From bad breath to good behaviour

Annaliese Morgan (left) and Kate Crowther
Annaliese Morgan (left) and Kate Crowther

THINK Bridget Jones and Sex and the City mixed with practical advice on owning pets and the result is ‘Desperate Housepets’ - a handy guide for single animal-lovers.

The book is the brainchild of former veterinary nurse Annaliese Morgan and illustrator Kate Crowther who spotted a gap in the market for an informative but easy-to-understand guide to owning cats and dogs.

Annaliese, who runs the Fuchsia Pet Spa in Bradford Road, said she was amazed at the confusion and lack of understanding there was on the part of some pet-owners and she wanted to produce a book packed with practical information but written in a witty way.

“This was quite a departure for me. I have written veterinary text books before but they have been rather dry. This time I wanted give pet owners a realistic view of keeping their animals healthy - without boring them to tears,” she said.

A chance meeting with Brighouse designer and artist Kate Crowther led to the two women working together on the book.

Said 27-year-old Kate: “I went into the pet spa in Brighouse and struck up a working friendship with Annaliese. It then transpired that she was writing a book and we both felt it was fitting that it should have some quirky illustrations to go in it. Animals have got personalities, just like people, and I hope that comes across in my pictures.”

From bad breath to good behaviour, ‘Desperate Housepets’ is packed with realistic and useful tips. “It still surprises me how little some people know about owning and looking after their pets,” said Annaliese. “People seem more than happy to listen to their neighbours, the woman in the chip shop or their best friend’s cousin’s aunty than seek professional advice.

“Owning a pet is a big commitment and people often go into it without finding out what’s involved. We hope this book will give them some pointers and help them look after their pets properly. We think it would make an ideal gift for someone who is thinking of investing in a pet.”

Kate, has been doing design work for Annaliese’s business which was set up in 2008 and the two women enjoy working together. “We have a good rapport and, though getting the book together was hard work because we had tight deadlines, it was good fun and hopefully that will come across to readers,” she said.

Kate, originally from Brighouse, has a studio at Dean Clough, Halifax. She studied furniture and product design at Nottingham Trent University and has worked in London.

Though the book is subtitled ‘The Single Person’s Guide to Healthy Pets’ Kate and Annaliese hope it will have a wide readership and appeal to anyone who is thinking of investing in an animal.

“I already get a lot of people coming into the pet spa and asking me for advice so it seemed a good idea to put it all down in a book,” said Annaliese who had to learn to walk again in 1998 after a serious motorcycling accident. “I just want people to be prepared for what’s involved in owning a pet.”

l‘Desperate Housepets’ is published on June 1 by Indepenpress at £12.99. It will be available from Fuchsia Pet Spa or on Amazon.