A Word From Sasha



Alpha Mother has been telling me for months that I could have a go at her blog.

“The time will come. Just be patient,” she’d say each time I gave her that “look.”

So imagine my surprise when she called me over this morning and said, “This is the day. Write something up and I’ll take a look at it.”

Please don’t think she’s just being generous. No; I’m actually helping her out. She’s doing NaNoWriMo this month — her first crack at fiction too — and is a little pressed for time.

NaNoWriMo?  National Novel Writing Month. It’s every November.  Nationwide. Seems to be a big deal. I don’t know any more than you do at this point, but then I can’t Google it.

So, me to the rescue here. I love coming to the rescue. It’s in my genes, you know.

Since this is my first blog (I am secretly hoping that there will be others) I thought I would start out with an overview of what a day in my life is like here at Birch Tree Farm.

In future posts I’ll perhaps wax a bit more metaphysical. Or is that ethereal? Philosophical or esoteric? I get them mixed up.

I’m a dog; what do you expect!  I’m a pure bred white shepherd actually. Just like Rin Tin Tin — a distant uncle.  The white is a genetic mutation that some breeders seem to prefer. I’m just glad they don’t mess around with my hips.

So, back to my day.

It generally starts off with a snuggle with Alpha Mom herself.

Sometimes she gives me a massage. I love those. I think that’s why I allow her to be alpha mom. I was heading down the alpha dog path my first few years, before I got that first massage.  Oh, I’d do anything for her now.

When it’s time to get up, we go into the kitchen.  Well, I go into the kitchen. She stops off in the little room I never go in.  Finally, she joins me in the kitchen.

It’s up to me what happens next.  Sometimes I go outside right away. You never know what critters may have come through during the night and I like to get out there asap and check it out.

Sometimes I eat first.

Soon, it’s time to settle in underneath the bow windows where she and alpha pop sit to have a chat each morning. It’s a “what’s on your schedule today” sort of converstion.  I generally fall asleep.

I used to wag my tail at this point, but my tail would invariably hit one of their coffee cups and … oh the mess …

So, now I just lie down between alpha mom’s chair and the wall.  It’s tight, but I do it. I love hearing their voices as I fall off to sleep. I could spend all my days this way.

But I don’t. I have work to do.

As I said, there are the critters to control.

I once chased a mama bear and her two cubs off the property.  Boy, was that fun! And not hard at all. I just told them — in no uncertain terms — that they were trespassing and if they didn’t move on, quickly too, I’d have to come down there and show them a thing or two.

While I was saying all this, I made myself really tall by jumping, kangaroo-style, as I ran down towards them.  I must say, the attitude Alpha mom and pop had toward me after that was, shall we say, deferential?  They might not have realized it, but I noticed the difference right away.

I’ve chased off a few more bears since that day, but they were just loners. Easy peasy. “Woof, woof,” and off they go.

During the summer they get me chickens to play with. Well, not really play. Boy, are they tasty.  This upsets alpha mom, so I don’t do it often. Besides, she doesn’t let them run loose anymore.

Once I chased a fox who was nosing around.  Alpha mom let her guard down around me with the chickens after that and I was able to get a really plump one cornered in the barn.


But the chickens get sold come fall. Seems there are lots of folks up here who want chickens to lay eggs for them and the alphas and I raise the chicks until they are old enough to produce eggs.  Then they sell, which makes my alpha mom very happy. I don’t understand that part of it. Money never much interested me.

All I know is that when I eat one of the chickens, she loses money. I wish I could be better about that.

Alpha mom and pop do chores in the morning and I help. 

At the moment we have two little piglets. I’m still trying to figure them out. They’re a hard nut to crack.

Here, take a look at this video of me and the pigs. It won’t take a minute.

They don’t run away from me the way the chickens did. I like them, in fact, even if they do nip at me. I’ve asked them often to play, but they just keep nipping at me.

If we could figure out the language, I’m sure it would all work out. Maybe it’s their names that keep them from having a good time. I suppose I’d be a little standoffish too if my name were Breakfast or Brunch.

Sometimes they find a way out of the fence that the alphas put up.  Then we really have fun.  They can dig really well with their nose. I tried that, but I do better with my legs.  Front legs mostly.  We had a race once.  The pigs got more holes dug, but my one hole was way bigger.

Alpha mom didn’t like either one. She said nobody won that day.

At lunch I assume the position I take during breakfast.  Or, sometimes, I lay on the rug in front of the woodstove.  Haven’t done that in a while though. It’s not been cold enough for a fire.

If I’m really lucky,  alpha mom takes me on a  hike after lunch. We have lots of paths through our woods and every time we hike, I find something new to chase. A something that hasn’t yet gotten the word to stay far away from my domain.

Yup. I’ve pretty much gotten the word out.  We have no more deer trapsing through here. No raccoons, squirrels, or even chipmunks anymore. I’m quite proud of that though I’ve heard alpha mom complain to visitors that she doesn’t get to see any wildlife unless she goes to her friend Abby’s house in Montpelier.

I let a moose slip through a year or two ago. I was sleeping and alpha mom didn’t wake me up. She took pictures too. It was so embarrassing when I finally woke up and realized what I’d missed.

And sometimes I let the wild turkeys stay. They seem to make the alphas happy.

Once in a while I’ll go for car rides, but mostly, I “stay home.” That’s the command the alphas use when they go away. Then, I go over to Gramma’s house.  She lives nearby and she always gives me a treat when I come over. She has a big basket with all my toys in it and she even puts a special rug out on her bed for just me, too. That’s because I’m special.

That’s how most of my days go. How do your days go? 

18 Responses

  1. Susan Jackson
    | Reply

    What a cute blog

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Thanks Susan. Sasha tells me she had a good time.

  2. Merril Smith
    | Reply

    Sasha is very cute, and she sounds like a great companion.
    I didn’t know you raised chickens and pigs. It looked like Sasha really wanted to play, but the pigs didn’t know or care about the game.
    I had some puppy time last week. My younger daughter and son-in-law were away for a couple of days, so we took care of our grandpets.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Hi Merril. Sasha has grown into a great dog. We actually started out with ducks. I enjoyed them more than I do the chickens. But poultry seems to be Sasha’s one downside. Can’t overcome 1000 years of instinct, no matter how well trained she is.

  3. Ian Mathie
    | Reply

    Reading this blog to Mungo her reckons you have quite a cushy life. He has all sorts of pesky cats to deal with and there’s one that sits on top of the neighbour’s wall and just stares at him which really gets him wound up. Apart from that one, most clear off at his first woof, generally at top speed as he’s nipped a couple of tails in his younger days and the word’s gone round.
    Still, it’s good to hear how other pedigrees live. He’s busy sleeping in preparation for his twelfth birthday tomorrow, so please excuse his second hand response. He’ll try and stay awake next time.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Sasha tells me she will defer to the wisdom of the older generation. But, between you and I, she really digs his name.

      • Ian Mathie
        | Reply

        Mungo’s subtitle is ‘Controller of Cats and Squirrels’! He’s so effective in this role that we even get a few hazel nuts each year because he’s stopped the squirrels pinching them. He earns his keep by that alone, apart from being my best pal and constant companion. 🙂 Today is his twelfth birthday, so he got an extra big rawhide chew toothbrush. It lasted a full 40 minutes! 🙂

  4. Kathleen Pooler
    | Reply

    Oh Sasha, you are indeed very special. How lucky alpha mom and pop are to have you around to control all those critters. Please be sure to tell alpha mom how much I loved hearing from you. Max would love to meet you someday. He likes to chase critters too. Keep having fun 🙂

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Alpha mom says, the more the merrier. Maybe in the snow? I get lost in the snow and we can play hide and seek.

  5. Sharon Lippincott
    | Reply

    Sasha, I was shopping for food to put in my soon-to-be occupied Austin kitchen when this post was published and missed it. Circling back around from your May post about Janet’s audiobook, I’m glad I found it and hope to read lots more from you. Who knows? Perhaps you could lobby Janet for a blog of your own one of these days. But hurry — you’re not getting younger.

  6. Janet Givens
    | Reply

    Why thanky kindly Miss Sharon. I shur do ‘preciate your sayin’ that. ‘N I rightly b’leeve I could do a jolly job with my very own blog.

    Alpha Mom says she’d miss me being able to fill in for her on occasion. And that is my first job, as you know. But who knows. We’ve planted a seed, you and I. Now let’s just see if it’s gonna sprout.

    • Ian Mathie
      | Reply

      Make sure and dig the seed up regularly to check how it’s doing, just like you do with old bones! 🙂

  7. Janet Givens
    | Reply

    Mr Mathie, sir. I’m afraid there are no such thing as old bones ’round here where I live. Why, one evening, back a few years, I diligently planted a great bone that Alpha mom gave me. She even watched me do it. But when we both went back to get it the next morning, it was gone. Coyote, fox, raccoon, catamount, the list of likely culprits is endless. Prob’ly not bear, deer, or moose. If you could come up with a different metaphor for the seed planting I’d sure ‘preciate it.

    • Ian Mathie
      | Reply

      Mungo’s advice is to plant the seed and pee on it, Sasha. That should keep the meeces and other lill critters off!
      Sorry you lost your ripening bone, though. You could always try burying it in the chicken coop, that might keep the coyotes off and the chookies wouldn’t be interested if you dig it down a bit beynd scratching depth. 🙂

  8. […] A Word From Sasha on Nov. 11, 2015 and A Guest Post from Sasha on May 25, 2016 […]

  9. […] As some of you know, I’ve made my living here with Alpha mom and pop by chasing away the bear, the squirrels, the deer, the chipmunks, and the grasshoppers (those I eat). I do this with equal abandon.  Alpha mom still loves to tell the story of my first bear-off.  You can read about it here. […]

  10. Darlene Foster
    | Reply

    Sounds like a good life, Sasha. #seniorsalon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a blog you'd like to share? I use CommentLuv Click here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.