by Nicki Edwards
I love animals. Dogs. Cats. Horses. Sheep. Cows. The bigger the better. All my life I’ve been surrounded by animals. From my first cat Robbie, who Mum tells me used to sleep in my bassinet (can you imagine letting a cat do that these days?) to other cats including Oscar, Phoebe, Jaimie and Pepper when I was growing up to Tilly, Misty and Roxy when I got married.
Here's me with ‘Oscar’ when I was 5.
This is my gorgeous brown Burmese 'Roxy' who is currently 12 and still going strong (much to my non-cat-loving-husband's dismay).
Growing up I always had dogs - from greyhound Candy (who I can thank for the scar on my lip - but that's another story) to Labradors ‘Ben’ and ‘Penny’.
(Here's me with the dogs, aged approx 14. What was I thinking with the hairstyle???)
When we got married, we shifted house a lot and didn't have our first dog until we moved into our first home with two small children. Nellie was the most amazing Border Collie and will always have a place in our hearts. After Nellie passed away when she was 13, we had a rescued greyhound called ‘Ebony’ (formerly ‘Silk Gloss’ although I don’t think she ever won a race!)
And then we got Molly (#bestdogintheworld). If you follow me on social media, you will notice that many of my posts are filled with pictures of Molly who, my children say, has become my fifth child! (Sh! don't tell them, but they might be right.)
Over the years I’ve also been blessed to own horses, from my first pony Buckley to Monty, Melody and Captain.
Here’s me with Buckley on my 8th birthday – he was one of the best presents I have ever received and I still cry when I remember the day he died.
And here's my persian cat 'Phoebe' who loved being anywhere near my horse 'Captain'. She used to weave around Captain's feet, sit on his back, smooch his face. They had an incredible bond.
Over the years, all my animals have brought me so much joy and because of that, animals feature in my books. When I started writing, ‘Molly’ (#bestdogintheworld) begged to be part of the story, and so she became ‘Baxter’ in Intensive Care. Kate’s cat Matilda was named after our cat Tilly. In Emergency Response, Mackenzie has always wanted a dog. When she returns to her family home and finds her father has a dog, she is shocked because he’s never allowed her to have one.
Excerpt from Emergency Response
Mackenzie’s hands went to her mouth. “Is this Dad’s dog?”
The minister held a lead attached to a gorgeous little border collie with sad eyes. He smiled warmly at Mackenzie. “This is Nellie. You knew I was looking after her?”
“Yes, of course. I meant to say something earlier today when I saw you, but I forgot. Would you like to come in?”
“Thanks for the offer, but no, I won’t. It’s been a long day for you and I’m sure you’re tired. I just wanted to bring Nellie over in case you were planning on leaving tonight.”
Mackenzie stroked the dog’s soft ears and ran her hands over the dog’s coat. She was beautiful. The dog responded to Mackenzie’s touch by jumping up and squirming closer.
“Thanks for everything, John. For looking after Nellie. For caring for Dad. For the funeral.” Sudden tears prickled once more. Sensing her discomfort, Nellie butted her body against Mackenzie’s leg. Mackenzie stroked the dog’s head, drawing strength from the action.
“She’s a good dog,” John said, leaning over and ruffling Nellie’s silky ears. “She’ll give you lots of love, that’s for sure.”
Mackenzie smiled sadly. “Then she’s just what I need.”
Today is release day for the second book in the ‘Escape to the Country’ series, Emergency Response. To win a Kindle copy, tell me what sort of pet you own and why (sometimes), they are all you need.
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