Pet Spotlight: Chris Collett and Susie

susieOur Yorkshire terrier Susie is, we suspect, not the most intelligent creature in the world. There was the time she careered headlong into a patio door; the rock pool she thought she could leap across, landing instead plum in the middle. We’re on good terms with our neighbours so the end of our garden merges into theirs, marked out by a straggling hedge. Shortly after we had Susie, we realised that, in pursuit of squirrel or cat, she could potentially run from garden to garden for some distance and get completely lost. So as a temporary measure we erected a flimsy nylon fence to create a boundary. The first time a cat dared to trespass on our property Susie predictably chased it. The cat escaped up a tree but Susie ran headlong into the nylon fence, stretched it to its absolute limit and was catapulted back into the garden, dazed and confused. Tom and Jerry couldn’t have done it better.

At sixteen now, she’s completely deaf and showing certain signs of dementia, but we’re hoping we’ll have her for a little longer yet. Apart from the fact that she’s one of the family, we will miss the entertainment.

c collettChris Collett
Chris Collett grew up in Gorleston-on-Sea, Norfolk, before training, in Liverpool, as a teacher for children with learning difficulties. After graduating she moved to Birmingham to work in schools and local authority services for children with special needs and disabilities and their families. In 1983 she married and moved to Bournville, where she still lives with her husband and two children and has worked variously with children, young people and adults with learning and mental health issues.

Chris is now a university lecturer, teaching undergraduate students on subjects including special education needs, disabilities and inclusion, and equality and human rights. When she isn’t working, Chris enjoys walking, badminton, photography, reading, cinema, theatre and comedy.

When asked how she became an author, Chris has said: ‘By confounding my own and other people’s expectations. I still can’t manage to shake the idea that ‘people like me’ don’t become writers. I think of myself as a teacher who happens to write.’