I have to admit that the first month or so of raising Yakira was very difficult and I wondered if she would do better with another raiser. But she matured quickly and grew into such a wonderful dog. I’m glad I didn’t give up on her. She taught me patience which was well rewarded in the end. With her sweet nature and natural confidence Yakira will have a positive impact on many more lives as she guides Diane over the next several years.
We are proud of Yakira’s accomplishments and we are so glad that she has been apart of our lives. She has certainly lived up to her name because she is a precious girl.
I think all labs love their food, but Yakira not only loves her food she loves her bowl too. After finishing her meal she would lick it clean to the last drop and then start scraping the bowl with her teeth. She put her top teeth on the upper edge of the bowl and open her mouth as wide as she could and scrap her teeth up the side of the bowl. It makes a sound surprisingly like fingernails on a chalk board.
In the spring Yakira sniffed a petal from a blossom and it stuck to her nose. She knew it was there but couldn’t figure out how to get it off. I was working with Styrofoam for a project and it got all over her and Zodiac. They looked like reverse Dalmatians. At Halloween she was tolerant but unhappy about her Aunt Lisa trying costumes on her at PetCo.
One of Yakira’s most endearing traits is her wiggle. When she wags her tail her whole body gets into it. Every time Yakira meets someone she knows and loves she will wiggle from the tip of her nose all they way down to the tip of her tail. How can you not love a dog that show such joy at seeing you again. Yakira is just such a sweetie!
Yakira was a super cute puppy and she grew in to a beautiful dog. She got lots and lots of comments everywhere she went.
She had evaluations by two different CFRs (community field representative) from GDB and both commented on her looks and took photos to send to the breeding department to watch for her to come in for breeder evaluation. One of them said “she is well put together.”
But a breeder for Guide Dogs for the Blind must have more than just good looks. Yakira’s EKG wasn’t quite perfect and so she wasn’t picked as a breeder after all. But she is still as beautiful as they come.
A couple of weeks after we added Zodiac (puppy in training #6), Yakira went into season. Yakira was such a great mentor to Zodiac and I think that part of that was because the hormones made it instinctual for her to adopt Zodiac as her own puppy.
Zodiac learned so many things so quickly because of Yakira’s care. When Zodiac learned to do open stairs for the first time, Yakira was right there, helping him navigate the stairs safely by protectively curling her body around his as the descended the stairs. She did that kind of thing over and over.
Yakira came to us young. She got on the puppy truck the day she turned 8 weeks old. That is the youngest that GDB sends out puppies. But she was ready to take on life even though she was so small. Yakira learned to do the stairs very fast. Even going down, the hardest direction for a young puppy. She kept that trend going by returning to GDB young and graduating as a guide dog young.
Yakira has the perfect working partner for her. Diane and Yakira are a good team. They are both outgoing and friendly. They are both gentle in their interactions with others but there is a strength about them that will help them overcome any obstacles that life has thrown at them or will put in their path in the future. I am convinced Yakira will be well-loved and cared for by Diane for the rest of her life.
Yakira has what puppy raisers call “frog legs”. She is the first of our puppies to have the kind of hips that can do the splits out to the side or go straight back when she is laying on her stomach. She also does a pretty good “down dog” and “up dog” just like in the yoga poses so named.
Yakira loves to have fun. She will run around like a wild girl plus she can also hold her own when it comes to romping with the bigger dogs, which is most other labs since she just isn’t very big.
But a game she was always very fond of was tug. When you pulled out a tug toy or a rope or ring she was ready to go. Yakira isn’t super strong or super good at tug but she was always happy to have some fun and interact with the person playing with her.
Playing tug always got her vocals going too. She has the cutest little play growl around.