Hi, everyone! The awesome news is that the vet (and trainer on staff there) think everything is okay. The vet thinks she might be unilaterally deaf or have some sort of partial hearing loss, as she genuinely seems not to hear certain sounds but some of it is just the usual Bichons-being-Bichons "elective deafness."
('Cause let's face it, it is downright cute when a little fluffball prances past a giant dog barking at her, with her nose in the air as if she didn't hear a sound but the wind across her face. Although the same attitude/temperment makes training...interesting). But as I said, I was/am not really caring either way; hearing loss runs in my (human) family anyway so she fits right in.
They agreed with me and all of you that her apparent outgoingness is more an expression of anxiety than anything else, and that the breeder did an *amazing* job socializing her to being handled by strangers (go breeder!). They said definitely start puppy kindergarten as soon as her parvo boosters are finished, which I was planning to do anyway, and hopefully that will help a little with that.
Apparently it is too soon to tell about the itching/licking, whether it is stress coping, irritation from the backyard, or just that she is growing and her skin is stretching and uncomfortable. So we will see, but the vet isn't too concerned.
But lack of bonding is absolutely not the issue; it is interesting that Calypso appears to have such a lack of separation anxiety but the trainer was surprised by how much I am apparently already "her person."
I'm also intrigued how she can appear so outgoing and friendly but it is at least sometimes just anxiety instead of joyful excitement. I wonder if her tail-wagging and being bouncy is ever positive...
The suggestion about an old T-shirt in the ex-pen is a great one for part of the stepdown process in the future. Unfortunately she is still freaking out even if I am in there with her. I think we are going to have to make the ex pen a happy fun place where it rains foods like her crate. She also likes to tunnel/den; I wonder if it would help if I put the top on partway?