My pets

I am very fond of some animals and have had many as pets over the years.


Barney was our last Staffie and he lived for about 15 years.  Since Barney we haven't felt (yet) like finding a new family-member in his place - but there may still be time!


Several other dogs and a few cats have shared our homes and lives and the most recent cats were real characters - Claudia and her sister Tabitha ... and a fierce but strangely likeable Russian-Blue-Persian type we called Cassidy.


As a boy - and spread over quite a few years -  I had the usual little goldfish (plural) and a couple of very musical canaries, as well as a few budgerigars, guinea pigs and hamsters.  I remember still the aroma of the guinea pig food, a concoction of Bran and Potato Peel, boiled, cooled and eaten with enthusiasm!


At Aldwick (Sussex) we had to make do with a smallish garden Pond with well-filtered water, home to the many (too many) fish mentioned in the Garden page ... and ranging in length from less than an inch and a half to several of 7" or 8".  Their colours are from black to white, via light gold, brown, silver, yellowy and mid-orange.  Not surprisingly (if you've read other pages in here) the original generation came to us as a FREECYCLE item when someone 300 yards away was filling in their pond to avoid the risk of their granddaughter falling in.


(Note:  Just before we moved away from Aldwick, the fish were ALL given away through a Freecycle OFFER advert ... to two men, one from Eastleigh, the other from near Pulborough.  Each spent ages trying to catch them - but eventually all were caught and taken for re-homing and the pond was emptied down to a depth of 6 inches.  This allowed for the remaining frogs in the garden to find their way back to familiar water with a ramp provided to enable them to climb out of the pond if they needed to.


I'm sure there must be even sillier sounding names for pets ... but our cats' and dogs' names have included Cassidy, Tabitha, Claudia, Barney, Holly, Major, Hero, Mac, Bumble and Shan.


Shan (a Staffordshire Bull Terrier) was short for her Kennel Club name, Shantung Vigo Lady.  Barney was a version of Barnabas, chosen when we had already named him as Major and taken him to a Christian Conference in a Blackpool Hotel.  One morning another person attending the conference saw him, heard us call him "Major" and asked whyever we had chosen such a militaristic name for such a friendly pet.  We thought about that and very soon Joy and I turned to each other and said, almost in unison, "Barnabas" - a Biblical name, the name of the  man whose role in life was to be an 'Encourager'.  From that moment, Major became Barney - his role being to encourage me to take more walks and exercise !!


Maybe I need another "Barnabas" now!


For a couple of years or more we housed, at Aldwick, some Gerbils and they have moved with us from West Sussex to Norfolk, surviving the long journey and then 2 very cold nights in the car.  Maybe that is because they are animals whose natural home is Mongolia !


In Norfolk, as I write this only a week after moving here, we are beginning to wonder whether a dog may be a sensible addition to the household - especially with easy access to miles of good dog-walking territory along the beach and the local Sand Dunes,  The benefits of more exercise for me are hard to ignore - so watch this space!