‘Happiness is a warm puppy’

So said Charles Schulz, creator of Peanuts. I am in complete agreement. My dog Sasha, a beautiful yellow Labrador, is the center of attention in our family, and in return she is loving, loyal, and always ready to snuggle. She is a consistent source of comfort and joy in our lives, and I don’t know what we’d do without her. So although I’ve shared a few photos of her before, I wanted to take today to give you a proper introduction!

A winter puppy

A winter puppy


Our first dog when I was growing up was Shayna, another yellow Labrador, who was a member of the family before my brother or I were even thought of. She was a wonderful dog, who definitely behaved according to her place as our predecessor, watching over us like a guardian who slept between the doors of our two bedrooms at night. Sadly, she passed away when I was in middle school. A few years later, we decided it was time to bring another puppy into our family, and Sasha was born on Valentine’s Day of 2006.




We got the call from the breeder while watching the figure skating competition of the Torino Winter Olympics. My mom and I both loved Sasha Cohen’s routines, and thus came our Sasha’s name! I like to joke that it was already in the cards. Shayna came first in our family, but before her, my parents’ respective dogs when they were younger were named Sparky and Socky. It was a totally unintentional tradition, but Sasha carried on the S initial.


Taking over the armchair in the library

Taking over the armchair in the library

She grew from the most adorable little puppy into one of the cutest adult dogs ever. It’s funny, but she seems to know her place in our family just like Shayna did – except her place is that of the baby, who came into a household with two teenagers and was doted on by everyone. And she still has a puppy face, even at age 9. When Sasha is in a room, she commands the attention of everyone present. She has her spot on a choice piece of furniture in every room of my childhood home, whether it’s right in the middle of your bed or on the center cushion of the living room couch.



She loves long walks and playing outside, but only if you play with her. She just loves attention from all humans and other dogs. I am one of those people who thinks a proper dog needs to weigh at least 20 lbs, and Sasha agrees – but she will play with even the smallest dogs, treating them like her own pet!

Playing soccer...

Playing snow soccer…

...but on the alert to see if you're trying to sneak more than a few steps away!

…but only if you play too!









As evidenced, she is in her element in the snow. She loves to make “dog angels” and can scamper through fresh powder faster than we can chase her while wearing clunky snowboots.


Aren't you coming?

Aren’t you coming?

Fine, I'll sit and wait.

Fine, I’ll sit and wait.









But there is definitely a Sasha for all seasons. She is always ready to cuddle (or receive a belly rub).


Sasha sunbathing

Of course, she can sunbathe with us in spring!

And no matter the season, dog is man's best friend.

And no matter the season, dog is man’s best friend.













I’m happy spring is here, because it means my fingers won’t freeze while we’re going for long tramps through the woods. But later in the season, I’ll look back fondly on the snow, because of Sasha.


Sisters in the snow

Sisters in the snowstorm of 2011



Do you have a canine companion? What’s your favorite memory if you do?



© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.


2 thoughts on “‘Happiness is a warm puppy’

  1. “Who ever said you can’t buy happiness never bought a Labrador” – Can’t remember who said that but I don’t think there’s anything more true. Except perhaps the title of your post. Sasha is gorgeous. With my dogs we also accidentally followed the “S” names – but we did so while following the water theme – Splash and Surf. Both Labs, both of whom will swim until their tails can hardly wag. Splash was named after our first dog who’d race down to the lake and take massive flying leaps into the water that would soak everyone on the dock. Funnily enough, while Splash loved the water, the only splash she’d ever make was when she fell in. My favourite thing about them is the Joie-de-Vivre they bring everything they do. Flying through the snow – love it. Sleeping in the sun or chasing leopard frogs – love it. Eating – love it (duh. Labs.) Going on the same 5km walk they’ve gone on every single day of their life. Love it (and woe to the person who tries to convince them they don’t need to go on the walk in the torrential downpour…)


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