December 21, 2020

Helmut Newton, dapper west end pug, shares his Toronto black book

By haziqbinarif


Helmut Newton, five, relocated to Toronto in his infancy and has been at the centre of the city’s canine social scene ever since. His star turn came in 2015, when an appearance in a parody of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” revealed a miraculous ability to look good in a turtleneck. Today, he’s best known for his sweet, soulful eyes and keen fashion sense. We caught up with Helmut to learn what makes this celebrated canine grumble.

How would you describe your career? “I’m a model/influencer/trendsetter: You could say that I’m a renaissance pug. I model for brands like Canada Pooch and have made TV appearances on ‘The Marilyn Denis Show’ and ‘Dragons’ Den.’”

What does your day-to-day look like? “I rely on my incredible humans to make sure that I have a good work-life balance. (My mom, Christie Vuong, is a commercial photographer who works hard at this as well.) The best way to relax is to fall asleep on a pizza floatie in a pool or a lake. I hate swimming — but I love floating.”

Helmut and his human, Christie Vuong.

When did you know you were going to be a star? “When my Helmut & Hotties calendar — where I posed with male models to raise money for a pug rescue — sold globally. There might still be a calendar hanging in an office in Morocco.”

Most potent star quality? “Refusing to work unless paid in treats.”

Favourite place to eat? “Chewing on a bully stick outside the terrace at Enoteca Sociale on a warm summer night while my humans slurp down pasta.”

Favourite dog park? “The Dog Bowl in Trinity Bellwoods Park. It’s a wonderful off-leash dog park where I host the Toronto Pug Grumble, a monthly pug meetup. I can’t wait to get back and catch up with all my friends when the pandemic is over.”

Your local holiday wish list? “A Playcare package from Unleashed in the City, a jacket from Canada Pooch, treats from The Dog Bowl, a bow tie from Rover Boutique and a handcrafted leather collar from Millie & Co. Leather Goods.”

Favourite place to go walkies? “High Park, because it lets me reconnect with my wolf side.”

Shop Helmut’s local favourites

North Star bow tie, $16, theroverboutique.com

North Star bow tie, $16, theroverboutique.com

Alaskan Army Parka, $48, canadapooch.com

Alaskan Army Parka, $48, canadapooch.com

Fromm Grain Free Chicken Au Fromage, $105 (11.8 kg), thedogbowl.ca

Fromm Grain Free Chicken Au Fromage, $105 (11.8 kg), thedogbowl.ca

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