A thank you to four-legged friends

One of my earliest memories was being bounced from room to room by our black Labrador. Lots of people would say I was too young to really remember it but I know my mind was not playing tricks I laughed a lot. I grew up with that wonderful dog Wendy and loved her so much.

I was still in primary school when we got two female guinea pigs. My dad came home with them. It wasn’t unusual for my dad to come home from work with something he had acquired during the day. The joy of having a delivery business was people giving you things to take away. It was a few weeks later when the guinea pig family grew from two to quite a few more. In short, they had both been pregnant females when we brought them home.

There were two more family dogs that shared my teenage years and the move to adulthood. The first was another black Labrador the most friendly and lovely dog ever called Becky, and later came the rescued Springer Spaniel Coco.

When I went away to live in Sheffield and do my post-graduate journalism course I took the first of my very own pets. I had two gerbils – predictably named Tom and Gerry – that came with me and kept me company during my studies. They were very well travelled as they had a home at my parents and would often travel back with me on the train at weekends.

Since Tom and Gerry I have had many, many pets including gerbils, rats, degus and a lovely bushy-tailed jird. And if you have been reading recent blogs you will know that I have now a foster rabbit that I take care of at the stables and often bring back for a sleepover. Of course it was 2003 before a large grey horse came into my life and our family.

In short, I cannot remember a time in my life that I did not have animals around me. A variety of animals have, and continue to, share my life. I cannot imagine a time when I would be without them. Today is World Animal Day and a time to say thank you to all those animals that give us so much as pets, colleagues and friends. So to all those pets in the past years and to those currently in my life – Edward, Dave, Albert and Coco – thank you.

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