Two formerly feral, flea-ridden Austin-area puppies are now calling a sprawling Beverly Hills mansion home thanks to their famous new owners.
When television personality Dr. Phil, aka Phil McGraw, visited Leander 501(c)(3) nonprofit Safe in Austin a couple of weeks ago scouting for a potential upcoming production, he met a litter of fluffy white Great Pyrenees mixes that were being nursed to health.
After returning home to California and conferring with his wife, Robin McGraw, he texted Safe in Austin owner Jamie Griner asking if he could adopt two of the puppies. This week, the McGraws flew back to Texas to pick up two now 9-week-old male pups.
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"Is your heart melting like mine is?" Robin McGraw wrote on Instagram under a video of her and Phil McGraw at home with the puppies, which they named Blue and Einstein, this week. "We are already SO IN LOVE! These two pups are about to be so spoiled! #adoptdontshop."
Safe in Austin was founded in 2017 after the Griners were deeply impacted by a service dog named Angel, a Great Pyrenees, who joined the family to assist their son, Jackson, who has autism. The nonprofit’s mission is to rescue animals who will, in turn, inspire and heal children who have special needs or have come from hard places.
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Safe in Austin is a permanent home to more than 120 animals ranging from turkeys and tortoises to pigs and ponies. The nonprofit does not regularly offer adoption services but will occasionally take in and help find homes for orphaned, abandoned and sick puppies and kittens that have nowhere else to go.
"My current special needs animals find such healing in getting the opportunity in getting to help raise them," Griner said.
Griner said the past few weeks getting to know Dr. Phil and Robin have been "wonderful and surreal."
"He was the nicest guy. It was literally like hanging out with a sweet uncle or something," Griner said. "It was very hard for me not to give him a hug (due to the coronavirus pandemic). The most surreal part is he actually texts me updates."