Whether you are a Netflix viewer or Marvel Comics fan, there’s no one hotter right now than Simone Missick. Her breakthrough role as crime fighter Misty Knight on Netflix’s “Luke Cage” has already made a permanent impression on the Marvel universe, and she’ll return to it in “The Defenders,” which is set to premiere on Netflix in August.
When the stunning Detroit native isn’t fighting bad guys, she’s caring for her adopted canine, Charlie, the most recent step in her lifelong love of animals. We spoke with her about her childhood menagerie, her husband’s love affair with Charlie and why every couple should adopt a pet.
PawCulture: Have you always been infatuated with pets?
Simone Missick: I have always been a dog lover. I’ve always been an animal lover. I attended the Amazing Food Chain Day Camp which was held at the Michigan State Fair in Detroit. The camp ran for three years, and I attended all three years and ended up being a counselor the last year that the camp was opened.
In that camp we raised cows and pigs and chickens and sheep. At the end of the summer, we would take home chickens, and you would raise them on your own and then bring them back and sell them for the state fair.
My parents thought I was going to be a vet. I’ve had every animal. I’ve had multiple frogs and cats and turtles and rabbits and guinea pigs and hamsters. They literally bought me every animal that you could own in a domestic capacity.
When I went to college, my dog got sick, so they had to put her down, unfortunately. That was the last pet that I had until now. My husband and I adopted our dog, Charlie, last year and it was the best decision that we’ve ever made as a husband and wife.
PC: Was he a dog lover also or was he just jumping on board?
SM: It’s funny, I thought he was a dog lover, but he was really just jumping on board. He thought that this was going to prepare me for having a child. Little did he know that this dog would become like his own child.
He grew up and he had dogs when we was a kid, but I guess that dog was just like the family dog. It wasn’t like a member of the family for him. When we adopted Charlie he was like, “Oh, this is what this is like.” We laugh about it all the time.
We knew that we wanted to rescue a dog. In Los Angeles, there are a lot of no- kill shelters and there are a lot of programs where you can foster pets and I have friends who foster animals, so I knew that that was definitely the route that I wanted to go. We found out about this small shelter in South Los Angeles and ended up getting Charlie from there.
I met a lady on set a couple months ago and her best friend is a part of a charity where they go to other countries and they rescue dogs from off of the streets. It’s something that’s necessary because there are a lot of people out there who are just hurting animals and taking advantage of them and abusing them and it’s such a disgusting practice. It makes you wonder why people want animals that they abuse. This definitely has opened my mind and my heart up to working with animal charities, and just helping to reduce the number of animals that are abused in this country and abroad.
PC: You mentioned earlier that adopting a dog was beneficial to your marriage. Why is it such a great idea for a couple to bring an animal into their lives?
SM: On a selfish level, I think that dogs, and animals of any kind, are great stress relievers. They offer this unconditional love that anyone coming home from a hard day’s work or a long day needs. It’s not just you taking care of the dog. They take care of you also. They feed you emotionally.
When it comes to couples, it’s a great way to look at how you manage your time and how you share responsibility. Although a dog is not a child, there is that sharing. Who’s going to make it home in order to walk Charlie or who’s going to be able to take him to the park or who’s going to get him to the groomer or to daycare? How are we going to go about finding the best boarder for them to go to if we have to go out of town?
My husband is very overprotective of Charlie. We took him to a mobile grooming place, but he was nervous. He was like, “I don’t know, Charlie, was really anxious.” It gives me this peace knowing that this man, when we do have a child, is going to be just as tuned in or going to be even more tuned in and on top of everything.
It’s good to have something that you share together and take care of together because it will show that you can handle the stress of raising something together. We thankfully got a dog that was already trained. We had no idea when we got him that he was housebroken, but if you have to go through that with a dog, if you have to go through the training and the house breaking and the potty and all that stuff it will really prepare you for being a parent. Maybe you will decide together, “hey, maybe we don’t need to have a kid.” That will be something else. I think it can only make your relationship stronger.