My Very Good, Very Bad Dog
My husband brought Sasha home one night. She was a beautiful German Shepherd puppy, black and tan. both of her parents were from Germany who had received the Schutzhund training. She was such a joy to us although she was very high strung. She had endless energy and loved to chew everything and anything she could get her teeth into despite being given chew toys. We learned to keep everything we valued out of her reach. Her devotion to us was unmatched. She never left our side and her eyes were always on us. This devotion went to great lengths. She ferociously barked when our family and friends came to visit despite their regular visitations. Once they came into the house, she was friendly and quiet. It seems she just wanted to let them know that she was clearly in charge of home safety.
Once our son was born, she took protection and monitoring of him as her job. You could always tell where he was as she was right beside him playing with him and obviously watching over him. She reminded me of the character, Nana, from the “Peter Pan” story. If he was involved with others, she stood as a sentinel watching him play. Her devotion to him was complete.
She clearly understood what we were saying and responded in kind. One day, I was expressing my frustration to my husband about how I felt that the vacuum cleaner salesman had lied to us about a certain bonus he had said he would be giving to us and then later denied he had agreed to this arrangement. The salesman showed up at the house to deliver the vacuum cleaner and had to return to his car to get something he forgot. Sasha followed him out the door and nipped him in the butt. She didn’t break his skin or do anything else to him. We apologized to the salesman and he left. I told my husband that we need to watch what we say around Sasha as she was clearly acting in response to my frustration.
Eventually, she developed hip displasia which is a common problem in German Shepherd dogs. She was given the medication which helped for quite awhile but, in time, it became evident that it no longer helped. She was unable to negotiate the front steps to our house. It was a deeply sad time when we decided to put her to sleep. My husband couldn’t go into the Vet’s office with us so my son and I took her in. We cried while she was placed on the table and the Vet administered the medication. We told her how much we loved her and how grateful we were for her in our lives. There is no question in my mind or heart of the deep bond between animals and humans. The poem, “Rainbow Bridge” has provided solace to me so many times over the years and I can look forward to a fantastic reunion with all my beloved pets.