We picked up Beverly from her puppy-sitters Thursday afternoon, just a few hours after our return from Asia. In some ways it felt like getting a new pup: “Wait! how many times does she need to be taken out daily?” I wondered. “How well will she sleep?” But in short order, we were reassured that a) this is the easiest puppy we’ve ever had the pleasure of living with, and b) if anything, she only got better in our absence.
She seemed mildly happy to see us, but I can hardly blame her for being less than wildly enthusiastic about returning to our rather dull household. In our absence, she spent time with five different families, three of which had young dogs for her to play with. Everyone seemed to love her.”I’ve never written the word ‘perfect’ so many times to describe a puppy,” one of her caretakers wrote in the Feedback Report. “It’s unreal how great she is.”
Steve offered a similar comment yesterday, after returning from a multi-hour grocery-shopping excursion with Beverly. “I don’t think we’ve ever had a better-behaved puppy than this one,” he said. “She seemed to be enjoying the outing, but there’s a serenity about her that’s extraordinary. She’s got an almost regal air.”
In our absence, she somehow learned to respond perfectly to the “Down” command (without any hand signals). We’d been struggling with that. Another change is that since she turned 6 months old in October, she’s now getting fed only twice a day, and we’re amused by how excited she gets every mealtime. She all but pirouettes as we fill her bowl. She looks bigger and lankier. More hungry.
Friday, Beverly and I drove up to Oceanside to attend CCI’s fall graduation ceremonies. We watched our friend Kora being turned in for her advanced training.
For the most part, Beverly stayed quietly in her Down position.
Although we didn’t know any of the 8 dogs from the Southwest region who were graduating into a life of service, we’d gotten word that TWO litter-mates of our previous puppy Kyndall (Kihei and Kimono) were graduating up in Northern California. Steve felt deflated by this news, seeing it as proof that Kyndall’s release from training resulted from something that we did.
I hope that’s not the case. With a puppy like Beverly, it’s hard for me not to feel new hope.