I contacted as many people as I could to help me find her a home. I knew shelter volunteers. I networked, but I never got any answers except for being told that their main goal was finding homes for dogs in the shelter finding new homes for dogs whose owners could no longer keep them. I tried. I really did. I sent an email to a lady who would contact all of her dog loving friends. I told the truth about Sasha, unfortunately the truth was what kept her from getting a new home—no one wanted a car chaser. She was a liability.
I thought Sasha had time. So I tried to wait patiently, holding off on taking her to the shelter. Hoping that someone would contact me.
By that time I had given up on trying to keep Sasha in the backyard. She came and went, usually hanging out on the sunny side of the house. Sometimes I rode my bike and she’d lope beside me. I finally had that dog that I wanted. The dog that would stay beside me even though she wasn’t on a leash.
Then that night happened. Sasha didn’t come home. She always came home. I called her. I think I even walked a couple blocks looking for her. Only, Sasha was a mostly grey dog so she was invisible until she was right in front of you. I realized that she’d been hit and she wasn’t coming back. I felt guilty. I felt relieved. I felt angry about being relieved. I hadn’t done enough! People had let me down! All I wanted was my dog to be safe to be who she was.
The next was a Monday…some holiday. Maybe Labor Day or Memorial Day or some other holiday where everything shuts down. Sasha came home. It was bittersweet. I was so glad to see her, but I realized what had happened and why she hadn’t come home. Sasha had gotten hit; her back legs could barely support her weight.
I led her inside the fence. What she did next made me realize I could no longer keep my dog.
She climbed the fence. Even with her back legs injured, she climbed the fence and just laid there by the house too tired to move.
Sasha’s time had run out. Mother and I took her to the shelter the next day. It is important to note that this shelter was half an hour from our house.
I couldn’t take her in, so I sent Mother to take her in. Unfortunately, because I knew Sasha better than Mother did, I had to go in and fill out all of the paper work. Sasha was in a holding pen. She looked at me, wondering what was going on. I wanted to say forget it and take her home, but I knew that Sasha’s luck would eventually run out and someone would knock on my door, telling me that my dog had come out of nowhere and they’d hit and killed her. Or worse, I’d return home and find her lying on the side of the road.
The form asked about commands she knew and any behavioral problems. I wanted to lie about the behavioral problems. I wanted her to look good on the forms. I knew no one would want a dog that jumped/climbed fences or chased cars. I told the truth, though and handed the clipboard back.
Behind us, a family looking to adopt a dog noticed Sasha and commented on how she looked familiar and that she had to be their friend’s dog. I wanted to tell them that she was my dog, but I couldn’t say anything. Let them think that it was their friend’s dog.
She knew we were leaving her. The bark I heard as we left was a bark I had never heard her make before. It will haunt me forever. I tried not to cry and even now as I write this I try not to cry.
That was the last time I saw Sasha…or at least the last confirmed sighting of her.
A few weeks later, as I was driving across town, I saw a dog that looked identical to Sasha. The dog was healthy and obviously had gotten out of its backyard. I didn’t notice if it was a male or female, but I’m sure I would have known if it was a male. Part of me said that it was probably one of Sasha’s siblings (she had a couple that I knew of). Another part of me knew it was my Sasha. She had gotten adopted and was up to her old tricks again. It surprised me because how did she end back up in my little town when she was in a shelter half an hour away? I don’t know. I will never know for sure if that was Sasha or not, but I believe it was.
A year or so later I was living in Moore with my husband and Mother called me up to tell me that a dog that looked just like Sasha was in our neighborhood, on our street, near our house. Mother could neither confirm nor deny whether it was Sasha, but I think she said the dog was dragging a chain. That had to be Sasha all right, still up to her old tricks.
Though I will never know for sure if either dog was Sasha or if it was merely a doppelganger(s), I believe in my heart that it was Sasha both times. Maybe when she came to our neighborhood she was looking for me, or seeing if anything changed, or looking for old friends. Maybe she was just roaming. Who knows?
We haven’t seen that dog since, but I don’t think we were supposed to. Though I don’t worry about her, I do miss that dopey dog from time to time. She taught me a lot about patience, love, fear, worry, frustration, guilt, and how sheer willpower (stubbornness) can make a person/dog do some of the most awe inspiring or dumbest things.
Well my confession is over.
Until next time, just because you see some dog else doing it doesn’t mean you should. That is unless the other dog has learned how to open the treat container or better yet the refrigerator. Then you’re allowed to watch and repeat.