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… and Gemma is finally, sort of, home.

When I read Keira’s comment yesterday, saying how things will “be well in the end”, I nearly sent her a message saying how I felt it was far from the truth.

I was frustrated that Gemma was still not home. How Yanky was following in Fayth’s footsteps with his growing anxiety problems. How he refused to stay alone in the yard by himself. How a couple of the residents have complained about Yanky. Not that their complaints are valid. How I feel like I have a huge spotlight on me and the pressure is on to make sure that both Yanky and I live up to expectation.

Well, Gemma is now eating her food indoors, at last, on top of my bar fridge. She has been in and out of my room several times today and even settled in her usual spot between my arm and keyboard, nuzzling my armpit. Much as that usually annoys me. I have missed it and showered her with affection.

Mandla came round today and he observed us going for a walk to Pick n Pay, up the road. We were not stopped by Management, saying “no dogs allowed”. I bought a couple items and Yanky performed a perfect “Go through”, “turn around” and “back” to walk backwards ahead of me as I paid for my goods.

On the way back, we stopped at the Cat Warehouse, which is a pet shop just up the road and found a damaged bag of Pro Pac waiting for us. I only managed to get hold of Angela’s voice mail and need to phone her again tomorrow to thank her.

Once we got home, we put Yanky in the yard. We had already figured out earlier how he was getting out and thwarted any further attempts by putting large plant pots in the way. Mandla and I watched from a distance as he tried to get past and then settled by the gate, whining anxiously. Half an hour later, I returned and watched him do his toilet duties – forgotten in the moments of anxiety – and took him to my room. He was more than happy to sleep there while I had lunch and stuff.

I plan to extend the time spent in the yard each day and get him more toys, in an effort to get him over his anxiety issues. He needs time to be a dog.

So there were a couple complaints. First one was Chris. Shame his beauty sleep was interrupted a couple times. Lucky him to sleep until eight in a morning while I have to go to work to earn a living.

The other complaint was from Mister who rents the lower flat, saying that nobody was consulted when permission was given for me to get my dog. I think he also has a problem with me using the lower garden around his flat. This is the only secure area that Yanky can run around and nowhere in my Resident’s Contract did it stipulate that certain areas of the property were off limits. Did I neglect to mention that I pay more rent for my single room than he does for his flat??

And then that feeling of being in the spotlight. Having a trained working dog is not the same as having a pet. Expectations are higher. I feel like I need to prove that I am able to manage him and he is able to do what he is trained to. We are doing very well, but I am still hard on myself because I am living in a small community here and feel I need to prove that it was not a bad idea to get him.

The worst part is just feeling alone. I envy Brenda, in a way, because she will have the support of her mom, Sharon, when Yala is returned next month … more about that story soon …