Happy drinkers!

To help Beverly sleep through the night, we usually cut off her access to water around 6 p.m. That means the first drink of the day is such a happy occasion! She’s glad to share the bowl with Darby, who’s visiting this week. I love to see how long and enthusiastically those two tails wag:


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/176677687″>My Movie</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user25079241″>Jeannette De Wyze</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Kindergarten pup

We finally succeeded in getting Beverly to a puppy kindergarten class last night. (She attended once before when she was being fostered while we were traveling, but this was our first time together.) It takes some mental gear-shifting for us to get to the baby class, as it starts so early. We have to leave the house a bit before 5 p.m. and slog through downtown traffic to get there by 5:30. Last night we arrived late. But we found a congenial group assembled, including Keegan from our neighborhood, Target/Tarzhay (Cyndy Carlton’s handsome black boy), and two adorable babies — Weasley (whom Beverly was beating up at last Saturday’s play group) and a fluff ball named Vienna, being raised by first-timers.

072616 Vienna
Vienna seems like a party animal.

Beverly barked once or twice, but for the most part she watched the proceedings and cradled calmly. 072616 puppy class

She didn’t try to rub her halter off during her turns to walk around the group. I had to lead her into the Down command, but once there (and rewarded with a microscopic piece of jerky treat), she obeyed my “Stay” command nicely. Staying comes naturally to Beverly. She eats even tiny bits of food slowly and thoughtfully, preferably while lying down.

It felt like we were off to a good start.

 

 

Growler

Beverly has a problem. Our sweet, calm, sleepy little girl is a growler! This is only happening when she a) is awake and b) has the opportunity to wrestle or play with some other dog. That doesn’t happen often, and it doesn’t happen every time. But she’s the first CCI pup we’ve raised who’s ever gotten so vocal when playing — something that’s discouraged by the Puppy-raising Powers that Be. Kyndall and Kora would play, silently, for hours. Even wild, rambunctious Dionne never growled.

Here’s what it sounded like just a few minute ago, when Beverly got going with Darby (one of our former CCI trainees who was released and now lives with good friends. We’re hosting her while they’re on vacation.):


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/176073671″>Growler</a&gt; from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user25079241″>Jeannette De Wyze</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Kind of creepy, no?

I took Beverly and Darby to the twice-monthly puppy play session at Cyndy Carlton’s yesterday, and I asked some of the more experienced folks if they had ever had this problem and how they handled it. One advised me to have my squirt bottle at hand and use it often. One suggested time-outs, when the growling got too intense. A couple shrugged it off, pointing out that it was a very natural thing for young dogs to do while playing. I know that, of course, and have only been feeling concerned because of the CCI puppy’s mission. But I felt reassured to hear about a couple of other initial growlers who eventually graduated.

Another interesting aspect to the play session was that a new puppy joined us. His name is Weasley, and he’s only 8 weeks old. But feisty. Beverly seemed to immediately recognize that this was the only creature smaller than her, and she loved pinning him down non-stop, prompting Weasley’s puppy raiser to intervene several times.  I just stood by, taking mental notes.072416 Growler1

072416 Growler2
Beverly says, “Good times!”

 

 

Place mat

072316 quilt

We got a lovely surprise the other day, when Cyndy Carlton stopped by with her young puppy (Target). She presented us with a beautiful little quilt that she made, explaining that it was a place mat — a portable cozy place to bring along for a puppy like Bev to curl up on. Cyndy is Beverly’s human “grandmother,” having raised Beverly’s real granddam, Emerald, but even with that connection, it seemed to us an extraordinarily generous gift. Beverly, for her part, is taking all the injunctions on the quilt to heart. Especially the third.

 

 

Society girl

When we first learned about the opportunity to raise Beverly, one of my biggest concerns was that Steve and I had long ago committed to attending a conference in Las Vegas in the middle of July. We couldn’t take a 3-month-old puppy with us to it, and it’s not the easiest thing to find puppy-sitters, even within CCI, for dogs that young. But this was one of the many times the CCI village stepped up. With assurances from various individuals, Steve and I took the plunge. And last week Beverly got an early taste of how interesting life as a CCI trainee can be.

First we heard from Lisa Matthews, who’s raising Kora (the former best friend of our last CCI pup, Kyndall). Being 6 months younger than Kyndall, Kora won’t enter advanced training until November. But Lisa gamely welcomed Beverly into the 2-bedroom, upper-story condo she shares with Kora. Although I’ve written a lot already about how sleepy Beverly often is, Lisa reported (after the visit) that being in Kora’s presence electrified our little girl. “She would run across the room and dive-bomb Kora.” Apparently Kora took this abuse in good humor; the two wrestled and played for hours on end.

072016 fighting w Kora
Amazingly, puppies are undeterred by being less than a third the size of their attack victims.
072016 out w Kora
Lisa also bravely took both girls on outings — with the aid of our puppy stroller.
072016 Snoozing w Kora
Happily, puppies who play hard together ultimately crash together. 

Because Lisa had a social commitment that would take her out of the house for several hours Saturday and Sunday, I turned to two other devoted CCI puppy-sitters, Susan Miller and Frank Novick of Rancho Bernardo. Susan and Frank have helped us with several previous pups, and they are unfazed even by little ones. They picked up Beverly from Lisa on Friday afternoon, texting me, “We have the package. She is certainly a beauty.” In succeeding texts, they let me know that things were going well. Beverly slept Saturday morning until 6:30 a.m. — a new record for her.

072016 at S&amp;F's
The social whirl doubtless helped to tire her out.

We collected her from Susan and Frank Sunday afternoon. But more fun arrived Monday morning, in the form of a visit from Cyndy Carlton and her current trainee, Target (aka Tar-zhay). Targe is the 11th puppy Cyndy has raised, and Beverly finds him entrancing. (In the puppy-raising world, Cyndy is sort of Beverly’s surrogate grandmother — having raised her real grandmother, Emerald.)

072016 w Targe
He’s my buddy!

Target only stayed for about an hour. But more fun will be coming to our doorstep tomorrow, when Steve and I will host one of our former trainees, Darby, for a week-long stay while her family vacations in Hawaii. In preparation for that, Beverly is resting up.

 

 

The worst possible puppy class

We were looking forward to seeing how Beverly would react last night to her first puppy class. But it couldn’t have been worse. When we arrived, the gate was locked and the classroom dark. I called another puppy raiser and learned that our instructor apparently posted a notice on Facebook around noon yesterday, stating that he wouldn’t be showing up (and apologizing for the last minute announcement). That’s the first time I’d heard about this page (or had any clue it should be checked to confirm the classes would proceed as scheduled). We weren’t the only folks who were clueless. I got a call an hour later from another puppy-raiser with an older dog who had just arrived downtown for the Advanced class — to find no one there.

We felt particularly bad about the cancellation because we had given a ride to some new puppy-raisers who livenear us; this would have been their very first class in San Diego. Their pup is a lanky young male named Keegan, just one month older than Beverly. We transported the two of them in side-by-side kennels, but when we arrived and learned the bad news, we let Beverly and Keegan sniff each other. If anything, he seems a calmer and milder-mannered fellow than Beverly (who’s pretty gentle herself). It will be interesting to see how they play — but there was no place to do that last night.

071116 Bev meets Keegan

Later last night, I gave Beverly an A+ in Nocturnal Puppy Behavior. Steve and I turned out the lights around 10 pm and she slept well until 5:30, when she began rustling in her kennel and I got up to take her out. The milestone was that for the very first time, I did NOT carry her down the stairs but let her walk down them on a leash, and then out to the lower level of the yard. She waited until she was all the way back there before relieving herself. Today she got the third of her four sets of puppy shots, and we learned that she weighs 25 pounds. So if the days of carrying her are over, my back and I both are very, very happy.

 

Three months old!

Beverly was three months old on Saturday. This Wednesday, we will have had her for four weeks. During that time she’s changed

from this:

061616071116 Bev2

to this.

She’s more than doubled in weight, and she’s having new experiences daily. Some are not so great. She had her first case of diarrhea Saturday (God knows why), and that combined with a rare accident in her kennel prompted us to subject her to her first bath.

071116 First bath here

Although she’s perking up a bit, she continues to amaze us with her sleepiness. Previous puppies have jumped to their feet and bounded out of their kennel whenever we opened the door, but if Beverly is snoozing, this is what typically happens even after we open the door:

071116 Sleepyhead

She ignores us and sleeps on.

She’s now big enough that she can lie down in the stroller and rest her chin on the opening. When we walked with her yesterday, she appeared to like that. 071116 Lazy stroller

Tonight, however, she won’t be able to curl up for an after-dinner nap. For the first time, we’ll take her to puppy class. We’re curious to see whether THAT keeps her awake.

Still strolling

Beverly will get her third set of puppy shots Tuesday and her fourth and final set four weeks from today. I can’t wait. Walks are a great way to exercise a puppy, and Beverly already has learned that it’s a lot more fun to be trotting along on the ground than pushed like a load of groceries.

Still, having the stroller allowed Steve and me to accompany some friends from a long walk in Balboa Park yesterday. And if she was less than perfectly content, the princess still looked awfully cute in her carriage. 070816 b&amp;W

070816

Photographs by Howie Rosen

 

Beverly awakening

070516 Beverly1We’ve told everyone that Beverly is the sleepiest puppy we’ve ever had, and this is true. Furthermore, when awake, she’s extraordinarily placid. Often we’ll open her kennel door, and rather than springing to her feet and leaping out and on us, she’ll sit and look contemplative. (“I see the door of my kennel is open,” we imagine her thinking. “Perhaps I shall arise and venture out. Eventually.”)

But even as I write these words, I can think of subtle changes I’ve been seeing. I took her to a puppy social Saturday afternoon, and at first she shrank from the frenzy of racing dogs, every one bigger than her. But after hiding in a thicket of bamboo for a while, she undertook some timid exploration. A stand for water bowls fascinated her (until she knocked it over). Then she found Mai-Tai, the black lab pup who’s a month older than her, and the two of them engaged in some energetic wrestling. 071316  drinker

The last day or two, Beverly has refrained from going back to sleep (for several hours) immediately after breakfast. She plays with toys for a while…

070516 Beverly2
This one crackles and squeaks.

…and has discovered that balls can be chased. She has decided that tug of war is fun. When she laps and laps at her first drink of water in the morning, her little tail now swings back and forth enthusiastically. (Just a week ago, it hung limply.) She’s even unearthed a bit of mischief overlooked by all her predecessors: grabbing one of the oranges that have fallen off the tree and breaking into its rotting contents.

She’s working to befriend Mr. Tucker, who’s still recovering from his recent surgery, and therefore grouchy. It’s going slowly. But again I imagine what she’s thinking: give me time.

070516 B&amp;T

 

 

 

Sweet puppy nights

For the first two weeks of our life with Beverly, she woke up every night sometime between midnight at 3 a.m., crying. Steve hauled himself out of bed and carried her down the stairs, out the back door, past the pool deck, and down to the lower yard (the area where our dogs most commonly relieve themselves.) Every time he did that, Beverly peed and pooped. Back up in our room, when she was put back into the kennel, she went right back to sleep.

070316 sleeping dog

Last Thursday night, things changed.

We went to bed around 9:30 (because we’ve been so tired!). But she slept to a little after 4 a.m. Friday morning. Friday night, she slept from about 10:15 to almost 5.

“We’ve made the breakthrough!” I exclaimed.”I have to report this in my blog!”

Steve urged restraint, warning that it might be a fluke. I suspected he was being superstitious, not wanting to jinx the happy turn of events. Indeed, last night, Beverly once again went to bed around 9:30 and slept until 5 a.m. Steve took her out then and claims that he watched her excrete a full gallon of pee. “No exaggeration,” he says. “It was at least a gallon.”

5 a.m. is still a tad earlier than we would prefer to awaken, but by any measure, it can allow for a full night’s sleep. For the moment, Steve is still taking Beverly out when she first awakens, but then he stashes her in the kennel in his office, with Tucker for company. Steve then can go back to sleep for another hour or more, and I can get up at 6 or 6:30 to do the first shift of chores (dispensing puppy-chow, providing water, watching Beverly chase the empty milk bottle in the early-morning light.)

Best of all, we can begin to imagine even better mornings down the line: a 5:30 wake-up… Then 6… Once that happens, we’ll be moving out the Puppy Hellish phase, at least with this girl.

*****

In other puppy news, we’ve gotten word that the friends of friends who applied to adopt Kyndall visited her up in Oceanside Friday and have made the decision: they definitely want her. This is wonderful news, as they are very committed and dedicated dog lovers. We’re confident she’ll have a great home with them.