About Me

Hi everyone,

sl-aboutWelcome to my website! Let me tell you something about myself and then you’ll know me a little better and understand why I’m such a loopy animal lover, especially of DOGS!!!

• Born, July 1966 on the beautiful Isle of Wight
• As a baby lived in Tobruk, Libya for one year as my father was in the R.A.F.
• Returned to U.K. to Tadley, Hampshire {Helicopter base}
• R.A.F. Odiham, Hampshire next, where I was joined by my sister Annabelle
• Then off to R.A.F. Brampton, Huntingdon where my bother, sorry brother, Christopher, joined us… that’s what my sister called him
• Next R.A.F. Marham in Norfolk, Victor Tanker Squadron
• My father left the R.A.F. then and became a Police Officer in Cambridge
• Moved to the outskirts of Cambridge to a village called Sawston, in the country
• My father then joined Hampshire Constabulary and we moved to Ventnor, back to the Isle of Wight in 1978… Finally I felt like I was going home, aged 12…
• And my last move, aged 14, was to the village of Wroxall, on the Island, where my family still lives…

Like many families, I’m sure, we had many animals of all shapes and sizes throughout my childhood and I can honestly say the majority chose us, along with a few rescues we humans orchestrated. If my Mum and Dad had let me I would have had many more, but with such a nomadic life we had to be sensible.

Suzanne with one of the dogs we adopted.
Suzanne with one of the dogs we adopted.
Suzanne and Danny

When we were first posted to Libya there was no accommodation for us so we had to live in what Mum called ‘a shanty town’ amongst our Arab neighbours. My first pets were lizards and cockroaches… no not really, but they were there. No, Danny was my first pet, a dog called a ‘piard’. Sad to say, but our neighbours didn’t like dogs and were not very nice to him, he was only a puppy. We had no collar, lead, food, no shops or vets and definitely no inoculations. All we could offer him was a safe home. He and I shared the first year of our lives together. I think I must take after my Mum when it comes to animals, she was given a chameleon and then somebody brought her another puppy. We only had the year there so Mum found a loving home for the new puppy… but sadly nobody wanted Danny as he had passed the cute puppy stage, so…

Suzanne and mate – getting on well together.

A couple of years passed and we had a stray ginger cat turn up at our digs in Marham. She adopted us, her family had left the base and she was abandoned. We called her Puss. She had a lovely nature but was very fat, KITTENS! Mum found good homes for them all. Not long after the milkman on an early round ran her over, we were heartbroken.


Then Shandy, a lovely Lab cross something, very pretty joined us, she was the only dog we went out and bought when they used to sell dogs in pet shops. Sadly we had some horrible neighbours and they kept teasing her through the fence and she became very protective of us. Mum and Dad thought it kinder that she was rehomed. We didn’t want her blamed for hurting someone when all she wanted to do was protect us. She went to live on a farm and had a lovely life! We moved to Cambridge not long after and the house just wasn’t a home without a dog, so as a family we went to a rescue centre and there sat at the back, being very quiet and shy, was our ‘Tammy’. She was a lovely little collie cross terrier of sorts, she was like a little fox! We did everything together; she even slept every night with me. She was a good 14 years old when Dad and I took her to the vets, I was absolutely heartbroken. By then though I had left home and had my beautiful ‘Lass’, a collie. I saw Tammy most days and if I didn’t, I’d talk to her on the phone. Yes, we’ve all done that! Wait! I’ve missed someone out! Not long after we got Tammy as a puppy, I was playing with friends and saw some younger children messing around at the side of the road. I went over to see what they were up to. Oh no! I couldn’t believe it, they were trying to put a little ginger kitten down the drain. They said their mum wouldn’t let them have it and its owner didn’t want it back, so I said I’d have it… we called it Oscar. ‘He’ was so young we couldn’t tell if he was a boy or girl. Well,

Tosca and her babies
Tosca and her babies

Oscar became Tosca, a little girl. Tammy and Tosca became inseparable, so of course they then both slept with me every night! When Tosca had her one and only litter Tammy snuggled up with her to support her. They really loved each other. It was so funny to watch then play. We kept one of her kittens and called it Muffin. Moving to Sawston was lovely; we were right in the country within a small village. Sadly, once again an early morning milkman ran over our little kitten. Poor Tosca was sat next to him, licking him when Dad found him. That same year I started looking after the school’s pets for the summer holidays. I had my own hamsters and I loved my stick insects. One day a tortoise walked in and stayed with us as no one claimed him. Then the most handsome male cat strolled into our lives and stayed, nobody claimed him either. We called him ’Smack’ and none of us can remember why. Moving day to the Isle of Wight came, the lorry had gone and we had a big estate car jam packed, Tammy, Tosca, three hamster cages and the basket for Smack but he had disappeared. We were so upset. Our neighbours said if he came back they’d keep him in and we’d travel back to collect him. He never did come back. The big house next to us set in an orchard had our tortoise. There was not a single space left in the car for a big boxed hibernating tortoise. The family he went to loved him… he could still be alive today, you never know! Ventnor, I had my menagerie, I loved it. I added to it though and soon acquired my first rabbit, a beautiful Old English called Solo. He often came in the house for a run around and loved being in the garden in his pen, but his favourite was in his harness walking round Ventnor town. I think some people may still remember me walking my rabbit? My sister had a little Dutch Belted rabbit called Belle and a guinea pig called Beau that whistled a lot. I can’t tell you the amount of wild birds I took home to care for, quite a few did survive and some went to specialist care. I could never walk past an injured animal. Yet again another cat adopted us, Podge we called her as she was very fat. Nobody claimed her and we thought, oh no, kittens, but it turned out she had a liver problem so Mum made sure she had all the vet care and medication she needed, and she came to Wroxall with us. Podge had a good life and was with us for quite a few years until her liver problem worsened. I’ve also rehomed a Flemish Giant rabbit. He was massive but sooo friendly. Dad had to make me an extra large cage! I don’t know how old he was but in the end his back legs just stopped working and he seemed to just give up. ‘Tuppence was given to us, another Dutch Belted rabbit, she was an extremely friendly girl and loved being with my mum, running around the kitchen and grunting. Her favourite game was to jump on the rocking chair in the conservatory and make it rock, a real character! Just before I left home another cat entered our lives, a fluffy white and grey pretty thing, but very timid. She made her home in the greenhouse. Again after numerous notices nobody claimed her. Winter passed and she wanted to venture further afield. Although the fields and downs surrounding the majestic Appuldurcombe House were just in front of us, we sadly lost her to the main road and cars. It was so sad. Still, I truly believe I had the best childhood ever with my siblings, the best parents and grandparents. We didn’t have a lot but we had everything we ever needed to feel happy and loved, and best of all I had my special Tammy and Tosca!

Tammy and Tosca
Tammy and Tosca

When I left home at 18 years of age, my boyfriend and I, he later became my husband, bought our own house and we had our family of two daughters and one son: Kelly, Lianne and Jack. We also had many pets – chickens, ducks, lambs, rabbits, guinea pigs, cats, dogs, oh my dogs, I adored them, I told you I was a loopy dog lover!…There was one very special cat though, his name was Tommy, I’ll tell you all about him another time…

You’ll notice in all my books now and in the future there will be a dog or dogs. The Bella and Bentley series tells the stories of my granddaughters and their dogs. I’m hoping, as parents, you’ll read my stories to your children and really enjoy them. If they become a firm favourite I would love that one day they’ll read them themselves!!
Remember your pets are not just pets, they are your family and you are their family.

I do hope you enjoy my series of Bella and Bentley and in 2018 I will bring you a lovely story for 7 year olds and up, I think even adults will like it. It’s called
‘Stay With Hannah’

Please contact me, ask questions, tell me what you think, but above all read, read, read!!

My kindest regards to you all,

Suzanne x