BootLeg Betty

USA Today Weekend: Talking Cats & Dogs with Bette Midler

July 23, 2010
USA Today Weekend
Talking Cats & Dogs with Bette Midler
Brenda Turner

Bette Midler laughs just thinking about Queen Puddles, her one and only pet. “She was the greatest living creature. I loved her with all my heart. She was a fabulous, fabulous dog.”

And a quirky little individual — the Jack Russell terrier had to have her little doggy bed behind a curtain.

“She was a riot,” Midler says. “She was the best soccer player on my daughter’s team. We used to take her to soccer games when my daughter was 4 and 5, and Puddles would run out onto the field and grab the ball and she would rush the ball to the goal with her nose. It was hilarious. She gave us a lot of joy.”

And that is how Queen Puddles taught the Divine Miss M what millions of other Americans know, too: Pets make priceless contributions to your mood and health. Pets give people “so much that they need,” she says. “They give them unconditional love, and they admire them, they respect them, and all the things you want your family to do and they never do.”

But she scoffs at a Lassie-lowers-stress study (see story, page 6). “People who own a wonderful dog probably have less stress, but I don’t think watching Lassie is really the drill. That’s the silliest thing I ever heard. I want to see the science on this!”

Calling cats heart-healthy is equally ridiculous, Miss M says. “I think what helps people have healthier hearts is having someone to love and to look after besides yourself, which is always a stress-reducer.”

Midler’s conclusion: “It’s just the fact that they’re there, because that presence really does fill up the room. The difference between a home that has a pet and a home that has no pet is there’s sound, there’s life.”

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3 thoughts on “USA Today Weekend: Talking Cats & Dogs with Bette Midler

  1. I better get this one tomorrow (is it already available?). Bette looks fabulous! and the dog really looks so amiable and kind and friendly — but twice Bette’s size:) she has to be careful walking this dog in Central Park, hehehehe

  2. Miss M looks fabulous in the shot!

    I think that’s not Bette’s dog. It’s just a model. Queen Puddles was small, I believe The Divine One favors small pets.

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