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After living a jet-setting lifestyle for most of her adult years, Amrit Tietz has spent the better part of the past year pregnant and preparing to slow down. For 15 years, the Los Angelean — Indian by descent, but raised in Australia — has been an in-demand DJ (working events for everyone from Dua Lipa and Lauryn Hill to Nike and Dior). She’s also a founding member and director of partnerships for nonprofits (Feed the Streets and Structure, a project with Better Shelter, among them), as well as host of her lifestyle podcast, Unhinged With Amrit.
Now, the warm, easygoing multi-hyphenate can claim the title “mom.” She actually has two kids: her newborn daughter, Frankie Ava, and Soy, her self-professed “first child,” a Miniature Pinscher / Chihuahua rescue. These days, she and her husband, a self-employed creative director, are less focused on jet-setting and more on nesting.
The Wildest asked Amrit, just before she gave birth in late February, about how she’s trying to train Soy to sleep in her own bed (spoiler: She’s been unsuccessful so far), why it took so long for the pup to realize her human was pregnant, and why Amrit couldn’t care less about people who take offense when she refers to Soy as her first child.
Your dog’s name is…Soy?
[Laughs] When I got her, she was so cute, so funny, so adorable. And everyone, with my [Australian] accent, thought that I was saying “soy” instead of “so.” Like, she’s “soy cute.” The name just kind of stuck!
How did your lives come together?
I rescued her from a great organization in New York called Social Tees. They were always doing these little pop-ups in the dog park near me, outside Petco, stuff like that. One day I saw Soy, and she was just the one. Obviously, she’s the light and love of my life, but I didn’t really realize what I was signing up for. She was seven or eight weeks old and had a lot of issues because they rescued her from a puppy mill in Tennessee. She had really bad night terrors and was on a lot of medication.
I’m sure Soy was very used to the New York City life after you rescued her, but you moved to LA in 2020. How was she on the airplane?
She’s actually a really great flier. That’s because I’ve had her on a plane from when she was little and brought her everywhere with me when I was traveling for work. She’s just really comfortable [on] the plane. She doesn’t make a peep out of her bag. Then she got bougie when she moved to LA. When we’d go back to New York, she really refused to go to the bathroom outside. We would have to coax her into it. She was like, “No, I’m experiencing the good life now, and I’m not going to go on this dirty sidewalk.”
You have great style. Do you like to dress her, too?
Less here. It was more acceptable on the East Coast, because the weather permitted it. We were very much maxbone, Moncler vibes: cable-knit sweaters, puffy jackets. Here, it’s more fun collars and leashes. My friend Shelby just launched a really cute psychedelic dog-collar line that Soy actually modeled for. The brand’s called Daisy.
Where are the most exotic places you’ve taken Soy?
She’s a domestic traveler, because I haven’t got her passport yet. A lot of places, like Australia, have really insane dog-quarantine situations. And I deejayed in the Cayman Islands over New Years — it’s a really difficult process of getting dogs in. But as far as domestically, she’s been to almost every [major] city in the country, just because I take her on tour with me. I was working on a project once, programming a house for a Swiss watch brand, and we ended up moving to Malibu for a couple of months. And she was living her best life, like, frolicking on the beach!
How was she throughout your pregnancy?
You know, in the beginning, she wasn’t acknowledging it. I was getting a little nervous, because I was like, “Is she gonna be territorial?” But she just started kind of making more contact with the baby. When the baby started moving, you could kind of see it. So, she would nestle up to [my belly] or come lay next to me. And she started looking at where the baby is. I felt like that was her acknowledging this new presence. Sometimes, I’d wake up and it was all of us tangled in my pregnancy pillow. I’m like, “Wow, there’s a lot going on here.”
Was there any baby prep involved around Soy?
You know, that’s a good question. I was on this Reddit deep-dive of rescue dogs and babies and how they interact. We sleep with her in the bed. I’m just one of those people…I got a dog to have company, so I never put her in a crate or bed or anything. But one thing we’ve been trying to do is encourage her to sleep in this big dog bed. We’d try all these different tricks to get her to sleep there.
So, we’re putting our sweaters on there because they say your smell will entice them. We do notice on the Nest camera that, if we’re out of the house, she will go on the bed. But if we’re home, she’s like, “No, I’m with you guys.” Getting up every few hours in the night…we hope she’ll get tired of it and move to the bed. We’re trying to give her that as an option. So I would say that is the main change — but it’s not happening very successfully.
Being a working mom is challenging. How are you going to juggle all this?
I’ve worked for myself and been a creative entrepreneur for so long that I actually feel like I thrive in the chaos of having a million things going on. I think it’d be a nice challenge to have a new priority and see how things kind of sit around that. I have the luxury of not having to apply for maternity leave or seeing how long we can [take] off. We have the time to figure out the best schedule, and balance between us and the baby. We’re both in a creative industry where a lot of our work can be done from home. Not everybody has that privilege. Obviously, I am Australian, and you essentially get, like, a year off, and so does your partner. But when you have a baby here, it’s nothing. It’s definitely not set up for family life.
A lot of people say that their dog feels like their first child.
100 percent — Soy is my first child forever, even if she is a little traitor because she does favor her dad who came into the picture way after I got her, five or six years ago. She just adores him and I’m like, “Don’t forget you’re my child first! I rescued you from the depths of Tennessee!” I think she just has a new place in our lives, but it’s kind of funny how people take offense when you compare a dog to a child. Those are always people who don’t have pets, and it’s like, “You just don’t understand it.”
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Nisha Gopalan has been a writer/editor for The New York Times, New York magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and NYLON magazines. She currently resides in Los Angeles.