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:

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“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.)




A happy homecoming!

I took Kyndall into CCI’s Oceanside kennels exactly three weeks ago yesterday, so early yesterday morning I called to see if she was ready to return home. I was told that the vet tech was out but would be checking the girls when she returned around 11 a.m.

At 1 p.m., I’d still heard nothing, though. So I called again. This time I learned that the vet tech would be testing Kyndall momentarily. And indeed, a few minutes later, the phone rang. It was the vet tech, announcing that the slide smear confirmed our girl was officially OUT of heat.

I ran to the garage only to remember that Steve had gone out with the minivan. It contains the kennel in which we always transport the dogs. My only choice was to leap into our Miata and try to convince myself Kyndall wouldn’t mind riding in the passenger’s seat of the little 20-year-old sports car. About halfway up to Oceanside, it also occurred to me that I’d forgotten both her leash and collar. (Pups go into the kennels essentially naked.) This wasn’t a huge problem, as Christine at the front desk said I could use theirs to walk Kyndall out to my car. A bigger problem was that, since she had never ridden in the Miata, Kyndall refused to get into it. But she still only weighs a fraction under 50 pounds, so I scooped her up and muscled her in.070715 home again1

She’d been happy to see me, but she looked miserable the whole way home. Still, at least we had no car trouble (which could have been truly disastrous, given my lack of any leash or collar for her.)

Once we entered our garage, she started to perk up, and by the time she was racing for the house, she seemed exultant. She greeted Tucker with something approach ecstasy, and he was pretty happy to see her.

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Now we’re readjusting to Puppy Life. (Actually, it doesn’t feel that hard.)


Missing Kyndall

Kyndall’s a pretty easy-going puppy; she doesn’t have the sort of dominant personality that her predecessor, Dionne, did. So I’m a bit surprised by how much we miss her (while she’s up in Girl Camp).

Life is easier in many ways.  We don’t get awakened by tiny squeaks at 5:30 or 6 a.m. We don’t have to take her out for training sessions, and grocery-shopping without a puppy is less stressful.

But it’s also less sociable.  Steve commented that the pretty girls in the supermarket yesterday paid no attention to him (which often is not the case when Kyndall’s at his side.) I miss her furrowed brow and happy prancing in anticipation of meal time.

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Who likes peace and quiet, anyway?

I plan to call CCI on Wednesday or Thursday to see when they think I might be able to pick her up. I’m hoping it will be sooner, rather than later.

Off to sex jail!

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Unmistakable evidence

I groaned aloud last Friday afternoon when I read the Facebook post from Kat Greaney, the young woman who’s raising Kyndall’s sister, Kihei, in northern California. She reported that Kihei had just gone into heat; I wondered how far behind Kyndall could be.

Saturday morning I took Kyndall and Tucker to Cyndy Carlton’s twice-monthly puppy social (which was jammed with happy dogs of all ages — a well-behaved free-for-all!). There I asked several experienced puppy-raisers if litter-mates tend to go into season at the same time. No one cited hard data, but the consensus seemed to be that two dogs from the same litter could well be on different schedules. I also was fascinated to hear the range of initial start dates various puppy-raisers had witnessed. The youngest was at 6 months, and at the other end of the spectrum, Cyndy told me about one female who still hadn’t had a single heat cycle when she turned in for advanced training (at about 18 months).

So Steve and I crossed our fingers that Kyndall’s sojourn in Sex Jail (also known irreverently as Girl Camp) might not come for awhile. After all, she’s not quite 8 months old — months younger than any of her predecessors in our house have been at the the time of their first heats.

Female CCI puppies go into heat, by the way — rather than being spayed — because CCI wants to consider using them as breeding females. The organization breeds virtually all its own puppies, and although it may not be as glamorous a calling as graduating to life as a service dog, being chosen as a breeder doesn’t sound like a bad turn of events to me. Each girl lives with special “breeder-caretaker,” and I understand they have no more than five litters in their careers.

As for the female puppies, the rules are that whenever they do go into heat, they must be boarded. That’s partly because CCI doesn’t want to run any risk of them getting accidentally impregnated by some  canine Lothario. Also, living with a dog in heat is a messy experience, one that CCI wants to spare its puppy-raisers from enduring.

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Drop-off up in Oceanside this afternoon. She looks uncertain about what’s going to happen.

Messy it is. This past weekend we’ve dolefully noticed that Kyndall’s lady parts were looking swollen and she seemed to be licking herself more than normal. Then this morning unmistakable evidence materialized: several large drops of blood on my office floor tiles.

I called the folks in Oceanside, and they told me to bring her right in. On our arrival, I learned that several other young females had also arrived, in the same state, just last week. So Kyndall should have a kennel mate throughout her confinement. She’ll also be taken for short walks, and I understand the girls get regular play times.

Given all that, I think she’ll have a great time. As I noted so recently, these dogs seemed to find it endlessly amusing to have a pal to wrestle with. We, on the other hand, are sad. Since the heat cycles last for around 3 weeks, this means she’ll be incarcerated on the Fourth of July, when we had looked forward to marching in the big Coronado parade with the CCI drill team. It also means she probably will miss sharing the Christmas holidays with us, as it’s very common for the dogs to go into heat again in about 6 months.

On top of that, we just miss her. Things will be quiet both in the house and on my blog for a while.