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Pets Large & Small

I would like to introduce you to Sasha

Jennifer Vanderau
Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter

(3/2017) This girl has so stolen my heart. Allow me to explain. On September 8, we arrived at the shelter to find a dog in the outside kennel. Sadly, this isnít a unique occurrence, but the little terrier girl we found inside has turned into such a sweetheart.

We discovered she was found running around and brought to us overnight. We named her Sasha and realized sheís definitely a senior lady Ė at least 10 years old.

When she was spayed the vet found a lump. Thatís never good on an older dog, but we hoped for the best when we sent it out to be biopsied. It came back with a very small percentage of cancerous cells.

The good news is the vet believes she got it all. Now, we just need to find Sasha a second chance.

This little baby has quite the personality. On Thursday mornings I take animals to the radio station, News Talk 103.7, to promote them. Itís in downtown Chambersburg and is actually surrounded by glass so all the passerby can see in. Itís pretty cool.

Anyway the morning I took her it was cold. Darn cold. In fact, I think it was snowing a bit. When I pulled up outside of the station and went around to the passenger side to get her, she took one look at me and one look at the ground and I swear I could read her mind saying, "Oh, no way, sister. Iím not doing that."

She stayed in the car. No kidding. I couldnít get her out no matter what I did.

We laughed about it on the air and I took a picture of her little face in the window. So cute!

Itís when I got her back to the shelter that I thought, "Now what?" How was I going to get her out of the car? She had recently had her surgery, so I didnít really want to pick her up.

This time, when I opened the passenger door, she crawled over to the driverís seat. No matter how much I reasoned with her about this was the shelter where her kennel and breakfast were. Nothing.

So I sat in the seat next to her and again went for logic. This time, she put her front paws on the console between us and when I leaned downed to plead my case one more time, she licked my nose.

That was the exact moment my heart became hers.

She walked slowly into my lap and I scooped her up and took her back in.

As is evidenced from this story, Sasha hates the cold. In fact, she has a fluffy bed and a blanket in her kennel that she likes to snuggle up in Ė and by "snuggle up in" I mean you often donít realize thereís a dog in the kennel. Sheís on her bed, under the blanket and sheís really just a lump.

The cutest thing she does when someone gets her attention is poke her head out from the blanket and walk out of the bed Ė dragging the blanket behind her. Because of this, I often have to check on her to make sure sheís actually covered up. If you step into her kennel and hold the blanket over her bed, sheíll crawl right in and wait for you to cover her. Thatís what she wants and sheís so happy to be able to snuggle in that bed and blanket.

Itís so dear.

Our friends at Wilson College recently gave her a dental. And just this morning, she was video taped for a Dog Law informational segment on the importance of licensing your pup. She was quite the star!

Our dog warden was filmed taking Sasha in and out of the truck and what a little trooper our Sasha was. In fact, for the return segment to the kennel, Sasha apparently didnít want to stop filming. They had already done it twice and little Sasha was ready for a third take. She strutted right down the kennel floor like a model on a runway.

I said she was just finding her inner Kim Kardashian! Ha!

Everyone that was here for the video and everyone at Wilson College fell really hard for this sweet girl.

I really think getting Sasha her dental and surgeries has helped her feel better. She really does seem to trot around with a swing in her step more than before.

Hereís the thing. I know Sasha is a senior pet and I know she comes with a somewhat cancerous growth already having been removed. And I know a lot of people canít stand the pain of losing a four-legged friend and arenít all that anxious to take on an older one because the time will be short.

But even though the time may be short, it doesnít mean it canít be special and poignant and filled with great memories. It doesnít mean it wonít mean something to an older dog who really needs someone to reach out and say, "Youíre not broken. Youíre still worthy of love."

And Sasha. Man, if any animal is worthy of love itís her. Sasha has those eyes that seem to just look right into your soul. And she has the sweetest personality.

Sheís been through a lot, I wonít sugar coat it, but I think because she still maintains such a sweetness, such a soft charm, it makes her quite special.

No one looks for the older dogs. Everyone wants the puppies.

No one gives a thought to the pup who Ė through no fault of her own Ė found herself in a shelter later in life and would like nothing more than a nice bed and a kind touch for however many years she may have left.

I know itís difficult and it requires a very special, very big heart to take on this kind of thing, but if you give my Sasha a chance, I promise you wonít be disappointed.


Jennifer Vanderau is the Director of Communications for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter in Chambersburg, Pa., and can be reached at The shelter accepts both monetary and pet supply donations. For more information, call the shelter at (717) 263-5791 or visit the website

Read other articles by Jennifer Vanderau