Growing Up With Animals

Without wishing to make Libby’s life sound like something out of the Jungle Book, we have always tried to expose her to various kinds of animals, as well as having our own pet dogs and cats. 

As a result, Libby has always been a huge animal lover and some of our most successful days out revolve around animals. Today has been no exception. 

This morning, we walked the dogs for an hour (Libby walks all the way, we don’t use a push chair and I don’t pick her up). Two people stopped us on our road today to say how nice it was to see her being brought up with the dogs and getting plenty of fresh air. They both see us walking past every day whatever the weather. 

After we’d walked the dogs, we popped to see the midwife “to make sure baby sister’s ok” as Libby puts it, then headed off to a local countryside show for children. While we were there, Libby was lucky enough to be allowed to stroke various animals from sheep, cows and goats to horses, lamas, donkeys and rabbits. 

For me, the highlight of the day was when we went to have a look at some small animals, including a skunk (I’d never seen one before) and a snake. The snake was a lovely little corn snake and after we had touched it, the handler asked if anybody would like to hold it. Most of the children and all of the adults were too scared to hold it, but Libby excelled herself, immediately asking to hold the snake around her neck. I was happy for her to do so, as was the handler, so the snake was placed around her neck. Libby loved this, ignoring the shocked gasps from the adults who were around and she gently stroked the snake as it moved around on her. 

I was really pleased with Libby today, both for holding the snake and for being gentle with all the animals and polite when bigger people pushed her out of the way. A few times, she was stroking the animals when both older children and adults barged past her to get to them. Rather than being upset or annoyed, she waited patiently for them to get fed up and go, before resuming her position next to the animal she was stroking gently. 

The only disadvantage with taking Libby out for the day on my own was that there was nobody available to take photos, I had my hands full with her and the bag so unfortunately we didn’t manage to get a photo of her with the snake around her neck. In the absence of that, here is a photo of our latest addition to the family helping me with my work. 

Despite being a pedigree, Jemima was a rescue cat from the Cat’s Protection League. I don’t agree with anyone breeding or buying pets at the moment, there are so many put to sleep every day because there is no home or rescue space for them. When our last cat died, I waited nearly a year but there was just something missing from our house without a cat. I made sure that I found one that got on with dogs and children and Jemima has been the perfect addition to our household. I would urge anyone to consider rescuing a pet rather than buying one. 



  1. April 21, 2014 / 7:22 am

    I grew up around animals as well. I would have want a dog (& we actually have a name alaready, Pochi) but finacially it would be unfair to the would be pet cuz we are on a tight budget. But one day. One day. #mbpw

    • Natalie Ray
      April 21, 2014 / 6:17 pm

      Aw bless, I totally know how you feel, I had to wait for a few months to get another cat so that I could afford to insure it. Well worth the wait though.x

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.