Animals who just make life better

There has been a temporary absence from blogging for the last couple of weeks, as I’ve been getting ready for the imminent arrival of my baby and decorating a new flat. We are also awaiting delivery of a new camera.

So I was thinking about what I could write about in the meantime. Browsing through the hundreds of pictures on my phone – many of the best ones that bring a smile to my face are of the animals in my life and others I have met on my travels. I thought I’d share them with you.

A year after I left home, aged 19, I knew I couldn’t bear to live without a companion animal. During one of his visits to me, dad drove me out to a farm near Falmouth, where I was studying, and a small black and white kitten tried to run up my legs. That was Gwen, who has been at my side ever since.

Gwen helps with a photo shoot

As a child, we had a beautiful rescued Collie called Willow. Her memory has left me wanting to rescue a dog of my own for a long time, but the time isn’t yet right and I don’t think Little Gwen would ever forgive me (she is incredibly jealous and thinks all dogs want to eat her). But I am lucky enough to have several friends with dogs who I sometimes take care of or tag a long for walks with. The king of these has to be Alfie, a St Bernard who belongs to my boss and friend, Juliet. He is huge, but is actually a big puppy.

I spent many ‘tea breaks’ at the office having conversations with him.

Alfie and Winnie the Poo

Then there is Poppy, the rather lovely Staffie belonging to my best friend, Rachael. I’m always pleased to steal a few moments with her. She likes to sit on your knee at every available opportunity, despite weighing a ton!

On the beach at Porthtowan in Cornwall

This silky girl is Bella, daughter dog of our friends Jane and Mary. She’s a real lady and has also been a happy companion of many cooking sessions and photo shoots.

Then there is Gus, a really sweet little Spanish dog belonging to our friend Pru. He’s like a baby and just loves going for a good run then having a cuddle.

Bella is very noble

Gus having a cuddle on my birthday recently

Now for the turn of the cats. I’ve known dozens and dozens of cats in my life, of all different shapes, sizes, colours and characters. Most significantly, there is Gwen, who is currently delighted that I’m at home everyday and has been asleep by my side on the bed for the last month.

You have to meet Klaud. He lives in the flat below us and belongs to Lucy. He’s a Scottish Fold and one of the most wonderful looking cats I’ve ever met. He looks like he’s fresh from the pages of a cartoon strip.

Klaud is in charge of the garden

My partner’s parents have two cats, Tiger and Marcia, who are arch rivals. They also have a fabulous big garden to patrol and always come and greet you when you arrive.

Marcia and Gwen look like identical twins, but are very different in personality!

Marcia lands on the back of the sofa

Beautiful Tiger

The last two of my favourite animal pictures from recent months are of goats and wild ponies. We met these goats while visiting Hackney Farm in London in October, the day we got engaged. It’s a bit of an ambition of mine to rescue some goats some time soon.

We came across the wild ponies while on holiday at our friend’s cottage in the valleys in Wales. It was about to storm, which created these amazing colours in the sky.

Hackney goats

Welsh ponies

I hope these pictures have brightened your day.

Helen xx

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