Bette’s Queen Puddles a Park Avenue Socialite

Jeannie Williams USA TODAY

NEW YORK — A fluff ball of a Yorkie trots importantly from room to room, trailing New York Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams through her luxurious Park Avenue penthouse.

It looks like a Yorkie. But Adams wonders: Could the terrier, subject of her new book, The Gift of Jazzy ($19.95, St. Martin’s Press), just possibly be — stop the presses — the reincarnation of her late, legendary comic husband, Joey Adams?

Adams, the quintessential New Yorker, lives life as a drama, so she embraces this theory, first suggested by her longtime housekeeper, Nazalene Persaud, and driver, Reggie Ramkissoon. ”I realize everybody will think I’m loony tunes,” Adams says.

The evidence: Joey had a dry itch and was constantly scratching. Same for Jazzy. Joey had one big chair he liked to sit in, and it’s Jazzy’s favorite. Joey liked to sit in the kitchen — so does Jazzy. ”Joey wouldn’t sleep at night if I wasn’t there in bed. Jazzy won’t, either.”

Adams and her staff stare at the 7-pound Yorkshire terrier as he follows his mistress’s every move, just as Joey used to do. Yes, it must be Joey in a dog suit.

Jazzy jumped right into the gap in Adams’s\ life. The Adamses had been married 40 years when Joey died in December 1999 at age 85. Days after her husband’s death, Adams was sent the 3-month-old pup by producer/consultant Michael Viner and wife, Deborah Raffin. Cindy was taking a condolence call from Hillary Rodham Clinton when the newcomer threw up on her chest.

Jazzy proceeded to train Adams, and today he uses designer shampoo and has a driver who takes him on play dates. His face is carved on the headboard of his little bed. He chews her most chic shoes.

Adams has written her column since 1981 and works from her home, once owned by heiress Doris Duke, pounding out scoops on VIPs from Philippine shoe maven Imelda Marcos (a pal) to Richard Gere (news)’s recent nuptials. Jazzy feels free to bark into one of her five phones when a star is screaming at her about a column item.

Her book details the sadness of nursing Joey through his last days and how ”this little creature filled an empty spot for me.” She also explains her theory that strong women like herself, Elizabeth Taylor (news) and Joan Rivers have mysterious bonds with tiny dogs.

”My mother was the same age as Joey, and she died two months after he did. They were the only two people I ever had in my life,” says Adams, childless and previously petless. Don’t ask Adams how old she is. ”I’ve lied for so long I wouldn’t know. My age, weight, sex life and income are the four things I’ve lied about.” She likes ”60-something.”

On Feb. 13, Jazzy, who has his own sable coat, will host the opening of his boutique at Macy’s in Manhattan, named Jazzy Park Avenue, with celebrity canine guests.

Says Adams: ”It would be nice if this little dog could keep me in my old age. He’s costing me enough. He has more groomers than I do, and, believe me, I need all the help I can get! He has his nails done, his tushie done. It costs a fortune to fly him anywhere. And he’s not going to go business class — he’s a Park Avenue dog! He has a trainer every Thursday for socialization.” He plays with Judge Judy’s dog, Bette Midler (news)’s dog and Rivers’ pups.

Naturally, there’s a movie in the works. Adams’ tones are hushed when she reports that the Merchant-Ivory filmmakers want to do a short film on Jazzy. ”They only want the dog; they’ll take me along with it.” Bet on Cindy Adams doing more than a cameo.

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