When I was blogging about Dionne, the last puppy we raised for CCI, I made a public note to myself: avoid getting future puppies right before the holiday season. We turned Dionne in for her advanced training last May and submitted our application for our next trainee early in the fall. But one thing after another delayed our getting that next puppy. We finally received word that we could pick up a little yellow female named Kyndall on December 12 — already well into The Season. And by then, how could we argue?

Then, last Thursday, as I was in Petco, stocking up with a giant bag of Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy Chow, my cell phone rang. It was Becca up in Oceanside, announcing that the storm in northern California was so intense it had shut down the roads, preventing the vehicles from transporting Kyndall and her littermates to the airport. So our time to receive Kyndall was delayed until this morning.

For this pickup, I was accompanied by Alberto Lau and Bob Schneider, two good friends and excellent videographers who plan to make a documentary about raising a service dog. Upon our arrival, Stu Wahrenbrock (the local program manager) disclosed that Kyndall had just arrived 15 minutes earlier and was awaiting her bath. We found her playing in a pen with one of the center volunteers.

If I ever was looking for a Christmas puppy, Kyndall might be my dream find: creamy white fur, ebony nose, soft as velvet.

121714 Intro to K2

In the pen, she gamboled and pranced, wagging her tail energetically. Albie video-recorded her bath and reported that Kyndall was startling in her calm enjoyment of the experience.


121714 Intro to K3


I was busy chatting with Stu and filling out papers, but soon we were on the road (where, thanks to having a friend to do the driving), I was able to cuddle her in my arms and she dozed.

121714 Intro to K5

She’s been experiencing life in our pack for the last 4 hours, and so far they’ve been blissful ones. She hasn’t yet had an accident in the house. Hasn’t barked or cried. Hasn’t destroyed a thing.

I know this is the honeymoon. Nightfall is coming. But I’m enjoying the honeymoon. Optimism fills my heart. This puppy could be a joy to live with and a great success when she leaves us. I’m looking forward to it all.

121714 Intro to K6


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