Shock jock and "America's Got Talent" judge Howard Stern is mourning the recent loss of his and wife Beth Ostrosky Stern's English bulldog Bianca and nearly broke down in tears several times on his radio show while talking about her.
"I didn't want to [bring it up] because I will start to cry and I don't want to cry on the air because you guys are so [expletive] brutal," he said on his popular X-rated Sirius SM show on Wednesday, July 18." I just know the tape will be played over and over again so I'm being a hard-ass."
"I've learned I'm human because I'm so touched by my dog," added Stern, who has Bianca's name tattooed on his arm. "My dog taught me how to love - love deeper. When my kids were born, of course you realize a level of love that you never thought you'd have. But this was a very different experience in that even your kids grow up and move away from you."
Bianca passed away at age 10 and a half in the couple's New York home on Tuesday. Stern's wife was with the dog at the time and contacted the shock jock, who was at work at the satellite radio station.
"She goes, 'She's gone, she's gone, our baby's gone,'" he said.
Stern and his wife, a model and animal activist known for her work with the North Shore Animal League, married in 2008. They have no children together. They have two cats - Leon and Walter. Bianca was Stern's first dog. The couple got her when she was a puppy and when they first began dating.
"We weren't even living together yet," Stern said. "Beth and I don't have a child and Bianca is sort of our child. Anybody who knows us as a couple I mean personally knows we just dote on Bianca - Bianca's everything. She's our fun. She's our life."
"I spent the whole day crying," he said. "My daughter Ashley came over and we were crying. The two of us were just crying like babies."
Ashley, 19, is Stern's third and youngest daughter with first wife, Alison Berns.
"I had made a vow, I don't know, a couple of months ago, because Bianca's health was declining," the radio host said. "I said, you know, for as long as I've got my good girl with me, I'm going to, every morning, I'm going to spend 15 minutes, half hour, whatever it is, just rubbing her belly and doing what she likes to do. This is tough for me. I'm really bummed."
Stern did not mention his dog when taping "America's Got Talent" on Tuesday, although he carried with him a picture of her.
"Thank God for work," he said. "You feed off the energy of the audience. I felt great and [judges] Howie [Mandel] and Sharon were great - they knew I was upset. I got a lot of love from the audience and I was really kind of moved. I wasn't thinking about my dog dying. But I took it really, really hard."
"I was almost going to mention that my dog died and I just said, 'You know, what, first of all, I'm going to lose it,'" he added. "Number two, it's a big night for these contestants. It was really rough because all I wanted to do was be with Beth. Had I been with my dog when she died ... I would have buried her myself but Beth decided to have her cremated."
Stern recalled some fond times with Bianca.
"When we were outside - and bulldogs can't take the heat - I would say, 'Bianca, go in the shade,'" he said. "The concept of shade is a human concept and my dog would walk around, look for the shade and go underneath a tree or by a hammock or something and put herself under it. Isn't that something? That always blew my mind."
"Sometimes I'd go for a run and I'd come home and Bianca would be waiting for me," he added. "And that was the other weird thing - in our house, Bianca had a place she would go when we left to run because she didn't like to be alone, so she would go to this place downstairs. I can go to the phone and page her and she'd come running up. This is the level we were at with this dog. And she was so good."
Stern has often talked about his pets on his radio show and he and his wife have posted photos of them on their Twitter pages. The two received emails and Tweets of support from scores of fans and celebrities, such as Rachael Ray and Osbourne.
"All of your kind words are helping me through the saddest day of my life. Thank you," Stern's wife Tweeted on Tuesday.
"People wrote me and they wrote me beautiful notes and they said ... 'Bianca was a really lucky dog,'" Stern said, "Every one of them, I wrote back and said, 'No we were the lucky ones."