We last saw prince Lorenzo Borghese trying to find a mate on ABC's ninth season of The Bachelor — and now, the animal lover and entrepreneur is helping a furry friend court a few of his own. On his Internet-based series "America’s Next Top Dog: The Princess," the Italian-born Borghese is yet again searching for a perfect match, but this time the ladies-in-waiting are exclusively canine and the man wearing the bowtie is a dashing 7-month-old maltipoo named Bond.
With frilly dog outfits, fake martinis, wigs and all, Borghese's online show spoofs not only the reality dating circuit, but well-known celebs and characters as well. The tongue-and-cheek series features one “bitchlorette” Chihuahua named Heidi Hills, clad in pink, and a pit bull in glasses is named Palin, among others. The main man, Bond, is searching for a mate on the show but in real life the dog, named Theodore, is just a regular pooch who belongs to a friend of Borghese’s.
"I wanted to create something hysterically funny and entertaining,” Borghese, who lives in New York, tells PEOPLE Pets. “It makes people realize how important animals are in their lives.”
The first season of nine webisodes recently launched on royalpetclub.com, Borghese’s site for the Royal Treatment Italian Pet Spa, his line of products designed specifically for pets with sensitive skin, like his dog Belle, who passed away in 2005. (For every order on the site, Borghese will give $1 to the North Shore Animal League, and for every request for free samples, he’ll donate a dollar to the American Humane Association).
The series runs for seven more weeks, and Borghese promises that the last episode will be by far the funniest. “You can’t have a dating show without a hot tub scene,” he says, “And there will be a European vacation trip. The ending is unexpected.”
All of the female dogs featured on the show were found through friends of Borghese’s on Facebook. “None of the dogs were trained," he says. "So the hardest part was getting them to stay still for a scene."
Though this is his acting debut, Theodore has turned out to be quite the scene (and heart!) stealer on-camera and off. “There was a lot of fooling around behind the scenes,” says Borghese. “The dogs all definitely liked Theodore!”