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Just another stay at home mom trying to do it all, save the world, and not run out of coffee.
My published articles: exm.nr/gkA1yp
Twitter: @CarolBruckmann

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Remembering Sasha (4-12-97 - 3-1-12)


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.



Carson Newman
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.

Texas
Moving to Texas was emotional and scary, and perhaps I couldn’t have done it without my constant companion. But she and I made some amazing friends there! She loved to wrestle with my friends (Crocodile Hunter Kathy?), and many were excited to keep her if I had to go out of state. Sasha was afraid of water until one day at a pond with a friend she really wanted to chase some ducks. After literally “taking the plunge” we couldn’t keep her away from any water source from then on… well maybe except the bathtub!

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.
You can see more videos of Sasha on my Youtube channel.

50 comments:

  1. Oh Carol, I'm so sad to hear about Sasha. What a tough decision that was to make, but you did it because you love her so much. Hugs to you and your family in this difficult time. -Stacy M.

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  2. I remember after you had moved from TN you came back for a visit. I had just moved to TN and you let me hang out with you and your friends cause I didn't know anyone. You were staying at a Super 8 and I couldn't believe how calm Sasha was. You are right when you say she was the kind of dog everyone wishes they could have.
    "Becky"

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    1. Oh I remember that! The room was packed with people, but she just chilled out on the floor! She was a good dog.

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  3. I'm sorry to hear about Sasha, I know how rough it is to have to do that. Thinking about you and your family.

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  5. Miss her so much. I feel so sad when I look at all these pictures.

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  6. Thank you for sharing these. Course now I'm crying. I remember Sasha sleeping with me on a twin bed, and I'd wake up to Sasha standing by the bed, chin laid on the bed, patiently watching me and waiting for me to wake up.

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    1. She had so much fun with you and your doggie at the lake house!

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  7. Thinking about you Carol. So sorry to hear about Sasha.

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  8. I'm sorry to hear about Sasha.

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  9. Oh Carol I'm so sorry sweet Sasha.

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  10. Michelle TownsendMarch 5, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    Sasha! Oh, that sweet, sweet girl. Love her. Sending you long distance hugs, darlin. Our faithful animal friends know us so well. They are always there for us, and are blind to prejudice, hate, appearance, and status. She will forever be a part of you.

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  11. Aww... Miss Sasha. Loved getting to housesit her, she was the sweetest! Xoxo

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  12. Mama Dot was nervous around big dogs, but she LOVED Sasha! That testifies to Sasha's sweet, special spirit that drew all of us to her!!

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  13. I'm sorry to hear this.

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  14. Such wonderful pictures and memories of Sasha! So sad she's gone, but so glad she's not suffering too. I remember her coming to all our pledge events :-)

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    1. Oh yeah! She had that Gamma Sig dog leash to make it official!

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  15. I had to do the same thing not long ago.... Cried for a long time. Remembering Sasha and all the joy she gave to everyone who got to be around her. Praying for you my friend! She was one of a kind and absolutely wonderful!

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  16. Such a sweet and faithful dog. I am so sorry for you my friend. She was the only dog that would let me play Crocodile Hunter with her. She will be missed.

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    1. She always loved wrestling and playing the "croc" for your antics!

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  17. So sorry about Sasha dear friend. Praying for you and your family today. ♥

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  18. I will always compare every dog to Sasha. Best Dog Ever! Love you!

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  19. So sorry about Sasha, they become such a part of the family...definitely thinking about you guys!

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  20. Heart broken to hear about Miss Sasha. I'll always remember the times I got to dogsit her, especially her pushing me out of my own bed (lol). I still measure all dogs by the Sasha-standard. Thanks for sharing her with all of us during your Texas years - she "whispered" her way into our hearts. Praying for you!

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  21. Heard the news about Sasha yesterday, my sincerest condolences.

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  22. awwww....this dog lived a long full life

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  23. She was a good dog. Long life indeed. She and Quayde are hanging out in Doggy Heaven chasing butterflies. ♥♥

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  24. Oh no Carol! Sasha was the sweetest thing in the whole world.

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  25. So sorry to hear about Sasha. :( It's hard expecially when you've had an animal for so long. She sounded like such a sweet dog.

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  26. She was a sweetheart. I remember the day you brought her here to play with Chief.

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  27. I'm so sorry! I know what it was like when we lost Buster last year. Their love is so unconditional.

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  28. Sorry to hear that. Sasha was a good dog:(

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  29. Carol, we are so sad to hear Sasha is no longer with us. You were very brave in making this decision and I'm sure it was what needed to be done. Hugs to you and your family.

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  30. So sorry.

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  31. So sorry Carol, they are like kids to us and it's hard to let them go!!

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  32. My heart and prayers are with you today, Carol Anne. I know what a joy (and rarity) it is to have a truly special pet like Sasha! She won't be forgotten!!

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    1. Sasha will always be one of my favorite dogs ever! She was Awesome, and a great friend!!

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    2. She loved you and your Dad. You were the only people I know for whom she would willingly leave me!

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  33. My dog Roxy died almost a month after my daughter Gabby was born. I had her for four years and that was the longest about anything had stuck with in a very long time. I always thought ppl were crazy who took such a fit over their pets, until I lost my Roxy. It truly felt like a big part of me died with her(crying while Im typing). I really miss her every single day. We got 2 more dogs and I just cant gey close to them because of that. I do love our other 2 but not as much as I did and still do love Roxy. It hurts alot and Im very sorry to you and your family on your lose.

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  34. I'm sure Sasha and Cali are having fun in puppy heaven!! :-)

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  35. Sasha, the best dog ever. What wonderful memories. My heart is so sad.

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  36. So sorry to hear about Sasha! The decision certainly sucks, but the gift of letting them go humane-ly always makes the loss a little easier. Thinking of you guys! <3

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  37. Awww , so sorry Carolina. That dog covered a lot of ground with you.

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  38. I am so sorry, I know how much you loved her and she loved you. You gave her the best life and greatest family any dog could ask for. She was more than a pet, she was a daughter, granddaughter, sister and friend. If you need anything,please let me know. Love you!

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  39. Thanks for the pictures and the memories. So sorry to hear about Sasha. She was a beautiful friend and brought lots of laughter to our gatherings. We now have another Basset named Tripper. Can't remember if you were there when we had the name the puppy contest. It has been a long time. He is now 8 1/2 years old...Love to you and family.

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  40. So sorry to hear about Sasha. She was with you a long time and took each move in stride. I remember when I visited you in Texas and chilled with Sasha one morning when you had to go out. She was a great dog!

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  41. So sorry to hear of your loss Carol. Fill the void with another dog as quick as you can.

    I remember Sasha being terrified of empty trash bags.

    Brenden

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  42. Kristy Kelley OlivarriMarch 7, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Oh Carol, I knew this day would come but it still hurts my heart. I've never seen a bond quite like you had with Sasha. Remember when we were watching the movie Twister during a tornado warning and trying to figure out where we could go if we actually had a tornado? Of course we had to find a closet big enough for Sasha, too, which turned out not to be so easy since she was a big girl!

    In your blog you mentioned Sasha getting over her fear of water by jumping into a pond to chase ducks...was that when she was with Brant and me? I don't remember if it was her first foray into the water or not, but she sure loved it! It was so much fun for me to take care of her when you were out of town while we all lived in Ft. Worth. She was so loving and gentle.

    I've written a lot, but hey...you and Sasha were in TN, TX, and NC with me! I have lots of fond memories and I hope you know I'm thinking of you. Love you girl!

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  43. The fondest memory I have of Sasha is at the dog park in Charleston, SC. Sasha and Rusty were just loving the dog park playing with each other. Sasha made Rusty swim with her at the dog park in the lake. Rusty was getting tired but Sasha would not let him get out of the water. He had to keep swimming with her. She would block him if he tried to get out. They were swimming next to each other for almost 30 minutes. It was amazing.
    Jamie

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  44. Hey Carol, I know I told you I'd post something two weeks ago, but when I stopped to read the blogs & watch the videos I couldn't stop crying long enough to type. My two fondest memories of Sasha are from the time we spent together at Carson Newman. The first was when I had taken her walking around campus. You were probably at work. I remember thinking it was a good thing I had Mace with me b/c Sasha was so loving (& everyone on campus knew how sweet she was & spoke to her often on our walks) she would probably like a would-be attacker. It was soon after that a guy with a trech coat came walking toward us. I was immediately suspicious b/c it was for one, too hot for a trench coat, and two I didn't recognize him. At that moment, Sasha lunged toward the guy growling. Even this many years later I know I was grinning from ear to ear. I was so proud of her. I apologized to the guy as we passed him, but definitely praised her for being such a good girl. I never worried about taking her for a walk again. I knew she'd protect me, if needed. My second favorite memory is when I'd spent the night at your place & Sasha was laying in the middle of the bed, between us, when we went to sleep. I woke up with her on the other side of me, my arm wrapped around her, face buried in her neck. She was already awake when I woke up like that, but she never moved until I woke up. So loving. So special. Ok, so I'm bawling again. I know you're a strong woman, Carol Anne, but I can't believe you were able to go thru with putting her down. I'm not sure I could have done it. I love you girl & I sure loved your dog! Rest in peace Sasha. You deserve it. And yes, I do believe there are dogs in Heaven. It would be sacrilegious of me to say that's what will make it Heaven for some of us animal lovers, but...you get my point. :-) Sure did LOVE that girl. Guess I'm getting sappy in my old age. My dad asked Ben what he was going to do with me if something ever happened to our now 7 y.o. Dachshund Ruby. Ben said, "I guess I'll just have to bury her with her." So true. Hang in there Carol Anne. I hear it gets easier with time.

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