Location: Oregon, United States

Monday, August 28, 2006


It's official, we've decided we are a dog-lovin' family and can't live without one. So, not even 24 hours after Sundae had died, Paul was looking online to see if there were any dogs that might work for us. The kids were ready, Paul was ready, and I was still crying but willing to look. Then we actually found one that seemed to be a match! What are you going to do, let her sit in the shelter? Heck, no! So we called about her, asked a few questions, and arranged to "meet" her Saturday.

Saturday, we went up to the shelter (in Washington, about an hour away) and met her. We worked really hard to be objective and say we were only checking her out but we were failing badly. Thomas said, "If she comes up to me and licks me on the face, we have to bring her home." So, as soon as we brought her out to the play area, she ran up to Thomas and licked him in the face and we knew we were goners. Then she found every ball and stick available and wanted to play. She was friendly, appeared healthy, and after less than five minutes of deliberation, we decided to keep her.

Her name is Sasha, which means "helpmate". She is about a year and a half "retriever mix", which could mean anything, but she appears to be black lab mixed with spaniel, border collie, or setter. We've decided that she is a combination of Sundae (because she is smart and snuggly), Daisy, my sister's dog (because she's kind of silly/kooky), and my nephew, Teddy (because they are both crazy about balls. His favorite phrase was "The ball? The ball? The ball?" for quite a while). She loves typical lab things (like playing with balls) and sticks and hanging her head out of the window. She prefers several balls at a time with one in her mouth while she frantically tries to catch the others. She has found Stephen's stockpile of sticks in the back yard and romps around with them. She is housebroken (whew!) and smart and is learning our ways quickly, although she has NO idea how to 'heel' and believes she belongs on the bed at night. And she snores. She's already catching on to sleeping on the floor, but I may have to live with the snoring. Ugh. I've brought her to the vet for an initial check up and she is indeed healthy, already spayed, and weighs 57 pounds (all muscle). We believe she will fit right in and are looking forward to getting to know her.

We are by no means done grieving for Sundae. Everything was so sudden, and there was no time to say goodbye. We've talked about it as a family, and plan to make a stepping stone in her honor and put it in the yard where she used to sit and watch the world go by. Hopefully, that will bring us some of the closure we need. In the meantime, between getting to know Sasha, getting ready for school, and life in general, we are doing alright.


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