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The Upper East Side has no shortage of belles and posh balls. But two Belles, who most certainly would rather attend balls despite looking like they could chase them, are getting the real bang for their barks.
Tinkerbelle, 11, and Belle, 2, are two pampered pooches who are throwing all five pounds of their “fierce fabulous fluff” into building an empire through New York Fashion Week appearances, celebrity meetings, and partnerships with hotels, travel agencies, restaurants, clothing brands, and luxury fashion houses.
Both are Papiteses, a mix of popular toy dog breeds Papillon and Maltese. They may be snobby and spoiled, but the pups come with a work ethic fostered by their human mother and manager, Sam Carrell.
“The three of us are tiny but mighty souls to reckon with,” Carrell said.
Naturally, Carrell, an actor who starred in a Comedy Central short herself, has plenty of experience with commercials, voiceovers, and print work. But as someone with severe allergies, never once did Carrell think she would one day be working with two fur babies.
“I’ve never had an animal at all in my life,” Carrell said. “I am the allergy girl of the world. I’m allergic to food. I’m allergic to pets. I’m allergic to seasonal changes.”
But like many good things in life, her new best friend came into her life unexpectedly. Carrell recalled grabbing a coffee with a friend at the animal shelter where her friend worked in 2012. She happened to overhear a conversation between shelter staff about an abandoned Papitese, a dog breed Carrell never heard of before.
“I hear them talking about this little dog who was turned over by its original owner because they didn’t realize how small she was going to be,” Carrell said. “It sparked my interest, and I walked over to the cage just to take a peek and she poked up her head, came out, and jumped in my arms. And they’re like, that means she’s choosing you. I said, ‘Heck no.’”
But Carrell had met her hypoallergenic match in the form of Tinkerbelle, a tiny ball of fluff she ended up adopting. By what some may call sheer luck and what many aspiring models and actors who move to New York City could only dream of, Tinkerbelle was quickly scouted by a talent agent — for animals, that is — in New York City during one of their walks.
“We would just walk around and because of her size and big ears, everybody would stop her,” Carrell said. “One person stopped me and started asking me who trained her and all this these crazy questions. She pulled out her card and said, ‘I’m an animal talent agent and I love your dog. I want to work with her.’”
Despite owning a dance school and juggling an acting career, Carrell continued to say yes to serendipitous opportunities. And that’s how Tinkerbelle the Papitese booked her first job with Ralph Lauren.
“That’s a great first booking,” said Carrell, who then met David Lauren, the son of Ralph Lauren during the day of the fashion set. “David (Lauren) decided he was making her the face of the campaign. So here comes the launch of this campaign and I remember opening up a Harper’s Bazaar magazine and I see Tinkerbelle’s face full page in the magazine.”
After a kind stranger on the Ralph Lauren set saw Tinkerbelle’s potential to be the leader of the pack, Carrell created an Instagram page for the pooch. It turned out that Tinkerbelle’s 15 minutes of fame was only a few clicks away from stardom. Now, their social media platforms have a total of more than 780,000 followers on Instagram and TikTok.
It wasn’t long before Carrell caved yet again and adopted Belle from Oklahoma, who happened to be the same breed as Tinkerbelle. These days, they’re busy at work flying to different cities and countries — Colorado, London, Italy, Paris, The Dominican Republic.
“I’ve gone places that I would have never imagined even going to,” Carell said. “I’m just amazed by the whole thing. I say all the time they should have a pet mile program because these two dogs have so many miles.”
These two dogs even have an orbit of people managing their growing platform: two talent agents, a publicist, a hairdresser, and Carrell’s best friend who helps on social media. Carrell also spends her time building out her Gossip Pups podcast, which goes into “the gossip of parties and famous people,” which Carrell cheekily described as “new pop culture and new pup culture.”
What could simply be next for the jet-setting, high-flying duo?
“Our main goal and dream is their own long-running TV series,” Carrell said. “That is first on their vision board.”
And in Tinkerbelle and Belle’s world of Vanity Fur, fancy paw-ties, the sky’s the limit and anything is paw-sible.
Here’s some snippets of the Tinkerbelle and Belle’s world.
Tinkerbelle receives a $450 million dollar kiss from singer Taylor Swift.
@tinkerbelleadog #SwiftTok #pupsoftiktok #viral #swiftietiktok #foryou ♬ original sound – Taylor Swift
Tinkerbelle and Belle meet the Backstreet Boys on the red carpet.
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A post shared by Tinkerbelle The Dog® & Belle (@tinkerbellethedog)
And in a Celebrities Are Just Like Us moment, showing the cold, hard realities of a New York City winter.
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