August 15th 2008 12:01 pm
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“She Basically Sat Down and Said, ‘I’m Done’” – by Kari Kennedy -- 08/08/2008 - RealityNewsOnline
Brandy took her knocks from the judges on Greatest American Dog a few times and she had a high-pitched squeal that could break eardrums. What did she have to say about those judges and the reactions they gave her about the little doggy socks on Beacon? And what the heck was going on with the odd triangle between Travis, Laura, and her? Read on for all the details!
I was struggling last night with what questions to ask Brandy, but once we the conversation started, she made it feel as if we've known each other for ages. What I got was a sweet girl who just downright loves her dog. She was just a doll. As you can imagine she was full of energy, and believe me, it was hard keeping up with her as she talked about both Beacon and her upcoming wedding.
RealityNewsOnline: Thanks for taking a few minutes to chat for the RNO readers, Brandy. Is Beacon glad to be home again?
Brandy: She's so glad to be home. We both missed my fiancé so much! She turned back into a normal little dog when she got home. She's a daddy's girl, so that was part of the problem.
RNO: Are you getting excited about your upcoming wedding? And are you really having Beacon in it?
Brandy: I got the dress and the colors picked out. I am looking to get Beacon fitted for her part. She'll be the little flower girl. We'll tie flowers on the back of her dress and that's where the rings will be tied. She'll sort of be combining the roles of flower girl and ring bearer. She's our everything and our little beacon of light! We're looking for fabric now and may have to have her dress done separately depending on how crazy busy we'll be in getting the wedding planned.
RNO: How did you girls get onto the show? Did you audition or were you contacted?
Brandy: [Beacon and I] were bumblebees for Halloween last year. I am on Dogster and got an e-mail from them saying that we should try out for the show. I sent in the picture and asked if I should fill out an application. Within minutes, they wrote back and told me to send one in. It took a while to get on with the audition process. I think they saw the picture; she was so cute it caught their attention. They probably thought I am a psycho dog dresser.
RNO: How did you prepare yourself and Beacon for the show?
Brandy: She really is still a puppy at only 18 months old [same as Presley the Boxer]. She did a basic training class for walking, heeling, and the basic tricks. Then coming closer to the show, I got her into a Mommy and Me agility class so she did the chutes, hurdles, tires, and stuff like that. There was a lot of training after I'd get home from work. I just wanted her to be the smartest dog around. I proved to them that she was smart when we got to the show. I knew she had it in her. I was kind of surprised to be on the show, but in my mind, she's the greatest American dog already.
RNO: How was it in the house with all those people? What is one of your favorite memories?
Brandy: Wow! It was when Travis and I won the Dog Bone Suite. I didn't think I'd win anything by myself with some of the others being trainers. When I paired up with Travis, he was like a long-lost brother. I knew we could win. Winning and seeing Beacon's pictures on the wall and her toys, you could see how excited I was! I was so proud of her and it was the best thing ever.
RNO: So, speaking of Travis, we'd love the scoop on Travis and Laura. What was going on with them during the taping? Were they just ignoring everyone as they were cooking together a few episodes ago?
Brandy: (laughing) Laura and I had a short lasting rift between us early on. Travis was my friend and he couldn't talk about her. We'd made a pact. It wasn't jealously, but she was someone who was our enemy. Then I'd see him talking to her. Travis and I had fun hanging out together in a brother-sister sort of way. We have the same Midwest/Southern beliefs and grew up the same way. We had a good connection instantly. He just wasn't supposed to get caught up with a girl from LA! We're all fine now, though, and laughing about it.
RNO: How hard were these obstacle courses? Beacon seemed to do well with the first one a few episodes ago, but this week the balance beam looked particularly difficult for the dogs.
Brandy: The part with the obstacle course was fun, but it was timed. If your team lost, one of us was going home for sure, but we didn't know how that would be judged in the end. The only problem that day was that it was really hot outside. Production did a great job of keeping the dogs cool, but heat and timing was an issue. It was fun and exciting, and we enjoyed working as teams. [This week] was the first truly individual competition when we danced with the dogs, so the teams were broken apart.
RNO: What do you think happened that Beacon was so unresponsive to you this week?
Brandy: Beacon wanted to go home. I was so worried each competition. I had a mother's joy but she wasn't happy. She could tell I was stressed by not being close to family and my fiancé. She sensed that. [This week] was the end for us. I knew it and that's why I was crying. I wasn't ready to go home, but she obviously was. She didn't know there was money involved, either (laughing). She basically sat down and said, ‘I'm done.’ I didn't want to push her more and we got sent packing.
RNO: In the second episode, the judges chastise Beth Joy for dressing up her dog for dinner. Last night, most of the dogs were dressed up for the dance competition. You went as far as putting shoes on Beacon. Did you think they might say something about that?
Brandy: What they didn't show is that Beacon had an infection on three of her feet and had to wear little booties to protect them. She actually had a tutu on as well but Beacon wouldn't move in the costume so I took it off. The judges actually wanted them to wear costumes this week. I was excited when she did move during the dance. Her foot probably was a factor in her not wanting to move much.
RNO: Did you think that Judge Wendy's dismissal of you was a little harsh?
Brandy: I just don't care what the judges say. Allen was sort of nice, but the other two… jeez!
RNO: Did you get any good advice from the judges?
Brandy: Not really. They totally went off on me. I'm not an animal abuser like the one judge was saying I was back in the beginning. My trainer told me to tap her butt to help her sit. They said it was inhumane, blah, blah! Whatever! The judges are there for some reason, though I'm not sure if it's for the drama or if they're educated.
RNO: Who were you closest to in the house?
Brandy: Definitely Travis. JD is a really cool guy, too. He's really funny. He likes to rap a lot. He's kind of like me where they take a nice guy and give them a bad rap.
RNO: How did you think your edit went on the show? Were you surprised with anything you saw in yourself?
Brandy: People think I'm crazy and I laughed at myself on the show. They made me look like a snobby brat, but that's how I really am. It's hilarious. I never know I could be seen that way. It's weird, but the show is all about the dogs and Beacon. To see her perform and do what she was supposed to was what made it all good.
I think that they made the good guys look bad and the bad guys look good. (RNO pressed to ask who was bad she answered.) Laurie is definitely one of the bad guys. And there are others coming up. They have good editing the whole way.
RNO: What's next for you and Beacon?
Brandy: Tomorrow Beacon has an interview with an agent to see if she's movie-worthy. I think it'll be short times on the sets so she'll do better than being sequestered with a bunch of people she doesn't know. I want to get Beacon out there like a mother with a movie-star child. She has a long life ahead of her since she's so young.
We also have the wedding coming up in nine months so we have all that to look forward to as well. I'll still be designing new clothes and create a clothing line on my website www.brandyyant.com.
RNO: Anything else you want to tell the viewers of Greatest American Dog about your experience?
Brandy: It was a very eye-opening experience and TV is not all it's cracked up to be. You work hard and it's not all glitz and glamour. It's not as pretty as it seems. But this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but it's good to have a regular job again with insurance and benefits. It takes a lot out of you, but overall it was a good experience.
RNO: Good luck with your upcoming wedding and your business. We'll be looking for you in the future!
August 13th 2008 8:28 pm
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Greatest American Dog: Brandy Tells All to PetSugar!
Last week's episode of the Greatest American Dog saw Brandy and her Miniature Schnauzer, Beacon, leave the house. I had the chance to speak with Brandy about her time on the show, plus her plans now that she's home again, and I can't wait to share it all with you! Was Beacon really sad in the end? How about any drama behind-the-scenes? Read on and see!
PetSugar: So, I'll assume you're watching, how is Beacon's personality different on camera?
Brandy: Oh yeah, it's insane. My poor dog looks like the dumbest dog on the show. She's so smart, she's so cute, she did almost everything I asked her to but the editing doesn't really look like it at all. I definitely realized how much eye contact she makes with me and hadn't ever noticed it until I looked back. She looks up at me, waits for my command, and I just think she's the most precious thing ever. If anything, this is a really good home video of me and my dog that I can watch forever.
PetSugar: Did she have any special friends?
Brandy: She loved Elvis and she loved Presley. Those were her favorites. I don't know if it was because she had a crush on them, but she loved to play with those two.
PetSugar: And you?
Brandy: Travis and J.D. were definitely my favorites – they were fun. J.D. has a bad rap but he's really a good guy – he's just a little too experienced for the show. Those two guys were cool, country guys and it was fun hanging out with both of them.
PetSugar: Is there anything you hoped to see make it on air that hasn't?
Brandy: I was hoping to see more of Beacon doing things and the dogs interacting with each other because that's the whole reason we went on the show – I'd like to see more of her and less of me.
PetSugar: Were there any cute moments that pop into your head?
Brandy: I think Beacon hanging out with other dogs in general, especially Presley. If Travis would throw the Frisbee, Beacon and Presley would catch the Frisbee together. They never showed that and it was the cutest thing ever. Of course, Elvis did bite a few dogs or whatever, but Elvis and Beacon got along so well. Hmm, all the dogs swimming . . . that was adorable. Because we're all dog lovers, even though we're in a competition, watching all our dogs interact with each other was like watching toddlers who didn't know each other and that was so much fun. Our dogs brought us here and now our dogs are friends – it's awesome and that's the main thing I miss.
PetSugar: Have your training methods changed since participating on the show?
Brandy: When we're doing training at home, I always talk to her like a little baby. That's how I've always talked to her. Here, the very first competition was musical chairs and I knew it was a competition, so I was like 'Beacon, go' and she freaked out because I don't talk to her in a demanding voice like that ever. So I think I learned to keep the same mellow tone with training or talking and she'll respond more; I can't get too hyper, excited, angry, it has to have a tone that dogs can listen to without getting nervous. She doesn't respond to that other voice like 'You're going to talk to me like that, well then forget you.'"
PetSugar: I know! She was being so naughty, ignoring you on the last episode!
Brandy: She yawned! It was like 'are you kidding me, I'm your mother. Don't yawn at me when I'm trying to talk to you!' She was being so bad, I don't know why she did that. She wanted to go home, that's all I can say. She was done and wanted to leave.
I'd have to say that the editing of the episode did imply that Beacon wanted to go home . . . and what's happening now that they are home? See the rest of the interview and learn about Beacon's wardrobe and Brandy's wedding when you read more.
PetSugar: Have your opinions on dogs in clothes changed?
Brandy: Well my fiancé says she has more clothes than me. I think that when I have a child, I'm going to go broke. I don't know why I just love her wearing clothes. Believe it or not, I actually stopped buying her clothes after I went on the show. I feel really bad about a lot of the things the judges said to me or other people about dressing dogs and so, for now, I'm gonna stop buying clothes – she's totally being dressed at my wedding – but maybe I'll let her be a dog for a little while instead of a little model.
PetSugar: Was it hard to find clothes that fit her?
Brandy: Oh no, I find clothes for her everywhere. She's 20 pounds but we actually have the right size for her so my fiancé's mom and I could start making clothes to fit just her. There's actually a good selection if you go to Wal-Mart, (I love Wal-Mart cause I'm from the South) – they have a dog line, Lulu Pink, and tons of pet stuff. I know people like shopping at Target, but I think Wal-Mart has a better selection actually.
PetSugar: Are you still planning on involving animals in your wedding ceremony?
Brandy: Oh, of course. We're focusing on her outfit to match the bridesmaids' dresses and what she's going to do. She's walking down the aisle with flowers on the back of her dress. She's going to be the ring bearer of course as well, so on top of the flowers she's going to have the ring. We're also thinking about having a 'bone appetit' for the dogs that come at their table. We're actually doing a little set up for each little dog, we're going to have a photo shoot, and have bone appetit for them to eat, it's going to be so awesome.
PetSugar: So now that it's done, are you happy you participated?
Brandy: In the end, Beacon, who is a daddy's girl, for the show we had to bond more. Instead of just being the nurturing mother I became the fun mother, too, which she never had because my fiancé would always play with her and do all the fun stuff. So we walked away with a greater bond. And, after 45 days apart, I came back and I actually got a ring, and got engaged. He missed me so much, he was like 'let's stop talking about it, let's really get the ring' so I think that alone was enough to go on the entire show. Because we missed each other that much and he knew that he always wanted Beacon and me in his life . . . the knowing that we never wanted to be apart.
Awww, well even though Brandy and Beacon didn't win big (but did keep some swag like a Chrome Bones bed, Natural Balance dog food, and enough Nature's Specialties shampoo and conditioners to last forever), I'm glad that their full family is reunited once again! Don't forget to tune in tonight at 8 p.m. to the latest episode of Greatest American Dog on CBS!
"Photos courtesy of CBS
Read Related: Beacon Brandy CBS greatest american dog miniature schnauzers TV
August 8th 2008 5:28 pm
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Friday, August 8, 2008
‘Greatest American Dog’ Duo Are Fierce Fashionistas
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – A couple of cast- offs from Greatest American Dog are real clothes hounds.
Fashion designer Brandy Yant and her miniature Schnauzer Beacon were eliminated from Greatest American Dog this past Wednesday (Aug. 6), but they’re still stylin’.
Yant calls Beacon her “little model” and is always designing new outfits for her pup to wear.
However, on the show, Beacon became noticeably agitated after Yant kept making her wear ridiculous duds like a doggy tutu and ballet slippers during a “Dancing With The Dogs” challenge.
She says, “I’ve realized maybe Beacon doesn’t like wearing clothes as much as I thought. I limit her clothing a little more now.”
Still, Beacon won’t stop sporting every woman’s fashion obsession – shoes – but mainly for health reasons.
Yant explains, “She’s always wearing socks or slippers because she gets little infections on her feet and I want to protect her. Plus, she really doesn’t mind wearing shoes!”
Greatest American Dog airs Wednesdays on CBS.
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