Nothing makes us swoon quite like a strapping young celeb and his adorable pup. Harry Cook, a 23-year-old British-born, Australian-raised actor, has both television and film credits to his name, and had already worked with legends such as Geena Davis before leaving his teens. The young professional is also apparently wise beyond his years, as he’s recently adopted a four-year-old English Bulldog, Poppy, from a rescue organization near his current California home.
And thanks to the photogenic pup, Cook has his more than 200,000 Twitter and Instagram followers newly obsessed with their daily activities. We caught up with the actor to find out more about Poppy and their adoption story.
Dogster: Poppy looks precious! What made you decide to adopt a dog?
Harry Cook: Aw, thanks. Yeah, she is awesome. We decided to adopt because my partner and I are both enormous dog lovers and really wanted to rescue a dog in need. We had fostered last year briefly but decided that we were ready to give a dog a forever home.
Is Poppy your first pet?
I’ve grown up with dogs my whole life, and my partner has, too. My last dog, an English Bull Terrier named Missy, was my world. It left me completely heartbroken when I lost her to cancer a couple of years ago, and I wanted to make sure I was ready before I got another dog. When we decided to adopt, it was important to read up about the breed. I wanted to make sure I knew everything I could about English Bulldogs before we picked her up. I think too many people rush into dog ownership without really educating themselves on the needs of specific breeds, etc.
We’re sorry to hear about Missy. How long did you have her in your life? Can you tell us a little more about her?
Missy was six when she passed away. I had her since she was a puppy, and she was my best friend. Words can’t describe how much she meant to me and my family. She was so funny and mellow. She was so kind and gentle and just loved snuggling up on the couch with us. Poppy definitely reminds me a lot of her. I think that’s why I’ve fallen so in love with her.
So sweet! You adopted Poppy from Southern California Bulldog Rescue. How did you come across the organization? What was the rescue experience like for you?
I actually found them online through Petfinder. They were unbelievably helpful. I’ve never met a group of people so passionate about what they do. They were so happy to help. I completely, 150-percent recommend rescuing to everyone. My new motto is “Adopt Don’t Shop.”
Tell us about Poppy. What’s her doggy personality?
Poppy is amazing. She is so full of love. The first day when she arrived at our home, she took no time settling in. She literally brightens our days. We love going for walks, playing in the park together, snuggling up on the couch with a blanket and watching a movie, and playing with her favorite ball. She’s part of the family, and we couldn’t be happier.
What drew you to the English Bulldog as a breed and Poppy specifically?
My partner Liam’s sister, Rikki, has an Australian Bulldog named Harley back in Australia, and they have such incredible, bubbly personalities. They are just like real-life teddy bears. When we saw Poppy on SoCal Bulldog Rescue’s site, there was something about her that made me drawn to her. It made my heart break reading her story. Her owner used her solely for breeding when she was very young and then moved countries and left her behind. We wanted to give her the chance to have fun and be a puppy herself.
She’s a lucky pup to have been rescued by you! Do your fans love Poppy as much as they do you?
My fans adore her. I post loads of photos of her on my Twitter and Instagram, and she actually has her own Instagram now: @Poppy_The_Englishbulldog. She meets people everywhere and gets so much attention. I think she needs to get into show biz!
Amazing! How do you balance having a dog and your acting work?
I think the acting industry is a great industry to have a dog, as it’s very hit or miss as to when your next job will be, so you get to spend the time you’re not working playing with your dog. I’m truly so lucky. I’ll bring Poppy on location wherever anyway, so I’ll never be leaving her at home for long periods of time. Where I go, she goes.
You are a big proponent of animal welfare. Do you think being an actor helps you spread the word?
I’m really lucky and grateful to have a platform to do some good. Social media is great to get the word out about worthy causes, and being such a huge animal advocate, it’s great being able to talk about it on such a huge scale.
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About the author: Whitney C. Harris is a New York-based freelance writer for websites including StrollerTraffic, Birchbox and WhattoExpect.com. A former book and magazine editor, she enjoys running (with Finley), watching movies (also with Finley), and cooking meatless meals (usually with Finley watching close by).