Here I am a well trained and highly esteemed guide dog that has an image to uphold being lumbered with an embarrassing penguin. The shame of it all.

I used to refer to her as the maid but since she had that knee operation she has become less maid and more penguin as she does not walk in an acceptable manner trailing behind me but in a kind of lop sided waddle which I have to admit is an embarrassment. The physio said that she should use the crutches up to four weeks after the operation but oh no, the stubborn penguin says that they are getting in her way of walking and apparently it is difficult to use them and be guided by me the same time. I thought she always said that she could multitask but clearly, she can’t.

The embarrassing penguin originally told me that I had a few weeks off work out of my harness but she had gone back on her word and after only two and a half weeks she pleaded with me to go back in harness so that she could go out and about as she is getting too bored. She had no consideration for my image as she hobbles alongside me awkwardly. The looks of disdain that I give to her over my shoulder are lost on as she cannot see me anyway. This is not the standard of employment that I signed up for. I was promised the world not a wonky waddler with a dodgy knee.

I suppose on the brightside I have been able to start seeing my regular fans and make some new ones now that I am back in harness, working it like Beyoncé. The adoring fans have been welcoming me back into their shops and communities saying how much they have missed me (which is a given) and they are glad I am back brightening up their day. That is one of the upsides of my life I suppose as I get to go where other dogs don’t which means I get a lot of fuss, attention and ego strokes. Add all of this together with my new haircut and I am getting a lot of deserved love.

The embarrassing penguin on the other hand is getting lots of questions asked too which I don’t think is really warranted. Ok, she had knee surgery, but I was the one who went to the hospital with her on the day to put a smile on the faces of the staff members. I was the one that started off the topic of conversation with everyone from the anaesthetist to the porter not her. I was the one that they asked to come back sooner than planned as they were missing me. That’s all she did was lay there, have an operation and adopt a temporary funny walk.

I am hoping as the days go by and the embarrassing penguin is learning to bend her knee more and return to normal gait that my credibility will return. I know you will be sympathising with me and my current predicament, but rest assures I am pushing the embarrassing penguin to transform back into the humble maid as recovery happens. Lucky I am such a patient and thoughtful dog, otherwise she would be waddling like a penguin alone and not with such a handsome fella as myself. She is one lucky penguin.