Like every satellite Kardashian owes their success to Paris Hilton, there would be no Instagram pups without Tinkerbell the dog. In fact, you could argue that without Tinkerbell Hilton, there could be no Paris Hilton; the four-legged Simple Life star helped create her owner's Thotted Up Heiress Barbie brand from the comfort of Paris' Chanel bag.
But due to her years of Swiftian seclusion, some of you may be wondering if Tinkerbell is even still alive. To that, we answer, yes…but only in the hearts of all early 2000s reality TV lovers. Read on to learn about the extraordinary life and legacy left by little Tinkerbell Hilton.
Who came first, Bruiser or Tinkerbell?
Tinkerbell Hilton was born on October 31, 2001 in Athens, Greece, and owes an enormous debt to another scrawny hot-pink-wearing b—h. Yes, reportedly Paris was inspired to pick up the pup after seeing Legally Blonde in theaters that year. It was Bruiser Woods, the tiny companion of heroine Elle Woods that made Paris need a chihuahua now. If that incredible movie never graced our screens, Tinkerbell may have been stuck peddling sea bass in the fish market all day.
However, Tinkerbell didn't come into fame until she starred in 2003's The Simple Life.
At the tender age of two, Tinkerbell Hilton signed on to The Simple Life along with co-stars Paris and Nicole Richie. Instantly the breakout star, the show documented Paris and Nicole as they worked gross minimum-wage jobs like us normals, while Tinkerbell sat wide-eyed in fabulous clothing.
It was only a matter of time before Tinkerbell was a red carpet mainstay. The style icon was sitting front row at Fashion Week and paling around with Diane Von Furstenberg. She got a spot on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, and hosted Saturday Night Live.
The Simple Life wasn't all fun and games for the celebrity canine, though. It got especially candid about some of the most dramatic moments in Tinkerbell's life. We'll never forget how America held their breath during her pregnancy scare, with loyal friend Kim Kardashian supporting her the entire time.
But it failed to leave out one of the biggest national panics of the 21st century.
Then, Tinkerbell was kidnapped.
On August 12, 2004, Tinkerbell was reported missing and potentially dog-napped following a break-in at Paris' mansion.
It wasn't long before Paris was plastering the streets of Los Angeles with fliers pleading, "Please help. This dog is like a child to me." She offered a $1,000 reward, before bumping it up to a staggering $5,000 reward.
So a child who's worth a baby's whisper of the Hilton family fortune, but a child nonetheless.
Then, a week into the national panic, our prayers were answered unceremoniously. Paris' spokeswoman, Gina Hoffman released a statement that, "Tinkerbell has been found and is safe." No other details were ever given, leading some conspiracy theorists to believe that Tinkerbell had died and was replaced by a doggie doppelgänger. It remains one of the greatest Hollywood mysteries still to this day.
Tinkerbell falls from grace after getting too "fat" for Paris.
In 2005, rumors swirled that Paris had given up Tinkerbell, pawning her off to her mother Kathy. There were multiple reasons cited but New York Mag reported that Tink was getting too big for her designer threads, and Paris had switched her out for a teensier pup named Bambi.
Tinkerbell nor Paris have never gone on the record regarding the alleged replacement, but we think this photo from the House of Wax premiere speaks volumes.
Dark days fell on the pint-sized pup. Now a paparazzi magnet, Tink made headlines that same year when she bit a Today Show producer on the press junket for I Wanna Be a Hilton and biting that producer was just not a good look. It was time to hang up her tiny tiara; the reality TV princess was over.
After years of hiding from the limelight, Paris and Tinkerbell were spotted together.
Over the years, Paris had filled her life with an army of new pocket dogs: Prince, Peter Pan, Diamond Baby, each little fluffy friend featuring a ridiculous name and an Instagram account. And yet, they forever lived in the shadow of her first puppy love, the Supreme of Purse Dogs, Tinkerbell.
Then, in 2014, there was a glimmer of hope that the Simple Life's most iconic best friends were reuniting. No, not Nicole, she was busy marrying Good Charlotte or something. After many years in retirement, it seemed like Tinkerbell and Paris were palling around again. "Here she is, the original queen herself," Paris posted on Instagram.
Indeed, Tink had packed a few pounds and was living life tongue-forward. At the same time, there had seemed to be no love lost between her and her birth mother. In fact, the two were on such good terms that they spent Christmas together that year. Maybe, in some way, Paris knew it would be Tinkerbell's last.
Tinkerbell Hilton passed away of natural causes on April 21, 2015. Paris broke the news in a social media statement, complete with a picture of her and the famous pooch: "My heart is broken. I am so sad & devastated. After 14 amazing years together my baby Tinkerbell has passed away of old age. I feel like I've lost a member of my family. She was such a special & incredible soul. We went through so much together. I can't believe she's gone. I will miss her & think about her for the rest of my life. I love you Tinky, you are a Legend & will never be forgotten. #RIPTinkerbell."
In a touching tribute, Paris dedicated her entire Instagram to Tinkerbell that day. A funeral was held at Paris' parents' estate. Years later, she is still mourning her BFF.
No matter how many famous pets clutter our newsfeed, Tinkerbell Hilton will forever be known as the OG celebrity dog, a trailblazer for all purse pups, and a fashion icon. Good night, sweet Tink. We hope you've made it to that big Chanel bag in the sky.