WLM Sunday Spotlight – Charlotte Smith

Victoria Twead‎:

In the spotlight today is Charlotte Smith, author of Paw Prints in Oman. She and her dog Billy are happy to answer our questions, and two winners will be picked at the end of the day. You’ll find Paw Prints here: http://smarturl.it/AmazonPaws

Morning, Charlotte!

Charlotte Smith

Frankie Knight: Good morning Charlotte! Hope you are fully dressed for the occasion as promised?

Charlotte Smith: I’m here – just got off the phone with my daughter who is 21 today!

— Actually I am dressed Frankie as I took Billy for a good stomp up the mountain this morning. Pajamas later though.

–Morning to you Beaky – don’t worry about me, you just get on and finish that book of yours

Cherry Gregory: Hi Charlotte, congratulations to your daughter!

Dodie Shea: Had to wake up early to welcome you. Hope you have a great time. Happy birthday to your daughter. Now I’m back to bed as it’s only 4 am here. Will catch up later.

Charlotte Smith: Thank you Cherry – not sure how much birthday fun she will have as she is studying hard for her finals

— Thank you Dodie – sleep well

Cherry Gregory: Poor thing! Still, well worth it in the end.

–I’m in the middle of reading Paw Prints, which is very entertaining. How long did it take you to write?

Victoria Twead: Would that be Georgie who is 21? The youngest daughter who went to Oman with you? Happy birthday, Georgie! Your mum is still sorry you had to sell your pony.

Charlotte Smith: It took me about 6 months Cherry – but I enjoyed every minute of it!

–Beaky stop reminding Georgie that we sold her pony! Actually that pony went on to have 2 babies which was rather sweet

Cherry Gregory: I think your enjoyment shows in the book. It’s a lovely read. Will you write any more?

Charlotte Smith: Good question Cherry. I would like to write another and do have a plan in my head but I’m hoping to start a small holiday business this year so will have to see how much time I have

–I found with Paw Prints that I needed to give it my full attention – if I stopped writing for a few days it took me ages to get back into it

Victoria Twead: What’s your planned holiday business, Charlotte? I’m guessing Cattery? Doggery?

Charlotte Smith: No cattery and no doggery Beaky. I’m afraid things in Spain are not that much better than Oman regarding animal welfare and Nick will leave me if I collect too many more animals!

— The house we’re buying has a small cottage in the garden that we can rent out for holidays and a great room in the house with the most amazing stone bed that we can use for B&B

— Looking forward to getting Beaky the chicken and her friends when we move

Julie Haigh: I’ve got your book on my kindle but not read it yet. I have to say what a fantastic cover it has-how can anyone resist it! Have you always wanted to work with animals and have you read books in the past such as the James Herriott vet ones?

Charlotte Smith: Yes Julie – I used to love the James Herriot books. I’ve always loved animals but I was very lucky to get the opportunity to work with them when I was in Oman.

–I wouldn’t have been allowed to do what I did in Europe without going back to school and I’m far too old for that!

Frankie Knight: I haven’t yet read your book, Charlotte but it is on my list (so many, so little time). I am an animal person so really looking forward to it. I do not think I could work with animals as you did as I would become far too involved and upset. You are right about Spain. I live away from any Brits and have to close my eyes to what goes on here in the campo. Largely from ignorance, I believe…. How did you cope with it?

Charlotte Smith: It was difficult to deal with at times Frankie and I agree with you that most animal suffering is down to ignorance rather than deliberate malice. Although I dealt with some horrifying cases there were plenty of good times too and there are so many wonderful people all over the world who would give their last pennies to help an animal in distress

Shirley Ledlie: Morning Charlotte, I hope you enjoy your day I haven’t read your book yet but it is on my list.

Charlotte Smith: The people I worked with in the clinic in Oman saved my sanity over there and I’ll never forget them.

–Morning Shirley Just hoping my internet connection survives the day!

Karen McCann: Hi Charlotte Smith. I’m just wondering what the greatest challenges were in writing your book, And what helped you through the process?

Charlotte Smith: Morning Karen. I think the greatest challenge was starting the book – I sat at my computer for days writing a few words then deleting them and starting again. The most helpful thing was Victoria Twead’s little book How to Write a Best Selling Memoir. I think I would have given up at the first hurdle without it.

Shirley Ledlie: Charlotte, I have read Victoria’s book too and it is very helpful indeed. Was this your first book?

Charlotte Smith: I wrote Paw Prints for very personal reasons. 7 years is a long time to spend away from home and I learnt so many lessons about life while I was away. Once I got into it I found writing the book very therapeutic

–Yes Shirley – my first book. Isn’t that’ How to’ an absolute gem?

Cherry Gregory: Charlotte, there’s nothing like being out of your “comfort zone” to help you grow as a person and reading your book I did feel you were thrust out of your comfort zone when you moved to Oman. What do you think are the most important lessons in life that you learnt?

Charlotte Smith: The other great help for me was finding this group. So many lovely people with good advice and plenty of giggles for the lonely author.

–Cherry I learnt to be a lot more confident when we moved to Oman. I’m a rather shy person so was terrified of moving so far from home. People were very kind and welcoming in Oman so my confidence grew over time and I have no regrets that I spent 7 years in Oman. Learning about a very different culture is fascinating and taught me that no culture is perfect but each one deserves respect.

Cherry Gregory: That is great, Charlotte. And such good preparation for other moves.

Micki Stokoe: Hello, Charlotte! Just popping in to say I hope you have fun today. I’ll be back later – off to the St George’s Day parade & service in York Minster!

Charlotte Smith: Nice Micki! Give good old St George a salute from me!

–Cherry – I hope I’m just about to make my last move for many years

Frankie Knight: Does this mean you are moving away from Spain? Where to and why?

Charlotte Smith: Certainly not Frankie! Just moving to our permanent Spanish home overlooking the lakes at Iznajar.

–I have been dreaming of living here for years……finally wore the old man down

Alan Parks: Ok, this may be a question with ulterior motives How much land will you have and do you like fluffy animals that look a bit like llamas?

Charlotte Smith: Our new hideaway



Frankie Knight: Where is Iznajar? Is it in Andalucia still?

Charlotte Smith: Frankie, Iznajar is North of Malaga, West of Granada and East of Seville so yes very much part of Andalucia. Google it and have a look – a bit of an unknown jewel of a place I think.

Cherry Gregory: It looks BEAUTIFUL!

Charlotte Smith: Alan – don’t think the thought hasn’t crossed my mind

Alan Parks: Good for managing the weeds on the land, providing your fencing is good lol

Charlotte Smith: But will have to check out fencing first

–Thank you Cherry – come and see for yourself one day

Frankie Knight: Charlotte, how high up is it? I am 831 mtrs and it gets bitterly cold in winter….. Hope you have central heating as it will be lot colder than Mijas!

Charlotte Smith: What fencing Alan? There is none at all at the moment! Tell you what….you come and build my fences and I’ll buy your alpacas!!

Charlotte Smith: You’re right Frankie – it is high and it does get cold. We have great wood burning stoves and of course all those animals on and in the bed keep us warm!

After 7 years in the Middle East I’m rather looking forward to some cold winters. I was in England last winter and it was just mild and very very wet. Billy (my dog) had his first taste of snow when we were driving from the UK to Southern Spain in February. Blizzards North of Madrid and I have to say he wasn’t all that impressed!

Cherry Gregory: So how many animals have you got right now, Charlotte?

Charlotte Smith: Cherry, at the moment we just have Billy the dog and Frodo and Mr Frog the cats – all rescued from Oman so they are very well travelled!

–I will try and put photos on the thread but at the moment my internet is so slow it won’t cope

–We rescued a 3rd cat from Oman too but she doesn’t get on with Frodo and Mr Frog so she lives with my daughter in England

Cherry Gregory: Still, enough pets to keep you busy! I’ve only got one pet, Thomas the cat, and he’s quite a handful. He was almost wild when he first came to us six months ago, but he’s calmed down a lot now.

Charlotte Smith: Cherry – Frodo was less than a week old when she came into the clinic so I bottle fed her and she has known nothing but love and protection all her life and yet she is as wild as they come. Proof that nature wins over nurture most of the time

Cherry Gregory: Yes, that’s interesting. As a child I had a pet rabbit. She got out one night but we found her the next day. Little did we know that she had bred with a wild rabbit in her night of freedom. Her offspring were WILD from the very start! The poor mother couldn’t cope! We used to throw turnips into the pen and the tearaway baby rabbits would descend on it like locusts and then a second later it was gone. There was no way we could handle them or tame them despite them being born in captivity and the mother being tame. We had to let them out down the fields when they were old enough.

Charlotte Smith: That’s such a funny story Cherry – I am now laughing while imagining little devil bunnies pouncing on turnips!

— I did some research on hand reared kittens and in fact it turns out that they don’t make great pets because they haven’t learnt to be proper cats! When I worked at the clinic I used to tell people that the bottle fed babies would make great pets for children because they were so used to being handled – oops, I guess I was lying!

Frankie Knight: It’s no good we MUST have a get together of all us ex-pats in S Spain one day!

Charlotte Smith: I adore Frodo though and am always grateful for the slightest hint of affection she gives me.

–Where are you Frankie?

Becky Corwin-Adams: Good morning! I have not read your book but I want to. I am a bit of a dog lover. I have a FB group for readers and writers of dog books.

Charlotte Smith: Morning Becky! Am I allowed to join your happy FB group?

Becky Corwin-Adams: I would love it if you would join, Charlotte. https://www.facebook.com/groups/435017346606869/

–I was planning to sleep in a bit today. I have to wake up at 6 AM to give pills to four of my dogs. When I got back to the bedroom, all of the dogs except one were asleep on the bed and there was no room for me.

Charlotte Smith: I know what you mean Becky – it doesn’t matter how big the bed is, they’ll still crowd you out!

–Thanks for the link Becky

Becky Corwin-Adams: Have you had other dogs in the past, Charlotte?

Frankie Knight: Becky, my cats are now barred from the bedroom as I was fed up with being pushed out of bed and having to go around the other side to get back in….

–How are you enjoying this so far Charlotte?

Charlotte Smith: We always had 2 or 3 labradors when I was growing up and I had Wispa my beautiful chocolate labrador. My mother looked after her while we were in Oman and sadly she died just short of her 14th birthday nearly two years ago. I was heartbroken but she had a great life

–Don’t blame you Frankie! I wish I had the strength to ban mine

–This is all great fun everybody. I’m loving every minute of it……..thank you for keeping me company

Alan Parks: No animals in the bedrooms here! One time Arthur broke in, using his head as a battering ram and loomed over us in bed. Then he started climbing on and we couldnt stop him. Much as I love animals, I hate animal hair in the bed.

Charlotte Smith: Haha – even I wouldn’t let those giants into my bed Alan! Well maybe not.

Frankie Knight: And animal farts in the night! Whew!!! Charlotte, I am in the upper Almanzora valley, just north of Almeria city!

Charlotte Smith: I’m lucky – Billy doesn’t molt at all and the cats being Omani have such short hair that you wouldn’t notice it!

— Let’s make a grand plan one of these days Frankie Just let me move in and get the beasties settled first

Frankie Knight: Sounds great!

Charlotte Smith: Also lucky that my pets don’t seem to be windy!

Frankie Knight: No? I must be doing something wrong then….

Charlotte Smith: What do you feed them Frankie?

Frankie Knight: Iams! Oh, and the odd rat they may catch outside….

Jacky Donovan: Your place looks beautiful Charlotte Smith. Andalucia has so many gorgeous parts to it. Victoria Twead I can’t find How to Write a Bestselling Memoir on Amazon. Is it there somewhere please? I already have my first book doing pretty well but am keen to get more tips as I embark on a second book!

Charlotte Smith: Thank you Jacky. I think we’ll be very happy there.

–Jacky, Victoria’s book is available on Amazon.co.uk – I just checked

–Frankie, I think some animals are windier than others but you could try changing from Iams to Royal Canin

Becky Corwin-Adams: I agree, Charlotte. I feel bad for mine because they were all rescued from bad situations. They are all getting older and several have health issues. They get better medical care than I do!

— My oldest son had a lab. Great dog. He now has a golden. My other son has pugs. We just bought a third pug for him yesterday.

Photo#2-Becky's Pug


Jacky Donovan: Hi Charlotte Smith Finally found her book. o idea why it didn’t show up when I searched Amazon a few minutes ago. Maybe I hadn’t woken up properly

Charlotte Smith: Pugs are so funny and cute. We had one in the clinic one day – he was suffering from constipation and scheduled for an enema. I took him out into the yard for a pee before he was sedated and he did the most enormous poop you have ever seen. I went back in, crossed his name off the surgery board and called his owner to come and take him home

–Jacky Donovan I think you’ll find Victoria’s book very helpful. Good luck with your next book

Billy is looking at me very reproachfully now so I’m just going to take him for a walk. Back soon.

Victoria Twead: Hope you find it helpful, Jacky Donovan. Charlotte, I knew this fred would get round to.

Valerie Robson: Logging small phone in late, hope I can catch up soon and see what has been happening… xxx

Frankie Knight: Just had lunch and now time for siesta. Back later on…..

Susan Joyce: Good morning Charlotte! I see you’re off to a great start. Being interviewed is fun! Happy to announce that I have read your book and enjoyed every moment of every adventure. I can still see you stomping up and down those sand dunes while camping out in the desert.

Charlotte Smith: Good day to you Valerie Robson

–Sweet dreams Frankie

–Good morning Susan Joyce. Yes this is fun! I was nervous though and couldn’t sleep………fortunately I had a great book to keep me company in the wee small hours

–Sorry about the poo Beaky – but it was bound to happen

Susan Joyce: That was super nice of you to recommend my book. Thank you! I loved your book. Having lived in the Middle East, I could relate on many levels.

Charlotte Smith: Your book was well worth recommending Susan – I left reviews like a good girl My book is a bit of nonsense in comparison but I had fun writing it! Did you enjoy the Middle East Susan?

Susan Joyce: Charlotte, I loved living in the Middle East, mainly because it was so different and forced me out of my comfort zone.

Yvonne At Whitegold-Images: Afternoon Charlotte, as you know, just finished the book and really enjoyed it. We are suburban London dwellers currently planning our escape to the country with 7 cats and 2 dogs [not mad or anything, honest!] so your book really struck a lot of chords from the animal side of things. Do you still keep in touch with the clinic and the goings on in Oman?

Susan Joyce: Charlotte, I forgot to welcome Billy. Billy, hope you’re enjoying today.

Julie Haigh: Enjoy your walk with Billy Charlotte-a question for when you get back-are you frightened of any animals? For example, I am really scared of snakes but someone across the road from me has one as a pet and one of my son’s friends has a pet snake too-aaargh!

Charlotte Smith: Susan Joyce Billy would rather be playing ball so he’s sulking

–Yvonne At Whitegold-Images Barely a day goes by when I’m not in touch with some or all of the clinic staff. That is the wonderful thing about FB etc – easy to keep in touch with people who are far away. I love my clinic family and can’t imagine not staying in touch with them. 7 cats and 2 dogs, gosh. Where are you moving to?

— Julie Haigh- great question. I’m not terribly comfortable with big birds – parrots etc but I am better at dealing with them since working at the clinic. It’s those beaks – so sharp!

Julie Haigh: Yes, good point Charlotte-I suppose with me it’s fear of the unknown and if I actually faced seeing one face to face or touching it-ugh cringing writing this!-I suppose I would be better if I could do that

Charlotte Smith: I wasn’t that keen on snakes either but my son bought a pet one home when he was 17. A 5 foot California King snake called Sid! I wasn’t terribly pleased at the time but grew rather fond of Sid. My mother was terrified of snakes though and one Christmas morning Sid disappeared. We found him inside the sofa springs just as my mother was driving up the drive – the snake had slithered through a tiny hole underneath the sofa. We had to cut the bottom of the sofa off to get the wretched thing out!

–I think most of us don’t like being taken by surprise by creatures. I still struggle with big spiders but if someone placed their pet tarantula in my had I’d be ok

–Snakes as bad as buttons Julie?

Julie Haigh: Great to hear you became fond of Sid and what a good name for a snake-funny story too-I must be getting better with my fear of snakes as the story would have freaked me out a few years ago!

Yvonne At Whitegold-Images: Haha, actually, that is me and spiders too, really struggle with those big horrible house spiders, but fine with little ones and tarantulas type ones. As for where we are off to, Suffolk is most likely, though Norfolk also possible. Don’t want to be too far from London, I still like the city occasionally, nor too far from my established work in Hertfordshire.

Charlotte Smith: One of my favourite colleagues at the vets was absolutely terrified of rabbits. I still tease her and only the other day shared a photo of a giant bunny that someone had posted on FB onto her wall!

–Yvonne – it’s funny, one of the things I was most dreading about spending last Autumn in the UK was finding those big house spiders in the bath but I never saw one! I reckon Mr Frog ate them all as soon as they appeared

Becky Corwin-Adams: That is a funny pug story, Charlotte. I took a break to skype with my son about the new puppy.

Charlotte Smith: How’s the puppy doing Becky?

Becky Corwin-Adams: The puppy is still with the breeder until it gets shots next week. My daughter-in-law is going to pick it up after she gets back to the US next week.

Charlotte Smith: Exciting for them! So pleased to hear it’s not a pet store puppy too.

Janet Hughes: Nothing to eat or drink, you rotten lot!….. Right here’s a few snacky-poos until I’ve read my way through the thread… *dashes off to supermarket*Well that’s the best I could do at such short notice !!!! Bloomin Julie Haigh tried to pinch all food out of my trolley!!! Little……



Charlotte Smith: Delicious but I see no wine

Shirley Ledlie: Pass the plate of cheese and meat please Janet

Becky Corwin-Adams: I am not into pet store puppies, being very involved in rescue. These breeders seem very good. They only breed one litter a year.

Janet Hughes: Rafa nadal and wine just for you… Oooops



Janet Hughes: Certainly Shirley Ledlie, here you are…. You gonna eat all of that yourself!!!



Susan Joyce: Hope Julie answers the snake-button question. Charlotte, I know you’ve traveled far and wide, but is there one special place on earth you’d still like to see?

Shirley Ledlie: It’s a fast day tomorrow so have to cram in as much as poss today and I promise to share my sushi with you next time

Charlotte Smith: Yes Susan – South America starting with Argentina is my dream place to visit one day The trouble is I find it so hard to leave the animals but I’m hoping to find a good pet sitter once we’re settled.

–Julie Haigh please answer the snake/button question for Susan

Susan Joyce: Well then Charlotte, you’ll be in our neck of the woods. Argentina is a fabulous country to visit. Wouldn’t want to live there because it’s a very unstable economy. Plan on visiting us in Uruguay. We have a guest casita now that our son has moved to Prescott AZ.

Woofie Wotsit: Haven’t read your book yet but have purchased it and it is on my iPad lined up for reading.

Charlotte Smith: Becky Corwin-Adams one of the issues I’m hoping to spread awareness about through my book is puppy mills. I knew several people in Oman who bought puppies from the dreadful pet stores there because they felt sorry for them without realizing that they were actually supporting that terrible industry. My ex boss and I are always saying that animal breeding should be regulated far more strongly

— Susan that would be so fabulous. I could spend days or weeks talking to you about your life

— Hope you enjoy it Woolfie Wotsit!

Julie Haigh: Sorry just had to pop out-will search thru to see what the question was and will answer

–I think buttons are worse because it’s harder to avoid them, they’re everywhere!

Charlotte Smith: I see your point Julie! By the way I have a friend in the UK whose daughter has exactly the same phobia

Susan Joyce: Julie, thanks for answering the button-snake question. How long have you had this fear? Snakes are everywhere too, hiding in sofas, holes in the ground …

Charlotte Smith: Awww don’t freak poor Julie out Susan!

Susan Joyce: Sorry Julie! I also was afraid of snakes as a kid and finally got over it thanks to a dream I had where I was admiring them. A whole pile of snakes. After that I tolerated them, but didn’t invite them to share my sofa. Charlotte, your mother must have freaked out.

Julie Haigh: Well in ‘sunny non exotic Yorkshire’ I don’t tend to find snakes lurking in many places apart from these people who love to keep them as pets. One person once frightened the life out of me when she told me she was on holiday, sat on the loo and a snake is coming up out of the toilet! Does that happen or do you think they were having me on?

Charlotte Smith: Susan, she never knew………one of my daughters kept her out of the way while we retrieved naughty Sid

Susan Joyce: Do you have any photos of Sid? He sounds like a real charmer.

Charlotte Smith: Don’t want to alarm you Julie Haigh but………

[Inset Photo#6-SnakeInToilet]


Julie Haigh: ugh!

Charlotte Smith: Will ask my son Susan. I used to have several pics of Sid round my neck but I’ve never been very good at keeping my pics in order

–Sorry Julie

Becky Corwin-Adams: Charlotte, I am back from walking my dogs. I am so glad you addressed the puppy mill issue in your book. A chapter of my dog book also addresses puppy mills. Our Blondie came from a puppy mill. She has had a bunch of health issues. She has a very bad heart and is on five meds. She is almost 12, which is good for a dog with her issues. Our old vet gave her not long to live almost three years ago. We consulted a specialist for her, which I think added to her lifespan. Being a rescuer, I am certainly against puppy mills. There are lots of them in Ohio-USA where I live.

–Julie, I don’t like snakes or mice (even though I had one as a childhood pet). I also don’t like bearded dragons or other gecko-like creatures.

Yvonne At Whitegold-Images: We call them puppy farms here and thanks to the hard and collaborative work of some rescues and a TV vet, the issue is now up for discussion by parliament and will hopefully, over time, become illegal.

info can be found here http://www.pupaid.org/ Pup Aid – Raising awareness of the horrific practice of Puppy Farming.

–Last year Pup Aid launched an e-petition to help ban the sale of young puppies and kittens unless their mothers are present.

Nancy Gould Gomoll: I have heard of snakes in the toilet and it has always been a fear of mine! When I was in Kenya once I flushed the toilet (a rare treat to have a flush toilet!) and a bunch of frogs dropped down and were swirling around in the toilet water. Scared the heck out of me!!

Becky Corwin-Adams: I don’t like bats, either. When I worked at a daycare center, we took the kids to a park. I was sitting in the loo (longer than necessary to catch a break from the kids). After I left the loo, a kid went in and came out screaming, “Miss Becky, there’s a bat in the restroom!” I went in and looked and there it was on the wall, right near the commode. I need to be more observant, I guess.

Charlotte Smith: Becky Corwin-Adams small steps are being made to stop stores selling puppies in many countries but unfortunately selling mill/ farm pups over the internet is a far bigger problem these days. Most people are unaware of the problem so spreading the word is the best thing to do.

–Yvonne At Whitegold-Images – yes that would be Marc the Vet and he is my hero. He’s done so well to get Parliaments attention on this matter

–Oh poor you Becky. I must admit I’ve always been a bit scared of bats getting tangled up in my hair!

–Nancy Gould Gomoll that was the frog’s aqua park you were using!

Becky Corwin-Adams: A few pet stores here still sell puppies (Petland). I also see puppies for sale at flea markets. I didn’t know much about the problem until we adopted Blondie. She was afraid of snow, ice, and leaves and had to be carried outside for a long time. She had probably never been outside for the first three years of her life. She had three litters of puppies in three years or less.



Charlotte Smith: Poor girl How lucky for her that she ended up with you.

Yvonne At Whitegold-Images: It is indeed Marc, met him a few times at Mayhew events and he’s a lovely guy. Photographs well too

Becky Corwin-Adams: Charlotte, maybe this question has already been asked. Did you like living in Oman? I imagine the climate is a lot like Iraq and Afghanistan (places my son has lived in for the past four years)?

Charlotte Smith: In Oman people would pay outrageous sums of money for pups from the pet stores and then would have to pay huge vet bills because the puppy wasn’t healthy. So many puppies with Parvo died in my arms that I lost count. Heartbreaking but the behind the scenes issues in puppy mills are even worse

— Great guy Yvonne. I hope I get to meet him one day too

–Becky – some things about living in Oman were great. It is a beautiful country with mountains, ocean and desert and we made many wonderful friends there and of course I had my dream job at the vet clinic. The climate is difficult, lovely in December/ January/ February but really varying degrees of too hot for the rest of the year. Animal welfare is non-existent apart from the efforts of a few tireless individuals and small groups and I won’t pretend it wasn’t hard to witness animals suffering on the streets every single day. I don’t regret going there but honestly I was glad to leave by the end. Happy that I was able to help some of the animals while I was there too and of course bring my complicated gang with me when I left

Becky Corwin-Adams: Did you write about your cats in the book, also?

Charlotte Smith: Oh yes – lots of cats in the book

Becky Corwin-Adams: My good friend has a page to promote cat books. Feel free to join. https://www.facebook.com/groups/catbooks/

Charlotte Smith: Becky you might enjoy my Paw Prints in Oman FB page. Lots of animal stuff on there although it’s a bit cluttered with book stuff at the moment. I try to use it for animal welfare issues as well.

Becky Corwin-Adams: I’ll check it out, Charlotte.

Susan Joyce: Becky, it’s a great read!

–Charlotte, I really appreciated how you made readers aware of the animal welfare issues.

Becky Corwin-Adams: I am planning to read it sometime. I haven’t bought it yet. I have so little time to read with my job, writing my next book, taking care of my 7 dogs, etc.

Charlotte Smith: Main reason for the book really Susan

–Anyone interested in looking at photos related to the book please go to my website www.billypaws.com where there are several Pinterest boards to look at including photos of most of the animals featured in the book. Billy Paws, Paw Prints in Oman, Charlotte Smith.

Susan Joyce: It comes across Charlotte! Your book educates and encourages people about caring for animals.

Charlotte Smith: Thank you so much for saying that Susan! Just what I wanted to achieve

Susan Joyce: Charlotte, just looked at your site. Nicely done. Love the photos! Billy is a star. Fredo too. Fredo looks like our Oscar.

Julie Haigh: Amazing pics Charlotte, I’ve just had a look on Billy’s site

Charlotte Smith: FRODO

–She’s my tabby princess

Becky Corwin-Adams: Great website, Charlotte!

Susan Joyce: Sorry Frodo, you definitely look the princess sort. Our Oscar is a tabby prince who also looks a bit wild.

Charlotte Smith: Thanks Becky, Susan and Julie

Terry Bryan: Late as usual…snack, Charlotte?



Charlotte Smith: I have a soft spot for tabby cats…………..and gingers and black and tortoiseshell and calico and……..need I go on?

–Thank you Terry – is that rhubarb i see?

Becky Corwin-Adams: I had cats when I was a child – lots of cats. I wrote about them, too. My last cats were tabby cats.

Susan Joyce: Janet and Terry, thanks for all these delicious snacks. The best!

Charlotte Smith: I know Becky – I read Cherished Cats and loved it.

Susan Joyce: Tabby cats are very special. I like the wild in them.

Charlotte Smith: I think it’s because they have the best camouflage Susan

Becky Corwin-Adams: I wrote a short book just about the tabby cats, too. Then I wrote about my guinea pigs. I would love to have another cat and guinea pig, but DH is not a cat person. Maybe someday, when we move to the country.

Susan Joyce: Charlotte, is there anything you have dreamed of doing that you still want to make happen in your life. Besides travel.

Charlotte Smith: What’s the tabby cat book called? – must buy it

Becky Corwin-Adams: “Tabby Cat Tales”. I combined it with my guinea pig book and the combo book is “Pet Tales”. I never thought I would be a dog lover. I didn’t even like dogs until well into adulthood. I was afraid of them as a child after being chased by a vicious dog once. My mom still talks about it. She called the dog warden and he said, “Well, I am eating right now. I’ll be down there after I finish my pie.”

Charlotte Smith: Well Susan, I want to get our B&B up and running and start adding livestock as I’m a bit short on animal stock at the moment. Beaky the chicken and her friends will be the first additions followed by Alan Parks llama babies! I think that’ll keep me out of mischief for a while. I am a rather crazy, impulsive person so who knows what I’ll get up to in the future? 12 years ago someone laughed at me when I said I would like to run a marathon (ok I was at a party at the time and had a large glass of red in my paw). The following year I ran the London Marathon just to prove a point and raised nearly 7,000 pounds for my trouble so……any challenges for me anybody?

Dodie Shea: Your new home looks like a beautiful place to live! It looks like a perfect place for people to come and enjoy your Bed and Breakfast. Enjoy

Charlotte Smith: Have made a note of that Becky. Love guinea pigs too. Have you ever seen one being born?

— Thank you Dodie. I’m so looking forward to it

Susan Joyce: Charlotte, congratulations on running a marathon! And raising money to boot. That’s quite an achievement.

Alan Parks: Llama, who said llama? Grrr

–Seriously Mum, It’s not a Llama!

Charlotte Smith: Always capital L Alan Parks?

–Not sure my body agreed with you after the event Susan Joyce!

Becky Corwin-Adams: Charlotte, we had a couple of litters of guinea pigs but never witnessed the actual births.

— My granddaughter just finished her first half marathon today.

Charlotte Smith: Becky Corwin-Adams have just downloaded Pet Tales. Hope I can find some time to read it soon. Books keep stacking up since I joined this group!

Becky Corwin-Adams: Thanks, Charlotte. I know that feeling. I am hoping I have more time to read during the summer.

Alan Parks: They are alpacas! Charlotte Smith!

Charlotte Smith: Well never mind the actual births – I just love the way the babies pop out with full hair and start running around straight away, just like mini adults. Awesome!!

— Oh Alan! I’m laughing my head off here. Of course they are……this is obviously starting to get to me. Better send Janet Hughes with her straight jacket!

Alan Parks: Talking about babies…



Charlotte Smith: Or maybe I need wine – what’s the time Wolfie Woofie Wotsit?

— Oh look at that. How lovely to see an ALPACA born

–Becky Corwin-Adams congratulations to your granddaughter. Hope someone’s run her a nice hot bath.

Victoria Twead: I love the way the other ALPACA is staring as though it can’t believe its eyes!

Terry Bryan: Here we go…and yes that was rhubarb. Hope you enjoyed it…not to my taste really.



Alan Parks: That was his brother being born!

Charlotte Smith: Amazing Alan

Susan Joyce: Awesome Alan! Thanks!

Victoria Twead: No wonder he looked a bit outraged.

Charlotte Smith: Terry rhubarb makes my teeth squeak but it was delicious thank you. Before I drink that lovely wine I’m just going to take Billy out for a short leg stretch. Back very soon and thanks so much everyone for the entertainment.

— Oops just deleted my own comment. Back for my wine very shortly but Billy and I need to stretch our legs. Am loving this entertainment, thanks so much for joining in everyone

Susan Joyce: Fun, getting to know you … getting to know all about you. When you return … Do you speak Spanish? Are you learning?

Judith Benson: Good luck for the B&B! We were going to have a flat to rent out here but by the time we’d virtually got to the point where we could possibly have managed it we decided it was going to be too much and we’re still concreting and building walls!!!!!!Hope you’re enjoying life in Spain!

Terry Bryan: Y’all are so danged interesting we forgot tea! Help yourselves. No rhubarb, Charlotte.



Becky Corwin-Adams: It has been a very interesting thread. No wonder I never accomplish anything around the house…

Susan Joyce: Becky, it’s my perfect excuse also.

Julie Haigh: That’s right Becky, same with me, don’t get anything done Sundays and Monday’s but just can’t resist having a look at the spotlights and members.

Terry Bryan: And for the others…



Terry Bryan: I’m not sure any of you sleep!

Charlotte Smith: Thank you Judith Benson. I’m absolutely loving Spain and Susan Joyce I am trying very hard to learn the language with frequently disastrous consequences but I’ll soldier on!

–Billy is most impressed with the spread thank you Terry Bryan

Janet Hughes: Here’s some party cocktails to put us in the mood, Roberto is taking orders now



Charlotte Smith: Oooh. Cosmopolitan for me thank you Roberto

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant: Cocktails – did someone mention cocktails – may I have ;Sex on the beach’ please.

Charlotte Smith: Good choice Anne Wine O’clock Durrant

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant: Hi Charlotte, I am just reading through comments – our wi-fi is spasmodic so may disappear before I can think of a question.

Charlotte Smith: Anne, I’m amazed that mine hasn’t given up yet. Only one call to Vodafone all day!

Susan Joyce: Charlotte, is your husband as keen on a B & B as you are? Or does he have other interests he’s pursuing?

Charlotte Smith: The B&B is my baby really Susan. Nick is not that domesticated but he’s a great host! He still has some work and is in Oman at the moment and as working on something in Malbec country, Argentina.

Janet Hughes: Finally got to the end of the Fred. Brilliant interview Charlotte Smith, you’re a great ambassador for animals in distress, hurry up with your next book, can’t wait to read it



Charlotte Smith: My daughter bought him a Paul Hollywood bread making book for his birthday to try and tempt him into the kitchen but I haven’t seen him in there yet – mind you our kitchen here is tiny so he’s not really welcome!!

–That’s a great poster Janet Hughes. May I steal it please?

Janet Hughes: All we need now is some party music…. What’s your favourite? *Bops round the lounge singing tunelessly*



Janet Hughes: Feel free, I stole it from….. Lincoln Animal Ambassadors

Charlotte Smith: I’m listening to Adele at the mo – not much bopping but plenty of tuneless singing (me not Adele). Need Susan Joyce to come along and harmonize

Susan Joyce: Be right there. “Ooh, wah, OOh wah, ditty ditty.” Charlotte, will you go with him next trip? Buenos Aires is definitely the Paris of SA.

Linda Kovic-Skow: Late to the party again! Such an interesting thread Charlotte Smith and I’m looking forward to reading your book. Happy birthday to your daughter. How many children do you have?

Charlotte Smith: Three Linda and Georgie is my baby so I guess I don’t have children any more

Linda Kovic-Skow: All girls?

Charlotte Smith: Susan, I was a big Billy Joel fan in my youth

–One boy, two girls.

Janet Hughes: Couldn’t resist this one….



Linda Kovic-Skow: Ah, what do they think of your move? I suppose they’ll visit as often as possible.

Charlotte Smith: Got to nick that one too Janet!

Frankie Knight: Every time I log on there are masses of posts to catch up on….. Been spending time between sitting upon my roof and rushing down to the laptop to see what I’m missing! Really enjoying this Charlotte…. Have you succumbed to any alcohol yet today?

Charlotte Smith: Well Linda, Nicko and Anna got used to our absence when we spent 7 years in Oman. Georgie came with us but has been at uni in London for the last 3 years. Spain is on the doorstep compared with Oman so they’re fine with it and will visit often.

–Frankie I have just poured my red wine so things are going to go rapidly downhill from now on.

Frankie Knight: Charlotte, so have I, so we’ll degenerate together….

Linda Kovic-Skow: Well, good for you Charlotte Smith. Someday I’ll drag my husband to Spain and visit all of you folk out there. Won’t you be surprised!

Charlotte Smith: Linda you should! Spain is wonderful and it will give Frankie and me a good excuse to organize that party

— Salud Frankie

Savannah Grace: Hi Charlotte Smith I’m sorry Im a bit behind on this interview. Have seen your book but would love to hear your summary of what it’s about and also how long it took you to write. Have you always wanted to be an author? Sorry if these basic Qs were already asked

Charlotte Smith: Hi Savannah – love that name by the way. No I’ve never wanted to be an author but I had so many experiences during my 7 years in Oman that I thought why not give it a go? I spent 6 months writing Paw Prints when I returned to the UK last year and the book tells many lighthearted stories of what it’s like to live in the Middle East and many more stories about the animals I met while working in a veterinary clinic.

Susan Joyce: Here’s to my favorite of his best. Cheers!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85sIJcC8zbs&feature=kp



Nancy Gould Gomoll: Finally getting time to join this today. Great conversations. Being an animal lover I really appreciate what you have done, Charlotte Smith. I chose your book to get when I won one of Tottie Limejuice’s contests. Can’t wait to get it and start reading! Thanks for devoting your day to conversing with this group. Really appreciated.

Charlotte Smith: Susan Joyce you and I are going to have an absolute blast if we ever get together!

Susan Joyce: I look forward to it. Might just happen one day soon.

Charlotte Smith: That’s a lovely thing to say Nancy Gould Gomoll. Thank you so much and have no fear, I will keep plodding along doing what I can for animals

— You want to come to Spain Susan?

Terry Bryan: Oh, dear heaven…I can hardly imagine all of you together in Spain….Janet and I will hold bail money.

Charlotte Smith: Susan – haven’t listened to ‘My Life’ for too long! Thanks for putting that right

–You and Janet must come along and keep order Terry Bryan!

Frankie Knight: Party, party!

Terry Bryan: Ha! I’m not keeping order…not in my nature at all. Janet is already there so I thought she could hold the money. I was offering so I’d have souvenir money.

Shirley Ledlie: Party? Where? get the Karaoki machine out

Charlotte Smith: You want a sombrero Terry Bryan?

–Frankie and I are going to make a plan Shirley

Susan Joyce: Charlotte, can you belt out any Paul Simon? Diamonds on the Soles of My shoes?

Charlotte Smith: Love that too but I’m not sure you’d want to hear me belt out anything Susan!

Savannah Grace: That sound truly amazing Charlotte Smith. I’ve never been to Oman but hopefully one day. Its like that one quote “travel makes you speechless then turns you into a storyteller” Thank you for the compliment *blush*

Charlotte Smith: I would recommend Oman for a visit Savannah – not 7 years maybe but a couple of weeks would be fun!

Susan Joyce: Great quote Savannah!

Janet Hughes: Linda Kovic-Skow, you’ll have to pass my place first if you come to Spain, pop over, park up your trusty steed and enjoy the Costa Brava Everyone else is welcome as well, of course



Charlotte Smith: That’s stunning Janet Hughes

Susan Joyce: Sounds like a party in the planning. Janet Hughes you got yourself a little paradise in Costa Brava!

Janet Hughes: You’d better believe it! This is just across the road from me, lucky lady I am



Charlotte Smith: So much nicer than the Costa del Sol

Frankie Knight: And, depending on time of year, we’ve also got skiing in Sierra Nevada’s nearby. We have it all really, don’t we Girls?

Janet Hughes: This just 5 mins up the road….



Charlotte Smith: We do indeed Frankie

Susan Joyce: Janet, is that a BEAM Me up sort of place?

Janet Hughes: and over the back miles and miles and miles of forest…



Terry Bryan: *Drooling

Janet Hughes: It’s a neolithic burial site, there’s hundreds of them here…

Charlotte Smith: Janet – can you hear that stampede?

Frankie Knight: One at a time please…..

Susan Joyce: I have an idea, WLM B & Bs all over the world.

Charlotte Smith: Just going to play ball with Billy now the sun is going down. Back later if anyone has more questions

Susan Joyce: Charlotte, it’s dog walk time here as well. Catch you later.

Julie Haigh: Don’t we just have the BEST FUN and loads of info and it’s EVERY SUNDAY!!!

–……and on a Monday too!

Frankie Knight: And with more to come tomorrow….. No idea who thought it would be a good thing to do this each sunday and monday but I think it’s brilliant….

Charlotte Smith: It’s been great and I’m looking forward to chatting to Dodie tomorrow

Janet Hughes: Dodie Shea, gerroff the Mower! We’re talking about you

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: I wonder if I am strong enough to read you book yet Charlotte Smith, your Billy is so like my Chica…..will you forgive me if I do not read it yet, dog books are making me a bit weepy

Charlotte Smith: Absolutely no problem Jennifer. I completely understand and have spent the last day worrying about you and Chica. Wish there was something I could do to make you feel better. Think about that rainbow bridge – one day you’ll meet her again xx

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: My husband and I have talked at great length about how it is possible for a dog to become as almost important as a child….we are both bereft, we know time will heal but it is the violence of her death that is so hard to cope with. Enough, your day, enjoy my friend and thank you for the kind thoughts xxx

Charlotte Smith: This is for you Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone.



Dodie Shea: I’m off the mower and getting prepared (mentally) for tomorrow. Remember I’m in the US so won’t be too early. Thanks Charlotte for an interesting day! Hoping I do half as well!

Charlotte Smith: Dodie you’ll love it. It’s fun!

–Sorry if I’ve made you cry jennifer – i’ve made myself cry too

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: I hope tears heal because I have loads having read that wonderful Rainbow Bridge xxx

Charlotte Smith: It’s a good thing to believe – comforting

Becky Corwin-Adams: ((((Hugs)))), Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone

Janet Hughes: Charlotte Smith, why not give her Rafa back, he might be able to comfort her…



Charlotte Smith: You’re right Janet Hughes – Jennifer, Rafa’s all yours xx

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: Someone said to me the other day that the grief I was showing was the reason they did not have pets…..how horribly sad, I would not trade that time with Chica and the sheer love she gave me for anything. I do find myself shouting ‘give her back, just give her back’ too often though!

— We will be kind Dodie Shea

Charlotte Smith: I sometimes think my life would be simpler if I didn’t love animals so much but we are what we are……………don’t fight it Jennifer. xx

–Now I’m listening to Bob Dylan ‘Baby please stop crying’.

Susan Joyce: I greatly admire people who love and respect animals, and allow them inside their hearts. They’re great teachers. Lucky you Jennifer and your husband for loving with all your heart. May your memories of Chica help you heal.

–Dodie Shea, you’ll do great! Look forward to learning all about you.

Jo-Anne Himmelman: Charlotte Smith, tears were running reading Rainbow Bridge. I have always contended that when I pass on my Springers – Micky, Dusty and Tasha will be waiting for me. Mocha, my present little girl is 13, getting white around the eyes,- makes me sad! Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone – feel terrible for you – take care of yourself!

Charlotte Smith: You too Jo-Anne Himmelman? Sorry, should have provided tissues. It is a beautiful poem for anyone who has lost a pet though

Shirley Ledlie: I sleep with my Alice’s ashes next to my bed as she slept in the bed for 16 years – gives me comfort but I still miss her after 4 years

Cherry Gregory: I’m turning in and having an early night tonight. Thanks for your entertaining and interesting thread, Charlotte. Love the talk about pets and Spain.

Charlotte Smith: Thank you Cherry and sweet dreams

Susan Joyce: Good night Cherry!

Sue Clamp: This is a long Fred! I’m just coming in on the tail end as I’ve had a bit of a busy day today. Hope you’ve enjoyed yourself, Charlotte!

Charlotte Smith: It’s been great thank you Sue. So many lovely people to chat to

–All those cocktails have gone to my head so I’m going to scoop up my furry friends and head off upstairs with Frank Kusy and his rupees and my furry friends. Thank you WLM for a fun day – will pick up any latecomers in the morning. Sweet dreams everyone xx

Charlotte Smith: For all you animal lovers



Frank Kusy: Sorry late to the party Charlotte, still reeling from the nightmare that was AuthorCon in Manchester. Wow, wot a long fred, looks like you’ve really been enjoying yourself. Sweet dreams, and big tummy rubs to yore furry friends x

Susan Joyce: Charlotte, thanks for being in the spotlight today and sharing your many exciting adventures. Your book is wonderful, wishing you great success with it and your B & B.

Terry Bryan: Thank you, Charlotte Smith. For being in the Sunday Spotlight and for loving animals.



Victoria Twead: Sleep well, Charlotte Smith, and thank you for a brilliant Spotlight Sunday! We’ll leave this Fred up until tomorrow so latecomers get the chance to read it. Have a think about who you are going to pick to win copies of Paw Prints. Glad you have to decide, not me!

Susan Jackson: I loved your book Charlotte Smith!

Suzanne Zimbelman: Got home late… thank you for leaving this up. Will have more time tomorrow. A quiet Monday…

Janet Hughes: Charlotte Smith, you’re an inspiration to us all… Our very own WLM Animal Ambassador.

Charlotte Smith: Thank you Janet Hughes. I’ll keep stealing all your relevant posters

Janet Hughes: Just for you Charlotte Smith and all the animals you care for and help

[Insert Photo#26-Adopt]


Charlotte Smith: Thanks Janet Putting that on my page right now

Janice MacLeod-Lik: Late to the chat but a lovely scroll through. YOU are doing GREAT things.

Charlotte Smith: Thank you Janice MacLeod-Lik

Victoria Twead: *Drum roll* Charlotte Smith has made her decision! The WINNERS of Paw Prints in Oman are *louder drum roll* Becky Corwin-Adams, Frankie Knight and Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone. Yayyyy! *applause* I’ll send you Paws now, girls!

[Insert Photo#27-WLM Winner]


Janet Hughes: CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS Frankie Knight, Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone and Becky Corwin-Adams ! Yay !!!

[Insert Photo#28-Awesome]


Frankie Knight: O.M.G.!!!!! I don’t usually win anything! Thank you Charlotte! I’m all of a Doo Da!

Charlotte Smith: I hope you all enjoy it!

Becky Corwin-Adams: Thank you so much! I just finished Victoria’s book, so I am hoping to dive right into this book after work today!

Julie Haigh: Well done Becky, Frankie and Jennifer!

Charlotte Smith: Just to warn you Becky Corwin-Adams , it’s not all about dogs but there are plenty of animal stories in there

Becky Corwin-Adams: I love all animals, Charlotte. I had a menagerie as a child.

Susan Joyce: CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS to Frankie Knight, Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone and Becky Corwin-Adams! You’re winners! Enjoy!

Cherry Gregory: Well done Frankie, Jennifer and Becky. It was a great thread.

Terry Bryan: Becky Corwin-Adams, Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone, Frankie Knight!

[Insert Photo#29-Congratulations]


Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: Oh goodness me I have just seen the reason why I got Paw Prints….sooo pleased thank you very very much Charlotte Smith, you are a good mate!

Charlotte Smith: You’re very welcome Jennifer – please don’t cry over it though x

Frankie Knight: Oh, no, is it sad, then? I will be reading it shortly and will need to get tissues handy….

Charlotte Smith: Frankie it’s not too sad but poor Jennifer is very fragile at the moment because she lost her little dog Chica

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: I am avoiding ‘dog’ books for a week or so Frankie Knight but maybe the best therapy would be to dive in shortly

Becky Corwin-Adams: I am enjoying the book so far. I started reading it over lunch.

Frankie Knight: Oh, Jennifer, I am soooo sorry! That Rainbow Bridge sounds so lovely but is such a sad place. My little Burmese Mum crossed it a week before Christmas. Know just how you feel…..

Charlotte Smith: Happy place Frankie



Frankie Knight: Might be able to think of it in that way in another couple of months….

WLM Sunday Spotlight