When I received The Call from CCI (8 years ago?) telling us that Tucker had failed to made the cut, I remember feeling the blood drain from my face. I felt faint, overwhelmed with a wave of disappointment.

We’ve gotten more blasé over the years. Or maybe Steve is right: we’ve gotten more knowledgeable about what kind of dogs are fit for a life of service. Either way, we both felt confident that Dionne was too rambunctious, too irrepressible to make it. So yesterday, when The Call about her came, I was more than braced for it.

“She’s a good girl,” Stu began. “And she settled into the kennel environment pretty well. But she’s got a lot of energy.” He went on about how CCI doesn’t aim to break puppies’ spirit, but the service dogs do need to be under control. Dionne “needs to be busy,” he said, repeating that she was “not a bad dog at all. She just wants to be a dog.”

So tomorrow I’ll drive up to Oceanside to collect her and bring her back here. That will be fun, after our abrupt leaving-taking at the end of April. Fun for us and, I suspect, deliriously exciting and pleasurable for her to re-enter Civilian life. As a dog.

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