Adversity comes in all forms. Sasha, a lovable 5-year-old golden retriever and border collie mix, has experienced nearly every one of them.
"Well this dog has a semi-rare form of cancer that I've never actually seen before," explained Dr. Rachel Hays, who's worked for the Austin Animal Center for 11 years.
The cancer was discovered in a ping-pong ball size tumor.
Fortunately for Sasha, Dr. Hays said the treatment for her cancer had a 95 percent success rate. It's one of the few times you can use "fortunate" to describe Sasha.
Prior to being brought to Austin Animal Center, she was shot by a pellet gun. And during an exam, Dr. Hays also found injuries consistent with being hit by a car. In both those cases, Sasha did not receive the treatment she needed.
"Those injuries were never treated, and so they healed not quite in alignment. So she has a little bit of a funny gait in her back end, but it really doesn't slow her down at all," said Dr. Hays.
Through it all - she's kept the same smile on her face.
"She's been kind of dealt a difficult hand to start her life with. But she still has an absolutely great attitude, and she's as sweet as she can possibly be. And she doesn't know she has any actual problems," said Dr. Hays.
Sasha is the first dog the Austin Animal Center has treated for cancer.
"It's an opportunity because all of her problems are something that can either be treated or managed, and we know that there's a good outcome. We know that we can help her, and we can make her have a better quality of life, and she will be able to make a really, really good pet for someone," said Dr. Hays.
Over seven weeks, Dr. Hays treated Sasha, all while Cole Allen and his girlfriend fostered her.
"She's been through hell and back," said Allen.
Despite the paw she's been dealt, Dr. Hays and Allen say you'd never guess it by her temperament.
"It's amazing to me to see how sweet and how gentle of a dog she is given everything she's been through," Allen said.
"She's probably the most affectionate and sweetest dog I've ever met," Allen said.
Now, sweet Sasha is looking to find a forever home.
"She'd be somebody's best friend. She would love to go on long walks with somebody, or even just cuddle up with you while you read a book," said Allen.
Because if any dog deserves a day - it's Sasha.
Austin Animal Center is open from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. every day of the week. You can learn more about them here.
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