And finally, Z is for…

0430Wow!!! We made it! We reached the last day of the Blogging A to Z Challenge!! We reached the Zenith!! It seems like the month just Zoomed by! Some of the pets we met were a bit Zany, don’t you think? Some were filled with Zest and were Zippy-on-the-spot in protection of their humans. Some lived in Zoos and some had their own Zones throughout the globe. You already know what day this is—it’s “Z” Day!!!! It’s also the only Sunday post so I’m combining this post with a selfie!!!

For Z-Day, I have Zenit and Ziva to tell you about. Both are German Shepherds and working dogs in uniform.

In the beginning, Marine Cpl. Jose Armenta looked at his new canine partner, Zenit, as just a piece of Marine “equipment.” Zenit was a certified explosive-detection dog and wasn’t treated as a pet. After training they flew to Afghanistan where they led security patrols through the desert. One summer day they were searching for IEDs ahead of the platoon when Zenit froze. He had sniffed one out. Armenta marked the bomb for removal later and on they went. Then Zenit froze again four more times, each time finding another IED. As they walked on Armenta took a wrong step and hit a mine. He flew 20 feet across the desert. He survived but lost both legs above the knees. While Armenta went into the hospital to recover, Zenit was assigned a new handler. During his recovery, the Marine realized just how much he missed his partner and how important Zenit was to him. Zenit was no longer ‘just a piece of Marine equipment’, but a friend. It took some time but in 2012 Armenta was able to adopt the war dog when he retired. Now the two are never separated and Zenit is treated as the beloved pet and friend he is. Today the retired war dog lives in San Diego with two fur siblings, Boston terriers Oreo and Sassy, and Armenta, his wife and son. Now, instead of sniffing out IEDs, Zenit sniffs out balls and other toys during games of fetch with his family.

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Jose Armenta is profiled in the June issue of National Geographic’s cover story, “Hero Dogs.” He tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross about his and Zenit’s life together in the Marines, and how civilian life has changed the German shepherd.


And last, but certainly not least, the final animal in our quest to learn about these wonderful and amazing animals this month, is Ziva. In Seattle, Washington, Ziva, aged 8, is famous as the “dog who saved Christmas.” A burglar had broken into a jewelry store before Christmas, 2013 and stole almost $8,000 in merchandise. Ziva and her partner, Officer Mark Wong, tracked down the suspect – Ziva sniffed him out hiding under a parked car. And thanks to Ziva almost 100% of the merchandise was recovered. Another arrest Ziva helped with was cornering 3 suspects who were stealing metal from a compressor. All three went to jail. Officer Wong also takes Ziva to area schools where she is a hit with the students. Ziva’s most recent success was on March 2, 2017 when a couple of teens broke into a Seattle home. The first suspect surrendered immediately upon seeing Ziva and the second tried to run away but wasn’t able to evade Ziva’s superior detection skills. Afterward, officers booked the 15-year-old into the King County Youth Service Center and the 18-year-old into the King County Jail for burglary.

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And, to be fair, there is one more Z dog – Zoe, who we found when researching Ziva. Zoe is (possibly) a chocolate Labrador retriever and another K9 with the Seattle Police but she is a Narcotics Detection Police Dog.  Zoe, age 8, has served with the Seattle Police Department for six years. Over the years, Zoe located numerous hidden compartments in vehicles, resulting in the seizures of narcotics and currency.0430 zoe


Well, that’s it for another year! I’ll do a wrap-up post tomorrow then I’m going to sleep for 5 days! (not really!) Thank you for checking us out each day during our A to Z journey. We appreciate you and enjoyed bringing you some little tidbits of information to broaden your horizon.

Love y’all from A to Z!



X is for …

0428Happy Friday everybody!!!!! Three days to go and that’ll be she wrote for this year’s Blogging A to Z Challenge! The last few letters are more difficult to get through than the rest of them and “X” is no exception. I searched and searched and finally found an “X” animal of note! Today, X is for Xanto

Xanto is a German Shepherd police dog that loves his job. 0428 xanto aHe is so protective of his partner, Deputy Kristen Garrett, that he is able to subdue suspects just by barking and bouncing around in the back of the police car, shaking it violently. The bad guys get a look at what Xanto is doing inside the car and they give up pretty quickly. The shepherd is so excited about working that he will push Kristen out of the way so he can start sniffing and searching.0428 xanto

Deputy Garrett, from Decatur, Alabama, adopted Xanto from Lackland Air Force Base and in 2015 had worked with him for 8 years.0428 xanto aa At 11-years-old now (in 2015) he was ready to retire. During his decade of work, he’s tracked Alzheimer’s patients and children. He only had to physically apprehend one subject in all those years – the rest he intimidated into giving up. 0428 xanto bXanto was inducted into the Alabama Hall of Fame in 2010 and is the only law enforcement animal to earn that status (at least as of 2015).

0428 xanto cWell done Xanto! We hope he has a long and happy retirement after all the years of putting his life in danger for his partner and the citizens of Decatur!

Well I guess X marks the spot here where it’s time to do Friday Fill-ins!! As always, my answers are in Orange and mom’s are in Pink!

1. A book I would like to see made into a movie is the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage. I would like to see Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg made into a movie. It would be so fun!!

2. If I could afford a billboard, it would say “Adopt an Orange Cat!!!”  My billboard would say “Adopt a Shelter or Foster Cat!” or “Homeless kitties need YOU!” with a cat-Uncle Sam pointing at the viewer. 


3. I have a hard time saying no to fresh water flowing in the bathroom sink. I have a hard time going to bed every night. I’m a night owl with an early bird job. 

4. I really enjoy people-tuna but mom doesn’t serve it to me all that often (bad momma!) I really enjoy my days off when I don’t have anywhere to go and nothing important to do. I love to putter. And nap. And cuddle my kitties.


ellen_cat_badge_2-1 Take a look at other Fill-ins by going HERE and HERE! As always thanks Miss Ellen and McGuffy for hosting!!! And congrats on almost a whole year of fill-ins! It’s been a lot of fun!
Thanks for stopping bY – I’ll be back tomorrow with CaturdaY Art and it’s “Y” daY!! See You then!!!

I’ll be making my X-traordinary and X-special X-it now!!! XoXoXo, Toby


Run Free, Krijger

Somehow, mom missed this in the news last week, but a local police dog was killed in the line of duty. We honor the brave dog who goes in first to save the life of his human. Farewell Krijger, thank you for your brave service and gift. Run free in the green fields of Heaven.


Please go HERE for the story of his sacrifice.

Norfolk police K-9 Funeral

photo credit: Steve Earley, The Virginian Pilot – Local K-9 unit honors Krijer at his funeral.

Jimmy Hatch and Anderson Cooper

photo credit: Jimmy Hatch

As a result of this incident, Anderson Cooper and a former SEAL, Jimmy Hatch donated enough money to purchase ballistic vests for the entire K-9 unit. Thank you to these two dog-lovers! Go HERE for full story.

I know it’s late on Memorial Day…

I know it’s late on Memorial Day but I couldn’t let the day go by without reminding folks of the forgotten soldiers – no, not humans, but the Military Working Dog (MWD). Did you know you can adopt a retired MWD? I know my mom has said in the past that she would like to adopt a German Shepherd but she doesn’t have the space for a big dog. I’m just glad she has the space for me!! Anyway I’ve put some links on this post for you to check out if you are interested in bringing home a retired MWD for a well-deserved retirement. After all, they are veterans, too and deserve our love and respect! (Make sure you go all the way to the bottom to see my photo!)  Barkingly yours, LadyBird

Warrior Dog Foundation

Save-A-Vet BadgeSaveavet – the other forgotten soldier (click on the image)   click on the image above click on the image for the DoD rules for adopting an MWD memorial daycropped-lady-icon-c_0001