To know Mamma Biscuit is to love her — and thanks to her brilliant blog, Desperately Seeking Mamma Biscuit, Mamma is easy to get to know. She’s a pampered Pug princess who lives in New York City with her doting Dads, Daddy John (the blog’s creator) and Daddy Tommy.
If, like many of us at Dogster, you have a weakness for animal rescue, fashion, and pop culture — and you don’t mind indulging in a nice vegan pastry every now and then — Mamma’s blog definitely has your name on it, with charming photographs and great graphic design.
We sat down with Daddy John, who gave us the inside scoop on the couple’s “little gremlin.” After getting a rough start in life as a puppy-mill breeder dog, Mamma Biscuit hit the lottery the day she was rescued by Curly Tail Pug Rescue. The pair recall the moment they first became smitten with Mamma, formerly named Charlotte. “I vividly remember opening that email with the news of a potential Pug for us — the photo attached showcased her epic tongue in such a glorious way that I had to have her! A couple of weeks later, Mamma Biscuit came home with us. That was July 11, 2009.”
From that day forward, the little Pug has experienced the kind of attentive pampering that would make anyone want to be John and Tommy’s pet. These guys are serious about Pug Pride! Mamma looks forward to celebrating her 11th birthday this July. “We don’t know the specifics of Mamma’s actual birthday, so we go by the day we picked her up,” John says. “At that time, they estimated her age at 8 years. Mamma Biscuit will forever be a Golden Girl — Sophia Petrillo, to be exact — living out her Golden Years with us in NYC.”
The duo shares a soft spot for rescued dogs: “They are absolutely special in all senses of the word,” John says. “These animals suffer through neglect and feel pain from physical abuse — and that awful experience alone makes them so incredibly receptive to love. Mamma Biscuit, like all rescued dogs, is very aware of the difference between her horrible past life and the loving environment we provide for her now. When we first got her, she didn’t know how to process all of the love we gave her, because she had never been socialized like a normal dog — she would literally stare at us with watery eyes.
“She also had such an endearing way of giving love back to us. She would press her face and forehead against my chest to be close to my heartbeat, or she would simply rest her face under my chin if I picked her up. She would also push her face deep in my arm pit from time to time, to feel a sense of security and love. That alone makes our rescue Pug priceless!”
Some Pugs lose their girlish physiques as they mature, becoming positively portly. Not Mamma Biscuit, whose style-conscious Dads keep her on a strict diet. “We measure her food out to 12 ounces per day: 6 ounces in the morning and 6 in the evening,” John says. “We also keep her fur coat soft and cuddly with flaxseed oil. It’s very important to monitor the weight of any pet animal, but especially Pugs, as they have respiratory issues and are prone to hip dysplasia. She also has to mind her figure if she wants to wear all of the fabulous clothes in her wardrobe!”
That wardrobe includes coats, dresses, hand-knitted sweaters, T-shirts, and vintage scarves. Far from being a fashion victim, however, “Mamma loves wearing clothes,” John says. “In fact, whenever I pull out an article of doggy clothing, she literally charges head-first into the garment. Her favorite garment is her electric blue peacoat made of felt. She looks so mod wearing it. We photographed her wearing that coat when visiting the Andy Warhol monument in Union Square during the winter, and the Public Art Fund posted her photo on their Tumblr account.”
Then there’s the black-and-white houndstooth coat from Martha Stewart’s collection, which John says was sent by Martha and her team — then promptly immortalized by yet another style legend. “Mamma and I were photographed by Bill Cunningham of the New York Times during the holiday season while looking at Lady Gaga’s Workshop windows at Barneys.
“Also, Mamma had an epic Halloween this year, when she put on a cone-bra corset and blond ponytail wig and gave her best Madonna, circa Blonde Ambition. Her costume the year before was just as epic — we dressed her up as Anna Wintour of Dogue magazine! It would be incredibly remiss of me not to mention her extensive brooch collection, too. A lady Pug like Mamma Biscuit can never have too many accessories!”
Of course, that raises the question: If Mamma were a human fashion icon, who would she be? Without hesitation, John replies: “Mamma would be a unique combination of Nan Kempner, Madonna, Marilyn Monroe, and Miss Piggy!”
Like many celebrities on two and four legs, Mamma hews to a mostly vegan diet. “She does enjoy vegan dog food, although she’s not completely vegan as we do mix beef with her food from time to time,” John admits. “But, generally speaking, our girl is happy as a clam as long as she is eating. I will say she does love snacking on green peas, and peanut butter drives her wild. Watching her curl and work her epic tongue on some peanut butter could very easily be a carnival freak show at Coney Island!
“Mamma Biscuit also loves her Cloud Star Buddy Biscuits in sweet potato and peanut butter. She only has a whopping three teeth left, so these treats are soft and chewy and perfect for her. My partner is a vegan baker and spends a lot of his free time fulfilling orders for his vegan baked goods under his label, Sweet Semosh. He bakes a vegan carrot muffin for dogs that Mamma absolutely adores.” (See recipe below!)
Mamma’s “little corner of the Web,” as John calls it, is quite clearly a labor of love. “I have no idea how many hours I dedicate to her blog, but I will say that it’s a whole lot!” John says. “It doesn’t really feel like work, though. Traveling, taking pictures of her, and writing about our experiences with her … it’s all just a natural extension of the love we have for her.”
Regarding Mamma’s love for other dogs, there’s a rumor that she has displayed cougar tendencies. Asked to share juicy details, John demurs. “Well, now, a girl never talks, and Mamma certainly does not give it away for free, but I will say that our little gremlin does enjoy basking poolside in Provincetown with a soft chew treat and a large hat on her head, in the company of young, svelte male dogs — that’s all you’ll get out of me. I have her reputation to protect!”
Sweet Semosh’s Peanut Butter Carrot Muffins for Dogs
1/2 cup white or whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup honey
Egg replacer equivalent to 1 egg
Mix flour and soda together, then add all remaining ingredients and mix well. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes in muffin paper tins or a muffin tray sprayed with nonstick spray.
Special thanks to Sweet Semosh for the recipe!
All photos are © and courtesy of mammabiscuit