Ever since she won the first season of American Idol way back in 2002, Kelly Clarkson has been one of the leading ladies of pop music and pop culture alike.
She’s released 8 hit albums, acted in 6 movies, and appeared on dozens of TV shows, including her own talk show, The Kelly Clarkson Show.
But superstardom aside, Kelly’s life is filled with the same things that enrich so many of us: animals, especially dogs.
Let’s meet Kelly’s canine companions and take a look at what it’s like to be a pop star’s pooch!
Kelly the German Shepherd/Border Collie Mix
When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005, hundreds of thousands of people and animals were displaced. Many dogs went missing in the flooded city; some lost not only their homes but also their owners.
In 2006, some of these homeless dogs were featured on Anderson Cooper 360. One of them was a German Shepherd/border collie mix named Kelly.
Serendipity struck: Kelly Clarkson happened to be watching the program when Kelly the dog was shown. She adopted the dog from the Pontchartrain Humane Society, and shortly after, both Kellys appeared on Anderson Cooper’s show together.
Joplin the Black Labradoodle
In May of 2011, to much media fanfare, Kelly welcomed a new addition to her family.
But this newcomer wasn’t your typical celebrity baby. It was a miniature black labradoodle.
Labradoodles are bred by crossing a poodle with a Labrador retriever. They’re gentle, easygoing dogs who are family-oriented and very affectionate.
The breed was a great fit for Kelly’s lifestyle. As a touring musician, she would be away from home often and needed a low-maintenance dog — but in between shows and recording sessions, puppy cuddle time was imperative!
Kelly named her new pup Joplin after singer-songwriter Janis Joplin, one of her favorite artists and a huge influence on her own music. He quickly became a central part of Kelly’s life.
Joplin’s Tumultuous Life
When Joplin went missing on their first New Year’s Eve together, she was a wreck — though thankfully, she found him nearby, tangled in some vines. Kelly went into rescue mode, wading through a pond in the dark to cut him free and bring him home.
In August of 2012, Kelly rushed Joplin to the vet hospital after his health declined suddenly. There, they received some bad news: Joplin had terminal cancer.
Joplin’s final months were filled with love and affection from Kelly, who tweeted that the dog was her soulmate (along with an apology to her then-fiance, Brandon Blackstock). Sadly, he passed away in November of 2013.
Kelly announced Joplin’s passing on Twitter with a heartfelt, heartbreaking post: “My best friend died yesterday. Joplin was special. He fought his whole life to survive & now he can rest. I loved him.”
Though he’s no longer with us, Joplin still holds a special place in Kelly’s heart.
In 2016, she published a children’s book, “River Rose and the Magical Lullaby.” The story follows a young girl who goes on an adventure with her dog to the zoo before being beckoned back home by her mother’s lullaby.
River Rose, the main character, was named after Kelly’s daughter, then 2 years old.
And River Rose’s little black dog was named Joplin.
Joplin also appeared in Kelly’s subsequent River Rose books. It’s a touching way to honor Joplin’s legacy and share the joy of his company with the rest of the world.
Wyatt the Brown Poodle
Newly married and expecting her first child, Kelly decided to open her heart to another pooch in February of 2014.
The new puppy, an adorable brown poodle named Wyatt, made his Twitter debut on February 14 — how fitting for such a loveable little dog! Kelly added, “He can’t replace my Joplin that passed away but he’s pretty great!”
Wyatt proved to be very helpful for the mother-to-be, as one of his favorite things was being held like a baby. Kelly said that cradling him in her arms was great practice for the arrival of her human baby.
And that’s probably not the only baby preparation that Wyatt helped with.
Poodles are extremely intelligent, active, social dogs who don’t like being left alone and have a tendency to outsmart their owners. They’re like toddlers in dog form, so Kelly got a great preview of life as a mother!
On Tour with Wyatt
Wyatt proved to be such a good companion that Kelly brought him along on her summer tour in 2015.
Bringing a young, energetic dog around the country on a tour bus may sound like a recipe for disaster as it is. But Kelly was up for a challenge: not only did she bring Wyatt and her other dog, Security, she also brought her 1-year-old daughter.
So who was tougher to control while on the road: the baby or the dogs?
According to Kelly, it was the dogs: “Dogs are harder to keep up with than my baby!” she remarked.
What’s Wyatt Worth?
Now fully-grown and much less baby-like, Wyatt is a pretty valuable pooch: according to one estimate, he’s worth $1.3 million!
But as any dog owner will tell you, there’s no amount of money that could replace a beloved pet dog. We’re sure Kelly would agree with that sentiment, too!
Henry the Black Poodle
Kelly clearly has a soft spot for curly-haired dogs, especially poodles. Her newest dog, Henry, is a black poodle — and he looks like a larger version of her late dog, Joplin.
In 2020, Kelly filed for divorce from her husband after 7 years of marriage. During this no doubt emotional time, Henry was a source of comfort and routine for her: their daily walks through L.A. provided both dog and owner with fresh air, exercise, and companionship.
More of Kelly Clarkson’s Dogs
Over the years, Kelly’s love of dogs has prompted her to adopt time and time again. Here are a few of her canine companions who have mostly stayed out of the spotlight.
A German Shepherd Puppy
In August of 2012, around a year after she began dating her new boyfriend, Brandon, Kelly decided to take her relationship to the next stage. The couple adopted a German Shepherd puppy together.
Though the new pup’s name was never disclosed, Kelly described him as “adorable” and said that he represented a new level of commitment between her and Brandon.
Security the Maltese
You’ve heard of security dogs… but have you heard of Security the dog?
He’s Kelly’s Maltese pup, and it’s unclear how he got his name — the Maltese isn’t the most intimidating breed, after all!
Maybe he’s actually a big, bossy dog trapped in a tiny body, providing Kelly with inconspicuous personal security. Or perhaps his soft, curly coat and cuddly nature reminds Kelly of a security blanket.
But regardless of his name’s origin, it’s clear that Kelly adores him. She’s known to bring him on tour with her and enjoys his company backstage after shows.
Not much else is known about Security other than the fact that he’s a loud snorer. But when you’re as cute as he is, such a trait is more endearing than annoying!
Kelly’s Guard Dogs
After a terrifying home break-in in 2018 that left her house and belongings trashed, Kelly knew she needed to beef up her security — and we’re not talking about the Maltese.
She reportedly paid $80,000 for a trained police dog to protect her home and family. As of 2019, plans were in the works to purchase an additional two police dogs.
It’s not known what breed Kelly’s guard dogs are, but they’re likely to be German Shepherds given their prior occupations. Since she’s owned at least two German Shepherds before, Kelly is well-equipped to handle these large, powerful dogs — and they’re well-equipped to keep her and her property safe.
Eddie’s Rescue Ranch
Kelly’s love for dogs and other animals goes way beyond family pets.
In 2008, she purchased a 14-acre property in Mansfield, Texas, and turned it into a unique estate. Aside from the typical celebrity mansion, the property also contained stables and outbuildings that Kelly converted into an animal rescue.
The organization was named Eddie’s Rescue Ranch, after a long-lost dog of Kelly’s who ran away. In addition to the stables and kennels, Kelly added dog runs, walking trails, and several ponds for the rescue’s residents to enjoy.
By September of 2011, the rescue was home to 30 dogs, 14 horses, 4 mini horses, 3 ponies, 2 pigs, and 4 goats. The animals at the ranch received love, attention, and veterinary care while waiting to be adopted into their new homes.
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Kelly Clarkson Plays with Puppies While Answering Fan Questions (Video)
"If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two."
-- Phil Pastoret