogs for a day, who would you choose to swap with and how do you think they'd cope being you? Also, what would you love most about being them?
I would swap with Rynke if I could, but I don’t think she could handle all the things happening in my life with work and paying the bills. She would probably take the day off and eat all the food in the fridge (laughs). And if I were her I would surely take the day off and just be a dog - daze in the sun and cuddle with my human, and hope for a big bone to chew on.
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. If the following celebrities and dog lovers were breeds of dogs, based on their personalities alone, what type of breed do you think they'd be...
Helena Christensen (fellow Danish model) – Italian Greyhound.
Johnny Depp – Cocker Spaniel.
Victoria Beckham – Chihuahua.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (fellow Dane who plays Jaime Lannister in hit TV show 'Game of Thrones') – Golden Retriever.
Which do you prefer and why?
Big dogs or little dogs – I love both but with the life I am living a small dog is more suitable for me right now. But when I have the time and a bigger place I would for sure get a big dog also. I grew up in a house with German Shepherd and Rottweilers so I miss having a big dog.
Pedigree dogs or cross-breeds – For me it doesn’t matter but I do think you get some of the cutest dogs out of cross-breeds. My girl Rynke is a cross-bred and has the most adorable face if you ask me.
Days off or days at work – I would say it is a mix on my part on what I prefer. Some days I really need a day off and some days work is like a drug for me because I get restless if I spend too much time off. On a typical day off I mostly spend my time with my dogs when I am not at work and we go for a walk in the woods almost daily.
Describe the last time you laughed out loud because of something you saw one of your dogs, or another dog do.
The last time I laughed very loud was when my dogs were playing with three dogs owned by my friend. They were playing all together near a little pond and they didn’t see the water because it was covered with some green plants and they ran out in the water and fell in. They had fun with it because it wasn’t very deep and they got very dirty, but I just laughed so much because they looked so funny being green because they were covered in the plants.
If you were arranging a dinner party and could invite anyone from any era, past or present, who would you invite and why?
I would invite Jim Morrison because I think he was a cool person with some very interesting thoughts on life. He was very intellectual and I am sure we could have a great conversation. I would also invite Nelson Mandela and Gandhi, as they’re people who I think has inspired the world and could tell and learn me a lot about the world we live in.
Thinking about it though, if I were restricted and could only invite people from the present, I would have to invite Johnny Depp and Leonardo Di Caprio because I think they are very talented and seem to have a good heart and I am sure I could have a good time in their company.
What is your current favourite…?
TV show – ‘Game Of Thrones’, of course!
Book – My favourite book is ‘Klinkevals’ which is written by a Danish author called Jane Aamund.
Album – Has to be Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’
Film – Definitely ‘The Lord of The Rings’ trilogy.
Tell us something no one else knows about you.
I know a lot about wildlife, especially birds. As a kid I studied them a lot so I can name many different species. I also took birds home whenever I found one who was wounded out in the wild. My mom was not always happy about it, but she never made me leave it on its own because she also loves animals like I do.
If you could sum it up, what do you think is the best thing about being a dog owner?
Its that you have these wonderful friends who love you for who you are and they never judge you or get mad at you when you are having a bad day. They just want to be close to you and cuddle.
They are so happy to see you no matter if you have been away for five minutes or five hours, they come running and want to cuddles and fussed just the same. They are faithful to you through life and never ask for anything in return.
Finish the following sentence, my dogs are… my best friends and always will be my one true love through life.
And finally, this is always a tough question and often requires a fair degree of thinking time but….If your dogs 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 them if they were happy with the life I have given them. If there was something I could do better to make them the most happiest dogs! And I think they would say that they are happy but could use a bigger garden and they might say that I should share my food with them (laughs).
Many Thanks Barbara!
Barbara Was Speaking With Kim O'Meara