Readers may not be aware that I'm a 'first dog'. Before me, Gail's biggest pet had been a guinea pig (the much loved and long lived Arthur, 1967-75).
I can't show you a picture of Arthur - at least not until we acquire a decent scanner - but I would like to introduce you to some of my inanimate predecessors, who I'm pleased to say are still around today.
This is Mr and Mrs Teddy. Quite the old married couple, don't you think?
Mr Teddy used to play a tune, if you wound him up, but nowadays he just has a patch on his back covering where the key used to go in.
All the rather splendid clothes worn by these teddy bears were knitted and sewn many many years ago by various members of Gail's family. Special mention should go to Mr Teddy's scarf, a one-off contribution from big brother Max (who long since gave up knitting for accountancy and who, as far as we are aware, does not read this blog!)
Uncle Edward the Elephant, pictured right, was also the beneficiary of Gail's relatively short-lived enthusiasm for knitting. It was thoughtful of her, don't you think, to fashion such a fine trunk warmer, mindful of the fact that winters in the UK are so much colder than in his native Africa. I try not to be jealous of Edward, who still shares a bed with Gail, as I am a rationalist, remember, and it would be stupid to envy a non-sentient object, wouldn't it?
As for Sammy the Seal, I have taken care to photograph his 'good side'. I'm afraid that this young fellow's nose was badly burned in an unfortunate accident involving a gas fire, some time around 1965, and he may still be a little self conscious about his looks...Oops, sorry, forgot to be rational there for a minute!
Now some of my canine blogging friends, I have come to realise, do not treat their own stuffed animals with the respect they surely deserve. Fortunately, my scientific interests do not include dissection, or dismemberment, and as you can see, the Teddy duo, Edward and Sammy are all quite safe in my paws.