I have’t been able to bring myself to blog during the past couple of weeks. I had a topic: I was going to write about filling in all the paperwork associated with turning in a CCI puppy. I took a picture of the pile.

But then I couldn’t seem to bring myself to sit down and start. It’s tedious work. And filling in those papers is a brutal reminder that one is about to have to give up the puppy that one has been nurturing for the past 18 months.

At the same time I was procrastinating, I continued to worry about the thing that has concerned me since last September. When Dionne finally went into her first heat back then, CCI’s vet tech casually mentioned that most bitches go into heat again six months later. Usually pretty precisely.

I realized this would mean Dionne stood a good chance of starting her next cycle around the time she was scheduled to be turned in. I’ve talked to other puppy raisers over the years to whom this had happened, and they all looked pretty disgruntled. You have to take your girl immediately up to Oceanside to be put in Fertility Control confinement, and you miss all the pomp and emotionally satisfying completion provided by the turn-in ceremony.

Yesterday my fears came true. I noticed she seemed to be licking herself a lot, so I swabbed her with a kleenex, and sure enough, a tell-tale red stain appeared. I called CCI and they confirmed that I would have to bring her in as soon as possible.

This is a bit more complicated than usual, as Steve, Dionne, and I are in Phoenix at the moment, attending a professional conference. We brought Darby to it two years ago, and we enjoyed the adulation she inspired. Dionne’s presence has provoked a similar response. In fact, the organizers even had a badge ready for her, when we checked in.

Her badge says, “Puppy Wolfe”

Dionne, of course, is oblivious both to her stardom and to what’s looming on Monday. That’s when I’ll drive her up to Oceanside and hand her over. Then we’ll cross our fingers and hope she gets all this reproductive nonsense over quickly. There’s some hope she could do that, and we could attend the ceremony together. But it’s a slim one.

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