Adios, amiga

At one point, she struck a pose that looked a bit melancholy.
We don’t think she really was.

The house is very, very quiet. Although Dionne weighed less than 60 pounds, she always had a large personality. Now that she’s gone, she’s left behind a palpable void.

As I write this, she and her adoptive parents, Dave and Ann Seltzer, must be almost halfway to their home in Davis (east of San Francisco). They made the eight and a half hour drive from there yesterday, departing at 6 a.m. and joining us for an early supper. Also joining us were LeAnn, our longtime puppy mentor, and her good-natured husband Kevin. It was LeAnn who first introduced us to the Seltzers. She knew they’d recently lost their beloved Sailor, an almost 15-year-old CCI release dog, and they were ready for another canine companion.

Dave and Ann looked worried about us, sad and apologetic about taking this sassy beautiful charmer away from us. I reassured them that the one thing that makes it easier to raise a puppy and give it away is the thought of it going to a home where it will be showered with love. And it couldn’t be clearer that Dionne will be drenched in that. She may not be turning lights on and off for a double amputee or calming trauma victims. But she’ll have a mission in life — making Ann and Dave laugh, entertaining them, receiving their conscientious and devoted ministrations. She’ll get barrels more concentrated attention and exercise and adoration than she’d get in our house — where she would soon have to compete for attention not only with our busy lives but also with Tucker and, soon, a new 8-week-old puppy.

So Dave and Ann returned this morning to collect her for the drive north. We gave them all her medical records; the results of her Dognition personality testing; a third of a bag of Eukanuba Adult dogfood. I removed her faded, dirty collar, and they snapped on the jaunty red and white polka dot one they’d bought for her.

They promised to stop often on the road for potty breaks. They said they would be sensitive to her showing signs of separation anguish.

We’d bet money she won’t feel any. She was wagging her tail as she walked out our front door, still wagging when she climbed into the back of their station wagon.

There she goes…

As for me, though, if I had a tail, it would be drooping.

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A new adventure for Dionne!

Since I picked up Dionne from CCI three and a half weeks ago, a lot has happened.

Our reunion was ecstatic. At first when Becca walked her out, Dionne didn’t notice me sitting on a sofa in the waiting area. Then she recognized me and almost burst out of her skin, exploding with happiness. She lunged to the end of her leash and climbed up into my lap, 58 pounds of wriggling Labradorean pleasure.

It was irresistible, contagious. Becca and I laughed, sharing Dionne’s unrestrained delight. I drove her home, and she repeated the performance at the sight of Tucker and Steve.

We slipped right back into our old routines, but a key subroutine — her almost ceaseless search for mischief — has been missing. She seems calmer. She’s much, much easier to live with. We leave the back doors open and she goes outside and, for the most part, nothing terrible happens. (I don’t think a hole or two is terrible, though Steve might disagree.)

But, as it turns out, her stay with us won’t be permanent. Ten days from now, she’ll depart for a new life in Davis, California. How we made that decision is complicated, but the short version is that we became aware that some stellar dog lovers who lost their beloved 15-year-old CCI release dog last spring were ready to take a new dog into their life. After some thought, we decided Dionne would be even happier with them than she would be with us, as we’re planning to start raising another pup in November. In Davis, Dionne will be the sole recipient of a lot of loving and devoted attention. We checked with Stu in Oceanside, and he gave his blessing to their adopting her. They should have all the papers filled out and the adoption fee paid by the time they drive down to get her next week.

She, of course, knows none of this. But we think she’d happy if she did know. CCI puppies are nothing if not resilient. Not to mention relaxed:

Our next CCI puppy is NOT going to get away with this.  (We’ve taken the pledge.)