Sunday, August 27, 2000
The psychic dogs knew you were going to read this article.
That's because they have super canine mental powers that enable them to peer into the future and predict everything from presidential elections to the construction of prisons on Mars by 2010.
Escorted by their owner, Jacqueline Stallone (Sylvester's mom), they came to Santa Monica, Calif., on a recent Friday in a sapphire-blue Jaguar to help kick off a weekend food festival. Wearing tiny, glitter-covered jackets, Rachel and Hannah, a pair of 8-inch-high teacup miniature pinschers, danced, snarled and offered numerous predictions.
"The dogs are getting more attention than Sylvester did in the first 'Rocky' movie," said Mama Stallone, who was decked out for the occasion in a sequined white coat and black pants with apricot-sized rings on her fingers and toenails painted the same shade as her Jaguar.
Stallone, a veteran astrologer, said she discovered the talents of her year-old dogs while doing someone's chart. She blithely asked them a question -- and they answered.
"They can anticipate anything and everything," she boasted. "They're highly psychic."
OK, but how does a journalist go about interviewing a dog?
Reporter: Who's going to win the presidential election?
No, no, no, said Stallone. Actually, the answer is Bush, by a razor-thin margin of a couple hundred votes.
"The dogs don't have a vocabulary," she went on to explain. "They channel messages from the spirit world and telepathically send them to me. I ask a question, close my eyes and the first thing that comes into my mind is the answer."
Stallone, who also practices the art of "rumpology," which is similar to palmistry but uses the imprint of a person's derriere instead, said she feels "very silly about the whole (dog) thing. I don't need the money. I don't need the exposure. But they're something spectacular. " They're also healers. They're going to visit hospitals and heal people."
The dogs have also been invited to start a psychic dog hotline, in which callers would pay to have their fortunes told by the canines, she said. But "I'm not going to use them for nonsense," she added.
So we started asking the dogs questions.
Did you know that the Taco Bell Chihuahua was going to lose his job?
"Believe it or not, yes," says Stallone. "Every time they saw him on TV, they screamed."
Stallone's husband, Dr. Stephen M. Levine, who was along for the ride and feeding the dogs bits of cheese, adds that the pooches consider the firing of the Taco Bell mascot a case of ethnic discrimination. "If the Chihuahua was a good old American dog, this wouldn't have happened," he says.
What do you think of Dr. Laura Schlessinger?
"They hate Dr. Laura. If they could kill her, they would." (It turns out the dogs also despise Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Monica Lewinsky and Darva Conger. There seems to be a lot of anger here.)
What will happen to Elian Gonzalez now that he's returned to Cuba?
"He's going to stay there and disappear from public sight," say the dogs, as relayed by Stallone. "These dogs wanted Elian to stay in the U.S. They fought for it. They watched him on TV."
Will Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe's romance blossom?
"That question doesn't interest the dogs."
What's in store for Bill and Hillary Clinton after they leave the White House?
"He's coming to Hollywood and will be managing a big TV or film production company." For Hillary, there's a "strong possibility" she'll be elected senator. The marriage is over.
Is Elvis alive?
"He's dead as a doornail."
Did O.J. kill Nicole?
"The dogs say he didn't."
What's going to happen with China?
"The dogs don't like this question," Stallone says as they begin snarling at each other. "They hate Communism."
(When the Middle East is mentioned, the dogs go fully ballistic, nipping at one another, growling and baring their teeth.)
But that doesn't mean they're out of forecasts. For example: "Ally McBeal" star Calista Flockhart will soon be out of a job. Madonna will retire after giving birth. Magic Johnson will be cured of AIDS. And, within 10 years, prisoners will be sent to Mars and guarded by robots.
One more question: How can a dog be psychic?
Deciding to handle this query herself, Stallone recalls doing astrological readings in Jordan and bringing back some Islamic prayer rugs. "The dogs sleep on those rugs," she says. "Do you think that's why they're psychic?"