Friends, collies, my training team’s cats and dogs,
OMG. I think I’d better say that again, in big bold capitals OMG. There was me thinking that getting away for a spot of Munroing in 2018 would be just like 2017 and 2016. My van was packed with plenty of food – Wainwrights special, mature cheddar, lots of Primular – and, of course, tons of balls! Then there were a few bottles of that stuff that makes B very happy, and our beds were in there too. Normally, we motor along nicely for an hour or so and then get stuck in some big long traffic jam, because B hasn’t thought about rush hours, or big events happening. Therefore, our delay just north of Hamilton, near Glasgow, just put me at my ease. I knew that eventually we would end up at some beautiful remote spot in the Scottish Highlands.
Then, blow me down with a piece of flipchart paper, we were off the motorway and parked up by a big building. I took it to be a sort of urban munro. Just as I was trying to figure out how we would climb it a lovely person thing came to say hello to little old me. She was just the sort I love: nice and calm, softly spoken and loaded with treats. That’s us now, me and Helen, friends for life.
Next on the agenda was a sort of meet and greet session in the training team’s Glasgow office. It seems my person is part of this team and we were going to work for the day. They all smelt of either canines or felines, so that was very reassuring. I must say a v. v. v big thank you to everyone who made me so welcome and made me feel like a VIP (Very Important Pet) in the team. Jan played ball with me first and the treats were coming thick and fast, my favourite way :). I thought what empathic two-legged things this lot are.
Before long we all trooped off for our monthly meeting and, to be honest, it was a tad boring so I did some zzzs, in between brief forays for treats and cuddles. I tried my best to remember my manners to make my person proud and actually she was… totally gobsmacked. I was even able to keep it together with the male people, which is often a struggle for me. After the meeting it was lunch time and the smells were just wonderful but, at this point – somewhat disappointingly – I was escorted from the room.
On my return even more people had come to see me and the afternoon was a bit more animated. It seems I was a dogicipant in a pilot workshop about citizenship. Matt, one of my morning friends, did a big fast moving leap between groups, which pierced my veneer of calm and, though I contained my fright, I kept a wary eye on him after that; sudden movements and anxious collies not being a mix made in doggy heaven.
I’d better tell you about Shona too. She’s only been in the job two minutes and already she knows that saying complimentary things, about team members’ pets, will win their hearts over. Actually, she wanted to steal me and my dreams went off on “choice cuts of meat and gold lamé baskets” but… B kept a tight hold of my lead and, at the end of the day, it’s true, the grass is never greener than on the Munros.
Anyway, I’ve been having a little think, as big-brained Border Collies tend to, and I’ve got a suggestion to make. What about a whole new paw to this training team and I’d like to offer my services too. If you could source the appropriate canine Training 4 Trainers courses, I’d be happy to deliver: dogs moving dogs, canine support and protection, food hygiene and, I feel I could provide some lived experience input about hyper sensory processing, into your Autism Spectrum Condition course. Oh yes, and what about Canine citizenship; I’m big on the resource element myself. Anyway, food for thought, as they say. What do you think?
I’m so pleased to be part of your team, I’m going to dream about it.