a school visit



Off to Kings Heath Park revoltingly early this morning as I have arranged to visit Hounds’ Club. The reception class runs from 09.30 to 10.15. I arrive just as the six beginners – all greyhounds – have completed their tests under the scrutiny of Marcia, an experienced assessor for the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog scheme.

The second class runs from 10.30 to 12.00. and I stay to watch. Some of the new graduates stay too, most lying gracefully on their beds. There are some dogs who are working to overcome problems. Julie, the instructor knows each individual and the approach which works for him/her. She is a talented trainer whom I remember from Ellie’s classes many years ago.

The majority of the dogs are ex-racers rehomed by one of the local greyhound rescue centres. So they are all adults. The atmosphere is quiet and calm.

Julie is happy for a hairy podengo mix to join the beginners so, optimistically, I sign Isis up for four weeks.

This evening I give The Hairy One a sardine as dessert. Foolishly, I leave the opened tin a few centimetres from the edge of the counter.

‘Clonk!’ She has lifted up the tin and set it down, right way up, of course, on the kitchen floor. But she did not put it down gently enough and there are splashes of sardine in tomato all the place.


Leaving her to clean up, I take my coffee next door. But when I go back there are still red splashes up the front of the fridge and dishwasher.

Is she ready for reception class yet?  Well, at least she won’t have to stay for school dinners.


Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact kerry@aeza.org or  www.dogwatchuk.com

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