Sasha is an adorable little Husky mix. We found her one winter. She was outside and had a dog house, but it could’ve been better. Judy and I ended up knocking on the door and meeting Sasha’s owner, Ben. It was Christmas eve day 2010 and Ben had no utilities, no job, no money for gas to put into his car to even look for work. He was really down, very depressed. We stood there and talked to him for quite a while. He did love Sasha, but Sasha was truly one of those dogs that didn’t like to be inside. I guess it was the husky in her, but she liked the cold. She’s just lay on top of the snow. We gave Sasha a better dog house anyway, put hay in it and left Ben with a bunch of food and treats.
We stood there and tried to encourage him. He was a man of faith and we talked about life and discouragement and persevering. While I was still talking to Ben, Judy went back to the van. I wasn’t sure what she was getting, but when she came back, she pressed a $20 bill into Ben’s hand. Ben was shocked and said, “but it’s Christmas, you need this” and Judy smiled at him and said, “I’ve already had my Christmas, I’m just fine, please take it”. Ben cried-he literally cried and he hugged both of us tight and he said, “you two are my angels. I was ready to just not go on any longer, I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore and there you were, knocking on my door-you’re my angels.”
That began a relationship with Ben and his two teen-age sons. He was a single father and was struggling, but his boys are good boys. They were able to get their utilities back on. We spayed Sasha and dropped food every once in awhile to help Ben financially.
One day I received a call from Ben. He was upset and said that he’d been out walking Sasha and a pit bull had run out of someone’s yard and tried to get Sasha. He scooped her up in his arms and turned, but the pit got the back of her leg. Ben had no money to take her to the vet and he was pretty worried about her. We went over and picked Sasha up. She had some puncture wounds on the back side of her leg, but other than that, she was ok. Thank God, Ben immediately picked her up and turned away from the pit or it could’ve been a lot worse. We got Sasha fixed up and took her home with her antibiotics and pain meds. We took Ben a crate to try and keep her in the house, because she really did want to be outside.
We kept in touch, swung by once in awhile and things seemed to be going fine. A couple of weeks ago, my phone rang about 9:00 p.m. It was Ben’s son. He told me that he’d been walking Sasha and the same dog came out of the yard and got her again. Oh no! I could not believe it. This was a year after the last incidence. He told me that his dad was in the hospital and he didn’t know what to do. I told him I’d be right there. I went and picked up Sasha. She was holding her back leg up, and had some puncture wounds, but it was hard to tell the entire damage. I took her back to Kennedy’s Animal Clinic and got Dr. Kennedy on the phone. We decided to get her on some pain meds and start antibiotics. In the morning they’d have to knock her out and really see what we were dealing with. This time, Sasha’s wounds were worse than before.
We got her taken care of the next morning. Ben’s boys were calling me. The entire family was so worried about her. Sasha had to stay at the clinic for about 5 days while we dealt with her wounds. She is a spirited little girl, though, and most of the time acted like nothing was too much wrong with her. We finally were able to take Sasha home the other day. Ben had just gotten home from the hospital and the family was so happy to see her. Sasha had the biggest smile on her face! She was happy to be home.
We are pursuing the issue with the pit bull. Just remember, it’s not the dog’s fault. This pit bull obviously has a totally irresponsible owner. Unfortunately, Sasha has paid the price for this. Of course, they are never walking Sasha on that street again. Sasha has been a very bright spot in a family that has struggled. Dogs are so intelligent, so perceptive-they come and give hugs just when you need it the most. That’s what Sasha has meant to these 3 men.
Chain of Hope does a lot more in the community than just help animals. We build relationships with people. There are many, many good people that embrace us and welcome us when we pull up. Thank you for your support. We are serving the community in ways no one else is.