Uggie, the famous Jack Russell Terrier, barks all in his entertaining, new memoir UGGIE: My Story (Gallery Books $15). The delightful canine, once headed for the dog pound, lit up the screen in the five-time Oscar winning movie The Artist and has been rubbed by some of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities. He dedicates the book to Reese Witherspoon, “my love, light.” Just back from his global book tour, he barked travel and about his life these days with The Jet Set Pets.
The Jet Set Pets: You were in Santa Monica, New York, Chicago, Paris and London for your book tour. Which city was your favorite and why?
Uggie: I couldn’t say because I liked all of them for different reasons. Santa Monica has always been special because it was where I started as a street entertainer and stand-up comic. New York and Chicago treated me like a king, and the fans there were incredible. I even met Dame Judi Dench! Paris is the home of my beloved co-star Jean Dujardin, and although I didn’t get to meet up with him again, I could sense his Gallic presence. Britain went crazy for me and it was wonderful to go to Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London and soak up all that history.
TJSP: Which hotel treated you the best and what special amenities did you receive?
Uggie: All the five-star hotels I stayed in along the tour went out of their way to make me feel welcome. Le Parker Meridien in New York, The Ritz-Carlton Chicago, A Four Seasons Hotel, The Hotel Lenox in St Germain de Pres, and The Arch London. They provided me with a constant supply of fresh water in bone china bowls, Egyptian cotton sheets, baskets of doggy treats, and anything I wanted on room service. They didn’t even mind when I shed my hair all over the luxurious furniture. Someone suggested they were going to gather it all up and sell it on eBay but I think that unlikely!
TJSP: Hotels pamper pets so much with plush beds, room service, massages and more. What’s the best amenity you’ve received from a hotel (not just on the tour but overall)?
Uggie: I was given a special manicure/pawdicure at the Chateau Marmont on Sunset Boulevard the night of the Oscars. The girl who did it was very pretty and reminded me a little of my beloved Reese Witherspoon (sigh!)
TJSP: How do you usually fly? First class? Private? In the baggage compartment or in the cabin?
Uggie: First class preferably and usually strapped into my own leather seat. Business, at a pinch. The baggage compartment?? Purleeze! Moi? Never.
TJSP: Can you sleep on airplanes? If so, what’s your secret and if not, what do you do to pass the time?
Uggie: I can sleep anywhere and at any time, and often do so. My snoring is legendary (as discussed in the book). My humans were flagging on the tour because they didn’t follow my example and take power naps in the backs of limos, during interviews or between takes. It’s all about clever time management, a thing we canine thespians know a great deal about.
TJSP: When you travel, what do you never leave home without?
Uggie: My bow tie
TJSP: Outside of this book tour, you’ve been to South Africa, Mexico and other parts of Latin America.
Uggie: Where would you like to visit? At the ripe old age of 77 in human years I feel I’ve pretty much checked all the boxes now with Paris, London, Chicago and New York. I know I have many other loyal fans globally and would love to meet them but they may have to come to me now. Japan might be interesting (although that is a long flight) and we just sold our book to an Italian publisher so maybe Rome? I do love pizza!
TJSP: Anything else travel-related you’d like to add?
Uggie: Quality luggage is everything and make sure it has plenty of pouches. My dad carries a series of bags around for my treats, my grooming kit, fresh water, and all my different outfits and bow ties – including my solid gold Uggie collar specially made for me by Chopard. There is even a special 007 kind of bag with a mesh top and sides that he can put me in when I have to go incognito and hide from the puparazzi!
TJSP: Now that you’re back home, what’s it like being Uggie these days? Can you go out in public anymore?
Uggie: My life at home is much the same. I sleep a lot but I still go to the park every day to frolic with my canine brothers and sister. My mom and dad keep me humble when I’m at home and if anybody recognizes me in the street then they are welcome to say hi and have their photograph taken. Dad gets a little anxious if too many people crowd around but he has always taken excellent care of me so I have nothing to fear.
TJSP: You’re riding in the Hollywood Parade on Sunday, Nov. 25 and the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day. Aren’t you supposed to be slowing down?
Uggie: I am still very excitable and active, even though I’ll be 11 in February. Dad retired me from long hours on the set in movies but that doesn’t mean to say I can’t sit on a velvet cushion in a parade and give a high 5 to all my adoring fans! Then there are my 30,000 plus followers on Twitter and Facebook to keep amused, plus updates to my own Uggie The Artist app! An idle Jack Russell terrier is an unhappy Jack Russell terrier.