One problem: they wanted her picked up immediately. The Humane Society takes in 130 animals a day, and did not have the space to keep her. They were kind enough to agree to keep her until noon on Monday. We arrived back in Casa Grande Saturday night, a day earlier than planned. We decided to pick up Sasha on Sunday, since we were home and a shelter is no place for a dog. I kept that to myself.
Mike and I drove to Phoenix and went to the wrong shelter...crap. We made it to the correct location, square in the ghetto. And we waited..and waited. We watched 10 people turn in perfectly healthy cats and dogs. I wanted to puke. We decided to make a donation; by the time our number was called to collect Sasha, our donation tripled.
She was tiny. A Rottweiler should not be 65 pounds of skin and bone. Having never met us, she came right to us and hopped in the car. She gave us kisses throughout the drive home, she knew the horror was over.
Once home, we began the initiation process. I was a little worried, our dogs were still tired and cranky from a week of camping, and Sasha was stressed and scared. There was a little fear biting on her part, but once she realized that she was in a safe place, everyone settled down nicely.
She fit in nicely. Sasha loved Mike and followed him everywhere. She would attach herself to whomever was moving about the house and would try to go to work with us. She was great on a leash and loved walks. We were thrilled when she began eating more and more. She went from eating 1/2 a cup a day to almost 4 cups. It was noticeable, she slowly started putting weight on and her coat was a thousand times shinier than it was on day one.
Jenn would touch base everyday, mom was worried and anxious for her to come home. Kindred Hearts Transport stepped up to get Sasha back to Indiana. By the following Thursday, I was informed that she'd be starting her journey on Saturday. It was like a punch in the gut; we both became extremely fond of Sasha and her waddle. I wasn't ready for her to go.
I don't know the totality of her life, but I can't imagine it was all that great. She wound up in a shelter at least twice and 1800 miles from her original home. She gave birth to a litter of puppies that have since disappeared. She's felt the pain of being abandoned. Through it all, she exudes nothing but love. She wants to wrestle and play the nose game, she wants to be cuddled and loved. She wants to congregate and play with other dogs. She wants to BE your companion. I have so much respect for her love of life and people and mostly for her perseverance.
I know she is going back to her mom, to Jenn where she belongs. I know that she will spend the rest of her days loved: going for hikes, cuddling, relaxing. For that I am thankful. It helps the melancholy that both Mike and I feel. I won't lie, I shed a few tears this morning after we saw her off.
UPDATE: Sasha made it home!! After a full week on the road with wonderful volunteers who fawned all over her, she landed in Indiana on the 17th. And it went viral. ABC Chicago was on site for the reunion and did a nice story about Kindred Hearts and the importance of microchips. From there it exploded. First ABC Phoenix mirrored the story, then CNN, Good Morning America, Yahoo news, and the story even ran in Indonesia. Our girl is famous! She had more hits than the new dog in the White House. WIN!
I love a happy ending.
I love a happy ending.
The Arizona Humane Society is overwhelmed. Phoenix alone, takes in 130 animals a day. If you're thinking of adding to your family, adopt. There is a cat or dog out there just like Sasha who just wants to be part of your family. If you're thinking of donating, donate to your local shelter or Humane Society: it could make a huge difference in a cat or dogs life.
Lastly, if you have a dog or a cat, seriously consider having them chipped. Sasha would never have been reunited with Jenn if it weren't for the microchip with her information on it.