In March 2012 we were returning from Alaska after having enjoyed the start of the Iditarod sled dog race. Our flight took us through Salt Lake City. A few days before I had received an email from Yvette saying that a 3 ½ month old Sammy puppy was up for sale and adoption and would I be interested? She was the offspring of a very unscrupulous breeder (who is still breeding by the way) who had sold her as a Christmas puppy and the current owners had grown tired of her and had her up for sale. We met the owners and the pup at our hotel adjacent to the airport. She immediately stole our hearts. When we told the then owners we wanted to make her part of our family the asking price suddenly went up $100. I explained we just didn’t have the additional cash and the then owner said “well I have another buyer then”. Dejected we flew on home knowing that this adorable Sammy belonged in our home. Not six weeks later, I receive another email from Yvette and she says guess who’s up for sale again by the new owner? My roommate and I knew that it was destiny. We contacted owner number three and negotiated a price and planned our trip to Salt Lake City. This adorable Sammy then known as Kasha with the biscuit ears and nuggets of biscuit scattered on her nose, back and side was immediately renamed Natasha Black Hills Gold. More affectionately known as Tasha. As with any Sammy, she was by no means perfect. We had to do some housebreaking, which went very well. For as we all know Sammy’s deep down are very smart. Likewise, we all know Sammy’s have a tendency to be very inquisitive, like to chew, and when you try to scold them look at you with those black eyes and that irresistible Sammy smile, which invariably melts your heart. Over the next year and a half, even though she was provided numerous enrichment activity toys, she managed to go through four or five pair of glasses, a water bottle, DVDs, a camera lens, three TV remotes at last count, two pairs of shoes a 40 pound bag of potting soil and numerous squeaky toys have been systematically disemboweled. But our love for her has never waned and we are forever grateful for you Yvette having found her for us. We can only imagine and have often discussed where she might be today had she not found her forever home here in South Dakota. Oh we forgot to tell the part where when we had her spayed we had the vet check to see if her hips were “ok” because we wanted her to be able to do some skijorning and learn to pull a sled. Yup, you guessed it, because of her dubious breeding her hips were not in any shape for heavy pulling and there is a huge chance she will develop dysplasia when she gets older.  So off to the Colorado State School of Veterinary Medicine to see if anything can be done.  Nope was the answer. But she is our baby, always will be and we love her. Thank you Auntie Yvette! – Denise Parker