So one of the loves of my life is my German Shepherd named Sasha. Beyoncé’s Single Ladies from the Sasha Fierce album was playing when we picked her up and so the new pup was christened Sasha Fierce. Boy has she earned that name.
Sasha is quite the handful and I’m not sure how her life would have turned out had anyone else taken her home. Now that she is older she has calmed down a bit but when she was a puppy I lost my mind, well she helped and the MS did the rest. We went to puppy classes which was fun because she is so smart. She actually played with other dogs instead of wanting to kill them. Then at home she broke more than a few cable tie outs trying to get to the neighbor’s dog who was old as dirt, deaf and blind so as you can see that dog was a real threat to her. We had to put up an expensive fence to protect the neighborhood and to keep her safe. She bit my calf at the vet. We sat in the waiting room with other dogs waiting for our turn and she was fine. We came out of the exam room, paid our bill and she reacted to another dog, a tiny little lap dog. Now I know how frightening a 15 pound lap dog can be to a 72 pound (at the time) German Shepherd but she was being quite ridiculous. I used my body like the trainer showed me to move her around the counter and she latched on to me! The litany of curse words that followed do not need to be repeated here. It gets better, at the next training session she bit me again in the exact same spot on my calf that she got last time when we walked past the trainer’s dog, a 100+ pound Rottweiler. As tough as my dog is I think she would have lost that battle but she is a psychopath so who knows. At that point I decided that it was not worth trying to make her a dog’s dog. We found a vet to make house calls and she gets muzzled and pinch collared on walks. A little extreme? Maybe, but have you ever wrestled a (now) 80 pound German Shepherd who has blood lust for the beagle daring to cross her path? She is incredibly alpha, stubborn and dominant. Sometimes we have disagreements about who is in charge, but I think she has finally got it. I am sure people think I am rough with her when she acts a fool but if you don’t rule her with an iron fist she will run all over you, Sasha is not for the faint of heart. I have no doubt in my mind that she would defend me to the death and I would do the same for her, she is my baby. If any other family would have taken her home with her issues she would have been rehomed at best and/or euthanized at worst. I am just as stubborn as she is and that is why she is happily snoring at the foot of my bed safe and sound right now.
Now looking back I wonder if all of her aggression issues were because I was getting sicker but at the time I didn’t know it. She was really out of control after the first time my leg went numb. Dogs are very intuitive and if she picked up that her person was weaker she probably felt she had to be the protector of the pack. Even if people would stop to talk to us on our walks she would put herself between me and the person sometimes with her paw on my foot. That is dog speak for don’t even think about getting closer she’s my person. I am ok with that because with strangers, well, you never know for certain who the crazies are. The really, really good thing is that Sasha is incredibly tolerant of our people. She loves it when our friends and family come over, especially little kids, which is weird since we don’t have kids and she isn’t around children much.
In addition to Sasha’s mental issues she also has physical issues. Chicken does not agree with her. She is allergic to something and we have an appointment for the allergist in 3 weeks or so. An allergist for a dog, yes I am shaking my head as I type that. She is on people benadryl and has had to take the same steroids I do when there is a flare up with the MS. If there is one thing Sasha needs it’s ‘roid rage. She has ears that constantly have to be cleaned and this could be related to the allergy. Shepherds typically have sensitive digestive systems and skin so I guess I am not surprised by the upcoming visit to the doggy allergist. With her dog aggression issues it’s always fun to make those appointments. Hi, my dog is a psycho and only the blood of another dog can quench her thirst, so we have to clear the waiting room before I bring her in and before we leave. I will muzzle her and pinch collar her as a safety precaution but the vet shouldn’t be afraid because she loves people and our regular vet. Sasha is special.