This morning began at 4:56 A.M., with me waking up from a horrid nightmare about a beast-like woman named Paula who kept reappearing to blow up my dog with an oozy. I tossed and turned, paranoid about the time, checked my watch, and, realizing how I had nearly three hours to go, went back to sleep. Some lady banged down my door at approximately 6:48 to tell me that the "coffees on, hun". The relevance of this fact befuddles me, since (a) I loathe that beverage and (b) they specifically told me that I could sleep till seven. And, dammit, seven is *not* ten to seven; it's seven. But, because I was paranoid that "coffees on" also meant breakfast was ready and they'd changed it on us, I got up. I showered, dressed, and did all those morning-type things. I had fifteen minutes to kill before breakfast; where I arrived, last, five minutes before the meal started. For breakfast, there was juice, omlet (gag), peach yogurt (not half bad) and pounds upon pounds of delicious, buttery, toast. It was great.
After breakfast, we met in the leather lounge, where we discussed short-handle walks and class interviews. Then, we were dismissed to our rooms so that Jody and Barb could pull the fire alarm. It sounded like the place was exploding. Afterword, I ventured out to meet Carol Hobbs, a lovely puppywalker/ex phys. ed teacher/all-in-one GDF volunteer, who took me on the first tour that morning of the kennels. I was extremely impressed with the cleanliness and the care and the personnel within the kennels. We saw dogs. Ohmygosh, dawgs, and more dawgs. Dawgs upon dawgs upon dawgs. They barked, sniffled, and thumped; sometimes all three at once. It was amazing. "I don't know where, but your dog is in here right now." Carol told me, as she squeezed my shoulder. I nearly peed myself with utter glee. My dog could, potentially, have been right in front of my beautiful, broken blue eyes. And neither one of us knew it.
After the kennel, I came back to my room. Shortly, I was joined by Kevin, a lovely maintaince worker, who informed me that a light in my mirror was broken. I told him it wasn't a big deal, that I hadn't even noticed. He told me sternly that his priority was to me and to Maria (the housekeeper) and that Maria had sent him to fix that "blinkin'" light, so that was what he was going to do. He did; but it took about 45 minutes, because something was broken. I was really confused, but he told me about his daughter and his effinity for cigarettes as I sat on my beautiful double bed and observed his actions. Then, Barb came to get me for my short-handle walk. She led me out to the area where we were short-handling it up, and she taught me a few things.
She taught me the starting position. Left foot is forward, with all of your weight upon it, right foot is slightly back and out, towards your shoulder. Telling the dog "forward", you sweep your right arm up from your side (vertically) until it reaches waist level. The dog pulls you forward, and you step with your right foot. When finding the curb, you find it with your left foot, bringing your right foot forward to keep your balance. Once you've found the curb down with your left foot, you give the forward command, and cross the street. At up curbs, your left foot needs to find the step up, you say forward, and then lift your right foot on to the curb. For right turns, you shuffle your left foot back and out, slightly, draw your right arm across your body at waist level and say "right". Then you turn, with the dog. *Not* before him/her; which is what I was basically doing the entire time.
The short-handle walk went fairly well. It was interesting to learn the commands and all of those important things I'll inevitably need. Afterwords, I went back to my room and chilled around for a while. Got a sweet, sweet, *beautifully redolent* surprise from the lovely Squonk; which I have to call and thank her for tomorrow (in case she's sleeping now, which I doubt but...) Thanks in advance, love; uber thoughtful.
Jody came to claim me for my intrance interview. She asked me many of the same questions that had been on my application, and I told her. She asked if I had a strong breed preference, and I said no. Though I did tell her that I wasn't such a huge fan of poodles; which she said worked out nicely, since there is only one labrapoodle on class and no standard poodles. I told her whatever they wanted to give me would be absolutely fine with me, though. The interview didn't last long. After it was over, I went to lunch where I had "Italian wedding soup" (it was broth with meatballs, spaghettis and lettuce), a chicken salad sandwich, pickle (gag), and Fridos; with lemonade, of course. After lunch, we had a lecture on some other things. Like our second short-handle walk. I think I was slightly dazed, though, because I feel like 90% of it went over my head. It's horrible, yes, thanks.
That ended at about 1:45, and I went back to my room. I read for about an hour and a half (finishing a book, I might add), and then waited for Jody to come to get me to do my second short-handle walk. She came at about 3ish, and we did a walk. We worked on corrections, which I can't seem to get correctly, about turns, which I'm not so bad at, and "hault"s, which I find quite easy. I'd explain about turns and haults and corrections, but my brain hurts too much. However, if you all want to know, I'll be glad to tell youl. Comment and ask, and I will, just not now because my head hurts like a mofo.
After my short-handle walk with Jody (in the morning I'd done it with Barb), I retired to my room, checked email, and then joined Cora, Nancy, and Elvera (heretoforth known as Al, because she likes being called that) in the hallway for a chat. It ate up an hour or so of my freetime, and then we all went off to dinner. We had pot roast, broccoli that was awfully soft, and rice with mixed vegetables; for dessert, either strawberry cheesecake like last night or cantaloupe. (Shanda, I hope you're appreciating this. :)) Phil didn't know what cantaloupe was, and I nearly died with hysterics. Which does, actually, make me a terrible human being. After dinner, Nancy and Cora went off to the Bereavement lecture given by Kim since they're the only retrains, and David, Phil, Al and I went to the Leather Lounge (by far my favorite room in the building, excluding my own) where Mike Devlin talked to us about collars and leashes. The lecture took a freakishly long time, because us newbies had, once again, 458295251 questions apiece, and couldn't figure out the "right" way to collar the "stunt dog" (a humungoid stuffed dog of some sort). After lecture, Mike played his guitar and sang for us. I actually enjoyed myself, immensely. He sings and plays and tells stories very well. I can't wait until next Monday when he entertains us again. Bonding with your classmates, epitomized.
I forgot to mention that at dinner Mike distributed our bowls, brushes, and Nylabones. Nylabones are more hard plasticy than I had thought. All of that jazz is stowed safely beneath my beautiful bed, waiting for Dog. Dog should be acquired tomorrow after lunch; Dog's name and breed (and sex, if not obviously apparent) will be revealed before lunch. I'm doing an anticipatory dance this moment just thinking about it all. *Squeeeeee*
Tomorrow can't come soon enough.