jeudi 9 mars 2017

Hopelessly Devoted To Animals

Olivia Newton-John Is Hopelessly Devoted To Animals

The 'Grease' star and pop singer talks about pet parenthood.

By: Gerry Strauss

She’s got pets, and they are seemingly multiplying. “Grease” starlet and international pop icon Olivia Newton-John is much more than one of the world’s favorite singers and actresses—she’s a lifelong lover (and adopter) of animals.

The four-time Grammy winner opened about defending animal rights at a young age, dealing with the loss of pets, and whether some people might not be suited for pet parenthood after all.

PawCulture: How much of your life has been affected by pets being close to you, like family?

Newton-John: Since I was a child. We lived in a university and my father was a professor, and I used to rescue them all the time. And my mother said I was always bringing home strays. Stray dogs, stray cats, and I remember as a little girl, seeing a guy being abusive to a horse with a cart, and I went up and grabbed the reins and yelled at him… I must have been under 10. So, yeah… I always adored them.

PawCulture: As you grew up, launched your career and became a world-traveler, have you always been able to maintain animals in your life? Or were there periods where it was tough to do because of your lifestyle and schedule?

Newton-John: I’ve always had them, whether it was difficult or not. As soon as I could afford to have my own house, I had pets. Whenever I could have an animal, that was my first priority. I had dogs in England. At one point, before I had my daughter, I had seven horses, nine dogs, and a bunch of cats, and chickens. But now I have a dog, a cat, 13 chickens, and two miniature horses.

PawCulture: Wow. I’m surprised it’s not louder over there.

Newton-John: It’s not what?

PawCulture: Exactly!

Newtown-John: (laughs) They give me joy. When you come back from a trip, your animals ground you. There are things to be cleaned up and animals to be fed. You need to get up early and go down in the cold and have them watered, and then take them to the field and watch out for storms and all that stuff.

PawCulture: Some people just assume that they are too busy to care for animals. But you are living proof that even a touring performer can make it work.

Newton-John: I have to say that I’m very fortunate that I can afford to hire someone to look after them when I’m not here. So for people that don’t have that, or if you can’t take the dog with you, maybe you shouldn’t have one, because otherwise they’re neglected. If you can’t take care of them properly, you shouldn’t have them—that’s my feeling.

I don’t have them with me all the time. I don’t like leaving them at all, but because of my profession, I don’t have a choice. Luckily, my cat and my dog are very stable.

PawCulture: Do you think that our society has moved in a positive direction as far as being open to the idea of adopting and rescuing animals instead of automatically turning to pet shops?

Newton-John: Well, I think people have really opened their eyes to that. There’s a lot of adopted animals. And I think you’re rescuing them, anyway, when you get them from the pet shop. I think that’s a rescue, too, in a way.

A lot of those dogs have not come from better situations. So wherever you get them from is wonderful. Some people still say they’re getting them from a breeder, and that’s their choice. But there are many animals that need homes, so if you can adopt a dog, it’s a wonderful thing to do.

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