This excerpt comes from a unique and quite unforgettable book, Olive, Mabel, and Me about two dogs and their chronicler-extraordinaire, Andrew Cotter. The three became YouTube sensations earlier this year. In this chapter, we learn just how daily life at the Cotter household has been transformed by two doggie housemates.

Once upon a time, many years ago, we had nice things. Those halcyon days of clean furniture and smart clothing are now nothing but a distant memory. Please don’t misunderstand me. In terms of companionship and all-around happiness, our lives have been transformed much for the better by Olive and Mabel—it’s just the state of our belongings that is a good deal worse. If you want to maintain a house to perfect, show-home standard, then Labradors are not a sensible option.

The vacuum cleaner runs permanently, but no sooner has it filled than the floor, sofas, dog…

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