I knew things were going our way when the lesson started late because the lady trainer had "lost" a young labrador who had taken exception to the "recall" command. He was eventually caught about 2 miles away.
Lily had been hyper-excited and was running up and down with characteristic anxiety. "What am I going to do Monsieur Oz?", "'Ow can I remember all zese lessons?". I was able to take on the mantle of Fletcher to her Godber in the battle against Mr McKay, the lady teacher. Drew was the ineffectual Mr Barrowclough whilst Mrs Rine was playing a cameo of herself.
"You see Godber, I mean Lily, you've got to play them at their own game", I said beneath my breathe. "I did all this training stuff years ago. You have to be crafty to show them who is boss and who isn't. Just watch my lead and follow my example, OK?".
I proceeded to provide her with a Masterclass in Biped management.
The trick, you see, is to spend the whole hour doing exactly what they ask of you and be an attentive and willing scholar. I had taken a small notebook and pen with me and the trainer was quite taken aback when I sat with my tongue hanging out taking copious notes.
"Well he seems a well mannered and polite little chap", said the trainer after I'd run up and down to her call, followed her with a perfect heel walk and finally made polite conversation about in-breeding at Crufts with an elderly "stooge" dog introduced for the dreaded "meet and greet" practice. "Compared to my other pupils he's a real little star", she said as we made our way back to the car.
"But Monsieur Oz, why you be so cooperative?" asked my naive associate the Lilster. "Don't you see?", I snorted. "I've given her the satisfaction of thinking she's trained me, Drew and Mrs Rine think I'm brilliant and I can just carry on exactly as I have done before. I'm my own man! If I'd played difficult-to-handle we'd have been back here twice a week for months being forced to jump through hoops and stuff".
We did a sly high-three's in the back of the Doblo whilst Barrowclough drove us home.