My baby girl Dascha died today. The house feels so empty without her.

My mom and I conspired to get her for TJ a month or so after we lost Anja. Anja was TJ’s best friend for 14 years. She picked her out right after we moved from Okinawa to Tucson. I can’t tell you the number of times Anja saved TJ’s life. Literally. Anyone close to us knows how bad TJ’s depression was before she got on regular medication. There were many times that Anja’s well being and love kept her from ending it. We were both devastated by Anja’s passing but I wasn’t sure that TJ would have made it without a little help from another furry friend.

When Dascha joined the family, she was only 5 weeks old. And TJ was a couple months pregnant and suffering from some serious morning sickness. All day long. We still had Cheyenne, my shepherd/husky mix, and between the two of us (me & Shy-Shy) we potty trained and bottle fed Dascha through puppyhood.

Dascha was like no other dog that we’d ever had. And we’ve had several over the past 24 years. She was just a happy-go-lucky girl. She only had three concerns in life: Play, eat, and sleep. In that order. Even when she slept, she had a toy tucked close to her body. If you tried to love her up, she would break away and grab a toy and come back so you could throw it for her. I’ve never seen a dog with the level of concentration or catching ability before. Ever. She was amazing. Even last night she was amazing in her ability to figure out where I would throw her Kong over the 1/2 wall separating the living room from the dining room. She rarely missed a catch. As opposed to our other German Shepherd, Abby, who can’t catch anything no matter how close you toss it to her mouth.

While I cook or wash dishes, Dascha was a constant presence. She would sit at the boundary of the kitchen staring at me because she would have already put a toy right behind my foot and she was waiting for me to kick it or throw it for her to retrieve. Damn it, I keep turning around expecting to see her. Its so hard knowing that I’m never going to curse her for trying to kill me with a toy silently placed behind my foot.

I miss you, big girl.

Comment if you want. You know, no pressure.

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