Pupdate – Zodiac’s Book

puppy in training for Guide Dogs for the Blind

Zodiac

I’ve been working on Zodiac’s book as often as I can since he is leaving in 9 days and I’d like to send a digital copy of it when he gets on the puppy truck. I’ve made pretty good progress, though not at all they way I planned it. (Sometimes plans just have to be adjusted.) Anyway, I’ve got the text all finished and some of the photos placed. I need to get some more photos of him taken before he goes. I have lots of him sleeping and sitting and being calm but not many of him in his wild and fun-loving moments. That is a big part of who he is.  I think I’ll post the finished pages once a week on pupdate day after he leaves. With some luck he could be graduating by the time I get done. So for now, here is the rest of the text.

  • Zeussupreme deity of the ancient Greeks: Though Zodiac has always been cute with maturing he now has a certain presence when he wants to, maybe even a little Zeus like in his demeanor. Zodiac started to show signs of maturing at the year mark but it really started to accelerate when he turned 14 months old. Since he was about 9 months old we have been going to the local grade school a couple of times a week to listen to kids read. Zodiac has always been attracted to kids and their happy energy. But with his maturing he can now sit calmly in the hall and watch hundreds of kids walk by. I’m so proud of him. He is really grown-up.
  • Zigzaga course with sharp turns: Zodiac like most labs has his wild moments when he dashes around the house. Some times I’ve heard this called labby loops. With Zodiac it is more of a zigzag than loops. He runs full speed one direction then abruptly changes direction and then changes direction again. He does this for just a couple of minutes and then he is back to normal.
  • Zillionan extremely large number: Zodiac is on in a zillion. Though he looks pretty much like many other black labs, he has a unique combination of personality traits that we have come to love and usually appreciate. He has this adorable way of looking up at you without really moving his head. This makes it so the whites of his eyes show. He has a slightly scruffy coat and really thick toenails. Zodiac is curious about everything and always wants to help when you are doing something usual. He loves to supervise me when I’m vacuuming. He is an excellent traveler and enjoys seeing and doing new things. Though he is the sixth puppy we have raised for GDB and he won’t be the last he is the one and only Zodiac.
  • Zingyfull of zing; lively; zesty; exciting: Zodiac has had the best of relationships with two other puppies in training. First was Yakira (puppy #5). When Zodiac was you she was is guardian and mentor. As he grew older their relationship evolved into buddies. Through it all they two of them had many a lively and exciting romps. When she returned to GDB for training he truly missed her. A few months later Dune (puppy #7) came on the scene and Zodiac got to be the mentor. Yakira taught him well and he did many of the same things that Yakira had done for him.  Though Dune’s personality is very different from Yakira’s, Zodiac and Dune have just as close a relationship. They can run full tilt around the house and a few minutes later be snuggled up together for a nap. Dune is going to miss Zodiac when it is his turn to return to GDB for training.
  • Zionwhere the pure in heart dwell: Even though Zodiac is far from perfect, you always know where you stand with him. He has a pure heart with no concept of deception. He loves with all his heart and is always happy to see an old friend or make a new friend. This trait will serve him well the rest of his life, no matter what the future brings.
  • Zippyfull of energy; lively; peppy: Zodiac has an odd quirk that he picked up after he was neutered. He loves to rub on people and couches much like a cat. Only problem is he is much more energetic and lively than a cat. So while a cat rubs gently against your leg, Zodiac tends to zip by with a not so gentle shove. I wonder if it is his way of scratching an itchy spot? It seems kind of fitting for his name since the U.S. Navy call their rubber rafts, zodiacs, I figure that Zodiac is our rubber boy.
  • Zoicrelating to or having animal life: Well since Zodiac is actually an animal he certainly is zoic. He has just two siblings, Zenith (male black lab) and Zulu (female yellow lab). His brother Zenith has a white spot on his chest, while Zodiac has just a few white hairs between his toes called Bolo marks, named after an English dual Champion Banchory Bolo because he produced many of these marks in his offspring and future generations.
  • Zonkedexhausted or asleep: Zodiac is great at being zonked. Especially after a challenging outing or in the evening. He is very content to curly up on a dog bed or stretch out on the floor. Usually he has an ear listening for anything interesting happening but sometimes when he is really tired it takes some real effort to get him up and moving again.
  • Zoomto move quickly or suddenly: Not surprisingly Zodiac loves to zoom around our back yard. We usually keep a Jolly Ball out there at his favorite game is to grab the ball and run from one end of the yard to the other as fast as he can. Once his mouth got big enough he started carrying it around by the ball and not by the rope. He has to crush the stiff plastic with his teeth to do it, but he is plenty strong enough. While he loves to run he isn’t the fastest dog around. He is built more for sturdiness than for speed. I love watching him run happily in the back yard.
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