An Exhaustive List Of The Dog-Related Drama On Vanderpump Rules

It’s not about the pasta, but it’s definitely about the puppies.

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Caroline Wurtzel/Bustle; Getty Images

When it comes to Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules, there are three tiers of drama.

The first, as anyone with just a passing understanding of Scandoval is aware, is spurred by cheating. (As real fans know, Scandoval is far from the only incidence of cheating to rock the hallowed halls of SUR Restaurant & Lounge. Jax Taylor and Kristen Doute, anyone?)

Then comes the group’s vacations (where, incidentally, a lot of the cheating occurs). Whether they’re celebrating a birthday in Vegas, doing a boy’s trip in Miami, or traveling with the full cast to Hawaii, the combination of close proximity, access to alcohol, and Kristen’s “travel anxiety,” has led to some of the most chaotic episodes in the show’s history. (As well as the show’s only felony charge after Jax stole a pair of sunglasses in Honolulu.)

The third tier of Vanderpump Rules drama is much more niche — and far more adorable. I’m talking, of course, of the show’s many dog-related incidents. It’s been well established since Lisa Vanderpump’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills days that the matriarch of Vanderpump Rules is dog crazy. The staff of her restaurants are not far behind. Anything can be a source of drama for this crowd — lest we forget when Jax stopped talking to Katie Maloney for not texting him after his (first) nose job — and their dogs are no exception.

As per the ever exhaustive “Vanderpump Pets” Reddit community, these are are lot of dogs in the Pump Rules cinematic universe. Despite being hot messes of human beings, the cast of Vanderpump are by and large great to their furry friends. Have there been questionable moments? Sure. Who can forget when Jax saw Monroe peeing on his bed and did nothing about it, or the time Tom Sandoval used Butters as a tissue when he started crying at Tom and Katie’s wedding. But aside from Raquel Leviss — more on that later — they treat their pets much better than their partners.

I'm Taking the Dog, Dumb*ss

  • The parents: Jax Taylor and Stassi Schroeder
  • The pup: Zoe (RIP)
  • Drama Rating: 🐶 🐶 🐶🐶

After Jax cheats on Stassi with a girl in Vegas, she breaks up with him and begins dating fellow SUR employee, Frank. And while Jax gets to keep the friend group (who he somehow gaslights into believing that he didn’t cheat) Stassi walks away with something even more valuable in the Vanderverse: Jax’s family dog. The two had been co-parents to Zoe — the puppy Jax had taken in after his parents were no longer able to care for her — throughout their relationship. But when Stassi refuses to relinquish the dog, the two spend the rest of the season fighting over custody. Along with Jax’s cheating, of course.

Will You… Share a Dog With Me?

  • The parents: Katie Maloney and Tom Schwartz
  • The pup: Gordo
  • Drama Rating: 🐶 🐶 🐶

By Season 3, Katie’s absolutely desperate for Schwartz to put a ring on her finger. The pair first got together back in 2011 after they were set up by Kristen, two years before the show even aired. Come 2014, Katie thought it was high time she become Señorita Bubba. But instead of proposing, Schwartz spends the season giving Katie everything short of the diamond she’s after. There’s the ring on a string (the ill-conceived necklace Schwartz gave her, in a ring-sized box, that had a non-engagement ring hanging from it) as well as Gordo (a decoy dog turned beloved furbaby). Yet as much as Katie loved Gordo, he didn’t distract her from getting engaged for long. “When we get married he can be like the ring bearer,” Katie said to Schwartz, within minutes of meeting the dog.

The PrePUPtial Agreement

  • The parents: Katie Maloney and Tom Schwartz
  • The pup: Gordo and Butter
  • Drama Rating: 🐶 🐶

Come Season 5, Schwartz and Katie are finally engaged and have decided to get a prenup. Naturally, their meeting with their lawyer is filmed for the show. (Why would there be any attorney-client privilege on Vanderpump?) When going through their list of assets, they both realize that they have… next to none. Real estate? Nope. Cars? Leased. Retirement plans? Laughter ensues. But the one thing they do have to make a plan for is their dogs. (By Season 5 they’ve adopted a second pup, this time named Butter.) “Having to think about what would happen in terms of custody of Gordo and Butter? Oh man, it gets, like, really heavy,” Schwartz says in voice over, appearing more upset about the prospect of losing the dogs than Katie.

It’s My Puppy Shower and I’ll Cry If I Want To

  • The parents: James Kennedy and Raquel Leviss
  • The pup: Graham
  • Drama Rating: 🐶 🐶 🐶 🐶

In the Before Times — back when we had no idea Raquel’s real-name was Rachel, and we still thought Lala was in the wrong for calling her a “bambi eyed b*tch” — James and Raquel were a happy couple who had just adopted a dog named Graham. To celebrate, they decide to throw a puppy shower for all of their friends. There was just one hiccup: everyone hates James. Though the DJ is optimistic — “If there’s one thing this entire group can agree on, it’s our love for puppies,” he says in his confessional — nearly none of the crew agree to come play the games they’ve arranged like “pooh bag toss.” In fact, Stassi uses their invitation to warn Raquel that she’s “like the woman married to Charles Manson.” And while Stassi would later come to eat her words, resentments over the puppy shower linger throughout the rest of the season.

The Dog Days Are Over

  • The parents: Katie Maloney and Tom Schwartz
  • The pups: Gordo and Butter
  • Drama Rating: 🐶 🐶 🐶 🐶

You can track the arc of Katie and Tom’s relationship through their dogs. Their engagement, marriage, and later, divorce. By Season 10, the Bubbas had moved out of their Valley Village home, and on with their lives. But thanks to their handy prenuptial agreement, Gordo and Butters’ custody arrangement had already been sorted. And luckily for viewers, these weekly pickup and drop offs were the perfect opportunity to see the former couple interact with one another — and, inevitably, fight about just how much Schwartz seemed to be flirting with Raquel.

What’s Graham Got to Do With It?

  • The parents: James Kennedy and Raquel Leviss
  • The pup: Graham
  • Drama Rating: 🐶 🐶 🐶

When James and Raquel first ended their engagement, the latter seems to have won the breakup. The friend group takes Raquel’s side, she embarks on a single girl summer, and most crucially, she gets primary custody of Graham. But as tensions between James and Raquel continue to fester — she’s mad he got a new girlfriend so quickly; he’s annoyed that she’s hooking up with SUR manager and everybody on the show’s one-time ex, Peter — Graham becomes a pawn in their war. This comes to a head when Graham gets hurt at doggy daycare, and James has to hear the news from Lisa, rather than his ex. Tears are shed during an awkward reunion between the two at a park — has anyone else noticed that James cries nearly every episode in Season 10? — and they seem to temporarily bury the hatchet. But with Scandoval brewing in the background, the truce doesn’t last long…

For the Love of Charlotte

  • The parents: Ariana Madix
  • The pup: Charlotte York
  • Drama Rating: 🐶 🐶 🐶 🐶 🐶

It wouldn’t be a season of Vanderpump Rules without an ill-fated vacation. (See: tier two of the show’s most reliable sources of drama.) And in Season 10 the destination is none other than Nevada’s Lake Havasu?! Obscure choice in locale aside, the gang succeeds in bringing the drama. There’s a fight between Lala and Raquel over a guy, a squabble about a galaxy light machine, and one truly heart-rending moment: when Ariana has to leave the trip early because her elderly dog, Charlotte, has to be put down. And to add insult to injury, as we’d learn months later, Raquel and Ariana’s partner at the time (Tom Sandoval) consummated their affair the night after Charlotte was put to sleep. "My dog had just died. I cried in your arms, and you thought, 'I should go f*ck her boyfriend?'" Ariana said to Raquel at the reunion. "You are lower than the lowest of low people, you really are. You a psychopath. You are f*cking terrifying to me as a person, the fact that you are capable of this… I hope Charlotte haunts you."

In The Dog House

  • The parents: Tom Schwartz
  • The pup: TJ
  • Drama Rating: 🐶 🐶 🐶

While Raquel and Sandoval were undoubtedly the villains of Season 10, there was another cast member who also walked away with blood on their hands: Schwartz. After the finale airs — during which Schwartz appears to be in cahoots with Sandoval, helping him cover up his affair — Schwartz knew he needed to get out of the dog house, so he dips back into his Season 3 playbook, adopting (and posting an Instagram of) yet another decoy dog, this time named TJ. But even the fine people at Reality Tea could see right through this lame attempt at garnering good will. “The timing of this post is very telling. The highly anticipated Season 10 finale had just aired, and Schwartz’s deeper involvement was very clear. Despite his narrative of being a victim of Sandoval and Raquel’s plotting,” the gossip rag wrote. “It seems like Schwartz is using the dog as some sort of emotional shield against the continued public backlash.” Amen!

You Can’t Keep A Good Dog Down

  • The parents: James Kennedy and Raquel Leviss
  • The pup: Graham
  • Drama Rating: 🐶 🐶 🐶 🐶 🐶🐶 🐶 🐶 🐶 🐶

Of Raquel’s many crimes over the past season, there’s one that goes against everything Vanderpump Rules stands for — being a bad dog owner. After exiling herself from Los Angeles in the wake of Scandoval, Raquel dropped Graham off at a shelter citing his “behavioral issues.” (TLDR, Raquel’s mother alleges Graham bit her “to the bone.”) And much like when Graham was injured at doggy daycare, she neglected to tell James the dog was no longer in her possession. Thankfully, Vanderpump Dog Foundation found out what happened and was able to arrange for Graham to be reunited with James. And after a quick name change — as James has decided “Hippie” is a better fit for the Goldendoodle because, sure — the two lived happily ever after. Who knows, maybe James will even throw him a second (and much better attended) puppy shower come next season.

Honorable Mentions & In Memoriam

The following have not been involved in any spicy dog drama but deserve to be commemorated for continuing to bring excellent value to the Vanderpump universe.

  • Ariana Madix — Mya
  • Lala Kent — Lilly
  • Jax Taylor & Brittany Cartwright — Kingsley, Monroe,Sophie
  • Stassi Schroeder & Beau Clark — Luda, Refund, Venice (RIP)
  • Kristen Doute — Gibson, Bowie
  • Lisa Vanderpump & Ken Todd — Schnooky, Harrison aka Puffy, Lollipop, Marquis, Giggy (RIP), Pink Dog (RIP), Daddio (RIP), Pikachu (RIP), Rumpy (RIP), Avery (RIP)

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