My love of all animals started at birth, my mum had quite an array of pets when I was born, she was the one that taught me about love and respect for all animals. As I was growing up all I ever wanted to be was a vet, when I was about 8 years old my mum and dad asked if I would like a baby brother or sister, I thought about it for a while and said yes to a sister, but if there was a chance that it may be a brother could I have a pony instead! I got my first pony called Swizzle! (I’m still an only child)
I spent every waking hour at the farm with Swizzle, while I was there every injured animal or bird was brought to me to look after, my mum was very patient!
After I grew out of Swizzle I got a weekend voluntary job at our local vets, they were fantastic and before I knew it I was assisting with operations and anaesthetics. They even arranged for me to do a holiday placement at Jersey Zoo. During my A levels I became pregnant so never made it to Uni.
Instead I became a nurse, and eventually became a hotel manager. I used this position to fundraise for local animal charities.
In 2001 I met my husband, who is as animal mad as me. We soon adopted a GSD, after 6 months we decided he needed a playmate. Our local rescue was having an open day so we went along. I seen fell in love at first sight, I spent all day fussing him. An older dog with lots of scars on his face and gunshot wounds to his shoulders. We just connected instantly. We asked about adopting him, but they told me that he could never be re homed, and that he would spend the rest of his days at kennels. No amount of pleading would change their mind. We adopted a lurcher, but my heart still belonged to Spritz. I kept visiting him, and in the end the rescue agreed for me to take him on trial. We took him home, it was obvious that he had never been inside a house before, he spent the first few hours cowering behind the sofa. Eventually he came out but if one of us moved he would dash behind the sofa again. He followed me upstairs, but then could not work out how to get down, so he lay down and slid on his tummy.
When I had a baby he adored the baby, and never left his side, when he was toddling they became partners in crime!
We took in a pregnant cat, I was nervous about how he would react, but he looked after the kittens more than the cat.
We only had 2 years with Spritz, but he was very special to all of us. When he became ill and had to be put to sleep, I held him until he passed over rainbow bridge.
Since Spritz many many foster pets have passed through our home, and my children’s lives have been enriched by the experience. We have failed once or twice, and the dogs have stayed with our family.
If you have ever considered fostering a pet please feel free to ask me about it.