This is Zozo. He is 11 years old today!

Favorite food: Peanut butter, shredded cheese, pizza, crispy french fries, and anything you’re eating

Favorite thing: dad. Paws down his absolute favorite

Favorite place: the couch, under mom’s desk, half under the bed, camp, walking beside Godiva

Dislikes: noises, outside, strangers, horses, my little sister, mom’s hairspray, the oven, delivery men, britney spears, etcetcetc

things i “barked at”* this weekend, by zozo

*they say “barked at”; i say “defended them from.”  we apparently have to agree to disagree.  (i’m right).


-momma leaving for class
-the mailman
-dad leaving for work
-momma unlocking the door
-the mailman
-mums’ arrival
-momma and mums leaving for the store
-momma and mums returning from the store
-the neighbors
-the neighbor boy’s friends
-the gate swinging in the wind
-dad coming home from work



-birds in the yard
-momma going out for coffee
-momma coming home with coffee
-mo’s car
-mo’s shoes
-momma and daddy leaving
-nothing again
-dad walking up the stairs
-dad leaving for a meeting
-bubbles in the tub
-the neighbor dog out for a walk
-dad coming home from his meeting




Resolve! by Zozo

get out moJanuary 1, 2017

I was asleep before midnight, which is okay because that meant my last pit stop happened before the fireworks started.  No #ZOverreacting!  A-plus for me!!

Here is what I will work on this year:

  1.  Keeping my cool and trying to bark less.  This may take some effort.  And treats.  Lots and lots of treats.
  2. Working on my fitness: more reps with tennis balls, eating more vegetables and less pizza.
  3. Learn something new.  I am getting old(er), but I can still get better.  Maybe a new trick or skill or something.
  4. work on some new jokes.  The old ones are losing their shine.
  5. Get out more.


What are you going to do in 2017?


Me with some lovely ladies and dad at Pints 4 Paws.  Being a dork.

Can you handle my truth? by Zozo

April 2011

i didn’t like the little girl the first time i met her. mom and dad had to bring me for a meet-n-sniff at the rescue place.   it smelled weird and there were a lot of barkings and new peoples.  mom and dad usually don’t make me go into those “environments” (their word) because it doesn’t “set me up for success” (Trainer Tim’s words).

i’m sniffing around a big room, and all of a sudden this little puppy runs under my tail and through my legs.  she’s beneath my belly and i can’t see her.  i get nervous and i do something i never do: i growl.  that makes mom and dad unhappy (Uh-Uh!), and the little puppy has an accident.  i tuck my tail and trot away.

dad comes over to see if i’m ok.  “hey doodle, it’s ok.  are you ok, bud? she doesn’t know her manners and we need you to try to be patient with her.”

mom is helping wipe up the accident, and i feel bad that the little girl embarrassed herself.  rookie mistake.

we try again, and this time we have a tiny milkbone treat side-by-side and i let her sniff me while mom has me sit.  dad jogs around the room and we both follow him, but the little dog is slow and her feet don’t move right.  i guess things are ok, because the little girl comes home with us.

they’re calling her mj.  i don’t even know what kind of a name that is.  it’s certainly not as regal as zozo.  she’s fuzzy and pink.

let me make one thing clear: being a big brother is hard work.  the little girl doesn’t know how to play ball or sit.  she tries to chase the cat, which is a big no-no. she doesn’t understand that sitting on the couch is a reward if you’ve been a very good boy or if you’re not feeling well.  she doesn’t even run right because her back legs work faster than her front ones. her brakes don’t work.  she snores louder than dad.  she has a lot to learn.

 oh, and dad and i are officially out-numbered by girls.  gross.

Moving on up

November 2008 through January 2009

When we first moved into our Urban Village apartment, there were only four other units filled. The building had originally been constructed as a condo complex, but the tanking housing market forced the building management to adjust their model from sellable units to rentable apartments. For James, Athena and I, it meant we had a sick place to live with a too-good-to-be-true monthly rental rate (plus parking and pet rent). When it rained outside, we could let Zozo scamper around the halls after a tennis ball without worrying that his bounding would disturb the neighbors, because we didn’t have any. And then we did have neighbors, and they were jerks. When our lease was up for renewal, the rental rate increased by almost $500 per month.

I may have actually asked the rental consultant if she was high, asking for so much more money.

But the building was filling up with people whose attitudes could only be described as “entitled,” so we took our cue. After almost a year in our awesome little place, we were on the hunt for a new home.

We liked the area very much: it’s a big dog community, and there’s a pretty good dog park (except for the sewage stream that runs alongside of it). There are shops and restaurants and a grocery store we could walk to. Coming home from work on Fridays, I’d park my car in the garage and not need to drive again until I left out for work on Monday. Ideally, we’d stay around the same zip code and nestle back in.

We take a look around (through the internets) and realize that for less than we were currently paying for an apartment we could rent a house with a little yard and another bathroom. We find an incredible house 3/4 of a mile away from the apartment that allows pets, and we pack our mountains of books and move.

Man, woman, cat, dog.

Doodle now has a wrap-around yard that is entirely fenced in, in which he can run and chase bumblebees and lose tennis balls. He discovers the glory of landscaping groundcover. He has his own room with a tiled floor, so we are able to introduce “out of crate” time when we’re out of the house. This room also has a huge bay window, which Zo can look out of if he hops onto the couch. He does this with increased frequency once he meets his arch nemesis: the black ninja squirrel. Athena becomes the basement beast, only occasionally coming upstairs for her kibble and a head bonk.

Yes, he pulls up his crate bed and covers himself.

Yes, he pulls up his crate bed and covers himself.

We empty boxes and buy throw rugs and push a lawnmower. We establish new routines now that we have a yard for puppy-exercise. We throw ourselves a housewarming party. Zo begins sleeping on a cot beside my side of the bed. We hunker for the winter.

And one day in late December, Zozo decides he will no longer walk on leash. He starts digging in his haunches when we try to leave the driveway for walks, but we’re able to coax him along with a treat and excited chatter. This lasts about a week.  Then we reach a certain driveway, and he’ll refuse to go any further. He tucks his tail between his legs, drops his head and pulls with all of his might. One night, he pulls his head out of his collar and bolts back home, leaving me running after him in tears with a limp leash and collar flapping in the wind. We try to change up our walk path, but the traffic on the new route makes him more nervous. Even in the fenced safety of the yard, outside noises freak him out: car doors slamming, motorcycle motors revving, the mail truck. He makes for the back door and whimpers to be let back inside.

We try to figure out what’s happened, if something we saw or did set him off: some gesture or emotion he picked up from us while we were outside playing or walking. We’re beside ourselves. Our awesome trainer from Petsmart has moved West with her husband, and it doesn’t look like there are classes readily available that meet our needs.

James remembers driving by a dog training place on his way to work, Olde Towne School for Dogs. We sign up for a consultation with a trainer and learn that our issue isn’t unique (apparently, it never is) but Zozo’s sensitivity and anxiety is fairly severe to have arrived so suddenly. The earliest they can take us is February, but they’ll let us know if they have any openings sooner.

We return home with the knowledge that we have three weeks to get through with Zo. If we can keep him calm and alleviate some of his misery during that time… we’ll be alright. Just three weeks.