Sunday, October 23, 2011

My dog died yesterday

Sasha on vacation in Sonoma County, California, July 2007
Over the past week I endured the time that all pet owners dread. My beloved German Shepherd mix Sasha died on October 22, 2011 of heart failure after 10 years of life. The past days have been grim for me. Her rapid decline and death tore me up badly. Sasha was truly my best friend. After her passing yesterday, I reflected on how I spent more time with her over the past 10 years than anyone, even my husband. If I was home, she was with me. If I was on vacation, she was with me. I used to sit at my desk at work and wish she was with me. Then I started working from home, and we were truly always together.

She always helped me feel safer. Although she looks friendly and cuddly in the picture above, she was quite the intimidater in her day. When the hair went up on her back, she looked vicious. And her bark could rattle your spine.

Sasha lived most of her life in California. She made sure all the homeless people and wanna be gangbangers know that coming into my yard was not a plan. (And she always got a special treat for harassing missionaries.) Before I went to bed every night, I would put her out to do a patrol and then she would come in for her bedtime biscuit. Admittedly getting pizzas delivered was a bit of a hassle. Skateboarders especially offended her, and she taught them to carry their boards and walk by my yard. She had a vendetta with UPS.

I walked her almost every day, and everyone in our neighborhood knew us. I never got panhandled when she was with me. I called her "Mama's Big Bitch" and she was. When I shopped in the neighborhood, I would take her with me. I parked her outside the pizza place. I parked her in front of the hardware store. The people at the bank gave her biscuits.

Even in her old age, she still helped me feel safe. Just this summer when shady creeps were banging on doors in my neighborhood trying to sell cleaning supplies, Sasha went right into guard dog mode. She wanted to eat that guy, and damn her weakening heart she was going to try. Oh how that poor bastard made her feel young again.

I could go on and on with stories about her. She was endearing and sweet. She made herself at home everywhere she went. She assumed everyone loved her. She loved kitties, especially chasing them. That bitch ate my birthday cake and didn't regret it a bit. I never saw her put her tail between her legs. Never. She was an alpha female.

My home is so empty without her. My yard is so empty without her. I work in the garden and she's not there. I work in the kitchen and she's not there. I got up this morning, and she wasn't there. I'm a lone wolf again and have to walk the trail without my partner. I miss her so much. All I can do is be sad.
Sasha - Summer 2001 to October 22, 2011. Loved, Spoiled, and now Missed.