We adopted Sasso in May 2014 from the Paws4Ever Animal Sanctuary in Mebane, North Carolina. Paws4Ever is a no-kill mixed breed animal rescue that pulls animals out of the local (sadly, high-kill) shelters. I had been volunteering there for a couple of months, walking dogs and playing with cats, and I fell in love with Sasso (then called Francine) when she was brought in.
Sasso was then about 8 months old and had been a stray. She was picked up by animal control and taken to the Chatham County animal shelter. When Paws4Ever got her, she was skin and bones, half the weight she is now. And because she was a stray as a puppy, she is extremely skittish. When we adopted her, the human world was a frightening and mysterious place; cars, paved roads, garbage cans, doors, strollers, bicycles, ladders, plastic bags, paper bags . . . you get the picture . . . were terrifying. She has gotten much, much more confident in the time she’s been with us. Although she will probably always be a cautious dog, she now runs and wrestles with the other dogs in the dog park and no longer tries to bolt when a stranger walks by on her morning walk. Watching her relax and grow to be comfortable with us and the world around her has been heartwarming.
Officially Sasso is a hound mix (and she punctuates her barking with a bay here and there to prove it), but we’ve been told she looks like a Plott hound, the North Carolina state dog. That makes her the perfect mascot for my exploration of her state.