I was a member of WIRES for many years and rescued, raised and rehabilitated quite a lot of animals - mostly birds, which I wasn't terribly successful with.
My favourites were possums and fruit bats.
I had a baby possum in care for quite some time and she came to work with me and spent a lot of the day on top of my head, as if I was her mum. I worked in the science labs of a school, so it was great for the kids to see our native wildlife up close.
I raised 2 fruits bats (Bruce in 1989-90 and Tilly in 1990-91. Tilly is in the photo). They were the most intelligent, beautiful animals. The started off fitting into the palm of your hand, on feeds every few hours. When they went into a creche, they were teens, starting to fly. The bonds I had with the fruit bats was incredible, and releasing them was truly difficult, but we were weaned apart and I hope they lived happily.
When I first moved out of home into a flat, stray cats and their kittens adopted me - and made themselves at home - even though I wasn't meant to have animals.
L to R: Sulphur-crested Cockatoo and Lorikeets; Butcherbird (juv); Diamon Python; various moths and also butterflies
Old Laurie, an ex-racehorse, became the best birthday present ever...except he was a lot of horse for a rusty owner! When we left Condo we gave him to an excellent home. And it pleases me to report that one of my three horses survived me :)
Prince was our second family dog. He came after Ebi died. He lived about 14 years. Long after I left home he was still there.
A neighbour gave me some chooks and a Muscovy drake - I even had a chick hatch (on the right).
I moved to a farmhouse and decided dogs were less hassle than horses, and I needed protection, so Ellie came along - she'd been an abused stray. She was loyal to a fault, and loved me unquestioningly..
I love this photo of my dogs, Ellie and Tink, sharing dinner with Laurie. It's cooked rice and vegies, not exactly horse tucker!
Animals have always played a huge role in my life. My parents got a dog when I was 1 and I have rarely been without an animal to care for.
At the moment I'm pet-free but my backyard is filled with local natives and for now, that's fantastic.
Let me introduce you to a few of the animals who have been a part of my life.
L to R: Rosellas
L to R: Koel; Male and female King Parrots
Ebi, my first dog, and the family pet. We had her from when I was 1 to about 13 years old.
Pushka arrived and decided to stay with us. No idea where she came from but she was a beautiful cat, loved Ellie and stuck around!
We all moved to Condo - Ellie, Tink and Pushka - where we were often joined by Charlie, our landlady's kelpie.
Buster lived with us for a while, but he developed a love of livestock and was rehomed.
Kori - I got talked into a second horse. I had her a year or so until somehow she got her leg caught up in a fence during the night. After weeks of vet visits, the remaining tendon snapped and my heart was shattered again.
This is another crazy photo of Tink sharing Laurie's lucerne chaff for breakfast. They were a strange pair, Tink was terrified of any other horse but they palled up right away. And when Tink had an epileptic fit, Laurie would stand guard over her and nudge her when it finished. A beautiful, but unlikely, pairing.
Pippa - my first horse. Given to me by some lovely people in San Isidore, Wagga Wagga, where a fabulous friend taught me about horses and how to ride. She kept Pippa at her place with her horses. It was the best arrangement ever. Cancer saw the end of Pippa, she was only 7 years old, and my first horse-shattered heart.
Tink joined us then and she was a lot of fun and mischief! She and Ellie were inseparable.
L to R: Blue tongue lizard; Stick Spider (and other spiders galore); Brushtail Possum and baby; Australian Magpies