Happy 693rd (in dog years) Birthday to one of the most famous, admired dog lovers of all: Betty White.
And just what is this Golden Girl doing to celebrate her big 9-9 (in human years) on Jan. 17? Unlike being entertained by a flash mob, as she was for her 93rd birthday, she’ll be doing the safe thing by spending her big day in quarantine.
“Running a mile each morning has been curtailed by COVID,” she told Entertainment Tonight. (Gotta love that Betty!) So she’ll spend the day working on getting her early 1970s TV series “The Pet Set” (which I remember watching and can’t wait to watch again) released on digital platforms and DVD Feb. 23, its 50th anniversary.
Oh, and she’ll also be “feeding the two ducks who come to visit me every day.” (Lucky ducks.)
White told PEOPLE she’s blessed with good health, “so turning 99 is no different than turning 98.” What keeps her going, she revealed, is her sense of humor. “Don’t take yourself too seriously,” she said. “You can lie to others — not that I would — but you cannot lie to yourself.”
If you want to enjoy a long life like hers, she advises looking at the positive side and not dwelling on the downside. “Takes up too much energy being negative,” she told PEOPLE.
There are probably well over 99 reasons to love Betty White and her positivity. Due to space limitations, here are just five of them.
5. Through the Morris Foundation, which she’s been involved with for more than 40 years, White has sponsored animal health studies that have resulted in major breakthroughs in animal pain management; information on genetic mutations that cause bone cancer in dogs; and using ultrasound to manage canine congestive heart failure.
4. To promote her “Off Their Rockers” show on NBC in 2013, White rode a wrecking ball in a parody of the Miley Cyrus video. Can’t wait to see Cyrus try this when she’s 92!
3. After losing her dog Kita to canine cancer, White promoted a fundraising 2011 photo contest to help eradicate this disease. More than $500,000 was raised for the Canine Cancer Campaign, for which she is the spokeswoman.
2. White was the oldest guest host ever of “Saturday Night Live” — and she got the May 2010 gig thanks to a Facebook campaign supported by more than 500,000 fans.
1. White has been an animal lover for nearly 10 decades. Ten decades. “My parents (who took in stray animals) were in the animal business, and I’ve been loving animals and appreciating what they have to teach us my entire life,” she told Steve Dale’s Pet World in 2013. “The consciousness about animals has risen. They’re a part of our families.”
PHOTO: Betty at the 1988 Emmy Awards. Alan Light/Wikimedia