So much more than a Golden Girl

Besides being a wonderful actor most remembered for the ‘Golden Girls’, Betty White Ludden is a true lover and advocate of animals.

Last night, I attended the annual Morris Animal Foundation dinner in Denver. These are high class functions, as MAF is well known as the largest non-governmental non-profit organization devoted to animal health care studies. Betty is a Trustee Emeritus, and has been with the organization over 40 years.

Everyone had been informed of Earl’s death via email to the Trustees. I had also been in touch with staff members about the Wonder Husky’s memorial, and about Earl. During his illness and subsequent death, MAF sent Earl and the family cookie bouquets, flowers, and cards. I told the CEO, Dr. Patty Olson, a former professor of mine that I wanted to go, but didn’t want to be stuck in a corner with strangers. She put me at her table. Betty was at the next one over. I brought a friend, Karen, with me. Karen has been so wonderful to me, and worked so hard on the open house we had.

When a speaker mentioned Betty’s new movie, ‘the Proposal’ with Sandra Bullock as being the number one film at the box office, Betty went marching up to the podium to take the mic away. She gave a heartfelt thanks to the Morris Student Scholars; veterinary students in attendance which have health studies in progress sponsored by MAF, and told them very emotionally that they were the future of protecting the animals. Wow.

While I didn’t have to tell anyone about Earl’s death, I reminded Betty how the three of us walked around the Denver Zoo at last year’s 60th anniversary celebration. She remembered that, so I did mention to her that Earl had died exactly two weeks before. She looked at me with true sympathy, as she still mourns the love of her life, Allen Ludden. Then, she tenderly kissed my cheek. I love you, Betty.

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