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K9 Sasha - A success story...

Say hello to Sasha! She has been with us for a long time because her story is very unique. Her owner Chris told us how he came about having her and the road they have taken to get to the smiling face we get to see now. Let’s take a look at her story…


A restaurant in Simi Valley had been seeing her in the hills for six to eight months. Eating from their trash and living among coyotes she was clearly not in good health. They then contacted a group in Simi Valley that help locate and rescue missing pets. It took Dog Days Animal Search and Rescue three months to get her from the wild. Once she was finally in their custody a group member took her home and posted a photo searching for someone to house her and bring her back to good health. That’s when Chris came in to the picture.

Chris picked Sasha up and took her back to his house. At this point Sasha was not trusting of anyone, would snarl and growl (as seen in the left hand side of the photo), and was not socialized at all. For two to three months she continued to snarl at Chris as he tried to gain her trust. Everyday him and his wife would sit in a room with Sasha, petting and talking to her. After months of this she finally began to feel comfortable with them. At this time Chris had Sasha for about five months when someone from the Simi Valley Missing Pets recommended the Cal Search K9 Obedience course with Mike and Ann.


Sasha was evaluated by the Cal Search K9 Instructors to see what her condition was before she entered the course. From over twenty feet away Sasha was growling at them and would not let anyone near her or Chris. They entered obedience class and though the aggression continued, she began to become calmer and more trusting. Chris learned how to respond to her aggression and learned how to respond to signs of defensive behavior. For some time Mike and Ann would get closer and closer until they eventually were able to pet Sasha. This expanded to other members of class approaching and petting Sasha to socialize her with new people, though she was always muzzled for safety of others.


Over a year later, Chris and Sasha continue to come to class to keep her socialized in a safe and controlled environment. She recently was able to take her muzzle off and works well in the class. The photo on the right hand side is a recent photo of her holding a down stay with a smile on her face! Sasha’s journey has been a long one and they are a good example of the time and patience some dogs need to overcome more extreme behavioral problems.

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