Realising our first training session will be more about me training Preston than the other way around, I decide not to put on my puppy gear. Instead, I go downstairs in my pyjama bottoms, with my house ears and kneepads on.
It’s a weird time of day. If I’m on a day shift, I’d have been up and out of the house before anyone else is awake. I’m usually fast asleep if I’m on a night shift or on my days off. I’ve never been awake and in the house at seven in the morning. Beau and Fraser are in the kitchen, talking and laughing as they eat breakfast together. After waving good morning to them, I go to the sitting room.
Preston is waiting for me. He’s dressed for work in smart black trousers, a pale blue shirt, and a navy tie with white polka dots. I pause for a second or two to appreciate how handsome he looks.
“Morning,” he says. “I did some reading online last night, but I’m still not sure what I’m doing. Go easy on me, okay?”
I grin. “I figured. That’s why I’m not planning on going into puppy space.”
“Nope. We can talk through some basics, maybe practice doing a couple of simple commands. How does that sound?”
“Great.” He clears his throat and reaches for a bag. “Apparently, a trainer is allowed to give their puppy a collar.”
I tilt my head and let out a confused ‘ruff’.
Preston opens the bag and takes out a purple nylon collar. “I hope it fits.”
“When did you…?” I shake my head.
“Does the headshake mean you won’t wear it?” Preston looks visibly disappointed. “I’m sorry. I thought—”
I wave my hands to stop him from talking. “No, no, no. I’m confused, that’s all. When did you get that?”
“Does it matter?”
I press my hand to my stomach, which is fluttering ridiculously. “Yes,” I whisper. “It does.”