Furry Friday: Heart melters
It's Friday. You've been working hard and though you try to keep cheerful, it's not always easy. My suggestion is that you take that life-hardened heart and melt it a little.
Here's how. Stay here and scroll a while; gaze at some photos of real-life pets sent by real-life people.
It's simple - there are no complicated instructions or troubling ambiguities. It's distracting in the best way. It's therapeutic.
We call it Furry Friday, and it's been a regular part of this blog since it began five years ago this week. Today's collection is titled Heart Melters, for reasons too obvious to even mention.
Hank is today's cover-pet. If he seems endearingly wide-eyed, it's because this photo was taken on the day he first felt grass under his paws. Imagine that for a thrill!
Puppies have an inbuilt advantage in the heart-melting business, and so do fluffy dogs. Chester wins on both scores.
Being gorgeous is a serious business for Baxter - whose nickname is Whiteshadow, due to his habit of following you everywhere.
Meet Holly, another white shadow, I'll bet.
This is Biscuit, who can look adorable even when nibbling a potato. Try it some time - you'll see how tough it is to pull off.
Molly achieves critical mass in a nuclear cuteness reaction.
More fluffy charm, this time from Charlie.
Milo has a pure heart and an eager smile.
Little-boy eyes and an old-man face: Winston.
Freya is an eight-year-old Yorkshire Terrier. Is that heart of yours melting yet? Read on...
I haven't met Coco. But to me her face tells of loyalty and intelligence.
Bentley vies for your attention with, well, whatever comes a poor second.
Monte's happy to come along for a ride.
Rosie has a paint-palette coat and stunning grey-green eyes.
Ferrari takes a pitstop for fuel.
Ruby is heading your way. Be ready with a cuddle.
Dymka's working through a checklist.
Sally, would you believe, is 19 years old. What's her secret?
The superb Minny.
Brock seems to be made of pillow.
This is Loki, grubby but a tiny bit wiser.
You just know that Fiz is making somebody very happy.
Sprocket is a young Portuguese Water Dog. The breed's popularity got a lift from the Obama family's choice of one as First Pet.
Brax pays attention.
Taylor, tied up in a bow.
Beautiful in black and tan: Luca.
Oscar chews, cutely.
Another Oscar, no less cute.
Roko is so sweet, my teeth hurt to look at him. He's a long-haired Chihuahua.
A bagful of beauty: Lars.
Totes gorgeous: Piper.
The magnificent Smudge, only slightly worse for wear due to catnip.
Liquidising your heart, and lungs too: Petal.
How is today's Furry Friday like Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep? It has three Oscars, badoom tish, thank you. This particular Oscar seems half-way into a dream.
Soulful, noseful: Boukje.
A big old head that you just want to give a hug to: Rusty.
Wise beauty: Stella.
To finish, the piercing gaze of Digger, making everyone's day a little better.