People tend to think they have the best dog in the world, but I know I did. My dog was beloved by people around the globe! The summer after my sophomore year in college I decided I needed a dog. The small dogs advertised in the paper were all taken, so against my better judgment I went to check out some Rottie-Husky puppies in a guy’s backyard in Knoxville. Soon I was driving back to my apartment with my 25 pound bundle of joy. Except for a semester when she had to live with my parents, we have been inseparable.
Sasha was an active puppy, and everyone at CN loved her. Several people had keys to my house and would walk her when I was in class or at work. When I would walk her around campus people I didn’t even know would say hi to her! Once when she was a puppy she found a nasty ball outside my apartment. No one would pick it up to throw it for her, so she dropped it on one side of an SUV then ran around to the other side to play “Solitaire fetch.” I never worried about living alone when I had a big dog to protect me. On the other hand, once when a pit bull got away from its owner to go after her I protected her by punching the pit bull in the mouth. (Afterwards I was shaking at my stupidity, but it worked!) She was spoiled rotten. Once, I was afraid because I thought I heard someone outside and let her hop in my bed. After that point she slept with me until I got married.
As a poor college student I often made toys from empty Mtn. Dew bottles and wadded up pieces of paper. Unfortunately one day she thought my college research paper was a toy! Thankfully my professor had a great sense of humor when I showed her that my dog literally ate my homework and allowed me to reprint after class with no late penalty. My favorite sociology professor loved to blow bubbles to relax. Knowing this I brought Sasha into class for a presentation on relaxation to demonstrate how blowing bubbles isn’t nearly as relaxing as blowing bubbles for a dog who will jump up to pop the bubbles!
She learned a lot of tricks, fetch being her favorite. I would take her to my parents’ house and hit tennis balls down the side of the mountain to try to wear her out! She could also sit, lie, down, shake, and chase her tail, but her most impressive trick was being able to both “speak” and “whisper.” She would go crazy anytime it snowed, running around the house scooping up snow in her mouth like a bulldozer and rolling around until she was soaked. I would make snowballs and throw them into the snow for her to chase. Crazily enough she often found them and chewed them up.
After I moved in with Melinda, Sasha found her second family with the Whighams. They loved her as much as my family did, and she returned their love. She played with Mama Dot’s little poodle Romy and raised Melinda’s cat Sebastian to be a great cat-dog. They were her family if I ever flew home, but if I made the 17 hour trek in my Honda she rode in the back like a trooper, sometimes only stopping once or twice for gas, food, and a potty break!
Back to N.C.
As much as I didn’t want to move to Texas, moving back to NC was just as tough. I moved to a place where I had no friends, and Sasha was my constant companion. After Jamie and I started dating he became her Daddy. She accompanied me to visit him from time to time until one of his neighbors called the front office complaining that he had a bear in his apartment!
Sasha came to our wedding reception as the guest of honor. Right before our wedding she popped a ligament on one knee and popped the other one right after our honeymoon. I knew my husband loved me when he unflinchingly forked over the cash for both surgeries.
Through several family additions (1 husband, 2 cats, 2 dogs, and 2 kids) she remained sweet and faithful. Although she no longer played fetch, she still loved the snow and slow walks outside. She never once growled at the kids, but she would put other dogs in their place with her Alpha personality, even when they could have taken my senior dog down in a second! In the end I was thankful to hold her as she gently passed into peace, beloved by so many and leaving a paw print shaped hole in my heart.
If you have memories of Sasha, please leave them in the comments section below so I can keep them.
You can see pictures of Sasha’s life by clicking here.
Visiting with Aunt Melinda before my wedding
Sasha never stopped loving the snow!
Eventually Sasha had to start sharing he popcorn with her younger sister and brother.