May 1, 2012 at 9:51 AM ET
Bret Michaels has earned rock fans, his own VH1 dating reality show, and even a "Celebrity Apprentice" victory (Donald Trump called him “a little flaky” and “very brave”). But he’s about to tackle his ruffest audience yet: the American pet.
The Poison singer, 49, has released his own line of PetSmart accessories, with over 50 themed products “to rock your pet world.” The collection is remarkably extensive, with everything from a studded plush bed to cross-and-skull accented pleather vests to yes, even squeaky plush toys in bandannas. (The hedgehog looks like he means outdoor business.)
“They all have the Bret Michaels signature touch,” the singer told TODAY.com. “Even the cat products have got a rocker vibe. But all of it is useable, fun.”
(By the way, this isn’t PetSmart's first celebrity line. In 2010, the retailer launched a Martha Stewart Pets collection that featured more feminine-looking products – a baby blue bath towel, for example, rather than a skull-patterned sundress.)
As you might expect, Michaels took a rocker approach to the line, on which he collaborated with PetSmart designers: “What I live for is to be creative in general … and [PetSmart] just really got my ideas.” He told us he sat down with his favorite music for inspiration, then tested early models on his own pooches, which include big, sturdy breeds like German shepherds and Siberian huskies.
“Doing stuff like this is like having kids – I love all my kids the same, so I treat all with the same amount of respect,” Michaels said. “But personally, as an owner of bigger animals, I love the toys that you can throw.” Those include a rubber ball with a bandanna on it (“you can whip it, and the dogs will go crazy chewing on it”), a chewable tour bus, and Rocco the Road Dog and Punk Skunk stuffed animals, which can also please smaller and mid-size furry friends as well.
The animal lover’s one regret? That he couldn’t extend his creativity to his other favorite creature – the rat. “I’m going public: the way we have made rats look in movies is a complete lie,” Michaels said in mock indignation. “Rats are the cleanest, friendliest, easiest animal I’ve ever experienced. It’s like the wolves – they’ve got a bad rap.”
But until the world is ready for rocker rodent fashion, Michaels is content dressing his own dogs in his collection. Still, even that has its limits: “I’m pretty sure than none of my shepherds or any of my dogs will be wearing any of the pink tutus (editor's note: specific item will be available in stores July 2012),” he said. “I don’t think Diesel, my guard dog, would want to wear that.”
Bret Michaels Pets Rock™ Collection will be available June 18 at PetSmart stores and PetSmart.com
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