Born - September 1, 1997
Crossed the Bridge - September 12, 2007
Heaven welcomed a very special angel, who was greeted at the pearly gates by Kirby, Bailey, Rocky, & Sadie. They were excited to see her again; still her family on Earth misses her so much. Over the years she's earned many knick names; big mama, Thumbelina, Little Missy, Sasha Belle, and Sasha-roo; each bringing back wonderful memories.
For many years my husband Mike wanted to adopt a large dog, which gave me visions of a over sized wild beast dropping tons of hair in the house, and everytime the subject was mentioned I'd give a firm "no". But on a chilly December day in 1997 my reservations quickly melted after meeting Sasha. She had stolen my heart with her big round brown eyes and my fear of "dog hair" suddenly seemed silly. Her formal AKC name was Lady Sasquatch, since even at 4 months old she had the biggest feet I've ever seen, but at home we called her Sasha.
Sasha immediately took to our elderly schnauzer Kirby and was so gentle around him. When we'd let the dogs outside to potty Sasha would wait until Kirby came back inside before coming in herself. On a sad day in 1999 Kirby crossed the rainbow bridge. Later that morning we had let Sasha outside to potty as usual but she refused to come back into the house; our hearts broke as we watched her stand at the base of the patio looking around the yard for Kirby with a very confused expression on her face.
When Sasha was 9 months old we noticed a slight swagger in her walk, as a precaution we had x-rays taken and discovered Sasha had mild hip dysplasia. We were told to watch her weight and restrict activities to avoid damaging her fragile hip joints. At times it was a challenge to slow down a 100 pound "puppy" but thru the years her hips held steady.
In mid 1999 we adopted two schnauzer pups, Teddy & Bailey; Sasha immediately began to mother them, becoming their official ear washer. This prompted our daughter to call Sasha the "big mama", a name that stuck. Last year we adopted another schnauzer pup named Harry. At first he was fearful of this huge creature, but by day two she had won him over and they became best buddies. Sometimes we wondered if Sasha thought she was also a schnauzer after being with them all her life; she was a little dog in a big dog's body and a true gentle giant.
When Mike's dad moved into a nursing home Sasha would go along with Mike to visit. Mike joked that dad seemed happier to see Sasha than him. Patients and staff would gather to pet her, and she brought sunshine to a somewhat dreary place.
Sasha's could open door knobs with her mouth, was the bass in our schnauzer choir, passed gas that sounded human, enjoyed mugging for photos, loved riding in the car, her favorite occassional treat was french fries, and she loved being groomed (always getting very excited when she saw the brush)....but most of all she loved her "daddy" and ran to the door to greet Mike each day when he came home. We rolled our eyes at those who raised concern after hearing we had a rottweiler; if they only knew she was a very sensitive soul who was afraid of the vacuum cleaner or upon hearing raised voices would open the door to a bedroom and hide.
On Sunday, Jan. 28th, Sasha woke up with a limp; which we hoped was only a strained muscle. The next day Mike took Sasha for an exam, and was given the bad news; Sasha had bone cancer in her right rear knee. B/c of her dysplasia she didn't qualify for an amputation since this would have placed all her weight on the remaining weak hip. This form of cancer is very aggressive and our vet felt any treatments would only subtract from the quality of life that remained and suggested pain management medications. He estimated, based on this type of cancer, she had somewhere between 3 to 6 months. Each day we had with her beyond late July was truly a gift to be treasured.
During those last few months we made her comfortable, indulged her, and savored the precious time left with our beautiful girl. Mike took her for a car ride, stopping at McDonald's drive thru one last time for french fries. We watched her grieve when Sadie crossed the bridge in May. It was especially difficult for her at night since Sadie always slept beside her. I would wake up to see our closet door opened and Sasha sleeping inside. It broke our hearts as she watched Harry chase his big blue ball in the yard; she cried b/c she wanted to play and chase it too. We couldn't risk her breaking the fragile bone in her leg so we put the ball away for "awhile" and Harry seemed to understand why.
Eventually the cancer took it's toll. She was panting more often, losing weight and her larger than life personality was slowly becoming more sedate. On September 11th her rear leg swelled and she could no longer put weight on it. That evening Mike cooked a special steak for Sasha with an order of french fries. The following day our vet informed us the cancer had spread into her lymph nodes and with heavy hearts and many tears we said our good-byes to our wonderful little missy.
Sasha was such a magnificent creature and truly one of a kind. We will miss her goofy grin and huge round brown eyes; our house seems so empty without her in it. We will miss running our fingers thru her soft velvet fur and her sloppy kisses. One decade just wasn't enough time. There are many good dogs, some dogs are great, but there are a few that surpass our wildest expectations and almost seem human in their ability to understand us. These special dogs not only enter our lives but also enter a special place in our hearts and we are forever changed b/c of them. God now has "big mama" to wash all the puppies ears in heaven and in heaven everyday will be french "fry-day". I'm sure we'll find stray black hairs around our house for years to come; each bringing tears, smiles and good memories.
Big Mama, you worked hard and now your job here is done. You've brought joy and smiles to so many during your time on this Earth. You are young again and your hips are strong.......Sasha, you can run and chase that big blue ball now. We love you "little Missy" and someday we'll see each other again, and you'll be waiting to greet us at the pearly gates.
Back to the DogStars