Animals & Money: Martha Speaks...volumes about what pets can do for you

Back in the early 1990s illustrator Susan Meddaugh got a call from her friend Martha, who had found a skinny mutt. Susan took in the dog, named her after her friend and made Martha part of a loving family. In return Martha made Susan prosperous beyond her wildest dreams. Or at least that's the way Meddaugh sees it.

"I really enjoy being able to say: you adopt a dog from a shelter or a stray, look what can happen. This amazing dog has taken me on a ride," Susan told me when I interviewed her for PeoplePets.com. Since 1992, people have bought some 800,000 copies of her fantastic Martha Speaks kids' book series about the adventures of a dog who can speak after eating alphabet soup. Now Martha is speaking to a new generation on a hit show PBS show of the same name.

Susan's gratitude to Martha is akin to the philosophy of Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow. In Susan's case, she loved dogs in general and Martha in particular. She also loved illustrating, of course.