Friday night one of our close friends made a comment that implied he thought Dionne was the most unruly, incorrigible puppy we’d ever had. “What in the world makes you think that?” Steve and I exclaimed. “I read your blog,” he replied. “I know about all these bad things she’s been doing.” 
We were flabbergasted. The truth is we both think Dionne may be doing better than any of our previous CCI pups. At only four and a half months, she’s already mastered 16 commands. She’s a joy to walk with, and she has a spirited, lovable disposition. 
“You only think that because I’m recording everything she does!” I told Howie. “I didn’t do that for our other puppies.” 
I’m doing it now because I thought it would be interesting to examine the puppy-raising experience — from pick-up to turn-in (to graduation? In our dreams!) under the microscope, trying to record it as fully as possible. Steve and I continue to find raising CCI pups to be a complex and interesting enterprise. I wanted to share it.
Not surprisingly, maintaining this blog is prompting me to be aware of and think about every aspect of raising Dionne, including all the negative ones, like yesterday, when she threw up her breakfast under our dining table. In the past, I probably would have made Steve clean it up, averting my eyes. Labrador and golden retriever puppies tend to eat all kinds of things they shouldn’t eat, and vomiting is a pretty common activity. If I weren’t blogging about Dionne, I would have assumed it was just another such episode.

Instead I shoveled the vomit yesterday onto a plate, got out a turkey pin, and poked around. The good news is that I found something — an inch-long caterpillar-ish creature (some kind of larva?)

It would certainly make me throw up, were I to eat one. But I have no idea is if this is what upset Dionne’s tummy. Steve thinks not. “Dogs eat bugs all the time,” he harrumphed. I, on the other hand, think the bug is the likely culprit. Moreover, I’m happy that we found nothing worse. We could have. (I think of the story I once heard about a CCI puppy who ate a pin cushion — full of pins. That had to be retrieved surgically.)

Being on short (post-vomiting) rations can make a girl feel sad.

Such drastic action seems unlikely in this case. We fed Dionne no lunch yesterday, and gave her rice and cottage cheese for dinner last night and breakfast today. An hour ago, she wolfed down her cup of puppy chow. She’s been racing around, wagging her tail, clearly NOT undisposed. She probably hasn’t learned her lesson yet — that eating gross things has gross consequences. Somehow along the line, dogs seem to get that, though again I haven’t a clue how it happens.


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