Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Saga of Sasha

While we were in Colorado, I got a Facebook message from Jenn.  She started telling me a story about Sasha, the Rottweiler.  She went on and on about how she went missing in 2008 from her home in Indiana, and how she mysteriously ended up in the Humane Society in Phoenix.  I was laughing while relaying the story to Mike because Jenn was beating around the bush.  It took her forever to finally ask me if we would be willing to pick her up.  When she finally got around to the fact that Sasha was in Phoenix, I knew immediately we would pick her up, before ever being asked.  I would hope a friend would do the same for me if Elly or Rommel were in the same situation. I can understand her hesitation: Jenn and I have never met.  We connected through the internet years ago and remained friends, transitioning from Livejournal to Facebook.

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.

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.  


  1. Aww... so glad she's going home. What a story <3

    1. I am happy to have been part of her story. :D

  2. Amanda - I don't know if saw this ?

    1. Thanks! I did see it. ABC, CNN, Good Morning America and Cesar Milan on Facebook all picked up her story. I've been meaning to update with links to the articles. I'm so happy that rescuing, adopting, and volunteer transport have been getting such amazing press.

  3. I had tears in my eyes when I read the story about Sasha. Getting ready to make a transport run for another furry friend's very long journey. Presently, I have 5 rescue related animals, cats and dogs. My most recent dog was found very underweight wandering the streets. He ended up in the Johnston County (NC) Animal Shelter. They ran out of the Bordatello vaccine at least in July and it is on a very long backorder list. Unfortunately, he developed kennel cough. His eyes had green mucous. He caught my eye and promised to be the best dog ever if I took him home. I had him brought out where I could see him better. He looked very deeply into my eyes, through a window in my heart and touched my soul.

    I still gave attention to all 6 or 8 dogs there. Then I went to see the kitties. But I was drawn back to Rex (previously Rox). I have had fosters that never moved me like he did. Something was different. I tell everyone who has met him that he adopted me, not the other way around.

    He came already obedience trained. Rex is very calm. He loves to lay in my lap while I watch tv. He was 38.2 lbs when I got him. A few days later in the week and he was already up to 41.9 lbs. He finally got his energy back. Today he got down on the floor and played with my Chi and my tiny Pom for the first time in two weeks. He won't come upstairs because I haven't given him permission (one kitty is leery of dogs). He ignores my 15 lb cat and the kitten. First time he met the big kitty he growled. I set him down and said no. Ignore the kitty. Took him back to the sofa where he loves to chill. So, from day two, he has never bothered the kitties.

    The whole point of this besides our love for each other is: what if he had been microchipped? Someone early on in his life used to care because he received the obedience training. He is probably around 9 mths now. I just rescued him on Aug 5th. But who out there is still missing this extremely sweet boy? He still loves people. He gets excited when he sees children. I can't help but be thankful for him but I do wonder... what if?

    1. Sasha was microchipped but still was away from her mom for 5 years. I believe that she was cared for by a man up until recently because she took to my husband so quickly. According to the humane society, she was dropped off to them because the owner was elderly and ill. She's an amazing dog and I was more than happy to have her with me. I joked with Jenn that she's lucky we have Sasha back. Haha

      I wouldn't worry too much. It sounds like you are giving Rex a new lease on life. He is loved and cared for. I'm sure the shelter you rescued him from did their due diligence and searched for his owners. Shelter dogs are the best. Two of my three are rescues and I wouldn't have it any other way.

      Thank you for sharing Rex's story. It's very sweet and I'm happy to hear he's on the mend and settling in. :)

    2. Oh, and yes I'm a huge advocate of micro chipping. My boxer was a shelter pup and chipped by them when I adopted her. After having Sasha, I finally convinced my husband to chip our Shepard. The breeder didn't offer the option when he came home.