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Dog plays life coach for other strays at Merseyside shelter

Two pictures of Alfie, a smooth collie sitting on lawn dog-happy
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A dog at a Merseyside animal shelter has taken on the role of a chaperone of new arrivals, and appears to have the knack of putting at ease dogs that are troubled and nervous. 

By Nick Whittle , 12 Mar 2019

Seven-year-old Alfie is a compassionate mentor. A long-standing resident of the Dogs’ Trust centre in Huyton he has seen his fair share of abandoned dogs, and knows that some more than others struggle to come to terms with their lot. 

The humans do their best but Alfie knows that what the saddest and loneliest dogs need is a four-legged best friend. 

Vicky Lester, assistant manager at Dogs Trust Merseyside, said: ‘He [Alfie] is an absolute sweetheart when it comes to helping other dogs that are less confident than him. Alfie really understands immediately what each dog needs.’

What's it all about, Alfie? 

Recently Alfie was called on to help an eight-year-old Shar Pei called Dixie. Dixie’s family wasn’t able to look after him anymore and gave him up for adoption. 

According to the Liverpool Echo, ‘Dixie found the rehoming centre environment overwhelming and in his first few days […] didn’t want to play and wasn’t even enthusiastic about going for a walk, until he met Alfie.’

Alfie did what Alfie does best. He looked after Dixie for as long as it took for the new dog to settle into his surroundings, and within a handful of weeks Dixie was a ‘new’ dog. 

Dixie is doing wonderfully now,’ Ms Lester told The Echo, ‘and it is all thanks to Alfie. With Dixie he just walked alongside him which immediately gave Dixie confidence and he is now raring to go on walks and is very happy.’

According to Lester, Alfie has helped lots of other dogs to become accustomed to their time at the shelter.  ‘He also helped a beautiful, big Boxer come out of her shell too,’ she said. ‘Thanks to Alfie showing her the way, she now has fantastic off-lead play sessions with other dogs’.

Alfie is still up for adoption himself. If you think you and your home are right for him, get in touch with Dog’s Trust Merseyside


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