through an intersting chain of events, today…
I ended up finding some pictures of a dog, that we saved…and then lost…
There are some pictures posted on the web, from Gene Chapman’s Archive (GO Gene!!!)
They say, “Time heals all wounds…”….but it ain’t so….
Here is the story of when Sasha came to us. It was first published on our other blog on January 1, 2004, just a few days after we found her…and about three weeks before the birth of our grandson, who Sasha loved….
The car came out of nowhere. She didn’t see it before bouncing off of its fender, landing just off the side of the road from the direction she had come. Her friend was a few steps in front of her and took the force of the metallic beast full on. It threw him some 50 feet up the road and slightly to the side. He lay there, still, with no signs of life.
She lifted her head up and looked around. Seeing her friend, some distance away, she got up and wobbled across the distance, trying to keep from falling over. When she got to her friend, he lay very still. She could not tell if he was alive or dead. She felt a tremble and the strength left her legs and she let herself fall to the ground beside him.
The car had not stopped. The road was quiet and a little lonely, only seeing traffic once in a while. Her mind wandered over the preceding days and weeks. She was gaunt from hunger. She had eaten little, wandering the back roads and woods with her friend, both homeless. They ate what they could find. They drank from the canals. Her eyes closed and she drifted away.
She had been born into a large family. Probably too large. They could not afford to keep her. She was adopted by another family and forced to move away from those she had known since birth. The new family was nice. They taught her right from wrong, good from bad. They played with her and tried to make sure she was happy. But, in the end, they began to ignore her and to sometimes forget her.
That was why she ran away. Unable to bear the loss of love, she left in search of what she needed. Then she ran into him. And they laughed and played, rested and searched together. He was a companion on her journey. She didn’t know how long she would stay with him, but for the time being, it was enough to have the warmth of a friend.
Now a sound came to her ears. Another car. She wrestled with consciousness. The car slowed and pulled past, then came to a stop and pulled off of the roadway. A young man got out and walked over to her. He was tall and young but had a concerned look on his face. He looked at her friend and then back at her. She heard him talking, but couldn’t quite make it out. Was he talking to her?
She drifted in and out of dazed darkness. She didn’t know how long it had been, but she heard yet another car stop. Two women, one young and one older came up to her. The young man made some comments about her friend. “I think that one’s dead” he said. The women agreed. The younger one was now sitting beside her, offering sympathy. Still drifting between dark and light, she heard a vehicle drive off.
Now only the two women remained. The older woman was wearing sunglasses, hiding her eyes. But, there was a softness in her voice and gentleness in her touch that was calming. The younger woman had nice eyes, that seemed to captivate those who looked too long. And she, too, had a gentle manner about her.
They seemed to be waiting for someone. She just wished the pain would stop and that her friend would wake up and they could be on their way. Then another car, or maybe a truck, could be heard. It was louder than the other two. It slowed as it passed and then partly turned in the road and stopped.
A man, with salt and pepper hair, leaning more towards silver, got out and came over to her. He had a gruff and direct voice, but his gray eyes, with faint laugh lines at the corners, held a look of gentle compassion. He talked to the older woman and looked at her friend, still lying in the road. Then he reached down and touched her cheek. The touch was soothing and cool. He stood up and walked back to his truck. She heard him leave but didn’t really pay much attention.
The older woman gently reached down and picked her up, carrying her to a large van and laying her in the back where the younger woman joined her. They could have driven an hour or only a minute. Time was lost to her. The stress, the pain and her malnutrition were catching up with her. Then, suddenly, they were helping her walk from the van and into a house.
They gave her water. Then they looked her over from top to bottom. They got out the soap and water and began to bath her. Once, twice, thrice before they were satisfied. She hadn’t been this clean in ages. Her nose still hurt from bouncing off of the car, but it was improving. They made her a snack, which she gulped down eagerly. Then they cuddled her in a large towel and let her drift to sleep.
At first her dreams were only of the car and the stillness of her friend, mingled with the fun they had enjoyed together. But every time she awoke, the women were there and soothed her worry and pain. At one time she woke up and noticed others, like her, in the room. They rough-housed and played together nipping and chasing each other around the room. They tried to sound ferocious, but their waging tails gave them away. It was only play.
When they noticed her looking at them, they came over and sniffed her face and gave her a lick. Her initial apprehension faded. Nothing to fear from them. She drifted back to sleep and her dreams became more sedate. The women who had helped her, were nursing her back to health. Her fears eased and she relaxed even more.
She doesn’t know how long she slept, but she heard the door open. In walked the man with the soft, gray eyes. He came over to her and touched her gently on the cheek, then patted her neck. She felt a sense of tranquil calm returning to her. She drifted off to sleep, too tired to pay attention to the man. Soon, the younger man, the first one she saw after the tragedy, came in. Again she drifted toward sleep even as she realized they were a family, these men, the two women and the others of her kind.
She awoke to a commotion. All were clamoring into the next room. She was encouraged to follow and staggered to her feet, following slowly and cautiously. She poked her head around a corner to the smell of food and the invitation to dine. And dine she did, for her appetite was now ravenous.
The man, with the gentle eyes, passed some cheese to her. It had been so long since she had tasted cheese. It was one of life’s little treasures. After finishing dinner she was lead outside and allowed to walk around. Her legs were not so wobbly now, but she was still weak and could not stay up long.
Back inside they went and she curled up on the towel they had used to keep her warm. She then drifted off to sleep, forgetting the tragedy of the day and quietly reveling in the warmth of love that she had been seeking for so long.
We lost Sasha about six months later… But she is still with us in our hearts…
- “He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me… whenever… wherever – in case I need him. And I expect I will – as I always have. He is just my dog.” – Gene Hill