Pet Tips 'n' Tales

Shasta the Sears Roebuck Dog

Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Diane and Rich, owners of Sears in Cottage Grove hug their newest fun-loving sales staff- member, 2 -year-old Shasta.  Shasta is named after Mount Shasta, and she brings her sunny Californian spirit to her job at Sears!


Last Christmas, Rich and Diane spent the holidays with their daughter in California. They did not come home alone!  They visited an animal shelter and fell in puppy-love with a beautiful blond dog, Shasta.

Shasta, a Golden Lab-Siberian Husky mix had spent her Christmas in the shelter without a family.  In October, Shasta was rescued from the streets and gave birth to eight beautiful pups at the shelter.  "The puppies found families for Christmas, but sadly, sweet Shasta was left behind," explains Diane. "Lucky for us!"

Shasta suddenly found herself in the warm back seat of Rich and Diane's green pickup truck heading north to a new home and life. Shasta was a big-city dog about to experience the wonders of country life and a part-time job!  What a wonderful way to start a New Year.

These days, Shasta greets Sear's customers with her soft, fluffy, gently-wagging Husky tail. Then she escorts the customers to the appliances. "It looks just like she is pointing out appliance features," laughs Diane.

But maybe Shasta's motivation is more self-centered! "She loves being petted and would do it 24/7 if she found a willing scratcher!" admits Rich.

Not only is Shasta the store greeter, she is an Amazon Parkway dog park facilitator. She joyfully greets each new dog and engages them in friendly play.

Shasta's manners have improved since her adoption. Thank goodness! At first, Shasta was so excited to be out of the small, confined shelter cell that she exhibited the energy of a toy Jack in a Box just released.  Or like Mount Shasta, a volcano, she erupted! She bounced through their house like Winnie the Pooh's over exuberant Tigger!

"Shasta bounded up and over our sofa, gnawed a chair leg, chewed through all her leashes, jumped up on the bed to 'help' me make the bed, and she has pulled the stuffing out of every quilt in sight," remembers Diane. Whew! Just hearing about it is exhausting!

Observing Shasta's joyful nature is like watching a child's first wide-eyed trip to Disneyland.  Everything is new, thrilling, and a wonderful adventure! 

"At the sight of her first horse, Shasta stopped in her tracks; then she walked over to the fence and kissed the horse nose-to-nose. 

At the sight of her first river, Shasta cautiously approached and backed up several times.  She was nervous.  She spotted a submerged rock and bravely slapped it with her paw.  The rock rolled, and she jumped back, uncertain if it was attacking her. 

Her first trip to the beach had us laughing as well.  Shasta approached a half-buried sea shell.  She sniffed the shell and backed off a couple of times before convincing herself that it was not going to jump up and bite her.

A dusting of barely-visible snow was met by Shasta's intense and comprehensive sniffing. Every inch of our flower bed was thoroughly investigated.  For the small amount of snow and the time involved in sniffing, well, we were all laughing again."

There is one haunting thing that Shasta does.  She sits in front of Sears' double-glass doors and intensely watches each child as they enter or leave the school bus that stops in front of the store's parking lot. It is as if she is missing and grieving her lost human child from her previous home.

"It's her body language, how she bobs and moves, that makes us know she is looking for a specific child. We have great compassion because Shasta is obviously grieving and searching for the child," says Diane. "In the meantime, Shasta enjoys playing with the children who come into the store."

"When our 16-year-old Retriever, Allie, died in November 2008, we did not realize how much we needed a furry friend in our lives.  Shasta completes our family and adds more joy to our home.

She also comes with health benefits! Shasta encourages us to turn off the TV and walk.  We soon find ourselves laughing and romping like children with her. Shasta's keen senses alert us to the beauty of the everyday things in our surroundings.  Her 'presents' encourages us to take a deep relaxing breath in our busy lives. 

We often stand beside Shasta watching as she thrills at her freedom from the shelter. After three months, it is possible that she had lost hope of ever having a happy life. Her perspective on life has freed our spirits as well.  She teaches us to appreciate and enjoy life more," said Diane.  "We hope that Shasta's story helps others consider rescuing a deserving shelter pup."

"Shasta's Sears working hours are Sunday 11-4 and Wednesday 9-5.  Come visit Shasta and join her back-scratching, head-patting fan club!" invites Rich

"Are Vaccinations Killing Our Pets?"
Author John Clifton asks this question in his book, Stop The Shots after his dog Sparky contracted cancer.  Become an educated pet parent; listen to his radio interview.
Shasta invites you to visit: Pet Adoptions
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