Thanks to everyone who kindly sent me birthday wishes over the past few weeks. I have never had so many in my life. I am extremely grateful for all of your kind words and thoughts. I feel truly blessed.
Today is another special day for me, too. It was six years ago today that I officially adopted the love of my life. No, it's not a man, it's my little dog, Mushu. Mushu has been a source of happiness for me since I first laid eyes on her. She has made me laugh every single day since then without fail. I truly think she is what keeps me young, fit and happy. I cherish every day we have together.When I first saw Mushu at the Much Love pet rescue across from the Santa Monica farmer's market six years ago, I was not looking for a dog. I have always loved animals, but I never felt I had the time to dedicate to such a big commitment. But the moment our eyes connected I knew that if I didn't take this sweet animal home that day, I would regret it for the rest of my life. I have never done anything so spontaneous.Since then Mushu and I have travelled all over the U. S. and Canada together. She's also learned to do agility and has performed on numerous talk shows with me. I take her with me where ever I film and she never complains about the food or accommodations. She's the perfect travel companion. She helps make some of the long days more bearable and always puts a smile on the faces of everyone on set. She's very good at convincing people to feed her all kinds of junk food that ends up upsetting her stomach, so I've had to put a sign on her, "I know I'm cute, but please do not feed me."People are always so impressed by how well behaved Mushu is. As much as I'd like to take credit for it, I have to admit that she pretty much came that way to me. Mushu was already full grown when I got her. The vet seemed to think she was a year and a half when I got her. She was so easy to train and was already housebroken. She never chewed up a favorite shoe or anything that didn't belong to her. I suppose that's one of the bonuses that comes with getting a full grown dog.Why am I gushing so much over my dog? To make a point. Yes, there is a point. I know how cute little puppies are and how special they seem when they are of pure breeding and come with papers, but the disturbing fact is that an estimated 3 to 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized every year in the United States. Many of these animals are just puppies or kittens who never knew what it was like to have the love of a human being. I find it incredible that anyone would choose to spend hundreds of dollars on a puppy or kitten just to so they can say they have a pure bred pet, when they can save the money and adopt a perfectly good animal from a shelter or pet rescue. Believe it or not there are tons of pure bred dogs and cats at shelters, too. My parents in Hawaii rescued two Basenji's who both grew up to be amazing animals. I've also known people who have spent hundreds of dollars on a dog from a pet store only to find the dog had illnesses that could not be treated, some even leading to death, not to mention the hundreds of dollars spent on the doctors bills trying to save the animal, first.Another huge reason for adopting a pet from a shelter is to avoid supporting the hundreds of puppy mills that exist in the United States. The conditions of some of these places are deplorable. I cannot even begin to get into how horrible without spiraling into a depression so I will spare you the awful details.So on this day, the 6th anniversary of Mushu's adoption, I urge you, if you have a pet, please have it spayed or neutered to avoid condemning more animals to their deaths, and if you don't have a pet but are planning to get one, please consider adopting from a shelter or through an animal rescue. Do the right thing.
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