Rebecca Herbst's General Hospital character Elizabeth is struggling to
deal with the horrors of rape, but her life off the set is oceans away
from the convoluted craziness of Port Charles.
The young actress lives with her parents, Debbie and Wayne, in Malibu, Calif.-- along with five other happy companions: two dogs, a cat, a rabbit and a squirrel.
"Where we live is pretty rural," she explains. "Our house is in the Malibu hills, and on each side of our property are horse stables, so it's a great place for pets."
When asked how her family ended up with such a wide variety of pets, Herbst laughs and replies, "My sister Jennifer! She keeps bringing home hurt and stray animals -and she doesn't even live here anymore!"
Lambert, a 9-year old male tabby is Herbst's oldest pet. My sister brought
home his mommy, Squeaky - and aftar Squeaky had a litter, we decided to
keep one of the kittens," she recalls. "We feed Lambert dry and canned
cat food, but his favorite treat is bacon.
Lest you think that means Lambert is somewhat spoiled, never fear. Asked if the cat snuggles up with her when she goes to bed at night, "No, Lambert sleeps in the garage with the dogs," Herbst reports. "They get along well together, but we have to make sure they're inside at night with the garage door closed because there are coyotes and bobcats in the hills and we've lost animals to them in the past."
The Herbst household was never the same after the Valentine's Day when
Jennifer brought home Coogan, a 2 1/2 year old, black and white, male mixed
breed dog as a gift for their mom. Gibson, a 2-year-old yellow Labrador
retriever, became a member of the family a short time later.
"He was bred to be a guide dog but because his mother was malnourished, he was very sick at birth and unable to be used for the program," Herbst explains. Now strong and robust, Gibson loves to mix it up with his canine brother "He looks up to, and really loves his big brother; in fact, it seems like he's glued to Coogan's hip," says the actress. "But he has no attention span; he's very hyperactive. If Coogan thinks you're too excited, he'll bark at you, laughs Herbst.
"The dogs like to chase tennis balls, but their favorite activity is swimming," she reports. "There's a little pond in our yard where they love to romp."
When Herbst looks for a more tranquil pet time-out, she visits with
Bunny Bun, her 5-year-old rabbit, and Beakers, her 1-year-old squirrel.
"When I first got Bunny Bun, I wasn't sure if she was a male or female
so I didn't give her a name right away," she recalls. "I'll let her out
of her cage during the day to play in the yard. but she eats all the plants.
Plus the dogs love Bunny Bun.
"Beakers was found by a man in a park when she was only two days old. She had a broken arm and a dislocated hip. He brought Beakers to the Humane Society and we adopted him soon after."
For a year, Herbst and her family patiently nursed Beakers back to health, and she's now a happy and healthy squirrel, but, warns the actress, "If she doesn't know you, she'll bite!"
Sounds somewhat like her GH character Liz.