Pet Therapy Paradise Park | 719-544-0018

Julie Ann Allender, Ed.D | Psychologist, Pueblo, CO

Sasha's Memorial

Sasha’s passing, came as a surprise to all of us. She had been being treated for an eating disorder for years. Turned out most of her homemade diet was made from things to which she was allergic. She had been eating well for two years. Suddenly she wasn’t eating again. No one, including the vet was prepared for what happened.

She started walking crooked, anemic & not responding. The vet decided to take an x-tray of her lungs, which turned out to be full of cancerous nodes. She had had no symptoms leading to that diagnosis. The prognosis from CARES, a 24/7 ER the following day was what we all feared. I could take her home and try to get her to eat, but we all knew that wasn’t going to happen. The other choice was for Daisy and I to say good-bye on January 24, 2019. The only good part of that day was when Daisy and I left the building there was a beautiful rainbow in the sky. We all knew it was Sasha letting us know she was okay. My day was full of sunshine!

Sasha was a vibrant, full of life, Pet Therapy certified dog. She had no end to wanting to give love. She would lie next to every patient and snuggle up to get a pet. When on therapy visits she would push into the legs of participants to get a hug. She didn’t like when Daisy got the hug and sometimes showed it. Even when they played Frisbee in the pool, Sasha always had to win. Daisy learned to give in. It was a funny game.

Sasha was also really smart. If you told her to go get the Frisbee from the field or the pool she would go and bring it back. One winter day she lost her purple fleece winter coat, caught in the inside of the forsythia bush, a place I didn’t want to go. I told her to go back and get her coat… and she did go and bring it out. I only wish I had videoed it.

Sasha was the most photographic dog I had ever had. She would let people put hats, toys, etc. on her and wouldn’t shake them off. She was my most photographic dog. She kept everyone laughing. It was fun to put things on her especially her Chanukah collar to which, she loved to play. She helped make my Motivation Cards a big success. They are filled with her smiles and antics.

I thought Daisy would be happy when Sasha was gone. Sasha had been the aggressor and Daisy had learned to avoid her to stop the fights. It worked for 4-5 years. They no longer played together, which was sad. Then, Sasha was gone. Daisy fell apart. She kept looking for her & became clingy. When I would mention Sasha’ name Daisy would get all excited. She even got excited when we went back to CARES for Sedona’s eye injury (Don’t use a Chuck It.), hoping we were going to bring Sasha back. It was cute and sad all at the same time. We both really miss you Sasha.

Sasha didn’t leave a whole lot of clues she was crossing the Rainbow Bridge. I think she knew the rainbow left after she died was enough. It was so powerful. The Bucks County Herald had a picture of the rainbow a few days later. I contacted them how it had become Sasha’s rainbow and they printed it the following week. It was fun. She will be remembered forever. The National Psychologist was publishing an article I wrote about Animal Assisted Therapy and since a lot of it was about Sasha they published a small Memorial to her on the front of the Newsletter. Sasha was once again being remembered in a photo.

One last thing Sasha did before she crossed over was sending me 3 dogs needing to be adopted. The first one Daisy made it clear was a “no”. The second one wasn’t interested in Daisy or me. The third was the charm, Sedona. She had a rough start biting Daisy in the nose, however they are doing great together finally. Age differences don’t help with Daisy being 9 years old and Sedona only one year old. Thank you, Sasha.