A happy 4th with our 8th

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Adagio has his doubts about the wisdom of dogs wearing hats.

Steve and I have lost count of how many times we’ve marched in the Coronado Fourth of July Parade with CCI puppies. Did we first do it with Tucker, our first pup, 13 years ago? It feels like we’ve participated forever. Nonetheless we signed up to do it again yesterday,  with Adagio (our 8th trainee), and we were happy we did.

We parked our van a good mile and a half away from where the CCI contingent was assembling. Adagio seemed excited to be out and about, and certainly the day was beautiful, the streets of Coronado as festive as always. (Folks there are nothing if not ardently patriotic.)

We met up with the group a little before 10, when the parade officially starts. But our group was #56 in the line-up, which meant we didn’t stand up and begin to move until well after 10:30. This wait is pretty boring for puppies, since they’re not allowed to socialize much with each other, but at least we waited in a shady spot. And Adagio got some hugs he seemed to enjoy. DSC09996.jpgMarching at last, I felt the burst of adrenaline I always get from the experience.

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Adagio’s littermate, Apple, on the right, turned out. As always, he seemed happy to see her.

The most exciting moment comes when we turn onto Orange Avenue, where thick crowds invariably line both sides of the street.

DSC00006.jpgWe only ran through our traditional drill routine a few times, which was all for the best. (Adagio is still weak on the Down Stay). Mostly we strolled, and the humans waved to the throng, and sometimes we took our dogs over to the curb to be petted. Adagio seemed to like this at first…

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…but after block after block of marching, he was noticeably flagging.

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Kids? No thanks. I’ve had enough for today. 

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Toward the end, all the puppies looked tired. This was something of an illusion, as this year’s parading was followed, as it has been for many years, by a rollicking party at the home of a CCI supporter (and former puppy raiser) who lives almost at the end of the parade route. He welcomes the dogs to swim, and many of the pups adore this. Adagio doesn’t; he’s not a swimmer. Yet he was thrilled by the opportunity to play.

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He got damp by contact with the other pups, if not with the pool. 

Back at home, later in the afternoon, we hosted a small party for friends. It was way more boring, Adagio thought, whenever he was conscious. Mostly,  he was asleep.

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Pool party pooper

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Beverly and I went to a dedicated doggy pool party this morning at the home of the folks who are raising Florentine. As usual, Beverly declined to join in any of the aquatic activity — even though every one of the other 8 or 9 CCI puppies who attended swam. Some retrieved balls thrown into the water. Some made breathtaking leaps from the sides. But not Beverly. She clearly sees and understands that the other kids are enjoying the water. But it’s as if she just shrugs and thinks, “Eh. Not for me.”

I have no idea why not, except that I can say this is not uncommon. Only one of our six CCI pups has loved swimming; that was Darby (who clued us in to her passion by pawing the water in her bowl when she was just a few months old.) Many of the dogs fell into our pool by accident when they were small, and we used to speculate that maybe it traumatized them. As far as I know, however, that never happened to Beverly. She simply has little interest in swimming.

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Hanging out with the other puppy-raisers this morning, I heard stories from several of them about how they had worked to get their dogs to be comfortable in the water. Steve and I have never put any effort into that, partly because CCI has never signaled it’s something we should be doing. Also, Steve hates the idea of having to clean dog hair from the pool filter.

And it’s not as if Beverly can’t have fun at pool parties. She greatly enjoyed this morning’s gathering because all the other dogs weren’t in the pool the whole time. She chased and wrestled with the ones who periodically got out.

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That’s Beverly on the right, frolicking with one of her clones.

After about 45 minutes, this tired her out so much that she lounged, poolside. That’s part of what you’re supposed to do at pool parties, isn’t it?

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Arrr!!! Another landlubber!

Kyndall is the only one of our 6 CCI puppies who has not once fallen in our swimming pool. All the others did so within a week or two of their arrival (with Dionne taking the prize by doing it on the first day). We’ve wondered if this early traumatic experience in part explained why 4 out 5 of Kyndall’s predecessors wouldn’t swim. (Darby was the one exception.) But our experience this afternoon seems to smash that theory.

Because several of the dogs in the San Diego class will be going off to Advanced Training in May, 9-time puppy raisers Mike and Kathy Bennett announced they would be holding a matriculation pool party and potluck at their home in Jamul. Apparently, they’ve done this several times before, but somehow we always missed it. This time, however, I pledged to attend with both Kyndall and Tucker (generously, “change of career” dogs were welcomed too).

If ever there was a place to launch one’s swimming career, it would have to be the Bennetts’ huge disappearing-edge pool, equipped with a large shallow entry ledge.

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Some of the dogs recognized a good thing when they saw it. But Kyndall barely glanced at it. Admittedly, there was plenty of other activity to distract her, including her favorite game in the universe….

041215 pool party1Played sometimes as a menage a trois….

041215 pool party3…and sometimes one on one. There were lots of willing partners in that other perennial puppy-pleaser:

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Bite the Other Guy’s Face!

For the humans, the potluck resulted in an amazing display of mostly Mexican-themed food, and I noted with pride that not one of the two dozen or so dogs attempted to raid the tables on which it was arrayed. One puppy-raiser even brought a platter of “pup-cakes” (approved for canine consumption). Tucker and Kyndall each gobbled one.

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By the time the dogs were arranged for a group photo, Tucker’s paws were literally raw from all the unaccustomed running around. He was glad to plop down, first for the photo (Tuck’s the one on the far right)…

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…and then in our car kennel.

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As for Kyndall, she was as tired as she looks here. But I think she’d be thrilled to go back tomorrow and do it again. As long as she wasn’t expected to get in that (ugh) water.