Earlier this month Calvin had his annual visit from Guide Dogs, which I have to say I had to chase up, as hadn’t heard a whisper from them. It was due last November. Usually, because Guide Dogs tend to visit in the day, my mum is at work, but she happened to have an extra week off work after Christmas and so was home on this occasion. The trainer had barely walked through the door when my mum began to express her opinion on Calvin. She highlighted facts, such as when she sees other Guide Dogs that they are nothing like Calvin, as they are well behaved and not in their own little world and how he is a great pet dog, yet lacking in guiding skills. Don’t get me wrong, my family adore Calvin just as much as me, but similarly get just as frustrated. I could tell the trainer was panicked by this information, even though I’ve been saying the same thing since I’ve had him!
We went on a walk around the village with the trainer following in close proximity. Calvin did sniff here and there, walk me into the road once and went up a driveway, but this was outstanding work by his standards! The trainer did acknowledge that he does seem to ignore my corrections even when he is wearing a halty and I lift his front paws off the ground, as I tug him so hard. She suggested that I should bend down to him before correcting him and demonstrated this, much to Calvin’s disapproval who whimpered like a big girl! As soon as the trainer stepped anywhere near him after this, he acted all submissive. The funniest had to be when a slice of bread was deviously left in his track that he of course felt the need to gobble up, I correct him, no reaction, so the trainer came charging up to him and he tried to leg it, paws in the air claiming his defence, ‘I swear it wasn’t me!’ ‘what bread?! I didn’t see any bread!’ he was an absolute coward! Yet coming back to the correction, every time I did it, Calvin couldn’t care less, in short he isn’t scared of me at all!
The trainer came out again a few days later and I was determined to show Calvin at his worst. So we went to my local shopping area where there is a food court. I regularly find myself dragging Calvin across the floor, as he ducks and dives for loose chips under tables and chairs. To give you a picture, the seating area is in the middle and the various food places lined around the outside. Calvin’s challenge was to walk around the outside without deviating or getting distracted. He has never been able to do this, so I was confident he’d show his true colours! Little did I know that Calvin always finds a way of surprising me. I thought someone had swapped my dog without me noticing, as he walked casually around the seating area, not even clocking any food, focused on guiding me, even daring to navigate around the Costa tables, which stick out with no prompts. If only he was like that all of the time, I’d have nothing to write about, as he was faultless! Whilst I did admire that he can be an amazing Guide Dog, which I’ve always maintained he could be, I wanted to shake him! The clever sod knew he was being observed. Guess it’s similar to when people get audited at work and pretend to be perfect!
Following this revelation, Calvin was deemed fixed and awarded a thousand doggy points for being a star! Unsurprisingly, he’s gone back to his distracted ways and I currently have twofat lumps on my forehead thanks to Calvin allowing me to head but a door frame and clothes rail.
Calvin, one in a million, a love hate relationship!