By Brian Fischler

What hasn’t Daisy Fuentes done? She was MTV’s first Latina VJ, Revlon’s first Latina Spokesperson signed to a worldwide contract, the host of “House of Style,” her own talk show, “Daisy,” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”

She also hosted the “Miss Teen USA,” “Miss USA,” and “Miss Universe” pageants, has launched her own clothing line, has her own workout game (Daisy Fuentes Pilates) for the Wii, and sells about $300 million worth of products each year. So where did this Master of the Universe’s love affair with dogs begin?

Fuentes was born in Havana, Cuba. “We had a family dog in Cuba. I only remember him from pictures. He belonged to my grandfather, and was a majestic German shepherd named Prin. He hung out on the farm and from what I can tell from the pictures, he loved me,” Fuentes recalls.

Due to the political turmoil in Cuba, the Fuentes family fled to Madrid, Spain when Daisy was three. After that, the Fuentes family moved to Harrison, New Jersey.

“Although my sister and I begged our parents for a dog, I didn’t get one until I was in high school. It would have been difficult to have gotten a dog when I was younger, as my parents worked ten to twelve hour days,” says Fuentes. “Our first pet was a miniature poodle, and her name was Princess. She was super sweet, very smart, and so loved.”

Your boyfriend and Alfie battled it out on the first season of “Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan,” and it was ‘whoa crazy, crazy.’ Is there a status update?
“Well, he’s no longer my boyfriend, and Alfie’s dead, so… Alfie passed away a year ago, and was such an English bulldog. I loved him so much and he definitely knew I was his mom. He was a tough, overprotective guy, but always a baby with me.”

What can you tell us about your current dog?
“My dog Rita is a sexy, gorgeous, fun-loving, super smart angel disguised as a Wheaten terrier. She loves everything and everyone,” says Fuentes.

Dogs are notorious for adapting their owner’s traits. Has Rita adapted any of yours?
“I really believe that to be true. Rita is very much my girl. She’s pretty easygoing and very loving but won’t take any bullying from other dogs. She’s super Zen, but a warrior, and she hates to wake up early,” responds Fuentes.

You are a very busy model, actress, spokesperson, and advocate. Does your crazy schedule allow for you to get involved with any animal causes?
“I privately support a few animal shelters and organizations. The ASPCA is a favorite of mine,” explains Fuentes.

Being a Master of the Universe, what is the toughest part about spending time away from Rita?
“Everything! When I’m gone, I miss her so much. She’s often the reason I come back.”

You are a well known fitness advocate. What do you do to keep Rita in shape?
“We play hide-and-seek, and I take her for walks and hikes regularly.”

You have judged numerous beauty pageants. What qualities would you look for in a winner of a dog show?
“I’m not sure I would be qualified, since I’ve never seen a dog I didn’t love.”

As a blind comedian, my guide dog accompanies me onstage. Would you ever consider walking down the runway with a dog and, if so, what breed would be best?
“Probably an Afghan, I think they are the super model of dogs,” laughs Fuentes.


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