They waited several months before they were contacted and told they were to receive their new dog. He had completed his training but had found the whole process so stressful he had developed severe allergies causing skin problems, runny eyes, and a multitude of other problems associated with allergies. He wasn't able to be assigned to work with a blind person as his health problems were considered too difficult to manage.
My mum and dad leapt at the chance to have him. He came to their home. And for the past 6 months he has been getting to know his new family.
He is black. Sleek. With a shiny coat. Beautiful big eyes. And a face that could melt grown men's hearts.
He is also blessed with an incurable need to explore. His notion of politeness, and his awareness of which places may or may not welcome him is a little under-developed.
He considers himself too much fun not to share with every person he comes across. He has a certain "joie de vivre".
He just has that look about him.
Let's call him Bob.
So, hypothetically, perhaps my dad took Bob for a walk a few days ago. To a lovely parkland area where lots of people take their dogs. Perhaps Bob ran around. Followed trails. Relieved himself. Concerned himself with doggy things to do.
And maybe my dad let his mind wander briefly to what lay ahead that day.
And momentarily took his eye off the Bob.
Perhaps my dad turned around to briefly catch Bob, in the distance, nudging open the gate to a house that sat on the edge of the parkland. Bob letting himself in. Hypothetically. To explore.
My dad might possibly have hot-footed it across the parkland to the gate. To find it led into someone's very private garden.
There could have been several ladies walking their dogs on the other side of the parkland. No-one else about.
My dad could have found himself calling for Bob over the gate.
Bob may have ignored my dad's yells and stayed where he was. Doing what he was doing.
At this point, my dad possibly opted to enter the garden and grab a hold of his dog. And was surprised and discomfited to see Bob was no where to be found.
My dad may then have ventured forth into the back garden, and begun calling Bob again.
My dad might have turned slowly. Looking into the windows of the house to see if he could find the owners to let them know why he was tramping through their very private garden.
At this point he could have seen a flash of something black and doggy-looking reflected in the conservatory window. And been relieved to catch sight of Bob, in the glass, running round the garden.
Then been a little less relieved to realise that Bob wasn't in the garden.
Bob was on the other side of the glass.
Inside the house.
My dad possibly started hyper-ventilating.
Bob, having spotted my dad through the glass, could have started jumping up and down playing a fun game called "Look At Me! Look At Me! I'm On The Inside! Come On In! There's Lots Of New Stuff To Sniff And Knock Over And Trample."
At this point my dad might have thrown caution to the wind and gone to the back door of the house and found it open. Standing on the threshold calling for his dog. With intermittant shouts of "Hello! Is anyone there? My dog is in your house! Hello!"
My dad may have been met by a stoney silence and a bouncing dog. No house owner.
What to do. What to do.
Weighing up the situation, my dad might have been forced to put his foot across the threshold of a stranger's home. And trespass. In order to get his overly inquisitive, bouncy and downright rude, dog back.
He could have gone into the kitchen and verbally threatened his dog. He may have said a few profain words to Bob, himself and The Heavens.
My dad may have approached Bob fairly quickly. Keen to get him back on the lead. Bob might have inched away from my dad. Dad might have inched forward. Bob might have moved away. Just out of reach.
Both may have paused. Possibly sizing up the situation. Eye to eye. Just for a second.
Bob could have decided to make a run for it. Down the hall. Ears flapping.
My dad may have found himself pursuing his dog through the empty rooms of another man's house. Around chairs. Up and down the hallway. In and out of rooms. It might have taken my dad several very long minutes to tether his dog.
My dad could then have walked Bob tightly on a lead, to the small group of women who were still standing on the parkland.
He may have asked them if they knew who THAT house belonged to. A small woman with a small dog might have said, "That's my house. Why?"
My dad could have wanted to say:
"Man alive! Did you know you left your back door open? Nice furniture, but I don't think much of your choice of carpet."
My dad might have smiled and politely apologised for his dog having rampaged through her garden. No mention made of Bob's visit into her home, closely followed by my dad. My dad possibly found himself met with a stunned silence. He may have held very tightly to his dog, while he walked home. Watched for much of the journey across the grass by a group of women still standing on the parkland.
But that's just talking hypothetically.