One year, and I still miss you every day. This is my Sasha.
I met Sasha when she was just 3 weeks old and barely big enough to spill out of my hands in warm and wiggly fur. We brought her home two weeks later on the Fourth of July.
From that time on, she was a constant companion. Sasha was the first dog I had raised from a puppy . We walked together (sometimes VERY early), went to obedience classes, and took care of each other. We learned from each other. She had all of the great traits of her breed and I became a confirmed GSD advocate whenever anyone mentioned getting a dog.
Sasha was with us for seven years. She left with no warning at all. When the vet called to let us know that she had died, it was the worst day of my life -- made ten times worse by the fact that I was out of town and hours away. But in hindsight, I think that she left on her terms. I never saw her sick or weak from the cancer that (we later learned) took her. My last memory is rubbing her ears and reminding her to be good for the staff at the kennel.
I think of her every day. Last month in Williamsburg, I had to hide tears from a stranger with a lanky young shepherd on a lead. The pup's eyes were so like my Sasha's. It's a bittersweet reminder of the joy of her with the ache of her absence.