A year or two ago, we heard about some veteran puppy-raisers who picked up their female from the CCI kennels (after she finished her heat), brought her home, and took several days to realize they’d been given the wrong pup. Everyone got a good laugh at this at the time, and Steve and I joked about it on our way to pick up Dionne yesterday.

The dog we brought home was three pounds lighter than the one we checked in. And she seemed a bit more attentive to us; less prone to leap up on visitors. Still, we have NOT worried that this is not Dionne. She looks and acts like Dionne. Case in point: this morning, she seized an opportunity to bolt down to the lower yard, scout around, and gobble down some of Tucker’s droppings. WHO, we ask, would do that except Dionne?

Still, I did acquire one worry when talking to CCI’s vet tech. I asked when we might expect Dionne to go into heat again, and she said many of the girls are like clock work, starting the next cycle exactly 6 months after the last one ends. In our case, that would be right around May 6 — just one week before she’s due to be turned in for her Advanced Training.

I’ve heard of this happening to other puppies and their raisers, and it’s always sounded bad. Hard as it is to part with a puppy, the ceremonial leave-taking of Turn-In does ease the pain.

Still, there’s nothing we can do about it, as far as I know. Just hope for the best?

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