Saturday, March 29, 2008

Zodiac's Story

Zodiac first came to us as a foster dog through Happy Tails in Columbia when he was about 2 1/2 years old. One of the directors of Happy Tails asked if we would like to foster him because he knew we had Oreo and were familiar with the quirky traits of Border Collies. We said sure and thought he may even be the next dog we were looking for. When Zodiac arrived at our house he was almost completely shaved, had no clue about how to act like a dog and was had apparently led a very deprived life in his previous home. Zodiac had never been on a leash, worn a collar, been in a car, played with toys, been to the vet or received any medical care. He had been turned in to Happy Tails for running up and down the fenceline and wearing out the grass in the yard.

Over the next few weeks he started learning agility, obedience and how to play with toys. He was a quick learner and got along well with Oreo. And slowly, his coat started to grow in and showed us all how beautiful a dog he really was. But in the end it was his overwhelming charm and sweetness that ensured he never left our house.

Zodiac showed potential as a natural therapy pet and as soon as we were able he took the Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dogs International test which he passed easily. He has enjoyed visiting schools, nursing homes, hospitals and churches ever since then. Zodiac currently serves as an active therapy pet with Pet Therapy of the Ozarks.

In addition to therapy work Zodiac has had a successful performance career. He earned his Companion Dog Title in just 3 days of showing (after less than one year of training) and also his Companion Dog Excellent Title with very limited showing. He has also worked through the AKC agility titles with little trouble and this past year completed the Master Agility Excellent and Master Agility Jumper titles. He has recently stepped down to the preferred level and is working on his NAP and NJP titles. Zodiac has also earned three agility titles in NADAC.

Zodiac has also showed great ability in Rally-obedience. He has earned an RN and RA and so far one leg on his RE and has never scored less than 99/100 points. He has many perfect scores and first place wins in the rally ring.

Zodiac LOVES to herd and passed the herding instinct test easily. He practices herding his brother and sister daily. He also loves tugging, frisbee, fetch, and especially snuggling. He has calmed down a lot as he has reached middle age and can be quite the couch potato if there is nothing else to do but will still herd and play frisbee all day if you want to. He also enjoys wrestling with his sister.

Zodiac is currently working on his finishing his RE and will then move on to working on the RAE title and is also training for his Utility Dog Title. If we can ever master scent discrimination he might have a chance! He also fills the role of demo dog for the obedience classes at work as well as trying to be everybody's best friend. He has even been known to jump in the lap of ring crew workers after a successful agility run!

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