Updated: Nov 27, 2020
It's all a little, well, gloomy at the moment, isn't it?
Everyone seems a bit down in the dumps to me; all my Dad and his human friends seem to be talking about is the same thing. I don't really understand why it's a big deal: I've been on lockdown in the same house my whole life and, thanks to my yappiness, have been practicing social distancing ever since I was a pup.
But I don't like it when people are sad. Life's much better when everyone's happy.
So I'm doing something about it. I've had enough of all the scary headlines and that funny man with the scruffy hair telling everyone to make space and wash themselves.
I'm going to look on the bright side because, the way I see it, there's a lot of good stuff that happens in the world. My challenge is to sniff out the positives and yap about things that make me smile.
Without further ado, I, Alfie present to you my first ever #YappyNews - your monthly round-up of inspiring, happy and heartwarming news stories from around the world ...
Let's see what happened in October then, shall we?
#1: The inspiring marathon runner who defied doctors' warnings
Michael Beynon became the first person with Down's Syndrome from Wales to run the London Marathon this month; the 25-year-old completed the virtual race despite having being previously warned by doctors that he may need a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
Running in aid of learning disability charity Mencap, he says: "I'd like to give something back so they can continue supporting people like me. People with a learning disability."
The London Marathon was far from Michael's first sporting challenge, however: in the past he's represented Wales and Great Britain in the Special Olympics, winning over 60 medals across a number of different events.
"He's stubborn, determined and always has a lot of reserve in him to try and be committed at whatever he does." That's what Michael's Mum says. He sounds a lot like me.
Read the full story here: BBC News, 4 October 2020
#2: Tasmanian Devils RETURN TO MAINLAND AUSTRALIA FOR FIRST TIME IN 3,000 YEARS
I seem to have a strange kinship with these "tiny terrors". I can't explain why.
But great news coming out of Australia is, thanks to a dogged reintroduction effort, 26 of the endangered scrappy predators known as Tasmanian Devils have returned to the forests of mainland Australia for the first time in 3,000 years.
According to the nice people at National Geographic, these brilliant animals which are "no bigger than a lapdog ... are famous for their ferocity and powerful jaws, which can reduce large carcesses to smithereens in minutes." Yeah!
It's amazing news after a contagious and deadly mouth cancer in the 1990s had a huge impact on the dwindling species. But after lots of hard work by species recovery organisation AussieArk, in collaboration with Global Wildlife Conservation and WildArk, these pint-sized scavengers are now back to doing what they do best: playing a crucial role in maintaining a balanced, healthy ecosystem. I like their style.
Read the full story: National Geographic, 5 October 2020
#3: Boy sleeps in tent for months
I love camping in a tent - but clearly not as much as 10-year-old Max Woosey from Braunton.
This terrific young lad has raised more than £16,000 for North Devon Hospice by sleeping in a tent in his back garden for more than 200 days, ever since the beginning of lockdown.
His epic outdoor adventure has been in memory of two family friends, and inspired by his 74 year old neighbour Rick, who told Max "promise me you'll have an adventure in here" before he passed away from cancer in February.
Max says that the best part of sleeping outside was "escaping" his parents and getting to "read the Beano for as long as you want." That sounds pretty sweet to me.
Read the full story here: BBC News, 13 October 2020
See? There's plenty of good news still out there, if you look for it. I'll be keeping my flappy ears peeled and will remain close to the ground in my hunt for more #YappyNews to make you smile. If you spot a good one, throw me a bone: I'm @YappyAlfie!