A spotlight on the pups of the spotlighted, 3 of Vancouver's most beloved television personalities share the best things about their pups.
Television personalities may spend time in makeup and wardrobe to look their best for the camera...but when it’s time to come home to their dogs - all bets are off. It’s pawprints, slobber, and a lot of pure puppy love.
We celebrate some of Vancouver’s most beloved and accomplished broadcasters and the dogs they care for behind-the-scenes.
Erin Cebula and Pickles
Pickles the dog is a popular girl. The 10-year-old Swiss Mountain-Staffy mix is constantly making eye contact with humans, and in turn, they lap it up.
“She’s a huge ham and loves to show off,” Erin tells OhMyDog!. “Not sure where she gets that from!”
Like mom like mutt, it seems.
Cebula may not be a ham, but she certainly knows how to connect with humans too. As a host, producer, travel writer, (and wearing even more hats to mention), she has covered the Oscars, hosted international TV shows and charities, and was the globe-trotting correspondent for Entertainment Tonight Canada.
Erin and Pickles seemed destined to meet when she rescued the dog six years ago.
“I had literally described her as ‘my next dog’ just hours before. My previous pup, Lenny, had passed away, and I told my niece that this time I’d love to rescue a female, pitty/staffy mix with unique colouring.
“We popped by the shelter after our hike and there she was. We both fell hard.”
“Her piggy sounds are my favourite” | Courtesy of Erin Cebula
Erin, her husband, and this dog have a few secret spots around town where Pickles can swim. They also like to hit pubs like The Score on Davie - a Caesar for Erin, a load of sidewalk pats for Pickles.
And about that name?
“Being of Ukrainian-Polish heritage, I love anything pickled. So when it came time to rename her, it had to be Pickles!”
Fiona Forbes and Chewbacca
It’s no surprise that Fiona - who currently shares inspiring self-growth content for the UPWEGO.ai app - found her pup with that same compassionate heart, almost 10 years ago.
“Chewy was the tiny runt of the litter and at almost four months old, no one had adopted him,” Fiona tells us. “When I saw a picture of him sticking his wee tongue out, I knew he was the pup for me!”
“He was 1.5 pounds when I got him and was a sickly little guy. With the help from some caring vets, I nursed him back to health and he’s been full of beans to this day.”
Forbes has worked in broadcasting for almost 20 years and has interviewed every star, newsmaker, and artist out there, through shows like City TV’s Breakfast Television and The Rush. Still, she admits she can’t compete with Chewy and that smile.
“I swear I don’t photoshop any pics of him (see @smilingchewy on Instagram for more proof) but he really does have a giant grin!”
“Chewy is more famous than I’ll ever be. When people recognize him from social media or his many TV appearances by my side, they get so excited - and they usually have no clue who I am!”
It’s often remarked how much mini-Chewy looks like the real Chewbacca, but Fiona says the name kind of came before the dog.
“Star Wars was one of the first movies I saw as a kid and I always had it in the back of my mind that I’d have a dog named Chewbacca some day. It was just serendipity that my Chewy turned out to be a tiny little Wookie!”
Lynn Colliar and Declan & Donnelly
As a veteran journalist and former Global News anchor, Lynn is used to asking the big questions. But with dogs of this monumental size, the big questions come to her - every time she takes the pair out.
So, for the record, the answers to some common inquiries:
Q: Do you have saddles for them?
Q: Can you ride them?
Q: Where do they sleep?
A: Wherever they want!
Lynn and her husband Glenn (who is, among other things, a big budget movie stuntman), adopted the two Irish Wolfhounds from Saskatchewan, and refer to them as their “gentle giants.”
“Declan is black and four-years-old and born on St. Patrick’s Day,” she tells us. “Donnelly is his half brother - he’s wheaten and three-years-old. We stuck with the Irish theme for their names!”
Surprisingly, the colossal canines only need one walk a day - on the beach or around the North Shore - and love snoozing on the couch the rest of the time.
“We go through a giant bag of dog food a week and lots of poop bags,” Lynn laughs. “What goes in…”
Today, Lynn is involved in media training and consulting, and with her husband, just sold their second screenplay for a film that will star Mickey Rourke. It’s a good thing they have practice handling big guys.
“Are they easy to train? Hmmm. Sometimes. They are treat motivated for sure!”