Winfrey’s furry family is always around

By Mary S. Park
Updated May 16, 2011 07:00 PM

Oprah may not have any biological children, but she’s definitely a mother to her five dogs.

“They’re family. They’re always around,” said Winfrey’s talk show protégé, Dr. Mehmet Oz, at the HealthCorps Announces Highway to Health Festival 2011 in New York on Saturday. “I don’t know if I know anybody else who treasures her relationship with her pets as much as Oprah!”

Last January, Winfrey celebrated her 56th birthday by bringing home two new puppies, springer spaniel siblings Sunny and Lauren. The pups were adopted from PAWS Chicago, the same no-kill shelter where in March of 2009, Winfrey adopted Sadie, a blonde cocker spaniel puppy. Since that time, pampered pooch Sadie has gone to work with her talk show queen mom and has enjoyed beef and chicken meals personally prepared by Winfrey.

“Sadie seems very healthy to me – energetic and happy, for sure,” Oz said.

The cardiothoracic surgeon explained the familial dynamic between Winfrey and her dogs: “There’s something about a biological connection we can touch and feel,” Oz said. “We all have a need to be needed. What makes Oprah so special is she’s remarkably ordinary and extraordinary. The fact that we’re all like that and can identify with that is makes her so special.”