Bret Michaels: From pet lover to pet collection entrepreneur
The Poison frontman grew up in Pennsylvania with dogs, cats, guinea pigs and a horse.
And these days, Michaels cherishes his time with his dogs.Pictures: Bret Michaels
"No matter what breed you love, it's that unconditional love and a friend that's there," Michaels told CBSNews.com. "I know people say that a lot but it's actually true. They just love you. They have no funk ... They're excited when they see you. My German Shepherd, you get out the ball, you don't need any other reward ... If I'm in a bad mood, they put me in a good mood."
That's why Michaels, 49, wanted to do a little something extra for animal lovers.
He recently teamed with specialty retailer PetSmart to create the Bret Michaels Pets Rock Collection. The line, launched this month, includes toys, beds, apparel, collars, leashes, and bowls. And it's all with a rock edge - ranging from a skull-patterned sundress to toys with a bold flame design. Some designs are based on shirts Michaels has worn. There's even a doo-rag made for dogs with guitar and flame prints.
Michaels played a large role in the designs, too, with a little help from a couple of special people in his life.
"I said, 'OK, I need the help from my daughters to see what they think will look good if someone has a smaller dog,'" Michaels said. "And then what we have to do is two things: The combination of getting my daughters Raine and Jorja involved and also at the same time, getting PetSmart to step in to and make it durable and safe for the pets, and easy to put on."
And Michaels isn't stopping at the initial launch. He plans to design new gear for each season. Expect Halloween costumes and holiday-oriented items for pooches.
The entrepreneurial drive, though, doesn't come as too much of a surprise, as Michaels isn't a stranger to business. He won the third edition of NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" in 2010, donating his winnings to the American Diabetes Association. For the season finale, he dreamed up a new flavor and campaign for Snapple. To this day, his Diet Snapple Trop-a-Rocka Tea remains one of the best-selling drinks in Snapple's line-up. And he just designed his first-ever signature Bret Michaels series of guitars.
"I'm a self-proclaimed 'drealist' -- I dream things up," Michaels said. "But I'm also a realist."
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