The Bachelor‘s Arie Luyendyk Jr. is facing a difficult choice: He is down to three amazing women, is falling in love with all of them, but can only choose one.
Luckily, when it came to choosing to adopt or buy a dog, it was a no-brainer for the auto racing driver/real estate agent.
Arie adopted his beloved dog Bastian, who made an appearance alongside his dad on this season of The Bachelor, in 2011 from the Arizona Humane Society in Mesa, Arizona. From that first furry moment, the pair has been best friends, even with Bastian’s ever-growing ego now that he is a TV star.
The love and companionship that Bastian continues to provide Arie everyday has inspired his owner to partner with PetSmart Charities to help others find a pet they want to give their final rose to, too.
The Bachelor recently stopped by PetSmart Charities’ first National Adoption Weekend of 2018 to help animal lovers match with pets from the non-profits’ 3,500 shelter partners, and he took a moment to gush to PEOPLE all about how perfect, spoiled and sweet Bastian really is.
How did Bastian come into your life?
I adopted Bastian in 2011 at the Humane Society in Mesa, Arizona. They’re one of PetSmart Charities’ 3,500 adoption partners, so it was a natural fit for me to partner with PetSmart Charities for their National Adoption Weekend event.
What is your favorite thing about him?
He’s the best at sensing when I need some love. He’s also the type of dog where I can take him anywhere. He’s always riding shotgun in my truck.
How did he get his name?
He already had his name from the shelter! “Bastian” was on his name tag when he was rescued from a foreclosed home. It didn’t feel right to change his name because it fit him so perfectly.
How old is he?
Bastian’s age is a bit of a mystery because he was found in a foreclosed home in Phoenix, but the veterinarian at the time thought he could be 2 or 3. That would make him 9 or 10 now.
Why did you choose to adopt Bastian?
At the time, I was dating a single mom and for Mother’s Day we went to pick out a pup for the family. While my girlfriend and I were looking in one of the pens, we turned around and saw that her daughter Audrey had her hand in one of the pens, petting Bastian. Right off the bat he was so sweet to her. We loved how great he was with kids, so we had to take him home!
Why do you think animal adoption is important?
Every animal deserves a loving home. Their innocence is so endearing … how could you not adopt a pet?!
What advice do you have for first time dog owners?
Be prepared! Dogs are like little humans. They need your attention and lots of love. They’re so worth it though!
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What was Bastian up to while you were filming The Bachelor?
I actually brought him along for the beginning of filming! It was fun to come home after the dates and have my companion and an important part of home there with me. We flew him private. He stared out the window the entire time out of amazement. When we traveled out of California, my friends Dustin and Tesha would split dog sitting duties. He gets all excited to visit them because he gets spoiled with treats and lots of long hikes.
Did you keep in touch with him?
I tried to FaceTime but he’s always too busy for me … such a superstar now that he made his TV debut on The Bachelor.