“Today I am giving command of Writing with Labradors to our newly promoted officer, Captain Oscar so that he can post his very own Welcome to Alfie. Oscar, are you ready?”
“Ready? Ready? Are you kidding me, I have never been more ready in my life! I’m so excited! I’m so happy! I’m so proud! I’m so…sorry, Mum, I just have to go and run around the garden a few times more!”
“Carry on, Oscar. Let me know when you’re done.”
“Right. Okay. Yes, I think I’m done.”
Well then, this is my first official post as Captain Oscar, senior officer at Writing with Labradors. I can remember being with Toby and Joey when they wrote their blog posts a few years ago. I was very young then, just a puppy, and it seemed very exciting but a big responsibility. I used to dream of the day when I’d be able to do a blog post of my very own.
I’ve done a few posts now, as part of our very popular #OscarWalks series which has taken us out and about around the Isle of Man, where I live. Toby and Joey are no longer with us, although I still talk to them sometimes, when I need advice or help with something. It’s not that far over the rainbow bridge and they can still hear me.
I’ve been excited all week because Mum told me that Anya-human was FINALLY coming home. She’s been gone for far too long this time and I’ve missed her dreadfully. I’ve been looking forward to long evenings on the sofa with her, reading or watching TV or helping her study. And if the weather is good, I love sitting in the garden with her, especially on the hammock. Mum says I’m too big to share the hammock now, but that’s nonsense. Anya always lets me.
Nobody told me just how exciting this homecoming was going to be. Rachael-human went off to pick Anya up in her car, which meant it was very quiet for a few days. But when they arrived…OMG WHAT A SURPRISE!!!
Meet Ensign Alfie, the newest recruit to the staff of Writing With Labradors. Alfie is my new little brother, and I love him already. He’s a fox red Labrador, just like my Mum, Poppy and he came from York.
I can’t believe Mum managed to keep this a secret. Alfie is still very little, so I can’t take him out to show him all the fantastic places on the island yet, but I can play in the garden with him as much as I like. I’ve always wanted another brother or sister, ever since Joey died. I love meeting other dogs and playing with them, and I love it when my friend Roy comes to stay. I can’t believe that I’ve now got a friend with me ALL THE TIME!
Of course, being a big brother brings new responsibilities. I can remember Joey telling me how important it was to carry on the traditions and I’ll try to do my best. I have so much to show Alfie and so much to teach him. At the moment Alfie is a bit nervous about playing with me because I’m so much bigger, but he’s getting more confident all the time, and this morning he came close to playing tug of war with me in the garden.
“OMG, Mum, I can’t do anymore, I need to go and run around in the garden for a while again, I’m so excited. Is Alfie awake yet? That’s great! Come on, Alfie, I want to show you how to dig a hole. Though obviously not in Mum’s vegetable garden. We’d never do that…”
I don’t think we’ll get much sense out of Oscar for a bit. He and Alfie seem to be getting on very well, and I have a feeling that Writing With Labradors is in good hands for the future. Or rather, good paws. We’ve all settled down for a rest now, although it isn’t clear how much of her essay Anya is going to get done today.
Readers may have guessed that I chose the name Alfie after one of my favourite characters from the Manxman series. I would have liked to have called him Wellington, but my family were very firmly against that idea. I can’t imagine why they didn’t want to run along the beach yelling “Wellington, here boy!”
I’ve had a few tears here and there since Alfie arrived. The first was when he came to sit on my feet while I was cooking dinner, which was exactly what Joey used to do with me. The second was watching Oscar with him in the garden, very excited but also very much on his dignity, very much the senior dog. My baby puppy has grown up and he reminded me so much of Toby, when first Joey and then Oscar first arrived.
We’re fully staffed again here at Writing With Labradors and while we have a bit of work to do training the new recruit, having two dogs in my study with me while I’m working feels very right. Expect many more photos and videos as the boys settle down together and really bond as brothers.