Steve and I departed for our adventure in the Amazon on Adagio’s 6-month birthday (May 12). We got home June 5, a week short of his 7-month milestone. We were groggy from our long flight that night, but when I looked at Adagio the next morning, I thought, “Where did our puppy go?”
This boy seemed to be all legs. He still loved curling up in his cozy bed, but he spilled out of it. Steve speculated that for Adagio it must be unnerving to feel the world around him shrinking.
We were happy with the reports from his puppy-sitters (two different sets of them). It sounded like he had a good time, as did they. Among other things, he got to meet the new arrival in the home of our CCI puppy-class teacher, Kay Moore.
We’re sure Adagio would NOT have enjoyed the long plane and riverboat passages we took. But we did chance upon one sight we’re sure he would have appreciated. We’ve never seen anything like it before in the course of our travels. In the tiny Colombian town of Leticia, which lies near the point where Colombia, Peru, and Brazil come together, we passed this public feeding station for the local street dogs:
We have no idea who stocks it — the town or some dog-loving local philanthropists (though I would bet it’s the latter.) We were impressed by how politely and calmly the fellow above ate for a few minutes… then ambled on. A minute or two later, this skinny girl strolled up and helped herself to some mouthfuls. But not all of it.
I’m pretty sure Adagio wouldn’t show such restraint. He looks not only lanky but skinny. He has a lot more growing to do, and it’s nice to be back watching him work on that.
One of the many cool things about being a CCI puppy raiser is the large crew of puppy-sitters willing to cover for us when we leave town on trips that would not be suitable for a puppy. To passionate travelers like Steve, this has made a huge difference. Since we anticipated going on two long trips this year, we agonized a bit over whether we should even raise another pup immediately after turning in Beverly. But some of the other experienced puppy-raisers encouraged us, arguing that the CCI puppies actually benefit from exposure to a wide range of handlers.
We’re leaving for the airport shortly to embark on the first of our trips (to Brazil), so yesterday Steve dropped off Adagio at the first of the two homes where he’ll be a guest. He’s never stayed with Kay Moore before, but it’s impossible to imagine anyone better qualified to be a puppy host. Kay has raised a number of CCI puppies herself, most recently sharing the job with a co-raiser named Lori, and late last year Kay took over as the teacher of our semi-monthly puppy classes. She’s creative and effervescent, and the classes have crackled with energy since she took over. Kay and Lori just turned in their most recent puppy Friday, and they won’t get their next one for another week or so. So Adagio will rotate between their homes until May 20, then he’ll stay with Diana Vines and John Malugen, veteran puppy-sitters who have helped us out with many dogs.
This blog will thus be silent for about a month (though I hope to be reporting on our adventures in the Amazon and Rio in my travel blog (athomeandabroad.net). Though we won’t get any report from Adagio himself while we’re on the road, it’s hard for me to imagine he won’t be having a good time.
In my role as a puppy-raiser, I think it’s easy to slip into denial. I want Beverly to succeed (as so few of her predecessors have), and I’m impressed by all the ways in which she seems promising — her low-key charm, her failure to get into all the trouble that so many of her predecessors have gotten into. She’s an elimination machine — give her the command and she poops and pees almost without fail. Except for the figs, she hasn’t seemed driven to chew and swallow every stray item in the yard, with the resultant vomiting and diarrhea that such behavior invariably brings.
So when she threw up her breakfast two days ago, I brushed it off (in denial). It was a fluke, I told myself. Some minor hiccup of her normal digestive perfection. And indeed, she showed no sign of wanting to throw up her lunch or dinner that same day.
But this morning, at 5 a.m., I was jolted awake by the very loud, roiling sounds of a dog in the process of regurgitating something large. An elephant? “Which dog is that?” I demanded tersely of Steve, still deeply asleep next to me.
“Mrgff,” he replied.
I crawled to the end of the bed and squinted into the gloom. Tucker was curled up in his bed, looking vaguely mortified by what he was hearing. The gross-out sounds were emanating from Beverly’s kennel.
Down at kennel level, I shone in my flashlight. Beverly batted her eyelashes at me, giving me a “Who, me??” look. I saw no elephants, nor any piles of doggy vomit. There was a small slick of mucus near the front of the kennel, however, with a small brown object in it. Later, I retrieved it and determined it to be part of the palm frond that Beverly had pounced upon the night before, out on the patio. Had the tiny fragment of it provoked that disgusting noise?
Once again, we threw caution to the winds and fed her breakfast. And we’ve heard nary a burp since then.
So that’s good news and bad. The bad is that Beverly isn’t perfect. But the good is that she’s really not very bad.
Good and bad, she’s about to embark on a huge adventure. Steve and I had the opportunity to go on an extraordinarily long and complex trip to Asia. If all goes well over the next several weeks, we’ll visit the 4th and 7th tallest buildings in the world (in Taipei and Kuala Lumpur, respectively), and stand at the foot of the tallest mountain (Everest in Tibet). We can do those and other things only because of the extraordinary generosity of the CCI puppy-raisers and puppy-sitters who are willing to take Beverly in our absence. She’ll spend time in the care of at least four such homes.
I’ll transport her to the first this evening, along with assorted gear and paper work.
After I got up with Beverly this morning , I sat on one of the steps in Steve’s office. Beverly came up and rubbed herself against me. She’s never been an affection-greedy pup, but this morning, she seemed to need some reassurance. She wagged her tail slowly and buried her face under my arm. If I’m honest, I have to say I probably won’t miss her while we’re traveling; there will be too many fascinating sights and experiences to distract us. But I’ll be very, very happy to reunite with Beverly when I return home. Even if she’s not perfect.
Other than getting over her resistance to jumping into the car, there were other highlights to our road trip to Scottsdale (Arizona) last weekend. We were there for a conference, and although the presentations didn’t interest her much, Kyndall got her own badge,
and her presence often generated as much excitement as any of the keynote speakers.
She got many opportunities to practice her Under and did well at that.
Still, Unders are pretty boring, as any 6-month-old puppy will attest. Far more interesting to her were the walks she and I took around Scottsdale. Folks there appear to have a culture of leaving water bowls out for dogs (as they do many places in America). But I’ve never had a dog who took much interest in water bowls; most have disdained drinking from them. Kyndall, in contrast, found them fascinating and insisted on lapping out of every one she spotted…
Even more diverting than the drink-ups were the bunny rabbits who abound on the grounds of the place where we stayed.
Kyndall was not permitted to chase any of them. But they smelled divine!
Steve and I were impressed by how good she was on the 6 hours drive each way. Stowed in her car kennel, she never whined or complained.
Still, she seemed awfully happy to see Tucker again.