Today, Milo and I had our last session with our trainer, whom we've been seeing for the past seven months.
She taught us everything we know about sit, wait, lie down, "hi daddy" and not chasing sheep.
She never scolded when Milo wee'd on the training room floor, occasionally let him play with her dog and she gave us the ball Milo likes best and the squeaker toy that gets his attention when he's wandered off too far.
It was her idea to castrate him and, still, he loved her to bits.
Every Tuesday morning, we would turn into the drive and Milo would go completely nuts in the back of the car. Between the sounds of the sheep, the crunch of the gravel and (what I'm guessing was) a decidedly doggy smell, he knew exactly where we were and he couldn't wait to get out.
When I finally released him from his captivity, he would run directly to her and launch himself in the air, knowing (instinctively, I'd like to think) that she would catch him.
From the very first day, he did exactly what she told him to do. Any work we did with her holding on to his lead never went quite as well as it could have (he was so comfortable with her that he wasn't all that fussed about me walking away). We would always resort to tying him to something else if we wanted to make progress.
Me? I thought she was brilliant. I liked her from the very first day that I spoke to her on the phone. After our session, I always came home more confident than when I left. She made me feel that I could have the well-behaved pup that I longed to have and showed me how to achieve that goal.
Milo is a naturally sweet dog, but he is a better behaved dog because of her.
I appreciated our talks and I appreciated the laughter. I'll miss that.
Today was our last day and I don't know what we're going to do without her.
Thank you - for your time and your patience, for your wisdom and your encouragement. Thank you for showing me the potential in my little doggy... and in myself.
Enjoy the wine and enjoy Spain.