My friend Hazuki invited Arthur and I to come and speak to her preschool class about service dogs.
While this should have had me super-excited, I actually said I would do it but the request was met with much fear and trepidation.
While I can stand in front of a group of adults and give a 90 minute lecture on how to cut men’s hair with little worry, a 10-15 minute talk to people under 3 feet tall would be what my personalized horror movie would be about. With 3 year olds, you have to use different words. You can’t talk in the abstract, but I don’t know how often I do that without realizing it. You need to entertain them, but I don’t know any jokes that are funny to 3 year olds.
So, I was nervous. I had the shakes. I was sweating. Luckily, I had worn fabulous underwear under my clothes. This is always my go-to strategy in situations where I feel nervous. If I have any kind of interview or have to give a speech, then fabulous underwear is the way to go. If you feel great about how you look, even if people can’t see it, it makes a huge difference.
I called my mom on my way over to the school and she gave me a great pep talk. She told me that it was all about Arthur, and they weren’t going to care about what I said. I could just recite the Gettysburg Address if I wanted to. All they were going to be paying attention to was Arthur.
So Arthur and I read his favorite book, Good Boy, Fergus, which was a hit. Then we talked about him being a regular dog sometimes just like the dog in the book, but that Arthur has a special job because something sad happened to me and it made my heart sick. Then we talked about how other dogs with jobs help their owners, then he showed off his tricks, then they got to pet him, and then we were done. Totally painless and actually really, REALLY fun. Ohmygoodness, they were so cute. They loved Arthur. I hope we get to do it again. I won’t be so scared next time.