When I set Yakira down after she got off the puppy truck the first thing she did was go after my pant legs and try to bite them. She would also turn and try to bite your hand if she didn’t want to go into the kennel. Thank goodness she got over that in about a month.
Yakira had lots of mates while she was growing up but two stand out from the rest. Clifford and Zodiac.
Yakira and Zodiac became great friends once he grew up a bit. It was neat to see how well they got along and how they were often snuggled up together on the same dog bed.
They shared so much that Zodiac mourned when Yakira left for training.
Clifford is my sister’s dog. He was career changed from being a guide dog because of cataracts but he is the perfect dog for their family. When Clifford came over, Zodiac would be forgotten and the two of them would romp together. Clifford still perks up when he hears Yakira’s name.
It is traditional that when I knew puppy is coming we find out the first letter of their name along with their breed, color and gender. Yakira was supposed to be a YLF (yellow lab female) with a “Y” name. So I was a bit surprised when she came off the truck as black. We didn’t really care what color she was but it was funny.
Yakira yearns for heat and warmth. In the wintertime she would lay right on top of the heat vent when the warm air was coming out. When Bill had his space heater on she would settle herself in front of it and bask in it’s warmth. She would also seek out the afternoon sun as it came through our west-facing window.
When I filled out Yakira’s project report I made sure that GDB knew of her love of heat. And they came through for her with a new home in southern California. The perfect spot for our heat loving girl.
We had Yakira for full year plus one full day a two partial days. She came on the puppy truck on October 13th in the afternoon and left on the puppy truck the next year on October 15th early in the morning. She came to us 2 days past 8 weeks old and left us the day before she turned 14 months old. We almost got a couple more weeks but guide dogs needed her.
I don’t know that Yakira yawned more than any of our other puppies but when you are trying to find words that start with “y” for her book you don’t turn away a word like yawn. I don’t think she loved having her photo taken and so we did catch of few “stress” yawns.
A book I read about dogs said that yawning is a calming signal. They could be trying to calm themselves or they could be trying to calm someone around them. Yakira has a quiet kind of confidence so it could be that her yawning was all about helping those around her calm down.
When Yakira was about three months old we went into the mountains for our annual Christmas tree cutting. I was concerned about how she would handle the snow and if it would be too deep for her. But she was a trooper. She only got cold once and after I warmed her up on my lap she was good to go.
Yakira also loved the biggest toys when she was little. The jolly ball was a life saver because she could attack it and get out some of her extra energy. She never let the size or weight of anything stop her from picking it up and carrying it around.
Yakira’s dad, Pike, is from an Australian guide dog school so it seems fitting to use a couple of Aussie words in her book.
From a very young age Yakira was a talker. Especially when she was playing she would vocalize with all kinds of noises. Some were happy sounds and some didn’t sound so happy, but I think they really were happy most of the time. She was just pretending.
Once in a while those not so happy sounds would shift just a little and you could hear her frustration. Yakira was patient with Zodiac but sometime she just had enough of his little puppy ways and she let him know politely.