Accomplishments and Heroics
Zenzi to the Rescue!Some of our friends and family were swimming in the Yaak River. I was nursing my baby in a shade tent up at the top of the bank. I did not witness this event, but several witnesses collaborated the same story:
A young girl was swimming across the river and got too tired to keep going!! She started screaming for "help"! I could hear the terror in her cries.....
Zenzi heard her yelling and jumped in!! Zenzi swam to the girl. Zenzi allowed the little girl to rest on her. She held on until one of the Dad's was able to reach her!!
*I do not say that Zenzi saved her life. That would be an exaggeration. There were adults there in the vicinity. I do say that my dog heard the cry for help and was first on the scene to rescue. Her immediate instinct to jump in and help this girl thoroughly impressed me and everyone else there. This kind of behavior can't be trained. Its inherent.
The LEGEND of Zenzi
I realized that my DDR German Shepherd was FAR SUPERIOR in intelligence to most dogs. She picked up things quickly. When she tested for Therapy Certification, the tester told me that he had NEVER PASSED a one year old German Shepherd. She did everything she was supposed to do. He had no choice but to award her full certification rights.
Zenzi in Medical Housing
Shortly after Zenzi became therapy certified, I was diagnosed with "Placenta Previa", a life threatening pregnancy complication. I was asked by my Neonatologist to relocate to medical housing for my last month of pregnancy.Kalispell Regional Medical Center recognizes therapy dogs and allowed Zenzi to live with me in the medical housing. She was given full rights to access any area of the facility that I was. I taught her to pack my belongings to the Rec Center and maintain a "down stay" while I swam laps. She also was present for the birth of my baby. She maintained a "down stay" for untold hours with no food, water or outdoor break. My situation had become very serious and no one could take her out. She allowed multiple people access to support me and my medical needs. The hospital staff was astounded by her unusually calm and obedient behavior.
Firearms and HuntingI wanted to see how Zenzi could do around firearms and hunting. Before she was fully grown, we went squirrel hunting together. Zenzi learned easily to "stay behind me". To "stay" when I was aiming at a squirrel and not be spooked by gunfire. She showed restraint NOT charging ahead to intercept the squirrel falling out of the tree. All this was taught to her in one day of hunting these squirrels. I have not maintained doing this with her because it is illegal to hunt larger game using dogs here.
SEASONED - PROVEN THERAPY DOGThe first week I got Zenzi, I immediately started taking her to the hospital that I worked at. She started out walking through to the nursing home and visiting the residents. She has a letter of reference from that Nursing home.
When I started working at the Behavioral School, she assisted me with my clients. At times multiple teenagers were lying by her or petting her. When I interviewed a new admission, sometimes a client would lie on the floor sobbing and hold her or sit and pet her.
To protect confidentiality of patients and clients I cannot take, post or own any working photos of her doing these activities.The side photo is of a day I was teaching CPR at work.
Back Country Snowboarding
When Zenzi and I did some back country snowboarding, she herded my group of friends up the mountain. I had decided just to "give her free reign" and see what she did. When we got to the top and I pointed my snowboard down, she never left my side. We were in avalanche country, and Zenzi wasn't taking any chances.....