Today is the day. I travel to my allocated training hotel this afternoon. I am to wear combat fatigues, boots, a beret, pink carnation and carry a copy of ‘The Times’. On arrival I make contact with my minder and trainer.
The trainer will come out to the hotel. After our initial exchange of passwords: ‘THE BLACK DOG IS ON THE COUCH. THE WIND IS BRISK IN THE NORTH, she will briefly introduce me to my new surroundings and then leave me to settle in.
Parade will be prompt; sharpish tomorrow morning. If I’m late it’s twenty-five press ups.
In the interim I am fortunate to have enjoyed a stimulating couple of days residential. But my focus is now four legged combined with a brief respite to meet with my husband.
My expectations before I train with Obi are a muddled mishmash of hopes and fears. Ridiculously ambitious hopes for this dog come into my mind; I want him to be happy (he’s a retriever lab x – give him food!). I want him to get on well with the other dogs in the household (he’s a dog – it might take the odd spat but within no time he will find his place in the pack, I know I have.). I want to like him with a view to loving him as a trusted and valued colleague. (He’s a dog – what part of that don’t you understand?)
For myself I don’t want to embarrass myself too obviously during training. Vanity is a terrible thing. I want to get on with my trainer (she has a sense of humour, you need no more…). I want to graduate. (Gown and hood? Champagne? Cuddly toy?)
So, the next adventure commences. I’m there wearing my metaphorical fairy wings and unicorn hat, rainbow tutu, powder blue glittery tights and elfin shoes. It’ll be fine. It might even be fun.