When you have a child, there are little milestones which become massive achievements.
Their first smile.
The tentative first steps.
The first words!
It’s very similar when you have a guide dog (although, the first words aren’t that important)
James and I ticked off our first milestone last Saturday.
My sister, brother-in-law and two month old niece came to Cardiff for the weekend.
Mum and I met them in Cardiff bay.
I really needed to find a toilet, so I went into the Millennium Centre to find one.
After asking people for help I reached my destination.
I knew it would be difficult finding my way back to the front of the building, as we’d weaved through quite a lot of people and it seemed like a long way from the main entrance.
There used to be a guide dog trainer who visited the college where I did my performing arts Diploma.
He was renowned for being firm but fair.
One of the particular phrases he liked to instil in his students was:
“Trust your dog!”
It doesn’t sound that profound to anyone who’s never had a guide dog, but it was terribly important to me last Saturday.
I opened the door, took a deep breath and said:
“James, find the way! Find the door, the one we came in before!”
He took me confidently and correctly to the main doors.
I was overjoyed and hugged him with glee and gratitude!
James had proved to me that he could find the way out of any situation.
I trusted my dog, and that’s the best thing to do.
You can follow my adventures with new dog James and retired guide dog Chelly at: