Last Edited: Oct 14, 2008 8:47 AM
OUR DOG SHASTA
(AKA, THE SHASTAMEISTER)
Shasta came into our household in November of 1996. She was our first dog.
She was a great puppy, even though she basically flunked puppy kindergarten
at the training school. She was having too much fun running around.
Shasta was the best trained dog, as long as the trainer was watching. As
soon as it was our turn, she was not interested. At home, Shasta
fulfilled her mission as a companion and a lap dog. When we sat on a couch
or a chair, Shasta leaped right up there to do her job. She was a
number one couch potato! She was a funny dog too. She watched a particular
sprinkler head on our front lawn from the front window. Once she worked up
the courage, she ran out the front door and attacked that sprinkler head
with all her might. She barked at it, chewed on it and basically tried to
destroy it. She did this many, many times a day, or as many times as
we would indulge her. We never quite figured out why she hated that
particular sprinkler head. We actually never even used the lawn sprinkler
system and kept it shut off. Once, a friend convinced us to unscrew
that sprinkler head and remove it from the lawn. She wanted to see what
Shasta would do. Once removed, water started shooting out of the open
pipe…even though the water was turned off. Water came out for several hours.
We had greater respect for Shasta’s judgment after that, since surely that
sprinkler head was bewitched.
Shasta was also a great squirrel chaser. It was unfortunate that the trees
in our neighborhood were just too tall. She never caught one, but she never
gave up trying either. She was a very loving and loyal dog. Her only
interests in life, aside from that one sprinkler head and squirrels, was
spending time with us, her human family. She followed me everywhere. I had
to accept the fact that she was the “Alpha” dog in our relationship.
Once she turned those big brown eyes on me, I did what she wanted. I began
to suspect that was not the best way to raise a dog, but we had a wonderful
10 years together. Thank goodness for the vets and staff at
Greenlake Animal Clinic, who taught me everything I knew about taking car of
Shasta. She loved her vets and was so cooperative for every procedure. It
was always heartwarming to know they loved her too. I will remember Drs.
Mortimer, Richardson and Spencer for all their support for me and care for
Shasta was a beautiful dog and a wonderful member of our household. She
loved to sleep nestled between our shoes, and we would find her in a pile of
shoes waiting for us at the back door everyday when we came home. She
was happiest tearing apart toilet paper rolls and eating my daughter’s
homework. She loved to go outside and walk, so she could pick up little
scraps of paper litter and drag them with her. Shasta would rather
tear Kleenex and eat it, than play fetch. Perhaps this habit was
somehow related to that sprinkler head…
Our home is quieter without Shasta. She would be watching me type this, or
sleeping next to me on the floor if she were here right now. How can you
beat that? Shasta left us too soon, but her memory is a blessing for us. I
never had a dog before Shasta, so I did not understand how much this loss
hurts. She was a small dog, but she had a big presence in our household and
a big heart.