Chicago P.D. star Sophia Bush describes herself as "the dog version of the crazy cat lady." She'll stop strangers on the street to chat about their dogs, and she's yearned to rescue pups for most of her 33 years. The Los Angeles native and former One Tree Hill actress has earned multiple Teen Choice awards over the years and has been recognized for her philanthropic work.
Did you grow up with dogs?
When I was born, Bouncer, my mom's Doberman, was my protector. He slept by my crib every night, and I grew up rolling around with him my whole childhood. I wanted to rescue every dog I saw.
What was your first rescue?
I was 6, and my tennis teacher's dog, who wasn't spayed, got out one night. They found her a few hours later, and when they realized she was pregnant, they decided to give the puppies up for adoption. I begged and pleaded to adopt one, and my dad said, "Absolutely not." But my mom saw how upset I was, and eventually my dad gave in.
His name was Jake. There were many more rescues after that, but he was the first one I managed to finagle. We never had fewer than three dogs in the house. My parents were troupers.
Now you have three pit-bull mixes?
They all came from the shelter. Patch is 13 years old, has one eye, is the color of a Weimaraner and is the sweetest man who ever lived. No matter how many dogs you have in your life, you have one that's a soul-mate dog, and for me, that's Patch.
Penny is 6 years old, and she has these massive ears, which makes me think she is part pharaoh hound and part red pit-bull. She looks like Rosie, the red pit bull I grew up with.
Griffin is 3 years old, and he's a blue-nosed pit and maybe part mastiff or Great Dane. He has a perfectly ginormous square pit head, and his body is horse-sized. He has a heart-shaped spot on his belly.
Do you live alone with the dogs?
My two best friends live with me, which is great because the dogs are a lot to manage. Everyone wanted to hold Griffin when he was a puppy, and he still thinks he's a lapdog. He just wants to lie on top of you or sit on your feet at all times. We love him, but we obviously have to set rules when guests are over, because not everyone is into being mounted by a giant dinosaur dog.
What are some of the silliest things you do with your pups?
Half the time people come over and look for me, and they realize I'm on the floor with the dogs or in the dog bed. I had a nozzle on a hose in the tub so I could give the dogs a full beauty shop shampoo. They don't love to get baths, but they like the after-bath routine -- the aggressive rubdowns and little massages. If I'm bathing them in the winter, I blow-dry them.
Do they join you for exercise?
Patch is so old now. He used to be able to leap 6 feet in the air and run all day long. I'm worried that Penny will run until she actually keels over. And Griffin is just so big. So they're not all on the same page for exercise. My workouts are my own, but if I'm not home, I have an amazing woman who takes them for hikes in the canyons.
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