When Andrew Cotter turned his brilliant sports commentary skills from Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Masters to lockdown contests and life online involving his two labradors, Olive and Mabel, the result was an internet sensation. The series of videos has been viewed well over fifty million times on social media, giving comfort to locked-down dog owners and spectacle-deprived sports fans all over the world.
In Olive, Mabel & Me, Andrew tells the truth about 2020, and how his two canines became celebrities. And just like the very funny YouTube clips, this book reels you in and has you laughing.
When asked to name your favourite year, I’m not sure that 2020 would be high on anybody’s list. The CEO of Zoom might disagree, perhaps sailing around the Caribbean on his yacht pulled by a fleet of swans. But almost everybody else who has lived through it will have very distinct memories of the deep unpleasant-ness – lockdown lost jobs, strained relationships and even worse. And above all, the overriding oddness as our lives were utterly transformed by a global pandemic. For me, that feeling was only heightened by something I brought upon myself in the spring, as I somehow fashioned our entirely unwitting labradors, Olive and Mabel, into viral stars of the internet.
This is the full story of Olive and Mabel’s rise to stardom, how both dogs came to live with him, and their personalities. We find out their likes and dislikes – Olive dislikes the cat next door – and their relationship with each other.
But the book is also much more. Andrew reveals how all three of them find peace and happiness away from the hectic world of the media, most often in the mountains. Scattered throughout are photos of Andrew and his dogs, knee deep in snow as they climb mountains, and you realise just how special his relationship with Olive and Mabel is.
There are also a couple of chapters about Andrew’s travels to Japan, which are highly entertaining. He was meant to be commentating on the 2020 Olympics there this year, but COVID-19 hit and instead, he commented on his dogs.
And that really is the heart of this wonderful book. Above all, it’s about the love we all have for our dogs, the companionship and pure joy we get from sharing our lives with them. And the love and affection they give back to us, which is in no way related to us providing a near-constant supply of food and walks.
Beautifully written, touching and laugh-out-loud funny, Olive, Mabel & Me is a treat for dog lovers everywhere. In fact, even cat-lovers with enjoy this one. A fabulous dog’s tale – don’t miss it!