We brought Kyndall home precisely three months ago today; she’ll celebrate her 5-month birthday tomorrow. It’s gratifying to reflect on the ground we’ve covered since embarking on this adventure together.
For one thing, she’s tripled in size — ballooning from 12.5 pounds up to 37.5 today.
It’s still obvious she’s a puppy. But in another month or two, she’ll just look like a dog. That’s a little sad. But Kyndall has also left many of the more obnoxious features of puppyhood in her wake. She seems fully, reliably housebroken and routinely makes it clear to us when she wants to go out. She’s never once eaten something inappropriate and thrown up. She’s often content to lay quietly near us while we work or eat dinner.
Like a photographic image forming in the developer tray, her personality has emerged. She’s a happy, affectionate girl but more deferential (to Tucker) and more cautious (confronted with new things) than most of the CCI puppies we’ve raised. She studies our faces and wants to be wherever we are. She’s easy to live with.
If I have one concern about her prospects for making it as a service dog, it stems from her continuing aversion to getting dressed in her cape and halter. We’re trying to erase this reaction — rewarding her with special treats and lavish praise whenever she Dresses. But it makes us wonder: does she dislike the very idea of working? On the other hand, once dressed, she’s performing well in public.
We take heart from the long juicy expanse of time stretching in front of us: more than 13 months before she turns in. Lots of time to work on getting ready, to fine-tune nuances.