Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
Hannah Russell
Features Writer
2:46 PM 12th December 2016

Alfie Comes To Live With Hannah

On the 24th December 2013, Little Alf or Alfie as I call him came to live with me, which seems like quite a while ago now, as I really couldn't imagine life without my little bundle of fluff.

Alfie arrived on Christmas Eve, the perfect Christmas gift, although this wasn't the intention! I'd heard about a miniature Shetland with dwarfism at a local breeder's yard in North Yorkshire, and that she was getting rid of him due to having dwarfism. I just couldn't say no, and instantly fell in love with him; who would want to get rid of such a charming little man.

Alfie stands at just 28 inches high, 6 inches smaller than what he should really be, although his cheeky personality makes up for it in a huge way. I think Alfie sometimes thinks he's a shire horse as he parades around the paddock swishing his head and showing the other horses who is boss.

Getting Alfie to the stable yard was no easy task; I hadn't told my parents and was going on a spur of the moment decision. I also already have three rescue ponies so I thought they might freak out with the thought of another one. But due to Alfie being so small I thought what harm could it really do?

The next hurdle was collecting Alfie. I couldn't transport him with a trailer as I didn't have my licence at just 16 years old. Luckily the breeder who owned Alfie previously offered to drop him off. I happily agreed and a few hours later Alfie arrived in the back of a Land Rover, which was quite a funny sight.

Alfie jumped out the back just like a dog and set off galloping around the field, snorting with his tail held high. I knew he was going to be a handful then and it started to daunt me as to what I had done, but he soon settled down with some hay and I shut him inside the stables for the night.

The next day was Christmas morning and I was very nervous about 'The big reveal'. I set off to the stables with my parents and told them I had a surprise for them. Dad jokingly said: "I hope it's not a horse Hannah". I just laughed and thought "well not quite, half a horse maybe."

As we got to the yard and nearer to the stables it was pretty obvious what was inside as Alfie let out a huge whinny. I opened the stable door and they just couldn't resist his cuteness. I introduced him as 'Little Alf' to my parents and after a few short minutes Dad said:

"Welcome to the family then Alf."