June 16, 1994 – August 18, 2005

Ko’s Tasha, Bh, CD, TT, FDCh:  June 16, 1994 – August 18, 2005

Tasha was my first German Shepherd and frankly she terrified me.  The kids talked us into buying her and then of course left me to train her.  I remember our first week when this little black 12 week old puppy “cornered” me in the back yard barking at me.  When I finally got into the house I swore she was going back to the breeder.  But she didn’t of course and she lived with us as part of our family for 11 years.

They weren’t easy years – she was stubborn and a nervous dog.  Training was hard on both of us, especially as I was a rookie handler.  I hope she forgave me for the mistakes I made and loved me anyway.

I enjoyed working with her and competing in agility and flyball; although she hated agility trials (demos were fine).  Flyball was more fun because it was less structured (at least she thought so).  It was hard to have to retire her when she was 4 due to Hip Dysplasia.

Tasha was really a family dog – she never did bond to only one of us.  I think she decided she had to share her love with everyone.  She never liked riding in a crate in the car and I didn’t push it.  She loved to ride in my Mustang convertible with the top down harnessed in the back seat.  When we went on trips or even to the dog park, she would whine in anticipation “are we there yet?”

Tasha acted in 2 movies – Dogmatic and Murder She Purred.  It is comforting to know that I can watch her in action in the videos at any time as she was back then – young and full of life and good health.  A jewellery maker also used her as the model for ear rings, a brooch and a watch so she will always be with me when I wear them.

When she was 2, we adopted Roo, the kitten she quickly adopted as her baby.  Roo grew up thinking he was a German Shepherd and Tasha was his mother.  They slept together and I know that Roo will mourn her passing as much as we will.  She tolerated Killian who came to us when she was 4 and although he ignored her, he acknowledged she was the Alpha and I think he too will miss her.

I knew the day would come that we would have to say goodbye to her but it came sooner than I expected.  I knew I would never let her suffer in pain and the decision to let her go was made easier by the thought that she would be free from pain.  We spoiled her a lot in her final days at home and I spent a lot of time talking to her and telling her how much I loved her.   As she looked into my eyes I knew she was telling me it was alright to let her go.

On the day she left us to go to the Rainbow Bridge, the vet came to the house and Ron and I sat with her as she lay on her crate mat in her favourite place in the back yard in the sun.  Heather has been her vet for 9 years and we reminisced how Tasha was her first tennis ball removal patient.  I held her in my arms as she gave one sigh and went to sleep.

I never thought of her as my heart dog but today there is a little piece of my heart that is missing.  Run free and healthy with the angels dear Tasha and know that your mom and dad and family miss you already.

-- Pat & Ron Saito and family