This summer’s “Bachelor in Paradise” was just as drama filled as ever. And while several Bachelor Nation favorites, including Dean Unglert, Raven Gates and Amanda Stanton, were the stars of the season, there was one unsung hero who stole a lot of air time: Ben Zorn’s dog, Zeus.
From the moment he arrived at the Sayulita Playa Escondida Resort to the time he left Mexico, all Zorn could talk about was his beloved Rottweiler. Even as he departed the show, the personal trainer was not at all shy about sharing his excitement over getting to return home to his dog.
We caught up with Zorn to get the skinny on what life with Zeus is like, how he’s on a mission to find a woman who is also a fan of his pup, and if he were to be on “The Bachelor” down the line, how Zeus would absolutely accompany him.
How did Zeus come into your life?
Ben Zorn: I got him at 10 weeks old from a litter that someone had in Ohio. He’s now 10 months old. Growing up, I had met some Rotties and I always remembered how much I loved them, how big they were, but how gentle and sweet they were. They’re great with people and other dogs. I love that they are one of the smartest dog breeds, which makes them easy to train.
Rottweilers get a bad reputation due to movies and a few bad dogs, but one of my personal goals for Zeus was to show people how great of a breed Rottweilers are.
What do you love so much about Zeus?
BZ: The thing I love about Zeus most is his personality, company and the bond we have. As an entrepreneur, I spend a lot of time working and training and don’t get a lot of free time. He is one of the best things in my life because he’s with me every step of the way. He never fails to make me laugh or do something quirky.
You talked about Zeus nonstop on “Bachelor in Paradise.” How hard was it for you to be away from him while filming?
BZ: Editing does wonders (laughs) but yes, I did miss him very much. At the time I left, he was only 5 months old, so still very young. I know that it is a crucial time for any dog, so being away from him was difficult because I wanted to establish a solid foundation.
Prior to filming, the longest I had spent away from him was two days, so several weeks was extremely tough. I think only dog owners can understand how much our lives revolve around them. When you get a dog, they become part of your family. I would rather spend my time talking about something or someone I love than drama and love triangles.
What is a day in the life of Zeus like?
BZ: He comes with me to a lot of my clients, so he spends some time sleeping in the gym. He’s extremely high energy, so the best way to get it out of him is through fetch or training. Zeus is still very much a puppy, even though he’s getting huge. With big dogs you have to wait sometimes over a year before you can really run with them. You have to let them grow into their bodies first. I lead a very active lifestyle and Zeus comes with me on hikes.
How important is it to you that the woman who you share your life with loves your dog?
BZ: Extremely important. I couldn’t date someone that didn’t like Zeus.
Are you looking for a woman with her own dog so that Zeus can find a buddy?
BZ: Having a dog isn’t in my criteria, however loving dogs and loving Zeus is. If they come with another dog, I wouldn’t mind if Zeus had a buddy.
A lot of Bachelor Nation fans wanted you to be the next star of “The Bachelor.” If you were in the future, would Zeus come with you?
BZ: Zeus would absolutely come with me. He would play a vital role in picking the right lady. If my dog doesn’t like you, it’s an immediate red flag.
What would your ideal date be?
BZ: My ideal date involving my dog would have to be a trip to the beach, which involves playing fetch, froyo for everyone, and talking and walking along the beach getting to know each other.
How does Zeus vet women for you?
BZ: Women definitely come up to Zeus and want to pet him because they think he’s cute, but he usually steals the entire show and people forget that I’m even there.
Any funny dating bloopers where Zeus didn’t like your date or embarrassed you?
BZ: I once asked for a date to hold Zeus while I went to the bathroom and when I came back, I found him pulling her all over the park
You just did a big road trip with Zeus. What makes him a great travel companion?
BZ: Zeus and I went down to San Diego to judge a dog surfing competition. We had an absolute blast and got to meet some awesome dogs and even a surfing pig.
On the way home, we were able to meet up with Shawn Booth and Kaitlyn Bristowe (of “The Bachelorette”) and their dog, Tucker. It was great to see them again and finally meet Tucker.
Could you imagine life without Zeus at this point?
BZ: I guess I never truly understood what it meant to have something to come home to until I got a dog. As a single guy living by myself, it’s not that fun coming home to an empty house. But now I couldn’t be happier with Zeus and his big ol’ smile greeting me every time walk through the door, even when that smile sometimes contains a flip-flop (laughs).
Nicole Pajer is a freelance writer who lives in Los Angeles with her husband, energetic Doberman, and rat terrier.