Happy camper

Funny how things sometimes turn out. At the news (two weeks ago) that CCI’s kennels were unavailable, and Kyndall would have to go through her second heat cycle in some strange facility, I was initially appalled. But now that she’s been in the Holiday Pet Hotel for almost two weeks, I realize this is much better than what we’ve ever experienced before with our CCI females in season.

That’s because of the charming updates we’ve been receiving from sometime CCI-puppy raiser and kennel employee Karina Rocker. (From CCI, we’ve never heard anything before when our puppies were in Girl Camp, until we got the call or email telling us they were ready to be retrieved.) In contrast, Karina has written several times with news and photos. Here’s the latest, received yesterday:

013116 kyndell1

“Kyndell continues to do well,” Karina emailed. “She is such a sweet girl and seems to have an easy going personality…. I had her up in the kitchen area while I prepared the food for the kennel. She held her down well. Occasionally she would break, especially if I moved away but then corrected herself once I told her don’t. There is occasional food on the ground in the kitchen area which she didn’t seem to even notice or look for. I even dropped some food on the ground (on purpose) I am not sure if she was going to go for it or not because she kind of moved as if she was going to eat it. But all I had to do was say don’t, and she ignored it. I did it again and she didn’t even try to go for it. I also had her in the office doing an under which she did well with.”

If things proceed normally, I’m expecting we’ll be able to go get her sometime in the week after this coming one.

(I’m just not so sure she’ll be all that happy to leave.)




Good news from the inmates

012416 kennel2Lisa and I received more welcome news from the Holiday Pet Hotel yesterday. Karina, who works there, sent the photos above of Kyndall playing with some of the other girls in heat. “She and Kora sure love to horse around with each other….She [Kyndall] loves to get a toy and be chased.”

I know that face. It looks awfully happy to me. Today is Kyndall’s sixth day there, so we still have a pretty long wait until we get her back here with us. But it’s so nice to know she’s having some fun.


The Holiday Pet Hotel

Our house so quiet. The back door is open, so that Mr. Tucker can wander in an out at will. I set my alarm for 5:35 this morning, instead of 5:25, because I didn’t have to make a run to the backyard with Kyndall before departing for my 6 a.m. class at the gym. (Tucker has NO desire to rise before dawn.) All these changes have occurred because Kyndall has checked into the Holiday Pet Hotel.

012016 hoetel

Yesterday, as I had planned, I called CCI first thing to discuss Kyndall’s heat with Jules, the puppy program assistant. As Kora’s puppy-raiser Lisa had heard the day before, I learned that the CCI kennels aren’t accepting any females in season at the moment. Jules explained the complex juggling act that plays out at the Oceanside facility four times each year, as each graduation ceremony approaches — when typically several dozen dogs are turned in to begin their Advanced Training. Because space in the kennels will be needed to accommodate all those newcomers, the CCI staff at some point has to stop accepting temporary guests to make room and allow time to clean the facility thoroughly.

What had confused me was that our last puppy, Dionne, went into heat just three weeks before turn-in, and she had been accepted into the Oceanside facility. But that’s because she was already scheduled to be part of the incoming class, Jules explained. In contrast, Kyndall won’t be turned in until mid-May.

Given the situation, Jules recommended that Lisa and I check the girls into the Holiday Pet Hotel, up in Encinitas. She added that there the manager, Karina Rocker, was particularly attuned to the needs of CCI puppy-raisers because she had raised several CCI puppies herself.

This did reassure me, along with the fact that Kora and Kyndall would be allowed to room together.  So yesterday afternoon, Lisa and I dropped the girls off. The “hotel” is a converted residence on a quiet residential street on a bluff overlooking Interstate 5. Karina and her co-worker seemed friendly and kind (even though they wouldn’t let us see the kennels. They said that tends to confuse the dogs during their stay). Best of all was that Karina this morning sent the photo (below), along with word that “Kyndall has settled in nicely.” She added, “After Kora and Kyndall played a little in their kennel, they relaxed. I also took the two of them out to play in your play yard with Estelle (the other CCI girl in season). They had a great time. The three of them played chase and wore each other out. Kyndall loved to have the toy and have the others chase her.”012016 kennel report1

Karina says the owner of the boarding facility is herself a vet tech, and she will ascertain when the girls are ready to be released — probably in about three weeks. That feels like an awfully long time from now.

Reproductive drama

011816 sloppy sitter
Kyndall just wants to hang out with Kora. She’s not picky where. 

After waiting and waiting and WAITING for Kyndall to start her second heat cycle, we’ve suddenly got a bit too much action.

The action started Saturday morning, when her good buddy Kora, who’s being raised only a few blocks away from us, came over to play for a while. She’s done this several times before, but this time I had asked Kora’s puppy-raiser, Lisa, if Kyndall might spend the afternoon with the two of them, as Steve and I were going to be in Tijuana for most of the day. Lisa readily assented, but wanted to let the girls first run around wildly (as they usually do upon being reunited) in our large yard, rather than her cozy condo. She then took the two of them off with her. She brought them back in the evening, and Kora spent the night and all of Sunday morning with us.

Kora’s almost 10 months old, and she hadn’t yet gone into heat. I pointed out to Lisa how swollen Kyndall looked, and Lisa reflected that Kora had been looking swollen and doing a lot of licking herself. But neither of us had been seeing any sign of blood.

Until Sunday night. That’s when a noticed a distinct red drip from Kyndall, with more blood on the tissue when I dabbed her. I texted Lisa this news. This morning, she called to tell me that Kora had followed suit.

Is this some weird hormonal voodoo, an example of two girls going into season because their hormones and scents somehow kick off the mutual action? Who knows. But Lisa and I were thrilled by the thought that maybe the two dogs could be roommates up in Sex Jail.

I was out when I got Lisa’s message, and when I got home, there was more news from her, this time much more disturbing. She had called up to the CCI headquarters in Oceanside and learned that it was mostly closed because of the national holiday. But she spoke to someone in the kennel who told her they weren’t taking any more females because of the upcoming Team Training session that will begin in two weeks. Instead Lisa was told she should look for a private kennel where Kora could be boarded while she was in heat.

This makes no sense to me. We had to turn in Dionne just before a team-training session began in May of 2014. And the idea of locking Kyndall up in a cage for which we would have to pay $30 a day for three weeks also sounds pretty outrageous.

We plan to call CCI tomorrow to get a clearer idea of what’s going on. To be continued…



Will a watched pup go into heat?

010916 Waiting1Waiting for Kyndall to go into her second heat, I feel like I’m eyeballing the proverbial pot for signs of boiling. Not only has it been more than six months since Kyndall’s first heat began, but Monday morning, her older sister, Kihei, started. And last time, Kyndall was just a few days behind Kihei.

So I’ve been on edge all week, looking for signs. Swelling. Drips. The one thing we’ve noticed is that Mr. Tucker seems to be sniffing her lady parts with more interest than normal (he may be fixed, but he’s not dead). Still, there’s nothing more than that yet, and Steve says I’m paying too much attention to all of this.

Maybe. It’s not like the situation with Dionne, where she went into heat right before Turn-in (and thus missed the whole ceremony). Still, the timing does impact our lives. As soon as she starts, one of us will have to transport Kyndall up to Oceanside; that always ends up being at least a 2-hour activity. Moreover, if she doesn’t start soon, she’ll likely miss the opportunity to go up to the mountains with us at the end of the month, where I’ve been hoping to introduce her to snow.

So I check and check.

010916 Waiting2
She knows the drill; almost does an automatic Roll when I approach.

Canine hiking companion

One of the first big series of storms of this season has finally begun, but over the holidays, the weather was still glorious enough to allow us to get in one of our favorite winter activities — hiking on the beach from La Jolla to Del Mar during one of the super-low tides. Good friends organize this outing every year, and in late 2014 we couldn’t bring Kyndall because she was still a tiny fur ball. (Instead we found a puppy sitter for the afternoon.)

This year, one of the delights of her not going into heat over the holidays was that we were able to bring her with us on the annual outing.

It’s a challenge. The route covers 7 or 8 miles, and moreover, the early parts of it require scrambling over some slippery boulders. At one point, the going threatened to be too dangerous for her to cross, unscathed, but one of the strong young men in the group stepped in to act as her bearer.

010216 hike1

After that it was a piece of cake, and Kyndall settled down and seemed to enjoy it all. Who could not?

010216 hike3

010216 hike2

We appreciated the stunning physical beauty, but I know she appreciated the fascinating smells. The takeaway for me was that one of my New Year’s resolutions is to hike more in 2016. With Kyndall, if possible (providing that we get enough dry weather between now and the time she turns in for Advanced Training.)



Christmas catch-up

I got my Christmas puppy wish: Kyndall held off and did NOT go into heat, which meant she was able to remain home while the far-flung members of our pack returned for the holiday.

123115 Christmas recap

She also refrained from any attacks on the tree or presents. We’ll take the tree down on Sunday, so I think we’re in the clear.

That’s not to say the holiday was entirely without incident. For their gifts, I bought treats from Petsmart that I thought were safe: presumably indestructible bone-like objects made by Nylabone. Kyndall was deliriously happy to receive hers. She dashed off into another nearby room and settled down to chewing on it.

It wasn’t until that evening, that we realized BOTH of the new bones were missing. What made me notice this is that Kyndall had no interest in eating her dinner. She’s no super-chowhound, but she always eats. It was about then that we wondered what had happened to the faux bones. By bedtime, we were pretty sure she had somehow eaten both of them. I worried this might kill her, but she bounded out of bed the next morning and in the succeeding days seemed none the worse for wear. Still, I won’t repeat that mistake.

010115 party animal smaller mayber
She was just 10 weeks out when she greeted the between of 2016.

Last year we took her to our friends’ annual New Year’s Eve party because she was too little to leave home alone. Tonight instead she’ll hunker down for a long winter’s nap. But we’ll give her a peanut-butter-filled Kong. That’s not a horrible way to start the New Year.