Jamie Little loves dogs. In life, you find people who are dog owners, people who like dogs and people who just absolutely adore dogs. Jamie is definitely the latter. Her passion for dogs shines through with the work she has done using her platform to promote a host of canine welfare initiatives.
Jamie is well known to millions of US fans of motorsport. Her career as a pit reporter for the wildly popular sport of NASCAR (The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) has allowed her to showcase her razor-sharp reporting skills with a deep, personal love of motorsport to a massive and famously devoted fan base.
We got the chance to talk to Jamie about dogs, motor racing, shelter initiatives and her beautiful canine quartet, Stella, Bailey, Smokey and Fancy.
Today we're meeting the gorgeous Stella, Bailey, Smokey and Fancy with you today. We can see from all the photos of you with them what a beautiful connection you have. Tell us all about them, what personality traits they each have and their individual back-stories?
I love my dogs like they are my human babies. Each one of them has a unique personality and none are similar. Haha. They all come from different shelters around the US.
Bailey, the golden, was brought into the Animal Foundation, Nevada's largest shelter when I was volunteering there.
She was one and I couldn't believe a purebred golden was given up! We adopted her on the spot. She's the most loving girl, a true "velcro" dog. She sleeps with our 4-year-old daughter and is the protector of the kids.
Stella is the Boston Terrier/Pug mix. We found her on Petfinder. She was found on the side of the road, broken pelvis and put in a high kill shelter in Los Angeles. We drove to LA and met her in the vet's office. She is my soul dog. She's the reason I believe so strongly in pet adoption and rescue.
She's protective and fierce and is truly the alpha dog. She's 12 now as far as we can tell.
Smokey is the American Staffordshire/Poodle/Mini Schnauzer mix. I was making an appearance at a Pet Expo in Florida and a girl had puppies that were from a local rescue.
He had been sick and one of his siblings passed, I had to get him! He flew home with me that day! He's protective and loving and definitely shows Schnauzer tendencies.
Fancy is our pit bull girl. Her mom and dad were brought into a local shelter and it was discovered mom was pregnant. We got her from a local rescue here in Indianapolis.
She is the sweetest of all of the dogs. Absolutely loves our kids and every person she sees. She loves life and we are so happy to have her. I plan on teaching her some agility and using her as a breed ambassador throughout her life.
You're obviously a huge dog lover and clearly spend a lot of your own time promoting great canine causes. How long have dogs been a major part of your life and how would you explain the importance of dogs to someone who hadn't ever experienced the joy of a canine/human relationship in their life?
I have been a huge animal lover since I was born. I'm one of those people who has just had a natural love and chemistry with dogs. When I was little I would sneak puppies into my house and hope my mom wouldn't see. She never allowed it so they always had to go back to the horse ranch I worked at. My first dog was in college.
I began volunteering at a shelter and a lady brought in a black little pit bull mix puppy and I intercepted before she even got into the building. I adopted her pup.
After that, my now husband and I adopted a Boston Terrier puppy in North Carolina. Little do people realize that there are rescues for every kind of dog, every breed. He was a pure-bred that someone just couldn't keep. Ike was the love of our lives. He ended up developing seizures and passed away too young.
I think everyone needs a dog. They love unconditionally. So many people are struggling right now with various aspects of life and sickness and dogs help deal with all of those things. They get us exercising, they are good for our hearts and good for teaching us lessons about life and love. Dogs give us so much more than we give them.
What are your favourite things to do when spending time with Stella, Bailey, Smokey and Fancy? What do they love to do most in the world?
We have two acres next to our house and throwing the ball is their favourite thing. They also just LOVE being dogs and roaming the trees and smelling everything and chasing squirrels.
Stella loves riding in the car and picking the kids up at school. Absolutely loves it. I love walking them too. All four at once is entertaining....I look like a walking circus! Four dogs, different sizes and ages!
You have a really interesting career that many people around the world would describe as their absolute dream job. You've straddled two of the most exciting and competitive industry's in the world with TV and motorsport. What's that been like? What advice would you give to the many people who look up to you and maybe wanted to follow your path in terms of achieving the things you have in your career? What are the absolute best (and worst) things about your work?
I AM so lucky to do what I do. I've been a motorsports broadcaster my entire career, which began at 22 years old. Almost 20 years!
My advice to people looking to do the same is find a sport or topic you truly love and dig deep, pay your dues and immerse yourself in it. When you truly love the subject matter it doesn't feel like work!
I loved Supercross racing as a teenager and I realized there weren't any women on TV covering the sport. I figured there MUST be other female fans out there so I should get involved.
I loved the stories behind the athletes. What they sacrificed, where they came from and what drove them to strive for such success, despite the risk for injury. Supercross announcing took me to ESPN, then I covered XGames for 12 years and then IndyCar (11 Indy 500s) and NASCAR (which I do now for FOX Sports).
Best things about my job is covering racing!
It's always exciting and the outcome isn't known. Travelling is still one of my favourite aspects of the job. Doing live TV is an adrenaline rush and I still love that feeling.
I love reporting on the drivers and teams and bringing that insight to the fans watching at home. The downside to the job is sometimes dealing with rain and the weather elements and being away from home and my family too much at times.
Do you have a motto that you live your life by? What do you think Stella, Bailey, Smokey and Fancy's motto might be?
If you want something, go for it. Outwork the next person and do it with a smile and positive attitude, that's the key to longevity in my industry.
Our dogs' motto is probably "Treats, walks and free reign of our house is the key to our happiness".
If Stella, Bailey, Smokey and Fancy were famous people, who do you think they'd be and why? Maybe race car drivers? Other sports stars? Or even world-famous actors?
Stella would be an athlete. Never know what her personality will be at that moment. Kill you with kindness or want to bite you for no reason.
Bailey: Blake Lively. Beautiful, sweet and shy. Loving and motherly, with beautiful hair!
Smokey: Would be former NASCAR champion, Tony Stewart. Sweet, loving and caring yet if he doesn't know you or isn't in the mood, he'll growl and try to bite!
Fancy: Reese Witherspoon. High energy, sweet and loving and charming. Wants everyone to adore her and they do! Smiles a lot!
If you were to swap roles with Stella, Bailey, Smokey and Fancy for a day, what do you think they'd enjoy most about your life and what would you love best about theirs?
They would love all the places I go! All of the car rides and smells that come with all of the places humans visit. Especially the parks with the kids.
I would probably enjoy their tremendous sense of smell. I am so curious as to how much dogs can truly smell and what their thought process is when they smell different things.
Here are our quick-fire questions, are you ready?
Which do you prefer and why?
Big dogs or little dogs?
Big dogs. More to love on & protection.
Calm, relaxed dogs or dogs who live at 100mph?
Dogs who live at 100mph. I am high energy so I love dogs who are the same...and I love getting all four of them fired up and wrestling and playing.
Dogs who do as they're asked most of the time or dogs who do pretty much whatever they like whenever they like?
I like dogs who do as asked most of the time. We are 50/50 in this house. Training is a daily occurrence. Haha
Dogs who love to walk by your side or dogs who like to race off and cover ten thousand yards in 3 seconds?
Ideally, dogs who walk by my side. It's easier to handle multiple dogs at once that way. But Fancy definitely covers ten thousand yards in 3 seconds.
Days off or days at work?
Days at work!
The fastest route or the scenic route?
Fastest route. Not always detail-oriented but it gets you there.
Nighttime or early morning?
Early morning. All but Stella are early morning dogs. Stella prefers to stay up late and sleep in.
Describe the last time you laughed out loud because of something you saw Stella, Bailey, Smokey, Fancy (or any other dog) do?
Every day. Bailey being the biggest dog lays on the ground and all 3 smaller dogs bark and jump at her. She spins around pretending to bite them and it's complete chaos. I laugh every day.
What do you like to do in your downtime?
I like doing activities outside and playing with the dogs. I love travelling too but usually, that means leaving the pups at home and that's a bummer!
Let us in on a secret that very few people know about you?
I'm a bit of a loner, being raised an only child. I think that's why I enjoy a dogs company so much. They get me and don't expect much but love and affection.
What is your current favourite…?
TV show? "I Am" docu-series on Paramount Network
Album? Anything country!
Website? Any rescue websites. I use them and scroll through them often!
Animal charity(s)? Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, Helen Woodward Animal Center, Hamilton Humane Society-Indianapolis, Animal Foundation-Las Vegas
If you had to choose just one, what product or service would you say has most changed your life do you think and why? (can be technology, beauty, food - anything)
iPhone. Hate to admit that technology has made that big of an impact but it truly has. I use it for everything! Picture taking is one of my favourite things to use my phone for....it's overflowing with dog and kid pictures.
Tell us about some of the most memorable moments from your work?
Covering my first Indy 500 in 2004. I became the first woman to ever be a pit reporter on the television broadcast. I did ten more after that. Covering my first Daytona 500 in 2015.
Reporting on Supercross throughout Europe and covering Worlds Strongest Man competition from Zambia Africa was a big deal! Also, being part of the XGames for so many years, during the height of action sports was something I'll always cherish.
And getting to play myself in a couple of movies (Fantastic Four one of them) and the upcoming Netflix series starring Kevin James called "The Crew" was a lot of fun.
Also, getting to be the reporter on the first season of America's Top Dog in 2020 was incredible. My perfect job! I learned so much about the working dog/police & military dogs through this show.
Also, getting to cover the coveted Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York on FOX the last two years was a bucket list gig. I was in heaven with over 2500 dogs, about 250 breeds. Amazing for dog lovers. So much to learn.
Finish the following sentence, my dogs are...
My happy place.
And finally, this is always a tough question and often requires some serious thought….If Stella, Bailey, Smokey and Fancy had the ability to speak and you could ask them just one question and one question only, what would you ask them and what do you think that they'd say?
I would ask them what makes them truly happy and what do I do that they really don't love.
I think they'd say playing ball and cuddling on the couch is happiest and putting them on a leash to walk and holding them back when other dogs walk by is probably what they dislike.
What are you currently working on?
I do something called "Shelter Surprise" where I reach out to local rescues that are located near the race track we're visiting and I visit them, give them a check and items from their wish list and I post photos on my social media channels to raise awareness for them.
I've raised and donated almost $45,000 over the past couple of years. I'm always looking for companies willing to come on board and donate money for me to share with these shelters across the US.
Thank you, Jamie!