If you’ve ever watched celebrity chef Ree Drummond’s The Pioneer Woman cooking show (who hasn’t?), then you know everything that comes out of her kitchen is mouth-watering. Whether she’s whipping up buttermilk fried chicken or pizza rolls (yum), the 51-year-old mom of four can’t make a bad meal. As it turns out, her children and husband Ladd aren’t the only ones who benefit from her finesse in the kitchen. Her dogs, Duke, Fred and Rusty have also been known to get a table scrap or two. Talk about a cool mom.
We recently chatted with the Pioneer Woman while she hung out with puppies from the North Shore Animal League America rescue and launched the three newest flavors of her Purina dog treats. Seeing as her human recipes are so delectable, we couldn’t help but wonder what her table scraps policy is with her pups.
Drummond admitted, “I absolutely give my dogs little tastes of what I’m cooking and that’s actually what inspired the Purina treat line. I did want the treats to mimic little bits of foods that I’d be cooking.” Not surprisingly, Duke, Fred and Rusty are huge fans of their fur mom’s treats line.
Ultimately, their refined pallets turned out to be really helpful as Drummond prepared to release her new flavors—chicken tots, beef and veggies jerky and chicken cranapple jerky. “My dogs on the ranch were the taste-testing panel,” she said. “The bar was set pretty high. I know that each treat I released had to be great because my dogs are pretty picky and if they loved it then most other dogs would, too.”
But it’s not just their taste-buds that are rather fancy. Drummond jokes that her trio of pups are total divas: “They’re prima donnas in the sense that they’re free-range dogs so they get to do what they want. When anyone tells them they have to do something they kind of look at them like, ‘What are you talking about? This is my ranch and you’re just a guest here.’”
She went on to note that, “Duke, our Lab, is the clear alpha dog. He’s in charge. I have to reign him in sometimes because he can get a little bit pushy with his authority over the other dogs. All the politics I need are going on with our dogs.” If that isn’t entertainment, then we don’t know what is.
Clearly, Drummond’s pets hold a special place in her heart. She says this is especially true since her children are slowly but surely growing up.
“Obviously I miss my kids who have flown the coop and I love it when they come home. I feel like I sort of cling more to my life with my dogs. My boys are still home but they’re very active in sports like football, track and wrestling. So, a lot of days it’s really just me and the dogs until dinnertime,” she said. “I see that only getting more pronounced as the years go on. Fortunately (or unfortunately), we have the space [for more dogs]. There’s really no limit.”
While that sounds like heaven to us, her husband Ladd might not be as enthused. Drummond says, “We don’t sleep with our dogs but that’s because my husband isn’t a ‘sleep with your dogs’ kind of guy. He grew up on his ranch that we now live on. I always tell him—I promise I’m joking—‘Honey if anything ever happens to you, I will console myself by bringing all the dogs to bed with me.’”
In our opinion, there’s nothing wrong with a little pup cuddles in the middle of the night, Ree.