I’m fast asleep when I am woken up by a cold wet nose snuffling my ear. I hear a little whine.
“Chelly doesn’t normally wake me up like this,” I think.
Then I remember! It’s lovely James!
I get up and give him a fuss.
I take him out to the garden and he does a wee.
I check the time and discover its half past four!
I Immediately think of my sister. Perhaps she’s up at the same time feeding her four week old daughter.
I go back to sleep, but it’s not long until the same thing happens.
I get up and take James out again.
I give him a fuss when we get back.
It’s all new for him!
I wish I could tell him everything will be OK!
If only they could talk!
It’s our first morning on class and I’m very excited.
I meet the other lady on class, she’s come down from North Wales.
She had five guide dogs before.
She’s been matched with a lovely little yellow Labrador.
James is so happy to see our instructor and even more so when he discovers the other lady and her guide dog are there as well.
In the morning we practise grooming, checking our dog for any lumps, bumps ETC and do a bit of obedience.
James is very enthusiastic about being groomed and treats it like a game.
He grabs hold of his lead and tries to eat it!
He adores being cuddled and loves leaning against me.
The weather is incredibly hot so we wait till late in the afternoon to take the dogs out.
It’s our first walk and I’m both terrified and delighted.
We go to a part of Cardiff called Splott. There’s a lot of easy road crossings to practise finding the kerbs, right and left turns.
I put the harness on James, get into my correct foot position (more in a future post) swing my right hand out in front of me and say: “Forward!”
James’s speed takes me by surprise. It shouldn’t, as I’ve been on two walks with him before.
He’s just like a racehorse!
“Steady James,” I pant
“Mummy’s only got two legs! Slow down!”
He goes from a gallop into a canter.
I eventually persuade him to walk in a sedate fashion, but only for a few steps.
I suspect I used to be this quick with Chelly, but it’s difficult to remember.
We complete our first walk and my instructor asks how we feel.
“I really enjoyed that,” I say.
“Gosh, that dog can go quickly!”
We laugh and I give him a big hug.
James and I spend the evening getting to know each other.
It’s so hot, so he sleeps downstairs.
I’m pleased with how the first day went.
I know it’s going to be hard work, for both of us. But I know it will all be worth it!