The village puppy-sitters

It’s been said (most famously by Hillary Clinton) that it takes a village to raise a child. Whether or not it’s true, the saying always makes me think of the enterprise of raising a CCI puppy. One of the lovely things about it is the way puppy-raisers get helped by others within the larger community. The foremost example of this is the army of CCI puppy-sitters. Steve and I travel a lot. If we had to pledge never to hit the road during the 18 or so months in which we’re raising each puppy, we wouldn’t be able to raise any. But thanks to the puppy-sitters, both we and our pups get welcome breaks.

Kyndall got her first such experience when she wasn’t yet 3 months old, and John and Diana Vines took her for a long afternoon when we wanted to join friends for an extended hike. (She was way to little to join us on it.) A month ago we were off again on a national park excursion, and she stayed with our venerable puppy mentor, LeAnn Buchanan and her husband Kevin for four and a half days. This past weekend, while we attended a documentary film festival in Palm Springs, Susan Miller and Frank Novick welcomed Kyndall into their home. Susan and Frank have taken at least two of our previous puppies for short visits, but this was their first introduction to Kyndall.

033015 puppysat
Frank, Susan, and Kyndall

Along with the films, part of the pleasure of the weekend for us was getting Susan’s enthusiastic texts. “Just wanted to tell you that puppy slept well, ate well, pooped well and we taught her how to retrieve and drop on command if you give her a treat. Hope you are having fun,” she wrote us Saturday morning. A bit later she sent a photo of Kyndall lording over a gigantic stick that she found in their yard.

033015 Kyndall at Susan and Frank's

Later still she reported that Kyndall had been “perfect” during a movie outing. (“We brought a nice soft blanket and put it on the floor for her. Best of all the puppies we have ever taken. She hardly ever even moved.”)

More good reports followed about Kyndall’s exemplary behavior: at Seaport Village, during dinner at Anthony’s, while grocery shopping. When we collected her on Sunday afternoon, Susan and Frank told us there had been not one single toileting error or other instance of bad behavior.

Kyndall seemed happy to see Tucker and arrive back at our house. But then she flopped down and slept for the rest of the evening, exhausted from her many adventures. As nice as it was to get her back, we too were tired but happy. We think the puppies gain maturity and flexibility from being exposed to lots of people and different experiences. It’s so nice when all the villagers win.


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