Dogs and Other Animals
_I’ve always been animal crackers. I’m not just talking about fluffy animals either. Anything from spiders to snakes and from puppies to dragonflies, they all get my vote. The only creatures I’m not that keen on are daddy long legs (don’t ask me why) and cockroaches.
_As a child, there was always a dog around. I also had the usual rabbit, budgie, and a pond full of fish.
I started to keep fish as a result of working for Commercial Union back in the 1990s. My boss decided to put an aquarium in the reception area and I, as administrator / dogsbody, had to look after it. It was a very steep learning curve but it wasn’t long before I was hooked (please forgive my dreadful puns, I’ve looked, but there’s no cure). I soon went from having my own tank at home, to having several. At its peak, I had five, and was breeding corydoras catfish and other kinds of tropical fish.
_I wrote articles about my hobby for several years. Illustrated articles were easier to sell, so I taught myself how to take photos. Sadly, that was in the good old days, i.e. before we all went digital, so my photos are all on slides, of which the ones shown here are copies.
I still have hundreds of pictures with an agency – FLPA (http://www.flpa-images.co.uk) . To see them, visit the web site and type in the name Linda Lewis.
_I stopped keeping tropical fish back in 1997. Now, apart from a few fish in the pond which were her when I moved in, the only pets I have belong to other people. In January 2011, I began looking after dogs when their owners go on holiday. For this I DO get paid, but as I only board dogs that I like, I would look after some of them for nothing (DON’T tell their owners!).
The first dog who came to stay was a spaniel called Milo. He was with me for seventeen days by which time I had fallen hopelessly in love with him. I cried buckets when he went home.
I cried even more when his owners called in June to say that Milo had died. I have his picture as the screensaver on my computer.
_Louis, the chocolate labrador is the only one who sleeps on my bed. He has to get up in the night, and it’s easier if he’s in the same room.
I have decided to stop boarding dogs. Something tells me that looking after them was necessary to get me through the deep dark depression that came out of my mother's dementia and subsequent death. . Now i need to get out amongst people again.