In his later years my Dad, Barrie O'Donnell, had a particularly soft spot for cats and small dogs. They seemed to know it and would gravitate towards his lap and curl up with him on his recliner chair for a snooze in the afternoon sun.
These appreciative creatures didn't even have to be his own.
He didn't exactly attract strays but he did welcome neighbourhood cats into his home where they would secretly exchange mutual affection.
He liked to sneak them tit bits in the same way a loving grandfather would spoil his grandchildren with an ice-cream while on an outing.
Mini, the love child of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mother and her Jack Russell beau, was perhaps, his favourite little dog over the past few years. She lived with my brother's family but was always excited when Dad went to stay. She liked to sit up on the back of the couch with her head resting on his shoulder or the top of his head. There, he was often observed feeding her little treats of cheese. They adored each other.
Mini died a couple of years ago and even though my brother's family have other dogs, none of them filled the gap left by the departure of Dad's favourite.
This year, at the end of June, my father passed away so sadly no more cats and dogs will get to enjoy the delights of his tender exchanges. Thankfully I have this image to remind me of the special bond he shared with this dear little dog.
Read other stories about people and their pets.