Darby just left. It’s hard not to think Dionne will miss her. The two girls played for hours — chasing each other around the house and yard, wrestling and keeping toys away from each other. I wasted time trying to photograph them. Their speed and extreme blackness made it hard, plus they seemed keenly aware every time I picked up a camera. They would instantly stop whatever they were doing and either come to me or skulk away.

Happily (for us) Darby didn’t end up getting in the pool very often, and for all their mayhem, she and Dionne avoided knocking over the Christmas tree. In general, we felt encouraged by seeing how rarely Darby got into any trouble in the house.

Dionne’s a different story. During our outing to the fire station, Dionne’s sister’s puppy-raiser commented to me that she and her husband finally could leave their shoes on the floor. Until recently, Demi would snatch them up and run away. But Dionne still snatches shoes and runs, while also finding new sources of mischief.

On Sunday, for example, we somehow failed to close the door in the hallway leading into the bedrooms. Dionne got into the guest room, wiggled under its bed, and utterly destroyed something. We think it was some religious object that we brought back from Ethiopia two years ago. But the destruction was so thorough, we can’t identify whatever it was. (Or remember.)

The mystery remnents

Last night Steve took her to the last of the “Basic”puppy-training classes, where as usual, she did well. “She’d be the perfect dog,” he noted, not for the first time. “If she weren’t a monster.”

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