Good parents try not to compare their kids, and good puppy-raisers probably shouldn’t compare their charges either. But it’s hard to resist. Even though all the CCI puppies are Labs or Goldens or crosses of the two, and CCI breeds the dogs to fit a narrow profile, they have unique personalities. Kyndall is very different from Dionne, our previous girl. Dionne’s worst behavior in her early months was throwing up. She did that because she loved to chew up and swallow all manner of things that irritated her stomach. None of her vomiting was ever part of a serious illness. It was just a hassle, annoying and gross. So for months now, months in which Kyndall has never once vomited, I’ve been singing her praises for that. Alas, no more.
Since returning to us last weekend from her vacation stay with Cabernet and her family, Kyndall has continued to look a bit sad. Much more often than normal, she has whined. I think she misses Cabernet, as much as these dogs can miss anyone. So when Steve took a break Tuesday to catch up on a couple of gardening chores, I implored him to let Kyndall hang out with him, untethered, in the backyard. “Maybe she won’t do anything bad,” I suggested. “Let’s put her to the test.” I knew it would make her happy.
Steve was leery, but he agreed, and Kyndall looked like she was actively smiling, every time I went outside and checked on her. The two of them were outside for a couple of hours. Then she came into Steve’s office and upchucked a very large, disgusting deposit on his office floor.
“Too much freedom!” Steve pronounced. I felt heartsick, too discouraged to poke around and try to figure out what she had eaten that provoked this. We could guess: stick parts and rubber bits from all the baby-puppy toys that she’s been ripping into with her recently acquired big-dog teeth. We didn’t even put her on the special upset-tummy diet that we came to know so well with Dionne (plain boiled rice), and it wasn’t necessary. She gobbled down her dinner that night and has vomited nothing further since.
But she’s back on a shorter leash again, with access only to our toughest chew-toys and no permission to go roaming around outside. I guess she’s not so different from Dionne after all. Not that I would ever compare them.