The UK

Dibley & Yet – On my first ever visit and stay in London, I house sat in the colourful area of Brixton, South of Central London. In my care was Dibley, a Bearded Collie of 11 years and Yet, a seven-year-old Domestic Shorthair. Dibley, a sweet girl likes things predictable and unexciting, including her walks, feeding times and play things. A veteran in the neighbourhood and her park, she is easily recognisable with her big soulful eyes and shaggy grey coat and well-liked by all those who know her. In the three level home, Yet has claimed the second floor as her home base and will wonder upstairs in the evening or down to the kitchen for a late night snack, but mostly loves her corner with her scratching pole and the underfloor heating in the bathroom.

Jasper, Bunny Go John, Unicorn Pegasus, Charlie & Truffle – Jasper is a one year old Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced “show-low-eats-queent-lee”), the ancient Aztec dog of the gods or more commonly known as a Mexican Hairless Dog and has many of the qualities this breed is known for. He is a loving companion and vigilant watchdog. The alert and loyal Xolo comes in either hairless or coated varieties, Jasper as a lover of the Scottish outdoors, fortunately has a black coat. There were two dirty ducks on my assignment in Edinburgh too, Unicorn Pegasus and Bunny Go John. They were always happy and content and would go from slug slurping in the mud, to immaculate white downy pillows nesting on their straw bed. The quietest of the tribe were the two geckos, Truffle and Charlie who required monitoring throughout the day to ensure their enclosure was kept at the right heat and humidity.

Whiskey, Ollie & Didge – Three older cats that live in the English countryside and enjoy a charmed life. They each have their own territory marked out and respect each others space, favourite spots and most importantly feeding stations. The two brothers (no points for guessing which ones they are) are almost indistinguishable, Didge a bit longer and leaner while Ollie more solid and chunky. Whisky, a bit wobbly on her aging back legs usually rests on the window sill in the sun but can get up a mean hiss if her favourite dish of shrimp for breakfast is being eyed off by one of the boys.

Steve & Tom – On my first visit to the UK, I spent one month on the beautiful Isle of Wight in a small village in the South West. During this time I cared for Tom & Steve, both about ten years old and have grown up together after they were rescued as kittens in Africa. Tom is an independent, tough and chatty fellow and Steve is sweet and playful. Steve is blind and so requires a greater level of vigilance and care, but this extremely capable cat loves to go for walks in the field and knows his way around the place and doesn’t let his lack of vision slow him down.

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