Jay Gould's Career Is Going to the Dogs—but as a Vet, Not as a Model

updated 03/22/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/22/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

Jay Gould leads an unlikely double life. As a veterinarian, he takes care of sick dogs, cats, birds, snakes and skunks. But when he is not healing pets, Gould (no relation to the 19th-century rail baron) turns high-paid model, earning up to $2,000 a day projecting a sulky or boy-next-door image. "Jay could go the max—from modeling to movie star," raves Dan Deely, head of the men's division at Wilhelmina, the agency that handles Gould.

His modeling career started three years ago when a friend at SportStyle magazine suggested he pose for a spread on running clothes. Since then Gould, 33, has modeled for Playboy, Benson & Hedges and Johnson & Johnson; he has also filmed TV spots for Sergio Valente and Palm Beach clothes. "I know I'm not bad-looking," says Gould. "But I never thought I was anything to write home about."

Pet-crazy since he was a boy, Gould had few friends growing up in Harts-dale, N.Y. "Animals were my company," he says. But Gould was allergic to cats and thought he could never be a vet—until he discovered allergy shots while a psychology major at Denison University in Ohio. A 1976 graduate of Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine, Jay completed his internship and residency at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan, where he became an associate staff member in September 1979. He now consults at two other animal hospitals in New York.

These days Gould shares his East Side floor-through with girlfriend Susan Carr, a literary agent, as well as Henry, a parakeet, Miranda, a cat, and turtles Ralph, Zeke and Maud. Adjusting to his double life has had its confusing moments, Gould admits. "It's really hard sometimes to keep the two worlds separate. Monday mornings I wake up not sure if I'll be working with Cheryl Tiegs or a real Miss Piggy."

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