More and more people ask us: how do we think Dionne will do? Meaning: will she succeed at becoming a service dog, when she leaves us to go off for her advanced training?

While the Dognition software may have proclaimed her to be a Charmer with a prodigious memory, Steve and I are less sure how to categorize her or what prediction to make.

Some things are clear. Just short of her 10-month birthday, Dionne is unquestionable THE most mischievous puppy we’ve ever had. Sometimes when she’s off-leash in the house, we can almost literally see her scanning for new things to investigate, to sniff, to snatch, to run away with. Much to our horror, she’s our first true Counter Cruiser — ready to pop up and check what’s on a desk or a counter or the butcher block in the kitchen and set to grab it and run if it looks the least bit intriguing. It’s comical. When it’s not exasperating.

In her brief time with us, she has managed (unlike any of her predecessors) to train Tucker to play with her. She’s done a fairly good job of training Steve and me too. We now often clean up Tucker poop almost the minute it hits the ground — to thwart her from getting it. Sometimes we screw up, as Steve did Monday, when he released Dionne from her kennel into the yard for what he hoped would be a little ball-throwing and chasing. She had little to no interest in the ball, but raced to the lower yard and discovered a fresh deposit. Steve tried to chase her off, but she was zooming around by then at about 100 miles per hour, darting in to grab yet another tasty (gag!) morsel.

That’s the downside of life with her. On the credit side of the ledger, she continues to be the best pup ever at walking on leash. She’s quick at learning commands; ready and willing to execute them.

We still have nine and a half months until Turn In, and we both know she will continue to change. She may mature. Along the way, she could surprise us.

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