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Q&A With Karina Smirnoff

The 'Dancing With the Stars' pro talks about her real partner: her Staffordshire terrier, Randy.


How did Randy get his name?

"I had another Staffie mix named Tyson after Mike Tyson, when we lived in New Jersey. I love these big, muscular dogs. He was the center of the family. But he got out of the house, ran toward the highway, and got hit by a car. He was only 1 and a half, and after that, I'd catch my parents crying when they were looking at pictures of Tyson. I thought, we got to get another dog. Then I found Randy, who is named after Randy Couture, another fighter. But I'm an only child, so he's really Randy Smirnoff -- the sibling I never had."

Do you two exercise together?

"I currently live in Calabasas, Calif., and there is a 45-minute trail we take in the mornings, with gorgeous views at the top. I'll hide, and then he runs and looks for me. He also loves to run next to me on the leash when I bike on the Santa Monica boardwalk. We go to a dog-friendly beach in Malibu, and he barks at the waves."

What happens if either one of you doesn't get your exercise?

"He gets sad or quiet. If I don't get my exercise, I'll start cleaning. And if we both don't, I'll make him walk with me upstairs and downstairs to clean. If he doesn't continuously move he gets stiff, and I'm similar."

Does Randy travel or ever go to "Dancing With the Stars" with you?

I travel a lot, so my mom is with Randy a lot more than I am right now. He does charity events with me -- like Animal Fair magazine's 10th Annual "Paws for Style" benefiting the Humane Society, where we were dressed in matching red kimonos walking down the runway."

Any siblings for Randy in the future?

"I want to get another dog. My mom is not 100% for it, but it will definitely be a big breed. When you find your dog, you know it. It's like true love."

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Reviewed on June 02, 2014

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