03/04/2014 AT 5:00 PM ET
When Charity Shea brought home her now 5-month-old pup Cedar last October, the Single Ladies star was convinced that the dog would become her loyal companion and BFF.
“I thought, ‘Cedar’s a boy, and boys have special relationships with their moms,’” Shea recalls.
But it was her boyfriend of nine years, Karl Lindner, who ended up stealing all of the dog s attention (and affection).
“I get jealous of him and the dog!” Shea, 30, tells PEOPLE. “They totally have a bromance! They re in love every day, and Karl gives all of his attention to Cedar – petting him, training him, walking him … I get no more attention.”
Adds Shea: “It’s like I’m kicked out!”
The couple are also the proud parents of two cats – Puma, 12, and Duke, 5 months – and their older feline is just as smitten with the man of the house.
“That’s her father, and he’s her whole wide world, Shea explains, adding that Lindner “loves the animals and the animals love him.”
But as bummed as she is that she’s not the favorite parent, Shea – who plays hopeless romantic April on VH1’s Single Ladies – says she understands what has her animals under her boyfriend’s spell.
“Since we met, he has this magical touch that will put you in a trance. It’s like he kind of tickles you, and it’ll entrance you – even me,” she says. “And he does that to every animal, and then he like owns the animal after that and they’re obsessed with him … And then they love him more than me.”
Single Ladies airs on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on VH1.