Steve and I have long felt that one of the best things about raising puppies for CCI is the community it connects us with. Puppy-raisers come from many walks of life, and they span the range of political affiliations. I guess. But we never talk about any of that. We talk about dogs, and somehow I come away thinking that most of the dogs are being raised by decent, likable humans.
Though that’s been our experience for more than 10 years, the past year is the first time we’ve ever lived close to another CCI puppy (Kora) who’s so close in age to one of our trainees (Kyndall). As the girls have gotten older and better behaved, it’s become more routine for Kora’s puppy-raiser (Lisa) and us to find opportunities for them to get together. This weekend was particularly golden. While Lisa golfed on Saturday, she dropped off Kora at our place. Then on Sunday, Steve and I went on an outing to Tijuana that we knew would consume at least six hours. Kyndall is now old enough to be left in her kennel for that long. But it’s hard not to imagine her feeling lonely and bored. So I asked Lisa if Kyndall could hang out with them during our absence.
Clearly the girls had a great time:
They’ll see each other tonight again when we carpool to puppy class.
Kyndall isn’t the easiest puppy to exercise. She’s not a Ball Brain, as Steve and I refer to those dogs who are orb-chasing addicts, such as Brando, our third CCI puppy (and only graduate so far). You can exercise a Ball-Brained dog any time, any place, say, while watching television or hanging out in the back yard. You throw the ball, the dog chases it, and you do it again — 5 times or 5000. True Ball Brains never get enough.
Some puppies love to swim so much they jump in the pool and cruise around for hours, even by themselves — great exercise. But Kyndall has no interest in that, either. So we’re left with few options. We take her for walks, though probably not enough of them. CCI says we’re not supposed to patronize dog parks. Group gatherings are limited to the rare CCI puppy party.
I got an email the other day from a veteran puppy-raiser who has long organized play sessions on one of the playing fields at MiraCosta College up in Oceanside. She typically does this on days when the graduation (and turn-in) ceremonies are taking place — in the morning before they begin. I wasn’t sure if Kyndall and I would be able to make it to the session that Chris was organizing this morning. But at the last minute, my deck was clear enough to slip up there.
I enjoyed a mellow 45 minutes chatting with some of the other puppy raisers. And Kyndall got a taste of paradise — the huge grassy expanse to run around in with a dozen or more pals. Here’s a glimpse of what it looked like. (It’s hard to tell, but Kyndall is the cinnamon-colored one who spends some time on her back getting beat up.):
Mostly she ran and ran and socialized and played Keep Away with a cool orange toy that someone brought. By the end, she was flaked out under a bench. I think she’s a little out of shape. Probably because she doesn’t get enough exercise.