Candice Bergen: I once had a dog I adopted from the pound in LA that I named Leonard. He was a smallish, mid-sized dog. Black with a white goatee and tarantula legs. He was also Houdini. When I had to go away, I would leave him at a friend’s house about 7 miles from mine. The first time I left him there, he disappeared and arrived at the back door of my parents’ house a mile away. Then he escaped from there and somehow found his way across big streets and up a steep tall hill to my house where my housekeeper found him the next morning. Once when he came on a shoot with me, we were filming in the desert in Mexico and he saw my stand-in who was wearing the same outfit I was, ride off on my horse. He followed her and when he finally caught up and she turned around and he saw it wasn’t me. So he turned right around and ran back to the camp, where he eventually found me. I had a horse of my own then, and Leonard would come to the stable with me and eat horse manure, which he loved, and roll in it. And then I’d hose him off and we’d go riding up into the hills together. Sometimes we’d run into coyotes or rabbits. He was the best companion and I still miss him.
Mary Wells: My husband and I had two King Charles spaniels, brothers, and you know how love pours out of their eyes. They were both named watermelon because that was my husband’s favorite sweet. One was named Pasteque and one was named Sandia. Pasteque was always on my husband’s lap and Sandia was always on mine. At night, just before we turned off the lights to sleep, Sandia would always sit up in his cushy bed and look me straight in the eyes for a minute before snuggling down. For 12 years every night that I was with him he did that. Twelve years is a good old age for King Charles spaniels. When Pasteque died, Sandia declined quickly. The night he died, I tucked him into his bed and got into mine. He was very weak by then but he sat up and looked me straight in the eyes and then snuggled down and died. You can imagine.
Joni Evans: J.B. is a 6 year old bearded collie who, without a doubt, loves me more than any person does. (Bearded collies are Scottish, and as a puppy, he was black and white — thus the name, J.B.)
- He comes to my bedside to greet me every morning — cold nose on my shoulder (but won’t move until he hears me stir first).
- He waits for me at the door when I come home from work, then smothers me with kisses and nudges.
- He sleeps at the foot of my bed and escorts me to the bathroom should I need to go in the middle of the night.
- He barks at any guest, and when he sees I accept them he escorts them to a chair then lies down at my feet.
- He runs with me, hikes with me, jumps into my canoe with me; when I take the-much-too-small-for-him kayak, he sits at the shoreline like a statue until I return upstream.
- When off for a walk with my man, he looks back at me about 3 times… just in case I will join.
- He bounds into my jeep wherever I leave the car door open or chases me down the driveway if I leave him behind (and stops short before the electric fence line).
I have peeked around the driveway to see what he is doing when I’m gone and he’s literally lying down with his face on his paws. Now don’t tell me he’s just sleeping; I’m absolutely sure he’s praying for my return.
Joan Ganz Cooney: Practically nothing. She is a 16 year old Bichon who is stone deaf and totally devoted to my housekeeper with whom she spends all her time including her nights in the housekeeper’s room. Since I know Lily wants to be with her, I let her take the dog home weekends. So all I get is a little interest at breakfast time when Lily knows I’ll give her a piece of my toast. I don’t really mind because I want her to be happy and stress-free in the time that remains.