Friday, 8 June 2012

Dog Owner of The Week - Betty D'Light - Burlesque Performer and Alternative Model

This weeks Dog Owner of The Week is the fabulous Betty D'Light, Burlesque Performer and all round lovely lady.
P&P - Tell us a bit about yourself, Betty...
Betty - I work both as a burlesque artist and as the full time assistant to my fiance Chaz Royal helping him to produce and promote burlesque events such as the London Burlesque Festival. Work pretty much takes up all of my time, even when I have some time off from performing and producing shows I'm still constantly thinking about burlesque, I even go and see other burlesque shows on nights off! Its an addiction!

P&P - You're a burlesque addict! Who is your little doggy friend?
Betty -
Our dogs name is Minsky and he is a Chihuahua/Whippet cross (we call him a Whipahuahua but I doubt that the official name, Whippet/Chihuahua is a pretty unusual cross so I don't think they have a proper name!) He is named after the Minsky brothers who where a family of four brothers, famous in the early 1900s for producing racy burlesque shows.

P&P- A whipahuahua! What a mouthful! Was there any reason that you wanted that breed?
Betty - We where looking into different breeds for a while trying to work out which breed would be best for us and nothing really stuck. We liked the look of certain breeds but when we went to research we discovered that there where no breeders in our area and the breeds that where easily available to us just didn't feel right.

In the end we went to see the Chihuahua/Whippet puppies on a whim, I've always loved whippets and greyhounds but both would have been too big for is, we're lucky that Minsky has kept most of the whippet traits while staying super small like a Chihuahua! We knew as soon as we saw him that he was our dog, he's perfect for us!

P&P - What do you find most enjoyable thing about having a dog companion?
Betty - The bond you feel with your dog for me is the most enjoyable thing for me. I've always had cats and although I am completely in love with all of my cats, (we have 3) you just don't get the same bond that you do with a dog, Minsky is like my baby and he relies on me so much. The cats are my babies too but they are more like older kids that love you but only want to hang out with you now and again, the rest of the time they think they are too cool for you.

P&P - You're a very busy lady. You're always performing or working on the burlesque scene. How do you fit in having a dog around your working life?
Betty - I'm really lucky that I work from home and also live right next to a huge park which means that Minsky is spoiled rotten as he gets taken to the park at least 3 times a day! Whenever I have a show to do whether it be as a promoter or as a performer Minsky comes right along with me, he is always back stage with me at gigs or snuggling front of house with Chaz. There is never a shortage of people at shows to watch him, he loves the attention and likes nothing better than a cuddle with a glamorous burlesque performer, he even gets up on stage with the host now and again! He is a show dog through and through!
Minsky on stage at the World Burlesque Games with burlesque compère Ivy Paige

P&P - What do you find most challenging about looking after him?
Betty - I don't find having a dog challenging as such because its just so enjoyable but it does completely take over your life. There is always that responsibility there, whenever we travel we have to think about him, source dog friendly hotels, check with show venues that I'm allowed to bring him along etc. You get used to it and you learn to just factor it into your life but it is a big change.

P&P - What is your most favourite thing to do with Minksy?
Betty - Cuddles! Minsky loves cuddles and he's so little and cute to cuddle! He has very little body fat and a very thin coat so he gets cold really easily and loves to snuggle up next to you, sometimes I like to wear a baggy jumpers so I can carry him around inside it to keep him warm.
Painting by Gary Crozier of Betty D'Light with Frankii Wilde and their dogs for his Broken Doll series 
P&P - Do you have any special tips, tricks or products that you would like to share with other dog owners?
Betty - Pigs ears! They are possibly the most disgusting thing I have ever seen but Minsky loves them and when he is hyper they are pretty much the only thing that will keep him occupied. I hate touching them though, it literally is just a pigs ear, sometimes they even have some pig hair still on them, its gross!

P&P - If there was one piece of advice that you could give to anyone thinking about getting a dog, what would it be and why?
Betty - Think long and hard about the commitment you are making. Even really small dogs like Minsky take a lot of work, I know I would find it really hard to cope with a dog all alone. Having a partner and doing it together means the burden is shared and makes things a bit easier. Its also a really nice thing to do as a couple, having Minsky has really brought me and Chaz closer, we've become one of those annoying couples who's dog is like a baby substitute! 
If you want to find out more about Betty D'Light & Minksy you can visit her website at
For more information on the amazing London Burlesque Festival which Betty runs with fiancé Chaz Royale please see

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