Last night I welcomed my new kennel mate to our digs. They were new to me as well, but I have been round the block when it comes to accommodation options. Puppy walker home, kennels, boarding out with ‘staff’ (they prefer to think of themselves as foster parents) and yesterday I was teamed with a new bitch and new kennel. A LOT plusher than my usual. I am making a big success of this guide dog thing. I now have a bigger space and it has lots of extras like a big bed (comfy; don’t ask) and snacks (now hidden).
My kennel mate is a very large, bald breed apart from a quiff of grey on her head and odd patches here and there. She wears an additional coat and things to keep out the cold. She smiles at me a lot and has an impressive vocal range. I think she may be an economic migrant as I don’t always understand what she’s saying.
My trainer stayed with us a lot yesterday. I can see why. The newbie was all over the place. she refuses to use her legs as any self respecting dog would do and rolls around on wheels. Sometimes she moves so slowly that I have time to yawn, shake and sniff the air before she even gets going. I wouldn’t have said that was very satisfactory in agility terms at all, but who am I to judge? Presumably she’s trainable or they wouldn’t have bunked her with me. She acts like she’s been in kennels like this before, but I doubt it somehow.
Obviously, as the more experienced dog, I have taken responsibility for seeing she’s all right as best I can. I went with her to the restaurant last night with our trainer. She had something to eat which was good – and a drink. I always worry if they don’t eat, drink and spend a penny the first night.
When we were left following my final ablutions, (She has a litter run in the room – my room mate, not our trainer) I waited politely to see what she would do. she played for quite a long time with a large light brick, running her claws over it. I tried to show her the delights of bone whittling but every time I took my bone to her she feigned polite interest and went back to her scratchings.
As it was getting late, I repeatedly indicated to her that she needed to get into her bed lie down and curl up. I have a bed in the corner of the room. A large blanket and a fluffy fleece on top. I went to it and lay down three times and waited for her to do the same. I think she may be a bit slow. I will try and be patient. Eventually she got the idea. I slept awfully well but thought it wasn’t unreasonable to see if I could get someone to come and feed us at 6am.
When The Fat Dog in the Chair finally got up you could have knocked me down with a tennis ball. I am ashamed to admit I got things a bit wrong. Mostly right mind but, and you will so not believe this, FDITC is NOT an ordinary dog. she has access to the dog food. She fed me my breakfast and we went out together for me to admire the view before going to the restaurant for her breakfast.
I have a new respect for my furless friend. She has attitude and she knows how to legitimately get into the dog food and present it nicely in a bowl. I have serious time for the gal today. Serious time. You have to admire a breed that, however follically challenged, can do stuff like that.
She’s not bad at tickling and slow rubs either. Could be interesting. Maybe it’s a new guide dog pilot scheme?