By Dustin Fitzharris
Singer and pop superstar Kristine W. knows that staying relaxed is key to keeping up with a busy schedule. “People ask me if I have a therapist, and I tell them, ‘Yeah, I have three. I just watch them eat grass and then I go up the stairs, and I feel better.’”
Don’t be alarmed, she’s referring to her horses—Zeffer, Goddess, and Hank Williams—who roam her two-acre backyard in Las Vegas. They, along with her two children, J.R. and Elizabeth, keep her grounded in the ever-changing world of show business. Adding to Kristine’s joy—and sanity —are her cat Blackie, and three dogs: Dundee, a Chocolate Labrador Retriever; Gizmo, a Pug; and Tink, a Chihuahua.
Born Kristine Weitz, the singer has had 15 No. 1 hits on Billboard’s Dance/Club Play Charts since 1994—fewer only than Madonna and Janet Jackson. She’s also a survivor. In 2001, she was diagnosed with leukemia. After chemo treatments and a stem cell transplant, Kristine battled her way back to “the land of the living.” Today Kristine continues to make music and entertain audiences around the world. She’s currently working on a new album, with plans to release the first single in April.
When I caught up with Kristine she was busy in the recording studio. However, she was more than happy to take a break to discuss her love for her animals.
You have three dogs. That must be a handful when it comes time for bed. Where do they sleep?
Kristine: Dundee prefers his bed outside. Gizmo sleeps with him. Tink is in the house, and she goes into a baby bassinet. It’s like a playpen. She just loves that thing. She knows what time it is, and she will just stand there until we put her in. We tried to put her outside, but at night she just wants to get into a smaller space.
But you have a cat who sleeps with you?
The cat is always in the corner of my bed!
Is she a pillow hog?
No, she always takes the bottom corner of the bed. She knows that’s where nobody will bug her. But she also knows when someone is not feeling well, and will sleep in their bed on those nights.
She was a stray cat that you rescued six years ago. How did she find you?
We heard her crying outside in our yard. She was stuck in a bush. We fished her out. She was pretty skinny. It looked like someone had thrown her over the fence. She was about 6 or 7 months old.
How did she get along with the dogs?
She acts more like a dog. She dukes it out with them. They get after each other. It’s funny how the cat boxes the dog. She’s not afraid of them.
Do any of them snore?
Gizmo is really loud. You can hear him through the windows at night snoring on the back porch. It sounds like a motor running. Tink has a funny hum when she sleeps. It’s like a humidifier. You just get used to it.
Who likes to cuddle?
The only one I would say is cuddly is Tink. If you’re sitting on the couch, she will run and sit on your lap. Blackie will occasionally get cuddly and will want you to pet her, but she’s very independent.
Who is the earlier riser?
Tink is always up and going. She wakes everyone up in the morning. She yaps to get out of her bed. We put her out front, and she does what we call her “patrol.” She has to find out what everyone is doing. Then she goes in the backyard and wakes up the other two lazy dogs. She’s the family alarm clock.
What do you think they dream about?
I think Gizmo used to dream about adventuring out. He was always trying to get away. Then, one day he actually did escape during a birthday party [we hosted] this past summer. We had ads in the paper for a month. We couldn’t find him. We finally got a call from a gentleman who was speaking in Spanish. I couldn’t understand a word he was saying. Finally, his granddaughter got on the phone and told me they had Gizmo in their garage this whole time. We went to pick up him up right away, gave the family a reward, and since then, Gizmo hasn’t even looked at the gate. He is so happy to be home.
So in your family, there’s you, your two kids, three dogs, three horses, and a cat. Anyone I missed?
I do have a goat—who somebody just left at at my house. And I have a sheep. You know, it’s Vegas. People get pets, and then they decide they don’t need or want them—so we get some drop-offs. We rescue them. That’s our job in life—to look after them the best we can.
For more information on Kristine W., please visit KristineW.com.