One thing that invariably lifts my spirits is to take Beverly and Tucker to the puppy socials hosted twice a month by long-time puppy-raiser Cyndy Carlton. It took me forever to get into the groove of attending. It means spending more than an hour of a Saturday morning on the freeway (driving out to Santee and back). But the payoff is being able to chat for an hour or so with some of the other members of the CCI puppy raiser community. At least equally pleasurable is doing something that makes Tucker and Beverly happier than anything else in the world.
For Beverly that’s less important. She had a great time racing around like mad and socializing, but she’s a carefree almost-10-month-old pup, and as a CCI trainee, she gets to do a lot of fun, cool things. For Tuck, however, it means more. He was our very first CCI puppy, dismissed for his “excess” energy and distractibility. As a so-called “COC” (Change of Career) dog, he doesn’t get to participate in many CCI activities. In fact, his age (he’ll be 13 next October) and increasing infirmity mean he doesn’t get to do too much of anything. I think it’s kind of Cyndy to welcome the old guys (and gals) to the gatherings. It’s clear how much it means to them.
We went yesterday, and Beverly had a merry time. Weasley, the feisty black lab who’s just a month or so younger, seemed to be finding our little girl particularly delectable.
She also had a lot of fun with little Glynnis, who’s only three months old but very spunky and affectionate.
Glynnis tried to attack Tucker for a while, but he woofed at her like a codger putting on a gruff front. He didn’t hold any grudges, though.
Tuck spent the whole hour walking around, greeting everyone — human and canine — on arrival, nuzzling up to one of the puppy-raisers who’s in a wheelchair, smiling pretty much non-stop. I tried to capture this on videotape. He’s the big guy in the blue collar, the one whose tail is quivering back and forth in the quick, wimpy-looking manner of his. To me it signals that he’s almost breathless from happiness.