The first 24 hours of life with a a new puppy are filled with action. Those first days also share many things with the fictional Jack Bauer’s life: lots of racing around; occasional episodes involving torture (e.g. sleep deprivation); a constant vigilance to spot and thwart terrorism. I must admit that the terrorist acts committed by Kyndall in her first day with us have been trivial. She ripped a tin ornament from its spot on a lower branch of the tree, and she’s made a start on shredding the doormat inside Steve’s office. But the threat is there, even with as gentle a soul as Kyndall appears to be. This is not surprising. Just as babies explore the world by putting things in their mouths, puppies seem driven to first smell and then try to sink their teeth into everything they encounter.
So far, Kyndall has surprised us in a couple of ways. We’re shocked she hasn’t gobbled down the cup of kibble we’ve given her for each meal. She eats a half or two-thirds of it, then turns away from the bowl. But she’s a dainty girl — just 12 and a half pounds when we weighed her yesterday. (In contrast, Dionne was a chunky 16 pounds on arrival.) We’re startled by how vigorously Kyndall wags her tail. Some of our pups have taken weeks to become assertive waggers, but Kyndall’s tail could churn butter (as unsavory as the product might be).
We’re also surprised — and gratified — by how readily she’s been responding to our command to “Hurry!” when we take her outside to pee or poop. She seems to get it, and so far she hasn’t once urinated or defecated in the house. We know this flawless record can’t last. But it does feel like we’re off to a remarkable start.
There’ve been a few surprises for her. The worst came this morning when the less-hairy human (the one without a beard) put her in a box inside a vehicle and left her to die. Kyndall must have assumed that’s what would happen because abandoned puppies PERISH! Starve to death!! Get eaten by wild animals!!! If you knew that was going to happen to you, you also would probably emit pierching shrieks and howls and lose control of your bowels. The less-hairy human could not blame Kyndall for not understanding that she was only 5 feet away from a loving caretaker and they were going for a 10-minute ride to meet a couple of distinctly non-predatorial ladies. (Putting the crate in the front passenger seat, where Kyndall might better realize that she wasn’t all alone would have been more prudent.)
One surprise she has failed to have is falling into the icy-cold pool. But that too will probably come. The second 24 hours have barely begun.