Friday 1st January 2016 – Alfie’s New Year Message

Wilma and Alfie
Wilma and Alfie

When you look at me, what do you see? Do you see a cute dog with a black, brown and white coat that is welcome to live amongst you here in England? Or do you see a foreign dog taking the place that could have gone to an English breed like a bulldog? For most of you the answer will be the former. You welcome diversity and the variety that comes from there being a couple of hundred dog breeds in the UK. You don’t say to the Newfoundland ‘You are foreign, you are not welcome here.’ You don’t say to the Chinese Crested Dog ‘You don’t belong in our country, go home.’ Instead you humans celebrate that diversity, welcome us all and appreciate the differences we bring. Of course you still treasure the dogs that are English and cherish their traditions, but they stand side by side with a broader celebration of all that is good in the canine world.

Today I want you to think about the humans that make up this country. It doesn’t matter what colour their skin or their hair is. It doesn’t matter where they were born or where their ancestors came from. It does not matter that they are different to the humans you have been used to. You can welcome them all and celebrate their diversity without losing what is good about your own culture and traditions. You don’t have to say ‘Happy Holidays’ for fear of offending someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas. You can just as easily wish them ‘Happy Eid’ at the appropriate time if they are Muslim or ‘Happy Hanukkah’ if they are Jewish. You can celebrate the wonderful Diwali Festival of Lights with Hindu friends and the Solstice with your Pagan friends. None of that stops you being the person you are any more than befriending a Patterdale Terrier makes Wilma less of an Entlebucher.

In the last few days there have been scenes of Syrian refugees, now living in this country, filling sandbags to help complete strangers protect their homes against flooding. It is their way of giving back to a country that is giving them a new life. That is the sort of thing that happens when we help one another and accept each other’s differences.

Let’s make 2016 the year we show acceptance to our fellow beings wherever they come from, and why ever they need to come here. If they are seeking refuge then hold out a paw to help them. Life has to be very bad before someone will leave their friends, their family and everything they own. If they are coming for a better life, be grateful that you have that better life that others want to emulate. Remember, history is not static. One day it might be you or your descendants seeking refuge. It has happened in the past and can just as easily happen again.

Have a very Happy New Year

Love from Alfie

You can find short stories to read at

Alfie’s Diary – the Book as well as our other books are available HERE


  1. Well roared, lion! I mean: Alfie … I wish you all a very happy new year with lots of filled bones and healthiness. Hugs’n’kisses from Switzerland.

  2. A Happy and Healthy New Year to you all Alfie. Have a tail waggy woofy day. Love Gill & Sammi xxx

  3. HAPPY NEW YEAR to all my TORFHEIDE friends and family and everyone who reads the diary. Lots of love Dickens and all my family XXXXXX

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