I want to talk about Pokey, and all the pets that Pokey represents. A cherished list of angels that have offered a love that surpasses words and spent their lives making their people companions feel unconditionally loved.

Pokey was my grand-dog, a little rascal that gave my son John companionship beyond compare. Those rascals, Pokey and John: They marched along to their own drummer, with trust and loyalty and a lot of laughs along the way …walking the peaceful streets of Toluca Lake, enjoying running into Billy Ray Cyrus walking his dogs.

John and his much-loved friend Dale found Pokey, a discarded pup with a chewed up ear, long ago. Their significant connection led to a lifelong devotion. Pokey, a pit bull mix, was really a lamb that thought he was a lion. A good boy and a respectful grand-dog, too. And, as with all good things, Pokey came to his end. John Berry, and his dad Ken, went the mile and after many trips to the doggie doctor; it was time to let go.

We went to the nicest emergency hospital in Studio City, where with sensitive kindness and all the time John needed to release his dearest friend, Pokey went to his final sleep while hearing loving words and having sweet kisses.

So many of us have gone through this most grievous experience. And the release of tears opens up floodgates of all the pent up sadness that has been stuffed away for ages. This pain eases with time and the memories last forever. Love never dies. Pokey, a lucky stray…

Too Many Strays

Pokey. Adoring and trusting, loved and loving.

There are so many thousands of stray pets. Unwanted creatures created by careless humans. If only owners would spay and neuter their pets, the legions of stray animals would not exist to fills the shelters and there would be little need for rescues. My dog Skye was a lucky rescue, snatched out of the death row that is the destination of the unwanted.

So, who else to the rescue? Betty White, like Lassie, steps up to save the day…

“Betty’s Bucks for Balls” (this is so Betty), is the name of the Spay/Neuter Campaign that Betty White is launching to sterilize as many pets as possible, for free, as part of the upcoming fortieth anniversary celebration of Actors and Others for Animals. Betty sure has a sweet hustle! “Pet Overpopulation Is Not a Laughing Matter,” declares Betty, who feels very lucky and flattered for all the attention she’s received for her decades in the spotlight. Now she’d like to share the attention, spotlight, and luck on the beautiful and innocent animals that are killed every day because there aren’t enough homes. If the dogs that parented these sad animals were spayed or neutered, this breeding cycle of the unwanted would stop.

Forty years ago, when we gathered to create Actors and Others for Animals, Betty White has been a supporter. She serves on our Board of Directors and is passionate about eliminating the tragedy of pet overpopulation. As a strong advocate of Animal Health, Betty believes that there are health benefits for pets when they are spayed and neutered.

As a hands-on Board member, Betty accepted the honor (?) of being the subject of our first Celebrity Toast Roast. (This rowdy, too-funny event has been captured and is available for a donation to Actors and Others for Animals via our website.) She has attended our past celebrity fairs, along with her Golden Girl co-stars Rue, Bea and Estelle. True gold dust. They had long lines of fans waiting for their photos and autographs.

Now, Betty wants to reach out to the long list of Facebook fans that catapulted her to Saturday Night Live.

To join Betty’s campaign, just go to and click on Betty White’s touching call to action. As Betty says, “Every donation, whether $1.00 or more, will have an impact on the life of an animal.”

So, in honor of Pokey Berry and Betty White…

We’ll talk!

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Talk with Jackie

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