The new owners of the dog at the center of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' #PuppyGate saga tell PEOPLE exclusively about where the "perfect" pooch ended up after the cameras went down
Zandria Theis, 22, and her boyfriend Reed Thompson, 35, are “happy to let everyone know that Lulu is a perfect little angel.”
Lulu is the now-infamous Chihuahua mix at the center of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills‘ PuppyGate scandal, and is better known as Lucy Lucy Apple Juice (Lucy for short) to fans of the Bravo show.
The puppy, born to a rescue dog at Lisa Vanderpump‘s foundation Vanderpump Dogs on Nov. 29, 2017, was originally adopted out to fellow Housewife Dorit Kemsley. Kemsley, it has been revealed on the hit Bravo show, later gave the dog away after it allegedly bit her husband and two children. Unfortunately, the individual who Kemsley gave the dog to ended up surrendering Lucy to a shelter. This shelter scanned the pup for a microchip and found one with contact info for Vanderpump Dogs.
That catches you up on the PuppyGate drama for Season 9, but many fans are wondering what happened to Lucy after all this upheaval. According to Theis, Lucy’s current owner — who renamed the pooch Lulu — the puppy was returned to Vanderpump Dogs in the summer of 2018.
At the time, Theis’ roommate and friend worked at Vanderpump Dogs. Since the foundation wanted the dog to stay in the Vanderpump Dogs family, according to Theis, the roommate brought the dog home for Theis and her boyfriend to foster.
“I knew from the second I saw her that we were going to adopt her, but we fostered her for about a month,” Theis, who is a model in Los Angeles, told PEOPLE.
This instant connection didn’t mean that Lulu was an easy dog at first.
“When we first got her, she was extremely terrified of everything,” Theis explained, adding that the puppy appeared to be frightened of any unfamiliar object held near her. “I don’t know what happened behind closed doors, or at the house where she was at before I got her, but all I know is that when I got her she was terrified.”
This behavior is especially surprising because Lulu had the reputation of being a perfect puppy before she was adopted out. Since Lulu was born at Vanderpump Dogs, staff at the foundation knew her well, says Theis, and told the pup’s new owner that Lulu returned to the foundation “a completely different dog.”
“That first month where we were fostering her it took that entire time for her to gain trust in us,” Lulu’s mom said.
To help the 13-pound dog get reacclimated to life as a pampered pup, Theis took the dog everywhere, including casting calls, in an effort to make her comfortable around people again.
“It took her months and months of work to get her where she is today, and now she is the perfect dog,” the owner said.
What Theis has never had an issue with is Lulu’s alleged biting.
“This is the one thing that really bothers me. Everyone saying that she bites and that she’s a vicious dog,” she said.
The only biting Theis has seen from Lulu is the “play biting” common in almost every puppy.
“You have to train your puppy that biting is not okay, and that’s what we did,” Theis added. “Anytime she would play bite, we would so ‘No bite!’ and now she doesn’t bite.”
When it comes to saying who might be to blame for Lulu’s initially frightened demeanor, Theis has no opinion. Knowing that Lulu was the focal point of RHOBH season 9, Theis watched the first episode of the season (even though she had never seen the show before), but stopped following the storyline after that.
“I don’t need to add any extra drama to my life than I already have,” she said.
While Theis understandably doesn’t feel comfortable placing blame on anyone, she has no issue with gushing about the dog Lulu is today.
“I tell Reed all the time ‘What did we do before we got her?’ Our lives revolve around her now,” Theis said.
“She is the sweetest dog ever, we are really happy we got to add her to the family.”
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.