But only one can be the 2012 Fort Wayne Newspapers’ Pet Star, and Beauregard takes top honors this year.
Celebrity comes naturally to Beau, as his people call him. He’s been on the cover of a magazine, he writes a column for his people’s newsletter and he’s got his own radio show, “Heart to Heart” on Sundays at noon on WOWO. Beau is the baby of Julia and Matt Anders and is employed as Director of Morale at their business, Comfort Keepers.
His job’s an easy one, consisting of barking at visitors, sniffing people’s legs and hopping up on the conference table to put his two cents in during business meetings.
Beau’s about 4 and a half years old and was bought as a 3-month-old puppy. Bella is a bit younger, but the two are almost identical. (Beau’s a tiny bit bigger.) The pair sport poufy white hairstyles and matching yappy voices.
“These type of dogs, they’re very social,” Julia Anders said. “They’re great for companionship. I have allergies, and he has hair instead of fur.”
When the Anderses have clients in, the dogs go from person to person, checking out interesting new smells and offering up kisses. Comfort Keepers is an in-home care agency that helps senior citizens stay in their homes.
“Our clients just love them,” Julia Anders said. “They’re very spoiled.”
Beau’s a big fan of looking out the windows and eating cheeseburgers, which his owners know is a no-no, so those are a once-in-a-while treat. Matt Anders said Beau is fond of honking the car horn to hurry his folks up when they’re at the store, and he revealed that Beau enjoys sleeping on his back with his feet sticking up in the air. Matt said Beau likes to sit on the back of Matt’s office chair, curled around his shoulders like a cat.
And while Julia admits that her office “looks like a playpen” with all the doggie toys lying around, “Beau’s very smart,” she said. “He won’t fetch.”
The Anderses lavish Beau and Bella with lots of love, so much that their 27-year-old son Kyle “is kind of jealous,” Julia said.
“He calls Beau ‘Prince Beauregard,’” she said.
All was not always happy in Beau’s world. When the couple decided to get another Bichon to keep Beau company, he refused to be in the same room with the new dog. “He was ticked off” about Bella’s arrival, Julia said. It took about a week before Beau would even look at her. Now, however, “she adores Beau, and he likes her a lot.”
As the winner of the 2012 Pet Star contest, Beau has the honor of helping schoolchildren receive newspapers in their classrooms. The Pet Star contest is a fundraiser for Fort Wayne Newspapers’ Newspapers In Education program, which provides newspapers to area schools for projects.
And he gets to be king of the household — not that that’s different from any other day.