ESPN Host Michelle Beadle Loves Dogs

ESPN Host Michelle Beadle Loves Dogs
ESPN Host Michelle Beadle Loves Dogs
Michelle Beadle—sports reporter, ESPN host, and major dog lover—talks rescue, being a woman in a notorious boy’s club, and why Pugs are the best

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Michelle Beadle, sports reporter and co-host of ESPN’s SportsNation, is a powerful female voice in the male-dominated world of sports reportage. This alone would endear her to us, but factor in that she’s the adoptive mom to three rescue dogs and is about to be the new face of one of our favourite non-profits, Best Friends Animal Society, and we’re smitten. Then consider her very funny, totally unfiltered Twitter feed (Michelle has over 1.1 million Twitter followers for a reason) and you have us wishing she was our new BFF. We asked the very cool Michelle a few questions. Check out her answers below—we’re pretty darn certain you’re going to love her.

Q: First things first: tell us about your dogs.
A: We have four dogs: Leroy the Pug, Violet, a Plott Hound mix, Henry, who appears to be a Springer sprinkled with who knows, and Stella, the baby, who may have a little Jack Russell in her.
Violet came with my boyfriend, Steve; she was adopted in New York State about three years ago. Henry was a Petco adoption event pick up because it’s impossible to go to a Petco on a Saturday, walk by all those little faces, and not stop. Henry was the one we picked up and couldn’t put back down. And Stella we call the little ‘con artist.’ Our dog walker was followed home by this sweet, deceiving princess. When I got home from work, there she was, in the living room, chilling. No chip. Not spayed. I wasn’t taking her to a shelter, and here we are. And confession: I got Leroy in a pet store eight years ago in Manhattan. While he’s the greatest little man ever, the pet store option died for me a long time ago. No regrets, and he’s getting to exert his “big brother” status over an entire pack.

Q: Were you always a dog person?
A: I’ve been a dog person for as long as I can remember. I remember being 12-13 years old, walking through a mall with my family when we passed a pet store. I went in and sat in front of a cage housing a tiny Pug. And I sat. And I sat. Until my parents realized I wasn’t with them anymore. When they walked up, I was crying about this little creature who just stared back at me. Complete destruction… If given the option to hang with dogs over people, I choose pups every time. And when you encounter another dog person, it’s an immediate comfort zone. We ‘get’ each other.

Q: Why is rescuing dogs something you feel passionate about?
A: Rescuing dogs has become such an important part of me feeling like I can help even a little. I’m the person who can’t walk by an adoption without immediately getting teary eyed, and until I buy a ton of land and open up a refuge, adopting the little monkeys is my best option. I’ve learned so much about pet adoption over the years. For so long, I assumed, like many, that if you want a pure breed, you have to buy. I now spend spare time perusing the Pug rescues, always on the lookout for puppy number five. I’ve stressed to anyone who will listen, adopt! You can find the perfect addition to your family, no matter how obscure your taste, waiting at a shelter somewhere out there. Get on the Internet, and do the work. 

Q: If there were one thing you’d want all your fans and followers out there to get on board with/one message you’d like to impart, what would it be?
A: Adopt!!!!! You want a Labradoodle? I promise one is out there. You want the perfect buddy to share a home with and love completely? That puppy is out there. You feel like giving a couple of older dogs a wonderful final few years/months/days? Do it!! On my worst day, these dogs are the perfect reminder of what’s important. That combined with plenty of stinky kisses is perfection. 

Q: What’s the best thing about being a female sports personality? The worst?
A: The best and worst thing about being a female sports broadcaster is probably pretty close to being the same thing. I don’t always remember that I’m a “female” broadcaster. But someone always wants to remind me. Being a woman in this field now is refreshing because there are so many of us doing so much more than ever. I have a voice. And for good and bad, I treasure that role. 

Q: What advice do you have for girls wanting to follow a similar career path?
A: I tell all girls who ask me to “be themselves” first and foremost. It may be tough initially, but I promise it ends up being so much more gratifying, and honestly, easier. Stick to your guns. Ask a lot of questions. And decide what’s important early on. 

Q: What three personality traits would you say have most greatly contributed to your success?
A: The three personality traits that I think—keyword: think—have helped me along the way: stubborn, thick-skinned, and balanced. 

Q: If you were a dog, what breed would you be and why?
A: I would be a Pug! Obviously. I am them; they are me. But seriously, I have always felt an affinity for the little squishy-faced balls of fur. I think we’re both cute on some days, terrifyingly un-cute on others. We pride ourselves on personality and think we’re pretty funny. We’re stubborn. Love to sleep. Love to eat even more. Sometimes we feel social, but mostly prefer a little one on one time. We’re not ever sure whether you’re laughing at us or with us, and that’s ok. 

Q: What advice do you have for our readers who, like you, would like to make a difference for homeless dogs? 
A: My biggest advice is to do anything. Even the seemingly smallest act will have positive effects. Donate a few dollars, some dog food. Drop off blankets and beds to an animal shelter. Foster if you have the time and space. Volunteer at your local shelter. Sometimes we get discouraged because we feel like we can’t possibly be making a difference. But we are.

For an endlessly entertaining mix of sports, unfiltered musings, and dog photos, follow @MichelleDBeadle on Twitter

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