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The Cloak of Steel (The Magic Crystals, #5)
Parisian Tails
Corridors (The Magic Crystals, #4)
Hunt and Power (The Magic Crystals, #3)

Parisian Tails

Sample Chapter from ‘Parisian Tails’


Paris moved into our house on the morning of the 6th of April. We had arranged it so that I could undergo as much of my training while missing as little of my university studies as possible. Friday was Good Friday, a public holiday, and the following week was my mid-semester break, making it the ideal time to cram in as much training as possible. The usual system at SEDA (at the time) was for new trainees to move into a house they owned, and stay there with their dog for three weeks for training, but they were flexible in my case; I was able to stay in the house for only one week, and then complete the rest of my training part-time while still attending classes.

The arrival of Paris couldn't come soon enough for me. I was in a difficult situation at university; I had struggled through the first five weeks of it without nearly enough O&M training. Vision Australia, the most well-known vision impairment-related charity in the country, didn't have anyone available to assist me because I had left it too late to book someone. In this manner, I had missed a few classes here and there because I had been unable to find them; turned around and gone home one day because people had erected what could have passed for an obstacle course on the main thoroughfare; and actually dropped a couple of subjects because the pressure was getting to me. Things turned out to be so much better when I returned to university just over a week later with Paris at my side.

I was the one to invite Hadrian and Paris into the house for the first time, wondering what would be the first thing that Paris did once she got inside. It turned out to be something I hadn't expected at all; when my dad, with whom I live, came around the corner into the lounge room to meet her, she immediately growled at him. She would warm to him very quickly, and he would become one of her favourite people in the world before long (probably because he gave her affection without making her work as I did), but that first growl was a moment we have collectively chuckled over ever since.

The three of us (me, Paris and Hadrian) went for a good long walk on that first day, after which I was the most buggered out of the three of us. (My fitness wasn't exactly admirable at the time). The walk itself was uneventful as I remember, apart from Paris having a poo on the footpath at one stage. She only ever did that in the early stages of her working life; she was actually ridiculously-well toilet-trained, and I suppose I can thank her puppy carers for that. They sure as hell made my life a lot easier, because Paris's toileting habits were very easy to manage. She would never go in harness, after the first few weeks anyway; she would never go at university; she would almost never go when she was on the lead; and except for when she was sick, she would never go indoors (except for the pissathon, but that's several years down the track).

Afterward, Hadrian sat down with me and my dad and told us a few things about Paris that we ought to be prepared for, such as the fact that Paris would need some time to adjust to her new surroundings, and that there may be some unusual behavior in that time, such as sloppy poos and chewing on things; but that it would settle down before long and things would be fine. This turned out to be the case; Paris only pooed two more times on training walks that I can remember, and after that, everything was golden (except for the Southern Cross incident, but that's still to come as well).

As for the chewing, she did do a bit of that in the early days, such as ruining a good pair of headphones I had left on my bed while staying at the SEDA house, running off with a roll of toilet paper and making a mess of it through the house, and completely destroying a plastic stubby holder I drank soft drink out of and making an almighty mess of it under my desk. I was pretty annoyed at her for that, and actually gave her the cold shoulder for an hour or two, but in the end, she was rubbing herself against my legs and practically begging for my forgiveness, so I had to let her know that it was okay.

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