A Year On – Friday 19th March 2021

A Year On

We’re now a year on from losing Alfie and we’ve been thinking about him a lot this week. The 17th was the anniversary of losing him and Mum was very sad. I thought I’d cheer her up by looking back on today’s flashback to some of his funny quirky ways. In 2008 Alfie’s fear of water was central to his thoughts.

2008 Preparing for holiday

If it wasn’t bad enough having to walk past a large group of swans who clearly had issues with me, I then discover there is a bit about going on a boat that no one has mentioned to me. I’d picked up that it might rock a bit. I’d understood the deck can get slippery when wet. I know I may have to wear a life jacket. However, the bit I had not understood was what I had to do to get onto the boat. Why do they make the planks you walk along to get onto the boat out of wood that has gaps between it?

Why do they let you look down and see the water lapping below?

He wasn’t happy

Well I wasn’t happy. My first comment was ‘It’s ok but I’ll pass.’ Then it turned out that I wasn’t going to be allowed to stay on the shore on my own, besides which the swans were looking pretty menacing. I had to really pull myself together to walk across it. There I was expecting the water to come splashing up at any moment to try and wet my paws, or worse, to wash me into the murky depths of Lake Windermere.

I now need to have a discussion with my mistress to understand exactly what is going to be expected of me in the summer. This really can’t be the only way to get me on and off the boat. I think they should, at the very least, obtain a gangway with no gaps between the planks. The trip itself was very easy in comparison. I had to stand on my back legs with my body on my mistress’s lap so that I could see over the rail. Then the wind kept blowing my ears inside out, but none of that was really a problem compared to the gangway.

In 2009 Alfie was being his usual thoughtful self and planning for Shadow’s arrival. He did take care of her as best he could for his whole life.

2009 Waiting for Shadow

I’m almost at the point of counting the days off until Shadow arrives. I wonder if she’s as excited as I am. I suppose thinking back, it is quite a scary time for a young puppy, leaving their mum and litter mates for the first time and everything being so new. It’s a daunting time for a new puppy. I’m ready to be a surrogate dad if she needs a shoulder to cry on or a helping paw. I’m making some little notices to put round the house to help her find her feet. I’ve done ‘Biscuit cupboard’ and ‘best place to lie in the sunshine’, I’m onto ‘comfiest chair’ and a schedule of meal times next.

In 2014 Aristotle had in his head he’d like to be top dog. Alfie’s view on the subject made me laugh. Good old Alfie would give up everything he had except for one thing – he’d have fought to the end to preserve his spot close to Mum.

2014 Who is top dog?

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not and never will be challenging for top dog. I just want to stand up for myself when I need to and I am working on it. It’s Aristotle. He’s realised he is an adult and has got it into his head that he would like to be top dog.

At the moment he is throwing his weight around and being a little more insistent than he needs to be. Shadow is continuing in her usual approach and I’ve got news for Ari, because it will be a few years yet before he really has the upper hand. He doesn’t understand the nature of a pyrrhic victory. So he stole the cow horn chew from under Shadow’s nose, but it was his in the first place and she isn’t that fussed about it. He ‘stole’ the end of the long chew that Shadow had, but that was after Shadow had put it down saying she’d had enough and couldn’t be bothered to spend all day chewing pointlessly.

He does want my spot on the settee, but he isn’t getting that and he does want to sleep in my Mistress’s bedroom and he isn’t getting that either.

Well that’s quite enough from me for today. We still think about him every day and miss him.

A year on from losing Alfie Mum looks back at a lovely picture of them together

Love Wilma

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