fun in the sun!

Chelly and I had completed our first days training. I fell asleep to the sounds of gentle snoring. I awoke four hours later with a jolt. I could hhhear rhythmic thudding and there was a little cold wet nose snuffling my cheek.
“Oooo!” I squeaked.
“Chelsea?”
She thumped her tail harder and the next thing I knew a cuddly toy was being pushed towards me.
As soon as I’d finished wrestling the toy from her and laughing I lay back down.
The performance was repeated twice more that night.
Each time I turned over, it seemed Chelly was ready to pounce. She saw it as a game.
She would repeat the same thing for the first five days of our training.
Each time she was cute, she took away the anxiety of how I felt about leaving Vale.
Vale was only down the road at my parents, but I thought about her constantly.
I was also aware that I was Chelsea’s fourth owner. For the first six weeks they live with their Mum and the brood bitch holder. Then they’re transferred to volunteer puppywalkers where they’re socialised and taught basic obedience and commands. Then they’re taken to the training centres to be trained there and before being matched up with an owner. Some of them are boarded or put in kennels. Chelsea was never put in kennels, she captured the hearts of the people in the office and would be allowed home with one of them each night.
So, I knew I had to make allowances for any naughtiness or mischief. She was just testing the boundaries like any dog.
The trainer arrived at ten O’clock and announced that today we would start learning our way round town.
We trained together in 2006 and it was really really hot.
I think it reached the mid 20’s at one point, possibly higher.
Chelly took everything in her stride and worked beautifully.
She was a lot quicker than Vale and we had a shock when she walked me into the back of an old lady who was strolling along.
She leapt on to a counter in a shop.
Her enthusiasm for life was infectious.
She didn’t let me have a bad day.
It’s like she was saying:
“”Don’t cry, here, have a cuddly toy/cushion/paw instead – let’s play, I’ll take it all away for you!”
She’d knock me over – or try to push her head under my arm for a fuss.
The weather got hotter and we became frequent visitors to the local food hall, where we’d loiter by the fridges to keep cool.
Over the next few days I learned to find the shops, supermarket aand cafes.
We travelled on buses and trains.
Nothing fazed Chelly.
Vale even accepted her, after a play fight to sort out who was boss! Vale won.
After almost two weeks the trainer announced we had qualified.
Chelly and I were an official partnership.
Next, we would face the world and the future on our own!

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