When I’d had my heart broken at seventeen and began to suffer from a bout of intense depression, I was in the house more and more often. Neither of my sisters lived at home and I felt embarrassed confiding my heartbreak to my Mam, which meant that I sought refuge in Alfie an awful lot.
I often used to sit in the garden, writing in my diary or reading on an old picnic blanket. He’d run around the garden checking on our chickens, cats and horse but he’d always come back to check on me too. Sometimes he’d sit on the blanket with me, his head in my lap or he’d just watch me while I wrote furiously. He could be incredibly inconvenient, stepping on my diary or my book as I tried to distract myself from my pain, but I could never be mad at him for it.
Sometimes, when I had the house to myself, I’d invite him up on to the couch and just bury my face in his fur. I used to say horribly cringey things to him like “you’re the only boy that I need” or “why can’t all men be like you?” In case you haven’t figured this out already, I was an incredibly dramatic teen.
Then, when I started to feel a bit better (but not anyway healed) I used to go for long walks in the forest behind my house. We lived in an incredibly rural area and the forest often felt quite desolate, but I sought comfort in the loneliness of it. Besides, I never felt unsafe when Alfie was there with me.
I’d often stop to sit on a rock or a tree and take in a view and Alfie would always sit down with me. Even now thinking about this time, my heart swells with love for Alfie. In a way, I think he believed that he was my owner because I relied on him so much.
He’d often sit and lean against me, letting me put my arms around him and scratch behind his ears. I never doubted his love for me, or for the rest of my family, but I think we always had something of a special bond.
Read more of The Alfie Diaries here.
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