Monday Photo-day: Pets


One of my favourite subject matters – in both writing and photography – is my dog, Kahlua. She has been a little god-send to me, and I love her to bits. 

I have heard it said before that you should never work with animals or children, but I’d like to challenge that as some of the most beautiful photos I have are of both animals and kids.

Here is my homage to Kahlua, my 10 year old Maltese-Shihtzu.

My dog Kahlua

Kahlua with Attitude

Road Trip - Loving the wind in my hair

Doing what we love best...snoozing

Puppy factories


Sometimes I feel like I live under a rock. I recently learnt about ‘puppy factories’, of which I – naïvely – never realised existed. This has left me feeling a little ignorant, as well as sick to my stomach.

The concept of a puppy farm is simple – ‘breeding dogs’ are kept for most of their lives in pens with little exercise or interaction, and used to produce puppies, with little consideration for their health or welfare.

The puppies born in the puppy factories more often than not experience long-term health and behavioural issues due to the environment they were born into, as well as suffering from poor nutrition and lack of socialisation within the first weeks of their lives. As you can imagine, there are other problems such as in-breeding, high mortality rates, poor living conditions (dogs often live with their own filth), a lack (or no) veterinary attention, and so on.

The ‘breeders’ often use newspapers, car sales or false shop fronts to sell the puppies, and sadly some run actual pet shops, thereby selling puppies bred this way to the unsuspecting public.

For more information on this, and a campaign has been set up to abolish puppy factories called ‘Oscar’s Law‘. I warn you – some of the images and stories – like the story of Oscar – are incredibly sad.

The RSPCA has also set up a website where you can pledge your support to closing down puppy factories for good.

My baby went to hospital today


Man its been a stressful day! And this time it’s not work related.

It’s because my baby (the white fluff-ball called Kahlua) underwent an operation.

I played it cool, calm and collected after seeing the vet yesterday afternoon – being told that they would need to operate to remove some ‘fatty lumps’. ‘We are 90% sure it’s not cancerous‘.  Heartening, yes. But I’ve heard that line before – and they always ended up cancerous.

I slept so badly last night – probably subconsciously worrying about her being cut open today. I can’t help it. She’s my baby girl. We’ve been together for nearly 10 years, and she’s been with me through it all. The highs and lows of relationships, break-ups, happiness, stress, depression and death. She is the most important thing in my life. It’s natural.

I’ve been told a few times lately, by a few people, that she’s ‘getting on now and you should really prepare yourself that she is not going to be around forever.’  I know. I’m not stupid. And I know I will be an absolute mess when it happens, but I’ll cross that path when I get to it.

Anyway, she’s okay. The ‘fatty lumps’ were just that. It’s something dogs get when they age. It was just unfortunate where they were located on her little body – if she was a human it would be under the arm pit. She woke up from the anaesthetic well, and I was allowed to bring her home this afternoon. She has a whole load of stitches in her side and a drainage tube – which is a bit freaky. Plus she has the bucket on her head. She’s really a pretty healthy dog ‘for her age’ – thank goodness.

She’s the one who’s distressed now. She’s sitting right by my side at the moment, snuggled into my leg. I’m sitting on the floor boards typing this, in an effort to keep her calm. At  least her breathing has settled and she’s lying down on her cushion now. It’s got to feel so weird when you have no concept of what has happened, why you are in pain or why you have a stupid bucket around your head.