About the author
Chris Gray has always loved animals and the first to enter her life was the family dog - a Smithfield Kelpie named Bobby. The friendship that developed left her with a yearning to be surrounded by animals who would become friends, just as Bobby had been.
Over the years Chris has found life often gives just what you need when you most need it. The first animal to enter her adult life was a dog that she literally dragged out of rising floodwaters. And that was just the beginning of thirty five years (to date) of rescuing and adopting a long line of strays and waifs. These have included nine dogs, nine cats and seven horses. Of course not all her animal companions came from such dire backgrounds.
Chris has always been creatively inclined and that first showed itself when her high school English teachers encouraged her to consider writing as a possible career. That decision was obviously delayed for quite a few years. During the intervening years she pursued a variety of careers including self-taught civil and structural engineering drafting/tracing, courier driver, receptionist, accounts clerk and personnel officer.
When Chris married her second husband Keith, also an animal lover, she took a few years off work and expanded her interest in reading, cooking, gardening and sharing time with family and friends. These interests she still pursues today. Eventually she felt the need to satisfy her creative leanings so she set about establishing her own fashion label. When Keith was diagnosed with a terminal illness she decided to walk away from her business and spend her time looking after her soul-mate.
After Keith's death she re-entered the workforce and resumed office work. Around this time she met her third husband Roger who also has a deep love of animals, although by that time there was only one dog and two cats sharing Chris' home in suburbia.
Eventually Systemic Lupus Erythamatosis made it impossible for her to continue working. After surviving a near fatal illness due to complications, Chris decided the best therapy through the long slow recovery period was to get back to something creative.
The concept for this book originated with her desire to honour the memory of the numerous animal friends whose company she's enjoyed over the years. Never having experienced the joys and trials of motherhood, her animal companions became her 'children'. Over the years she's chosen to stop, to watch and to think about the actions and reactions she's witnessed and has concluded animals are very intelligent. In her own words: "I've had fun learning their 'language' and translating it into human-speak. Hence the book.
Another goal is to donate a proportion of the net profits of her writing to animal welfare organisations.
Chris has spent the past fifty years in glorious south-east Queensland and has alternated between suburban and small acreage living and is definitely more comfortable on the latter.
The above was written by Chris in mid-2009 shortly before Book One was published. Only a month later Chris suffered a stroke followed by a second one on New Year’s Eve. Chris was able to recover sufficiently to attend the launch of the first book, a time of celebration for us all. However the good times were not to last for long with two more serious strokes happening in the first few months of 2010.
Chris then spent the next three years in care fighting tenaciously to get home and to finish Book Two. In May 2013 she returned home to her one remaining cat, her birds and gardens and her husband Roger.
Over the next 2 years she slowly recovered and with her fierce will to get her independence back she completed Book Two by the end of May 2015 and had also done some more work on the final book.
Luck wasn’t on her side however and two weeks later she suffered a massive cerebral aneurysm and passed away not getting to see her dream of honouring all her animal companions come to fruition.