Bette Midler laughs just thinking about Queen Puddles, her one and only pet. â€œShe was the greatest living creature. I loved her with all my heart. She was a fabulous, fabulous dog.â€
And a quirky little individual â€” the Jack Russell terrier had to have her little doggy bed behind a curtain.
â€œShe was a riot,â€ Midler says. â€œShe 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.â€
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 â€œso much that they need,â€ she says. â€œThey 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.â€
But she scoffs at a Lassie-lowers-stress study (see story, page 6). â€œPeople 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!â€
Calling cats heart-healthy is equally ridiculous, Miss M says. â€œI think what helps people have healthier hearts is having someone to love and to look after besides yourself, which is always a stress-reducer.â€
Midler’s conclusion: â€œIt’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.â€