“Have you ever met the Mad Russian?” Animal Fair founder and dog lover Wendy Diamond asked The Observer at dinner last night. We had been covertly smoking outside on the lush patio of publicist R. Couri Hay‘s Upper West Side apartment after watching “Hindu Priest” Robin Cofer christen Mr. Hay’s dog, Webster Westbrook Alexander Hay, by rubbing behind the long-haired Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s ears and whispering something in his ear.
Webster was being named after Mr. Hay’s good friend, Roger Webster, who died last year. Earlier in the evening, Mr. Hay had lead a group sing-along to classics like “No Business Like Show Business.”
We had not heard of the Mad Russian, but it seemed like that kind of night.
We followed Ms. Diamond to a dark table, lit on only by candles, where she was sitting with a bottle of chilled champagne, and introduced me to her dinner partners: Greta Giordano director of membership at the Core Club; model Kurt Lingenfelter, and Erik Bottcher from Mayor Cuomo’s office.
“So if you ever want to quit smoking, you go to the Mad Russian,” Ms. Diamond told us. “I went to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and was asking Graydon Carter if he had gone yet, and Salma Hayek walked by and said ‘I love the Mad Russian!’”
The Mad Russian, Ms. Diamond continued, could also get us to drop 15 pounds, work out three times a week, and be happy for the rest of our lives. All in one session.
“I did it eight years ago, and have never smoked another cigarette!” Ms. Diamond concluded. With the flickering lights, and the seance-quiet table, we felt like we were listening to a ghost story. Or maybe Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Mad Russian. It didn’t help that we couldn’t figure out what the Mad Russian did, exactly, although we (correctly, as it turned out) assumed he was some sort of hypnotist.
Ms. Diamond invited us to the wedding of her Maltese, Lucky, which she promised would be the most expensive wedding ever held for a dog. Lucky was already in the Guinness Book of World Records, we were told, for ‘Most Photographed Animal with Celebrities.’
We promised to save the date. A christening, a wedding…we just hoped our next invite wouldn’t be to a doggie wake. We doubt we’d be able to handle it, Mad Russian or not.
(Photo via Patrick McMullan)
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