Update: Catch Oscar’s appearance on The Rachael Ray Show online, right here.
A coupled months ago, we took on Oscar—a then 13-month, now 15-month-old schnauzer—as our first ever (and perhaps the first ever) canine food reviewer. His first assignment: To review Rachael’s Ray’s dog recipes. We knew from the way he worked an Instagram video that he was a star in the making, but little did we know just how big he would become.
Today, Oscar fulfills his destiny with his first national television appearance on CBS, where Rachael Ray will take her toughest critic to task. Tune into the Rachael Ray Show today at 10am—you can catch it on WABC 7 in NYC, or check here for local listings.
In the build-up to the big moment, we caught up with Oscar to see how life has changed since he became the world’s most prominent pup critic.
Last year, Pete Wells received a fair amount of blowback for his review of Guy Fieri’s Times Square restaurant, which seemed like an easy celebrity target. How do you respond to people who found your Rachael Ray tactics a little “stunty”?
I’m used to haters. They’re everywhere, even on my block—he’s named Nacho and he’s an overfed corgi who pees on my leg when I pass by. But I digress. Sure, there was a showy element to my Rachael Ray project, but stuntin’ is in a dog’s DNA. Is there anything more natural for a dog than the urge to be the center of attention?
Where have you been eating recently?
I’m a mix between schnauzer and poodle. So the schnauzer in me is riding the new New York BBQ trend pretty hard, but my poodle side will always be loyal to Balthazar. Pro tip: Skip the waiting list and go straight to the dumpsters out back.
Since your review, there have been some other pet critics on the prowl—a cat critic who seems to be getting corporate backing from Merrick Pet Care, and a Shiba Inu who watches his owner eat dog food for Thrillist. How do you feel about the evolving landscape of pet-food criticism?
I’ll admit it’s more than a bit suspicious that those reviews came after mine, is it not? (Was that a #humblebrag?) But in truth, all these signs point to a golden era to come in pet-food criticism. Dogs are the perfect food critics: We’ll try anything (literally).
Do you ever employ disguises to avoid detection when you’re on the job?
Like most dogs, I work in the nude. I prefer it that way. But more and more, I’m being forced to wear clothes to disguise my identity. Like this hoodie.
What trends do you predict for the dog dining scene in fall?
I predict the “chopped salad” fad will end and be replaced by a similar concept: bowls of chopped meat. Mark my word. It’s going to take the dog dining world by storm.
Food writer Josh Ozersky recently came out in support of the Prey Model Raw diet for his dog, Judah, which involves eating all raw meat. Would you consider trying it?
Let me guess, this guy lives in Williamsburg?
Finally, what did you think about Rachael Ray, and what was it like to be in front of a live audience? Did you go to the bathroom before, after, or during?
Before I could meet Rachael, I got to play around in a room filled with lots of food, fluffy pillows, and a big screen TV. The food was delicious! A couple of the pillows were not bad as chew toys, too. (Sorry, Rachael.) Once I got to meet the chef herself, I was so excited I peed a little bit. Then the audience (which was a sea of moms) clapped for me, so I peed a little bit more. Rachael was super friendly and sent me home with more treats than I could ever eat. Actually, I’m half way through them.