S: Zaka & Zuli's First Year 2011
BC: Zaka and Zuli's terrific first year of life.
FC: Zaka & Zuli's First Year 2010-2011
1: After YEARS of debating, and a rather disappointing and stagnant year, we jumped the gun late last year (2010) and got dogs. I (Kim) am rather finicky over dog types. Nothing too small and yappy, but nothing too intimidating and hard to control. No or little shedding, good natured (especially with children), loyal, and sporty (can handle a good run or hike). Dave found just the dog breed--Rhodisian Ridgebacks. We had toyed with the idea of getting dogs for the pas 3-4 years. I bought Cubs leashes and collars a few years ago thinking it would happen soon and held on to them waiting and waiting. And even on our honeymoon, Dave spotted rastafarian dog collars and got two of them. So dogs have been in the picture for awhile we just needed life to slow down a bit and the money to dive into for all of the vet bills, supplies, and cost of two purebred dogs. We had looked at some ads in the paper before and I even got in contact with one lady two years ago, but we never followed though on any of them. Then last December Dave mentioned that he was online and saw a cute pit bull puppy that he saw on a rescue sight. Pit bull? Dave never mentioned anything about pit bull. I quickly let him know that I was not interested in getting a pit bull and explained that besides being ugly (my opinion), they didn't have the best reputation as being sweethearts. Dave quickly counteracted with how sweet natured they really are and how their reputation is like being racist for dogs. True. I researched a little and they actually do have nice temperaments. But I still wasn't sold on them. Maybe Dave has changed my outlook on them being misperceived but he wasn't going to be able to change everyones. We would be the people with the "pits". I didn't want our friends or neighbors to avoid us because of the dogs. Plus, I just wasn't sold on it. I just didn't have a good feeling and getting a dog is a big decision. It's a commitment for the next 10-12 years. Dave also mentioned that he was already in contact with the lady and said he wanted to go see it that Saturday (it was Monday). Yikes! I had to act fast. Rhodesians are hard to come by. I mentioned that we had seen them in the paper before but those posts were far and few between. There would be months with no RR in the paper and when there is, there's usually just the one. I went online to the Phoenix Republic and crossed my fingers there would be just one. Not only was there one, there was two. Awesome! And even better, the first litter had 4 boys (we wanted 2). I called the next morning and talked briefly with the breeders. They said two boys had already been spoken for but 2 were still up for grabs but that they had received lots of calls and it was first come, first serve. I said the soonest I could come would be Friday afternoon. Friday came and I felt guilty. Could I really go by myself and pick out two puppies to join our family. That's not fair. Dave is the bigger dog person and I would be pissed if he did that to me. So I called the people on the way. I explained that I was feeling bad coming without my husband and they said it was fine we could come tomorrow, they had been holding the boys for us (guilt trip!). So I devised a plan. I told Dave I had a plan for Saturday night for a "fun date night". But I wouldn't tell him what it was. Secret. The entire Saturday was planned (we ran in a race, had a Christmas get-t0gether and then date night), no time to see the other puppy. When it was time, Dave was driving and asked where to go. "Wickenburg." "Wickenburg! WHAT is in Wickenburg?!" "You'll see." (He said he figured it out then, I think he's a liar.) So we drove in silence to Wickenburg and when we arrived at the people's house up came two RR's barking and carrying on. NOW it was obvious. We were early and the people were not home so we drove into "town" for a fabulous McDonalds dinner and to discuss the possibility of what was about to happen. We discuss the money--it would be our anniversary gift, no trip to Hawaii after all (I had already started saving). We discussed their "quality". Only if the parents seemed nice and healthy and pups seemed healthy and cared for would we consider it. Then I gave him the collars and leashes and explained I had had these for at least 3 years and was wondering if we were ever going to us it (drama). And when we saw them...pure and utter love. How could you not? 9 little puppies sleeping all cuddled in a box. Mom and Dad were great. In fact when the breeders put them out, the Dad went and touched his nose on everyone of the puppies heads before going outside like he was asked. One boy was huge and healthy looking. The other boy was very small and thin. He wasn't the runt the people said, just small. Dave didn't feel right about it. He wasn't sure if he would be healthy. However, there was one puppy that stood out among the rest. A little, or rather, big girl. All of the puppies were a dark tan color. Not her. She was a blondie. Much lighter than all of her litter mates. The breeders said they were still considering about keeping her because of her color, but that if we wanted her, that was fine, they still had not made an official decision. Dave wanted her. So our 2 boys quickly turned into 1 boy and 1 girl. The puppies were only 3 weeks old. The lady said that around 6 weeks is when they start calling people to pick up there puppies because they were usually eating puppy food then just fine and plus the mother is usually very sick of them by then. 6 weeks is usually a little young, but I would be on Winter Break then and able to help wing them in at our house, and plus, we were just so eager to bring them home. We picked them up on Tuesday, December 28. We brought them home and had a "puppy party" with the Wolynia kids and my mother-in-law Diane and her dog Felicity. They have truly been a blessing. They have been a lot of work, but a blessing regardless. They brought us joy right when we needed it most and have never stopped bringing that joy. As they grow we love watching them change and grow into their personalities. We love watching them experience new things and seeing new wonders through here virgin eyes. Dave has ALWAYS been a dog person. Always spotting them on the street, commenting on their beauty or quirkiness. I, Kim, think I have converted, I will always be a cat person (so easy, so independent, so clean), but I am now very much a dog person (slobber and all)!
2: First Glance How could we say no to faces like these?! It was love at first sight. Zaka & Zuli 3 weeks old. December 2010
4: Picking up our babies! December 28, 2010 Dave paid and got the puppies papers. It was a little sad to take them away from their parents and siblings but we were VERY excited to take them home and make them ours.
6: Coming Home...
8: Calypso meets the pups
12: First Night- a Puppy Party
14: Meeting friends and family. January 2011
16: First Bath
18: 6 weeks Zaka 7.75 lbs Zuli 8.25 lbs
20: Meeting family and their cousin Felicity.
21: Photo Shoot | Only little once...
23: Photo shoot of our little ones running and playing.
24: Officially Ours
25: 7 weeks | Zaka 14 lbs Zuli 11lbs
26: 8 weeks Zaka 20 lbs Zuli 16lbs
27: Potty Time
28: 9 weeks Zaka-22lbs Zuli-19.2lbs
30: Zaka & Zuli 10 weeks
31: Zaka- 26 lbs Zuli- 22 lbs
32: 11 weeks Growing up...
33: Every week we would weight the pups on the scale to see it very steadily increase. Zaka-30 lbs Zuli- 25.8 lbs
34: 12 Weeks | Zaka- 34.5 lbs Zuli-30 lbs
36: Zaka-37lbs Zuli-3olbs
37: 13 weeks | First Valentine's Day Pink treats from Mom & Dad
38: 14 weeks First Walk on the leash | (still working on this a year later...) Zaka-42.lbs Zuli-35.lbs
41: First Snow! Zaka & Zuli got to go play in Flagstaff in the snow February 2011. Although it took both about a minute to get used to it's temperature and texture, both loved playing in the snow and the free space to run and run and run. (Zaka did eventually get cold and insisted on sitting on mom to get out of the snow and stay warm.
43: First Dog Park Experience
44: Huntington Dog Beach First time at the Ocean
45: The dogs were not quite sure what all this sand and water were about at first but quickly began to love it. They romped around and played, dug holes, and even ventured in the cold water, just a little.
46: Treats from the bakery | Spoiled much?
48: 5 months Zaka 56 lbs Zuli 45 lbs
49: Watching Dad play softball. Spring 2011
50: First Hike | We ventured to the San Tan Mountains ,just south of our house, for the pups first hike. We didn't go too far and they were not sure about the unpaved path (such city dogs!) and they thought it was a little warm (in April--ha!) , but overall they did great!
51: Easter Day Hike We hit the same mountain has before and went a little further than last time., until Zaka called it quits.
52: The Easter Bunny brought ears and stuffed bunnies. Surprisingly, both were a hit. The ears stayed on both dogs for a solid 5 minutes until Zaka tore Zuli's off so he could steal the spotlight. He's such a shutterbug.
56: There is only one dominant animal in this household, and it's not the 90 pound dog. Or the 75 pound dog. Nope...it's the 9 1/2 pound cat. And he's strictly business.
58: Zaka & Zuli got to partake in their first birthday for their brother, Calypso. They also got to have their first "Doggie Ice Cream Treats". All parties were delighted. June 2011
60: First Camping Trip Mogollon Rim We took Zaka & Zuli for a short one night stay to the same spot we WISHED we had a dog three years prior when we were greeted in the middle of the night by a pack of animals. Overall the pups did great and only woke us up every 30-40 minutes (first night not sleeping in their kennel--freedom!).
62: Christopher Creek Zaka & Zuli experience running water and take their first swims. June 2011
64: Zaka & Zuli graduate from the Beginners Class at Petsmart with Tami. June 2011
66: Dog Beach San Diego June 2011
72: 4th of July Zaka and Zuli got spoiled this year and got to spend a few hours at the dog park, which is the highest point in Chandler, while we took advantage of the "elevation" and watch fireworks. A dust storm tried to ruin the fun, but failed.
74: Snuggle Time! | Our pups LOVE their toys.
76: Fall 2011 Escaping the heat and hiking in Flagstaff.
78: August 2011 After a sudden decrease in activity and play, not eating (VERY unusual for Zaka--our food lover), and a nasty cough, we took Zaka in to the vet. After a summer of record breaking dust storms, the vet confirmed what we were dreading, Zaka was one of the unlucky that got Valley Fever. It took over a month for the meds to take any affect and Zaka was spoiled with hot dogs, canned dog food and anything else that would get him to eat just a little (he lost 10 lbs). Zaka takes medicine twice a day and will most likely be on it for a year with blood draws every few months to monitor his progress. Poor baby!
79: Zuli vs. Scorpion Scorpion-1 Zuli- 0 | Our baby girl is our defender. After we found her playing with a scorpion in the middle of the living room floor in October we knew we had the little critters for the first time, but only found 2 outside after a long hunt. Our exterminator thought the sudden presence was because of the dust storms this summer (stupid storms!).Well apparently Zuli was still in defense mode and was after something in the backyard. When she came inside we saw a huge fat lip and welts spreading across her face. We called the vet, they said to give her a benadryl and just monitor her. She was a trooper and didn't act like she was in pain, however the following morning the welts left her face and spread across her neck and back and finally left 24 hours later.
81: Fall Tempe Art Festival
82: We found a new love this fall... Peanut Butter! | Busy dogs = happy dog parents A win win
83: Once Zaka started feeling better and the weather started to cool down, Zaka and Zuli became excellent running buddies. | One night we went over to the Wolynia's where Zaka and Zuli did a great job with lots of kids and lots of other dogs
84: Zaka was the Mustard and Zuli was the Ketchup for their first Halloween. Although we bought the largest size possible (XXL) our dogs chest circumference was still too much for the costumes.
86: Zaka & Zuli's 1st Birthday November 18, 2011
88: The pups were spoiled for this first birthday. Meat cake. Presents. Living large in the Shuck household.
92: 12K's of | Christmas Run
93: The pups came in their holiday best and walked well with their dad. | Zaka & Zuli even got to see "big dogs" (horses) and although Zaka was interested, Zuli wanted nothing to do with them.
94: Christmas 2011 Our pups First Christmas with us
95: Grandma Diane got the pups some new favorites.
96: In memoram | In Memoriam