New Beginnings

When “Miss Direction” [my GPS voice] called out a lane change on a messy cloverleaf ripped asunder for repairs, I missed the turn. I was leaving Miami on I-75 for a five-hour drive with an 8-week old pup I thought I had named ‘Zuri.’

Not that she paid me any attention. I had just snatched her from her last two remaining littermates, locked her inside an ominous-looking wire cage, and accelerated to a pace which no matter how reasonable would surely induce carsickness in a stomach still digesting a breakfast of 80% raw meat.

By all rights, Zuri should have been terrified.

Tzuri's car crate

She didn’t make a peep. I had rubbed a towel over her mother and father and carefully spread it out on a brand-new doggie bed inside the crate. I like to think that was thoughtful of me. But truth is, she was in mid-morning sleep mode anyway.

With soothing music playing softly on Sirius XM I took the last exit before the Toll Booth to Alligator Alley. Leaving the Everglades I drifted onto US 27 North and started seeing signs for South Bay, Lake Okeechobee, Clewiston, Lake Placid, Sebring, Avon Park, Frostproof – small no-nonsense towns in the skinny midsection of the State of Florida which don’t normally show up as glossy images on the back of postcards. I had dutifully performed a recce the day before along this entire route to locate likely piddle stops. Parks & Recreational areas are few and far between but sugarcane fields are abundant. Even though she never complained I found little hideaways and cul-de-sacs to pull into every hour on the hour. She squatted once on a gravel access road, I piddled twice behind clumps of tall, sweet-smelling green stalks.

Ten blocks from our destination Zuri finally introduced herself to me in no uncertain terms: pitiful whines punctuated by high-pitched squeals rising to yips that fell just short of barks. I pulled into the driveway just in time for her to christen her new backyard.


Hours later when I finally had a moment of quiet and was able to log onto the computer and check her AKC registration, I discovered that her name wasn’t exactly ‘Zuri.’


🙂 🙂 🙂

[To Be Continued…]

10 Replies to “New Beginnings”

  1. Wow. I love the travelogue of places I’ve never driven through, I know the names! And best of all, the wonderful adventure of Zuri with all your gentle care down to the family smells and soft music. She is one lucky puppy. You, too. Can’t wait for more. She’s incredibly beautiful. I’m guessing you’ve got about four months to hold her fuzz-ball size before she extends in every direction, so thanks for the baby pix. Bless you both.


    1. Yes, I can pick her up and cuddle her with one hand and I treasure that, won’t last long. She was a little plump when I got her from being so aggressive at the communal food bowl but I have slimmed her down with play and exercise because her supportive bones typically grow slower than the rest of her, potentially causing hip and joint problems, therefore best to keep her lean. I also happen to think (like any ‘parent’) that she is incredibly photogenic, so will inundate the world with pictures to the point of boredom.


  2. Could never be bored at seeing that wonderful little fur ball. Your introduction to her new world is thoroughly thoughtful and sweet. They’re just so adorable at that age. Can’t help but fall in love.


  3. Cute! Seems like she is like a German Shepherd, but is a related breed? 

    Who did you buy her from? Does she speak Spanish?



    1. Thanks for asking, Bill. I wasn’t going to brag but since you’ve given me ‘permission’…

      Yes, German Shepherd. And you’re right to notice a difference because my gal is from strict German bloodlines as opposed to the American typically ‘washed out’ version. The German’s are of darker and richer pigments and bred for courage and stability of temperament rather than just for ‘show.’

      Her father was the No. 1 GSD in all of North America in 2011. Her grandfather was the No. 1 dog in the WORLD in 2004 and 2005. Every one of her ancestors has titles in obedience, tracking, and protection.

      You can see a picture of her father at this site:

      You can see a picture of her mother at this site:

      She speaks Spanish as well as I do. Actually, when I reveal her full name in my next blog you will see that I am going to have to teach her Russian!

      I bought her from Jose Diaz in Miami at:

      Thanks… 🙂


    1. Thanks, Liz. She’s already such a joy in my life! Enjoy your trip to Japan (I think that’s where you are).


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