When we got our latest dog, I didn’t realize that through him, I’d learn what life might be like for a supermodel.

I love dogs and we’ve had plenty of pooches over the years. Austin, Lucy and Henry have all been precious and worn a halo in my eyes. But as a dog expert friend once said to me, none of them would do well in a dog show, just like she wouldn’t score well in a beauty pageant.

Our one-year-old Russel Terrier, Holmes, however, is pageant material. He’s not just subjectively cute, he’s objectively cute too. It’s interesting to observe what it’s like to be so good looking. Vicariously through my dog, I get to see what life might be like as a supermodel.


Models Get Lots of Attention

Several years ago, I was at a friend’s wedding in Southern California. Cindy Crawford was also a guest. Before the event, I saw her leave our hotel and walk down the street to shop on a Saturday afternoon. She looked amazingly beautiful and tall. She had an aura about her – she looked famous. She is truly blessed by the genetic gods. As she walked down the street, nearly everybody stopped to gawk after she walked passed them. I realized that her modeling success wasn’t due to expert photo retouching, she was authentically beautiful.

Cute dogs get a lot of attention too. Every day, when I walk Holmes, he gets compliments from strangers. I’m told he’s a “nice looking dog,” “handsome” or “so cute.” People think he looks like a stuffed animal come to life. Wherever we go, strangers want to interact and talk about his appearance. They stop me on the street to talk about him. It’s hard to be under the radar when you’re a cute dog.

Supermodels Wake Up and Look Good

Human models don’t ask to be beautiful; nor do dogs. They are born that way.

Holmes doesn’t try to look good. It never enters his mind. He doesn’t fix his fur or worry about his weight. He wakes up in the morning, opens his eyes and looks darling. Not a hair is out of place or when one is, it’s even cuter. The vet fawns over his big mouth and dazzling white teeth. His eyelashes are long and frame his brown eyes. He has two expressions: inquisitive and happy. He may smell like a dog, but gosh darn it, he looks good.

This must be what it’s like to be a supermodel. These women don’t ask to be 6’ tall and skinny. They never asked to have a metabolism that burns like a racehorse, nor do they ask for shiny hair and glowing skin. They open their eyes in the morning and look beautiful, without having to try, just like a certain dog I know.

Behavior Matters

Beautiful people get countless advantages in life. They get better grades, earn more and are happier than average-looking folks. But their good looks don’t make up for bad behavior. Nobody likes a spoiled or entitled person. In fact, we all know people who don’t develop their skills early in life and instead rely on their good looks to get them by. It may work for a while, but not forever.

The same is true with dogs. Holmes’s appearance becomes irrelevant when he’s poorly behaved. If he plays too roughly with a puppy at the dog park, the other puppy’s owner doesn’t care one bit that he’s cute. If he won’t come when I call, I don’t care how fluffy his fur is. If he’s digging a hole to get a miniature tennis ball that he’s pushed to the other side of the fence, being photogenic doesn’t put back one ounce of dirt back that has been dug up.

They say in life you get to experience all – from intense joy to heartbreak and everything in between. You get to be young and hopefully you get to be old. I never realized I’d get to experience what it would be like to be a supermodel. But thanks to Holmes, I can now imagine. If given the choice, I’d recommend it. But looking good is no substitute for nice manners, not digging and playing well with others.