Saturday 16 January 2021

Book ~ "Olive, Mabel and Me: Life and Adventures with Two Very Good Dogs" (2020) Andrew Cotter

From Goodreads ~ "Olive, Mabel and Me" is the new book from broadcaster Andrew Cotter and his now internet famous canine companions, Olive and Mabel.

Olive and Mabel went viral on social media with their sporting contests during the COVID-19 lockdown, with Andrew Cotter’s unique commentary propelling the videos to over 40 million views.

Now Cotter shares stories of his adventures with his loveable (and occasionally exasperating) canine companions in this beautifully written, touching and laugh-out-loud funny new book.

I first became aware of Andrew, Olive and Mabel in the spring when I came across his "company meeting" Zoom video with his dogs, Olive and Mabel.  Around that time, I was starting to do more and more live webinars since COVID locked us all down and I couldn't do face-to-face meetings (which was about 75% of my job).  I thought the video was a hoot and I started following them on social media.  I love reading books about animals so was looking forward to reading his book.

Andrew is a Scottish sports broadcaster working primarily for the BBC, covering mainly golf and rugby union.  When COVID arrived and all the sports he covered were cancelled, he didn't have anything to do.  So he was bored and spontaneously filmed Olive and Mabel eating and put a funny sports-like commentary with it.  He uploaded the video and was pleasantly surprised at the response.  He's since done more videos, including the Zoom company meeting.  And that led him to write this book.

The book starts with his childhood, where his family always had dogs, and that started his love of dogs.  He always wanted one but he and his partner, Caroline, didn't get one until they settled down away from London.  They started by doing a lot of research to find the perfect breed of dog for them.  They determined that a Lab fit the bill and got Olive as a puppy.  Four years later, puppy Mabel joined their family.  Olive is a black Lab and Mabel is a yellow Lab and they have distinctly different personalities, which Andrew amusingly explains.  Andrew is very much into intense mountain hiking, sometimes with a lot of snow, and Olive and Mabel often join him on his day long treks.

I liked the writing style and enjoyed this book.  It was informative but amusing.  It's obvious Andrew love love loves his dogs.

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