What’s Prettier…

What’s Prettier…

…than a very, very shiny black puppy, lying in the sunshine?

Beats me!
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Darby Performs with Drill Team!

Darby Performs with Drill Team!
Here’s the CCI Southwest Regional Puppy Precision Drill Team performing at Balboa Barks yesterday, and there’s Darby in the stroller at the back. So she’s not exactly performing.  But at least she got to participate, thanks to Patty Urie, the drill team founder and organizer and owner of the puppy stroller, which she very generously has loaned to us.
We otherwise would not have been able to participate, as Darby is only 13 weeks old — far too young, by CCI standards, to go out to so busy and dog-dense an event.  (CCI says that the pups’ immunity isn’t fully developed until they have finished all their initial shots, between 4 and 5 months of age. And the stimulation and intensity of large public events are considered to be unsuitable for the wee ones.)
But in the stroller, Darby was protected from most of the excitement.  I learned that she was even capable of sitting and staying nicely when I put the stroller top down.  This made it seem more like she was drilling with the team.  Darby says, however, that she’s looking forward to the day when she can participate like a big girl. 

Three months and thriving!

Three months and thriving!

Darby is three months old today and all is going well.  She had a very busy week, as Steve and I made a four-day trip to Phoenix and Darby stayed with veteran puppy master Connie Gonczy and her husband Steve. We were barely back for two days when Darby spent the weekend with puppy-sitters Susan Miller and Frank Novick (while Steve and I attended an all-day gardening seminar Saturday.)

We haven’t been back to the vet’s in a while, other than to receive her second round of puppy shots.  We’re taking the advice of CCI’s vet in Northern California and figuring if Darby doesn’t have any symptoms of urinary distress, all’s probably well.  She’s sleeping through the night with no problems, and she’s having practically no accidents in the house.  When she’s out of her kennel and the door is open, as it is increasingly since it’s spring, she will spontaneously go out to urinate and defecate.  The only recent accidents have come when a visitor arrives and excitement causes her to pee.  So life is vastly smoother than it was when she was a brand-new arrival, just a month ago.

She does appear to be getting more mischievous, whenever we turn our back on her.  Steve found her chewing a corner of a rug this morning, and she’s discovered the joys of digging.  But every time she misbehaves in one of these ways, we invariably conclude that WE failed to provide proper supervision.  We constantly think of some words of Val Valentine, when we got our first puppy.  Something to the effect of: “Puppies are constantly learning, and they can either learn bad habits or good ones.”

Here Darby attempts to murder my newly planted garlic chives.  Delicious!
Once, this was the plug on the end of the lamp in my office.  Then someone chewed it off.  (Fortunately, it was not plugged in!)  Who could the culprit be?





News of Mr. Brando!

News of Mr. Brando!

The week ended with our first report card for Brando, who began his advanced training up in Oceanside in mid-February.  We were delighted to hear that he’s in good health, but we were a bit dismayed to hear that, “Brando has shown to have a slower learning rate and typically requires extra repetitions. When unsure, he will shut down and become immobile. This behavior is directly related to his confidence level, which we will continue to try and build throughout training.”

He always seemed bright and eager to please, to us!  We’re hoping as he becomes more at home there, his true colors will show through and he will strut his stuff, as our mentor LeAnn always says.