Learn Pet Care From Rue McClanahan in These Instructional Videos from 1990

Learn Pet Care From Rue McClanahan in These Instructional Videos from 1990

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a renewed interest in classic hobbies — like crafts, knitting and gardening — along with other activities that make us feel better during these trying times. Two of the more popular pastimes/coping mechanisms have been adopting or fostering pets, and watching “The Golden Girls.”

What if we told you that there was a way to combine the two (other than reading Betty White’s books on animals)? It’s true: there is. It comes in the form of a series of instructional videos released in 1990 featuring Rue McClanahan (best known for portraying Blanche Devereaux on the iconic sitcom) talking about pet care. Here’s how to watch them and what you have to look forward to.

The truth about cats and dogs and Rue McClanahan

Picture it: 1990. You’ve just gotten a dog and/or cat, but don’t know how to take care of it. For some reason, advice from veterinarians, the Humane Society and other pet adoption places just isn’t cutting it. What do you do? Why, you purchase copies of instructional videos featuring Rue McClanahan, of course!

There are two separate videos released in 1990: “Rue McClanahan: The Dog Care Video Guide” and “Rue McClanahan: The Cat Care Video Guide.” Both offerings feature McClanahan in conversation with Dr. David Griffiths, a comically British veterinarian who seems more Monty Python character than actual human person.

In addition to providing plenty of evergreen advice on selecting and caring for cats and dogs, each video is also a masterclass in flirting. It’s not entirely clear whether McClanahan is actually into it, or is playing along as a nod to her on-screen persona Blanche Devereaux, though she does refer to him as “devilishly charming” and “cute.” Griffiths, on the other hand, can barely contain himself. One can only imagine the gushing (or whatever the British equivalent is) phone call he placed to his veterinarian colleagues back in the UK when filming wrapped.

For instance, when McClanahan talks about exploring “the mysterious inner workings of the feline mind,” Griffiths responds with: “I’d be happy to have my brain picked by such an enchanting woman.” Later on, she asks him why cats arch their backs, and then demonstrates the manoeuvre herself (while seated). He tells her that she “does that very well,” and she replies, “well, I’ve had a lot of experience.”

It’s tempting to list more examples of some of their steamiest exchanges and smouldering glances, but those are best uncovered on your own.

How to watch the videos

The cat video is far more accessible, with the full 48-minute version available courtesy of the Internet Archive, as well as part 1, part 2 and part 5 on YouTube. Sadly, there’s not much available from the dog video, but fortunately, someone (probably Griffiths) made a supercut of its thirstiest moments:

If some kind soul out there has access to the full dog care video and wanted to upload it somewhere, we wouldn’t be mad. Until then, keep your eyes peeled for one wherever video cassettes are sold. And thank you, Rue, for being a friend to pets.

Log in to comment on this story!