Alfie is an Entlebucher Mountain Dog, the smallest of the Swiss mountain dog family. Why didn’t I get a Labrador or a Spaniel or another more common breed? Of course you’ll only be asking if you haven’t already concluded that I rarely do things the most obvious way.
I read the encyclopaedia of dogs in the late 1990s. I came across a beautiful looking dog, with short hair, that keeps itself very clean. A dog that loved human company, was intensely loyal and easily trained. A dog that was good with children and although likes exercise didn’t need to spend all day on the move. This was my perfect dog. There was just one small problem. At that stage there were none in the UK. Over the next few years they did arrive in the UK and there was one litter of puppies born here, but I was working full time and in no position to have one.
My dogs and my writing are inextricably linked. It was when I left the mainstream commercial world behind and started my writing career at the same time as moving to Belgium that I was at last in a position to have my dream dog. I arrived in Belgium permanently on November 6th 2005 and Alfie was born on November 13th. A few short weeks later he moved to live with us and became my full-time writing buddy and partner. He is everything the encyclopaedia of dogs said he should be and more.
He has a way of looking at me that says more than a thousand words. It wasn’t difficult to start working with him to write his view of the world www.alfiedog.me.uk or to believe he really would run the Pet Dogs Democratic Party. His slogan is very apt ‘Dog enough not to be human, human enough to be a pet’ – there is an overlap between his and my views of the world and sometimes I am not so sure where one ends and the other starts.