All day long, Steve and I have been doing mental
double takes, thinking: Where’s Dionne? Then we remember: she’s with Susan and Frank. They’re dog lovers whose situation isn’t conducive to raising a CCI puppy themselves. But they’re willing to puppy-sit, even during those dark days when a little one is most demanding.

We needed puppy care because my nephew, Lee DeWyze, who won the American Idol competition a couple of years ago, was performing at a music club in San Diego last night. We wanted to go to the concert, but Dionne is way too young to be taken into such a setting and too young to leave at home for 5-6 hours. But Susan and Frank volunteered to care for her from yesterday through Saturday evening, which will also enable us to go on a multi-hour beach walk with friends on Saturday night.  Not to mention giving us a break today.

It amazes me to see how quickly one adapts to the major change in lifestyle triggered by the arrival of a new puppy. You suddenly are on guard all the time — thinking about containment and elimination and destructive potential. Even when the puppy’s sleeping at my side, I feel like I’m racing against the clock to accomplish what I can until the puppy stirs and immediately needs to be taken out.

From experience, I know that over the next 8-10 weeks, this will gradually change. Bit by bit, Dionne will transform into an easier companion. Fractionally, our guard will slip.

But for now, we’re still on full alert mode.  And if disconcerting, a 50-hour reprieve feels great.

Frank and Susan — with a handful


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