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Zeke the Wonder Dog
7 p.m., July 31
Valley Court Park
280 Valley Court Park
See a four legged Spartan legend that former MSU football coach Darryl Rogers said was the best receiver in the Big Ten.
“People get thrilled by all the action and he is loved by everybody,” said Zeke’s caretaker Jim Foley.
Starting in 1978, Zeke the Wonderdog became the only nonhuman to be awarded a varsity letter at MSU.
After a successful career, the original Zeke retired in 1984, and it wasn’t until 2001 that the James Bond esque title would be passed to a new generation of Frisbee dogs.
Events like this are good, because they get kids outside said Foley. “The kids are really entertained. I’ll let them throw and set up a contest and the dog returns the frisbees for me.”
Zeke is more than just a mascot, said Foley, “He is a goodwill ambassador.”
However, the Zeke Lansing knows and loves is very much a normal dog out of the spotlight, said Foley.
“He likes to retrieve the newspaper, go swimming, play with children and go on 5K walks with my wife,” said Foley. “We have a german shepherd, and he likes to run along the fence with him to see who is faster.”
Zeke didn’t become the hardy show dog Lansing knows and loves overnight. His attitude and performance came from hard work.
“I took him out to the gun range, started 50 yards away and slowly brought him up to the line so he is not gun shy,” said Fowley. “So, when I take him around high school bands at night, he’s not scared.”
Being around people, Foley said he had to train Zeke not to bite as well. “I had to teach him not to be mouthy,” said Foley. “I had to stick my hand in his mouth for several times a day, several times a month to make him bite soft.”
Zeke is constantly learning new tricks as well, said Foley. “He has a new trick to where he catches a Frisbee on a flip and he goes on my back and jumps and catches another one,” said Foley.
“I’m fortunate to be the caretaker but this is the students’ dog. My wife actually owns him, but he’s like my best friend.”
Today in Lansing:
6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Eastwood Towne Center, 3003 Preyde Blvd
10 p.m. to 9 p.m., Preuss Pets, 1127 N Cedar St
6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., $25, Waterfront Bar and Grille, 325 City Market Dr.