Jackass star Steve-O is probably best known for being a wild and crazy guy — both on screen and off. While audiences delighted in watching him fearlessly perform outrageous stunts on the infamous MTV show, its subsequent spinoffs, and feature-length movies, Steve-O’s personal life was getting out of control. Years of substance abuse took its toll on the star and made him the focus of countless tabloid cover stories.
When Steve-O made the decision to get sober, it was a choice he says he owes to his two rescue dogs, Walter and Bernie. Steve-O told US Magazine if it weren’t for his dogs, he might not be here today.
“I just think back to before I had my dogs and my life must have been just so empty. I shouldn’t say empty, but I can’t believe how much those little sons of bitches have enriched my life,” Steve-O gushed.
Shortly after giving up drugs and alcohol in 2008, Steve-O first adopted Walter, a black Dachshund–Chihuahua mix, then Bernie, a white mixed-breed dog. The trio instantly became inseparable. Now, nearly five years sober, Steve-O and his four-legged buddies still rely on each other.
“It’s so good for a guy like me to have a priority that’s not myself and have a regimen and discipline and responsibility that’s all very healthy,” he says.
Walter and Bernie have their issues, Steve-O says, but just because they aren’t perfect doesn’t mean they aren’t wonderful dogs.
“They’re terribly complicated little guys,” Steve-O explains. “They’re very dog aggressive. Walter is super food aggressive. Bernie is a rampant urinator, he just has to mark everything.”
“But they’re my babies and I love them so much,” the Jackass star added.
While always having an appreciation for animals, even featuring some of the world’s most exotic creatures on his second MTV show Wildboyz, Steve-O’s role as a dog owner has been one of the most rewarding experiences of his life. He has even cut meat out of his diet completely, becoming a vegan in an effort to live a cruelty-free life.
“I love it,” Steve-O says of veganism. “I think it’s benefitted every area of my life.”
Drug, alcohol, and animal-product free, Steve-O is embarking on a new venture as a TruTV television host. His show, called Killer Karaoke, puts contestants to the test singing karaoke while performing silly and sometimes crazy challenges. One stunt performed on the show involves a contestant having to get through a song while being shocked by a dog-shock collar. While the competition is all in good fun, Steve-O tells US Magazine he hopes it will make dog owners rethink using the cruel collars on their furry friends.
“Its horribly painful,” he explains. “To me, that’s really something good that we’re doing in the world, to see how much that hurts people I think is a very noble service because it exposes dog shock collars as inhumane devices. You have to be pretty cruel to put that on a dog. I have high hopes that this show will deter people from using those cruel dog shock collars on animals.”
Source: US Magazine