"The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man"- Charles Darwin
I always knew I was never going to find a side to John I didn't like, but I was particularly pleased when I found out that he shared his life with animals.
When starting to write this book I was working at one of the busiest animal hospitals in the UK, I don't think I have ever worked so hard for so little money in all my life. I loved it. My colleagues were intrigued, some more than others. Throughout the early days my biggest source of support came from Ceara. Ceara was amazing in herself, years ago she gave up the rat race and well paid job to follow her passion and help animals, she had worked in rescue and now veterinary. She had a massive animal family and was always willing to stick up for those who couldn't speak for themselves. She is one of those people I always hold in great regard, she also loved listening to my stories about John and Ceara believed in me - you need someone like this in the early days as most people laughed at the prospect of what I was trying to do. Head Nurse Lisa is also amazing, so strong and determined she has overcome such challenges in her life and is chasing her own dreams, she always believes anything is possible. Lisa gave me a chance when no one else would - I will always be very grateful.
People like this I consider to be "Bees". Many years ago when I was at Uni there was one lecture that stayed in my mind. We were taught that scientifically bees shouldn't be able to fly, their body mass is way too big for their wing span and no one could work out how they do it. However, no one had told the bees this so they just flew. So I try to base everything I do on being a Bee! If someone tells you that you can't do it don't listen, just do it.
Anyway I digress...
I loved learning about the beef cattle that John bought for his Toronto Farm - he couldn't bear what would happen to them so ended up with lots of pet cows. I love the fact they escaped and he had to round them up with golf carts - it sounds like it should have been a scene from one of his movies. Horses that he saved from the meat market that they couldn't ride. It was more of a petting zoo than a farm. They had cats and a dog called Keema. Keema he studied for his role of Barf in Spaceballs.
"I'm a Mog: half man, half dog. I'm my own best friend."
When interviewing Karen Austin, his leading lady in Summer Rental she told me how everyone loved John, even the dog loved John!
Lonette McKee told me John had backed her in her irate letter to Universal Studios who were using tar to trap pigeons when they were filming Brewster's Millions.
I have many stories in the book of John sticking up for others who didn't have a voice or whose voice was not being heard.
There is nothing nicer than falling a little more in awe with the person you are writing about.
PS Don't tell anyone, although I live by this bee theory - I have one of my own. Bees can fly because they have really bad wind, the buzzing isn't from their wings. That's why you will see them fly up and down as they buzz ;)