Michael Phelps strikes gold with his dogs

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Michael Phelps shows off Stella (Penelope) on the Today Show's Bow to Wow segment. Photo Credit TODAY

Continuing on with our theme of the Olympics this month, Embracer Lea put together a piece on Michael Phelps and his canine companions. Olympians have big hearts for their pets, as well as for their sport.

It’s not just his competition that will be pleased with Michael Phelp’s retirement. His two canine companions, English Bulldog Herman and recently rescued Catahoula Mix Stella will also be happy to have him around more. Phelps says that neither dog is keen on his early morning work-out schedule and prefer to root him on from the comfort of the couch.

''I've been hearing stories and seeing pictures that Stella is more relaxed than before,'' Phelps said in a Fox Sports interview. ''I want to be able to go home and hopefully not see Stella ripping Herman's wrinkles anymore. She kept doing that, and he would get so upset. But they like each other now. I definitely miss those guys. I remember the day I left, they all looked so sad.''

Herman was the only dog in this Olympian’s world when Phelps was partnered to promote the adoptable Stella (formerly Penelope) on a Today Show segment in 2011. It was then that Phelps took the 9 month old spotted beauty for a walk in the park and quickly realized she could be his swimming pal in retirement.

And now that Phelps is no longer sticking to his 12,000 calorie per day diet I wonder if there might be some leftovers in their food bowls.