Denver - February 12, 2013
"Woe is me," I moaned on Sunday morning as I tried to get comfortable. I got up and dug in frustration at the dog bed and flopped back down again.
"Oh, stop," Marianne said from behind the newspaper. "You are not suffering."
"Easy for you to say," I snorted indignantly. "You're not the one wearing the ridiculous collar. And my head itches. And you won't let me play with Meryl." I moaned again, just for effect.
"True, but I'm not the one who had surgery," Marianne said, setting the paper aside.
Mina yawned. "Remind me why Jeb had surgery?"
"He was neutered since he's not a candidate for CCI's breeding program and he had a cyst removed from the top of his head," Marianne said.
Mina looked at me critically. "I dunno, it looks to me like his ear was removed and sewn back on. I mean really, eight stitches and seven staples for a cyst?""
"What?" I yelped in alarm. "My ear was removed and sewn back on?"
Marianne shook her head. "Mina, stop teasing him. Jeb, it looks worse than it is. It was just a sub-dermal cyst, and the staples can come out in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, you need to wear the collar to keep you from scratching. And besides, you get to spend a few days with your Auntie Diane this week. That will be fun."
I frowned. "Yes, but I don't remember why I'm going to her house."
"Because we are keeping another dog for a few days and since you're supposed to be "quiet" we thought it would be best if we didn't have to constantly remind you not to play with Hamlet."
"Hamlet," Mina snorted. "What a ridiculous name. What's his sister's name, Omelet?"
"Oh, you're hilarious," Marianne said sarcastically. "Actually his sister is named Helena and she is going to stay with Vanessa and Kevin. These dogs were raised by the inmates at the Kit Carson Correctional Center and it's time for them to go to Oceanside to professional training. We're going to take them to Turn In on Thursday."
"How does that work?" I wondered. "Pups in prison?"
"The inmates who are chosen to participate are puppy raisers with the same rules and guidelines we have," Marianne explained. "They teach them the same commands, though I must admit, their dogs are often far more proficient than ours. I think they have puppy class several times a week, instead of twice a month like we do. Their success rate is really high."
"But I wanted to go to Turn In with you; why can't I go too?" I whined.
Marianne sighed. "Because you are only six months old and it's a lot of hullabaloo for a young puppy, and because John is staying home and I can only take one dog on the plane. Maybe you can come with us if we go again in May."
"Why are you going in May?" Mina asked. "You're not taking another prison puppy are you?"
"No, at least I don't think we are. We MIGHT be going in May if Rocket continues to do well in professional training and graduates. He's made it through the first semester, so keep your paws crossed!"
"Oh yeah, Rocket," Mina mused. "Gee, I'd kind of forgotten about him."
Marianne looked horrified. "I can't believe you said that! How could you forget about Rocket? He lived with us for a year and a half!"
"Puppies come, puppies go," Mina shrugged. "They kind of run together after a while. How's Rocket doing?"
"He's doing really well except for his excitable greetings, which is no surprise; we marked that box on his puppy report every month," Marianne said. "He's just as excited to see his trainer every day as he was to see us."
Mina snorted again. "Did you point out to Canine Companions that they named him ROCKET? Seriously, don't they know that as goes the name, so goes the dog?"
"Apparently not, and we're not going to say anything," Marianne told her. "We're just going to hope he settles down because his trainer is very complimentary about his other behaviors." She turned to me. "Let's pack up your food and a toy and head over to Diane's."
"OK, but can I take off the collar when I get over there?"
"Maybe. We'll see," Marianne replied. "If you promise not to scratch at the stitches."
"Rules, rules, rules," I grumbled.
Chow for now!