Times When James Kennedy Proved He Was a Better Dog Parent Than Rachel ‘Raquel’ Leviss

(Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

Vanderpump Rules fans were shocked when news broke that James Kennedy was reunited with his former dog, Graham. Rachel ‘Raquel’ Leviss and James became dog parents to Graham Cracker in 2018. The pup even scored his own Instagram page. Rachel’s mom gave her Graham as a graduation present.

But three years later, when the couple ended their engagement in 2021, Rachel took custody of Graham. Graham was recently returned to James after a curious tale about why he was rehomed. Now that the pup is back with his fur daddy, let’s look at why James Kennedy is a better dog parent than Rachel.

James Always Doted on Graham

James Kennedy/Instagram

Let’s face it. James was in love with Graham the moment he saw him. During Season 7 of Pump Rules, he even participated in a “puppy shower” that Rachel planned. Most of the cast dissed the invite.

But Scheana Shay, Ariana Madix, and Tom Sandoval attended. The couple hoped that this party would mend some fractured relationships with the cast. But in the end, James was happy and proud to celebrate his Graham Cracker.

He Wanted To Be Part of Graham’s Life

(Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

After James and Rachel split, he wanted to continue to co-parent Graham. Katie Maloney and Tom Schwartz had a co-parenting schedule for their dogs, Gordo and Butter. But Rachel wanted to maintain boundaries with James. And that included his relationship with their pup.

James expressed his frustration over not being able to see Graham per US Weekly. “I’ve missed Graham more than I’ve missed Raquel. This is f—ked up, honestly. Maybe if I could see him once. I f—king miss him,” the DJ said.

In December 2021, the VPR star told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live how much he missed his dog. “So technically, Graham Cracker is her dog even though we raised him together. I’ll always love the little guy and I do miss him right now,” James stated. “There was no big fight or anything, so I don’t see why I couldn’t see Graham Cracker.”

James reluctantly gave up on being part of Graham’s life. In April 2023, he explained the situation to Andy on WWHL. “I’ve left Graham in the past now. Beautiful times, but he’s gone and that’s just what it is.” That is so sad.

James Would Have Noticed Graham’s Injury

Rachel arrived late at work at SUR because she had just noticed a puncture wound to Graham’s throat. Another dog bit him. How would you not notice that?

Lisa Vanderpump told James about Graham’s injury, and he became emotional. He begged to see Graham, and the former couple agreed to meet at a park. He was thrilled that Graham Cracker remembered him.

James and his emotional reaction to Graham’s injury show how much he cares about the pup. The fact that Rachel did not notice a puncture wound also speaks volumes.

He Would Never Bring Graham to a Shelter or Rescue Group

Graham and James were reunited during a Pump Rules cast trip to Lake Tahoe. James posted the news on Instagram. He shared a photo with Graham and captioned it, “Look who made his way back home, back into my life, I’ll take care of you forever and I love you.” It looks like James’ girlfriend, Ally Lewber, is also on board for the puppy love.

Rachel has been staying in a mental health facility. Graham allegedly was dropped off at a shelter because he was having behavioral issues, like biting. Lisa’s dog rescue organization, Vanderpump Dogs, reunited James and Graham.

What Happened to Graham Cracker?

But according to Rachel’s mother, Laura Leviss, there is more to the story. She told Entertainment Tonight that Graham had bitten people and had been in training classes. “While caring for him he bit me to the bone, causing severe damage,” Laura said.

“After discussing with Rachel, we made the tough decision to drive Graham on May 20 to California Doodle Rescue so that he wasn’t alone and delivered him directly to the trainer’s home with a tearful goodbye,” she continued.

Laura shared that Graham also bit the trainers. After the rescue reached out to Lisa, she decided to adopt Graham. Vanderpump Dogs took custody of the pup on July 13, 2023.

According to Laura, Vanderpump Dogs told the rescue that they “would either rehabilitate him and place him in a good home or he could live on her property until his dying day.” She added, “My daughter nor I ever dumped Graham and want nothing but the best for him.” But why was James never consulted when Graham first had behavioral problems?

If Rachel or Laura had reached out to James, I think he would have been thrilled to have Graham Cracker back. VPR viewers know that there is no love lost between Laura and James. But maybe what was best for Graham wasn’t factored into this decision. I believe that James would give Graham whatever behavioral help he needed.

James Gave His Dog a New Beginning

The VPR star decided to give Graham a fresh start, and a new name. James shared the news in an Instagram Story.

“Hippie! We’ve decided to rename this little beauty “hippie” this is a tribute to my late godfather, George Michael’s dog’s name … the only dog I saw around the house growing up,” he wrote. That is so sweet!

“Although George and Hippie are in heaven now together, I know that they are watching over me now, a proud doggy papa!” James added.

I’m sure we will be hearing more about this new puppy gate drama during Season 11 of Pump Rules. But for now, welcome home, Hippie!