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Note: I have been blogging but not posting. I apologize but we have been crazy busy and like to sit with my entries before I post. Consider these next posts well marinated.

When you become a 911 dispatcher one of the many life skills you learn is – to be flexible – it is drilled into your head. Lets face it there really isn’t a text book that covers every kind of conceivable call that comes in to the police department and each call has its own twists and turns. The same could be said about puppies, they require you to be flexible. When we turned in the G litter we expected to bring home Gromitt, but we received the call that Grimaldi’s delivery to Georgia was going to be delayed a bit and would we want to puppy sit him a bit. Of course we said yes, but it did require the juggling of schedules and crates. When we brought Lacinda home she was nothing like Sabina, which required us to change our training style. Flexibility, that’s the key. (That and great high value puppy treats but that requires its own post.)

Something I personally believe in and know to be true for me is: that things happen for a reason. Just hold on to this thought for a moment.

First I want to thank the Timber Cove Inn on the Sonoma Coast. They have become our coastal get away destination for a couple of years now, and again they did not disappoint. Not only are they dog friendly (all well-mannered pups are welcome), they were super excited to have us bring our pups-in-training.

Sabina gives five paws to Timber Cove Inn

The rooms have a beachy feel, big comfy beds with great linens, and a stove or fireplace in each room (or at least the ones we have stayed in). There are some cove rooms that have glass sliding doors that open up to the path down to the puppy hurry area. All of that isn’t even the best part – the best part may be Alexander’s – the on site dinning room. Lets just say we have rarely eaten so well, and certainly not in such a beautiful place. So thank you Timber Cove for another great night, we promise to stay longer next time.

After the litter drop off we raced (as much as you can) up the coast to Timber Cove Inn. We got all settled and took a nice walk around the property, stopping to enjoy the benches placed along the hiking paths. After a great dinner at Alexanders, a deep jet tub soak, the three of us drifted off to sleep. The next morning Dave was on Sabina hurry duty and I made it a priority to just lay in bed, listening and watching the ocean. I could have stayed in that bed all day but there were two things on my mind – Alexander’s only serves breakfast until 11, and Cindylu was back in Santa Rosa waiting on us.

While we were finishing up breakfast I took the opportunity to check messages before we hit the road and there it was…an email from the National Breeding and Puppy Program Manager (NBPPM). Probably not a good sign, I open the email and it says: Call me, Cindylu is being medically released. Seriously? Followed by do we want to raise Cate? What?! Of course! We had already checked out of our room so I found the lobby phone and made the call. I am thankful when the NBPPM answers immediately. If I couldn’t reach her now I would be out of phone service for about 45 minutes.  Being flexible doesn’t mean that you don’t have anxiety, and I would have been freaking out the whole 45 minute drive to cell service.

Here’s the scoop. After an agonizing morning playing the do we / don’t we game, the CCI staff decided that it is best that Cindylu be released. Her overbite is quite severe and she would not be able to perform some of the more delicate service dog work. Do we want to adopt her? Yes! I mean no! I mean what? Holy moly! I like to be prepared for everything, wasn’t expecting this. I stop just for a moment, breath in and out, and the plan appears: if we aren’t taking Cate from another puppy raiser we would be glad to have her. We love love love Cindylu but we really can’t adopt a pup if we want to keep puppy raising and being BC’s. We could be her foster parents though to get her off on the right foot -er paw, with house training and basic obedience. A win for everyone!

It seems that Cate, originally destined for the NER, had not been assigned a PR yet. I wanted a few days to get over my broken heart for Cindylu, and wanted to be the one who got her ready for her forever family. I tell you again things happen for a reason and that my friends is how we ended up bringing home two puppies.

Cindylu, back at home!

Before you start sending me a ton of mail about why we shouldn’t be breeding dogs when there are so many homeless dogs out there, or asking if you can adopt “whosers” … stand down. Actually I love a spirited dialogue so I take that back, please feel free to comment. I will share with you the million reasons why CCI and some other service dog organizations breed their own puppies.

As for Cindylu, well she was already and still is well-loved.  There are already several great adoption candidates in the pipe-line. No CCI dog ever goes hungry, homeless, or most importantly unloved. Now we start the journey back to Sacramento and are plotting and planning the puppy sleeping arrangements. We will be coming up with a training plan, working on hurry and crate training, you know being flexible. We are so happy we get this extraordinary opportunity to be third time puppy raisers and foster parents again. We know it will be lots of work, but it work we love and as I said – things happen for a reason. I am glad someone is trusting us with this awesome task. Sabina is thankful too – thankful to have a couple of built-in playmates who also have to listen to her. Yep she is pretty much over the moon.

Cate and Bean, hanging out.

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