Pet Spotlight: Tracy Weber and Tasha

Crime Spree Tasha CouchSecurity Chiefs and Soul Mates
I never believed in love at first sight until the night I met my three-week-old puppy. I had high expectations of dog ownership. After all, I had dreamt about owning a German shepherd for well over a decade, which was how long it took me to convince my animal-fur-allergic husband that our home—which already housed four cats—had enough space for a one-hundred-pound behemoth.
At three weeks old, Tasha wasn’t yet able to show me her personality. She and her littermates barely had their eyes open and they couldn’t control their back ends, so they dragged their legs and tails behind them like miniature seals. Still, I knew she was “the one” as soon as I saw her. I pointed at my new dog, gave the breeder a check for way too much money, and announced that her name was no longer “Puppy,” it was Tasha, after Tasha Yar, the chief of security in Star Trek, the Next Generation.

That was my first mistake.

Ask any mailman, houseguest, or yoga student that that Tasha has chased out of “her” territory and they’ll tell you: Tasha takes her job as security chief very seriously.

Tasha is much like Bella, the dog in my series. She is huge (over a hundred pounds), stubborn, and sometimes unruly. She knows more English than I do and she’s learning to spell. She is also smart, kind, and loyal. Once you’re Tasha-approved, you’re her friend for life. She has suffered from a variety of significant, life-threatening health issues, but she always manages to pull through. Veterinarians and trainers both have told me that if Tasha had been adopted by any other owner, she wouldn’t have lived past the age of two.

Crime Spree Tasha and BearTo be honest, I doubt most people really “get” my connection to this wise, wonderful, deeply flawed creature. They smile politely while I blather on about her newest exploits and roll their eyes at each new health-related expense. Some bluntly ask if I’ve ever considered hiring a dog trainer.

Answer? Yes. We’ve gone through dozens of them.

Tasha will never be the poster child for German shepherd health and behavior, but she’s exactly the dog the universe intended for me. She’s taught me patience, creativity, and the need to sometimes give up control. Most of all, she’s taught me that I can receive—and give—love without condition. I’m a better person for having had her in my life. At age ten, her muzzle’s going gray, and her walks are getting slower. But I cherish each and every moment I get to share with her.
Dog lovers often talk about their “heart dog.” Their one and only doggie soul mate. If it’s true that we only get one in this lifetime, Tasha is mine. I have a feeling I’m her soul mate, too.
Crime Spree Tasha and Tracy 2
Tracy Weber is the author of the award-winning Downward Dog Mysteries series featuring yoga teacher Kate and her feisty German shepherd, Bella. Tracy loves sharing her passion for yoga and animals in any form possible. The second book in her series, A Killer Retreat, will be published January 8, 2015 by Midnight Ink.

Tracy and her husband live in Seattle with their challenging yet amazing German shepherd Tasha. When she’s not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house.
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