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Allison Janney's Life With Dogs

The actress talks about her three dogs and her sitcom, 'Mom.'

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Do they travel with you?

When I got Sippie and Dutch, I thought finally I’ll have my emotional-needs dog that I can travel with. At the pound they assured me these were Chihuahua mixes, and then they each grew to 40 pounds. So I just need to find a little guy for travel, but I’m kind of on dog lockdown now."

Have you always been a must-save-every-dog kind of person?

I’ve always been in love with animals. I grew up in Dayton, OH, and at one point we had a dog, 14 kittens, four cats, a rabbit, a gerbil, and guinea pigs. My dad used retrievers and Springer Spaniels for duck hunting. So I thought I’d get a purebred, and when I got to L.A., I learned about the world of rescuing dogs. Now I have a soft spot for them -- just knowing that they’d been abandoned. I’d love to get a bigger piece of property and get a few more dogs. I wish I did more hands-on work with rescues, but I feel it would be dangerous for me to be around them; I’m too much of a softie. I can’t believe I’m not vegan yet."

What’s it been like working on Mom, your new sitcom with Anna Faris?

We’re filming that through March, and I’m having the time of my life. It’s one of the best jobs I’ve ever had, creatively and because of the schedule. All the other shows I’ve done -- West Wing, Masters of Sex -- were 18-hour days. Now, I have a life outside of work for the first time.

Which of your characters have influenced or taught you the most in the way you live your life?

Not Bonnie (Mom), because I still enjoy a martini or two. C.J. (West Wing) is the character I wish I was most like because of how incredibly smart she is, and what she’s able to accomplish in a man’s world while maintaining her femininity. I’ve gotten letters from students who have changed their majors because they were so inspired by C.J. It’s nice to inspire people to want to fight for good causes. It’s the kind of feedback you live for -- that you've done something that has changed people’s lives.

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Reviewed on January 21, 2014

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