Morgan and Lizen, two incredibly compassionate people, decided that they would not only foster dogs, but also foster children. They had fostered several different dogs from Angels Among Us including both sick dogs and old dogs. Little did they know that two particular fosters would become their permanent family members. The then-foster daughter of Morgan and Lizen was dealing with symptoms and issues related to her past life. After noticing that their foster dog Sascha helped alleviate and calm the symptoms of their foster daughter, Morgan and Lizen knew a strong bond was being created. This bond began to flourish and ultimately led to Morgan and Lizen’s adoption of both their foster daughter and Sascha. Interestingly enough, Morgan and Lizen adopted the inseparable pair on the same exact day, paving the way for a new chapter and beginning as a family.
The beginning of Sascha’s life was not ideal. She had been in a sorority house and was found with pink and blue spray paint all over her fur. She was eventually confiscated from the sorority house and ended up with Angels Among Us before entering the home of Morgan and Lizen at around 5 to 8 months old. Morgan and Lizen are very experienced foster dog parents, as they had been fostering for about five years, and they loved small dogs so the match was perfect. The couple already had their then-foster daughter when Sascha entered their lives. Interestingly enough, the two noticed right away that their foster daughter had a very special bond with Sascha.
Their foster daughter has some anxieties and PTSD from her life before her foster family and Sascha was an incredible help with that. Sascha picked up on their adopted daughters’ anxieties pretty quickly, which resulted in Morgan and Lizen realizing that the two couldn’t be separated. At one point, before being trained as a service dog, Sascha attempted to alert Morgan and Lizen of oncoming anxiety in their daughter. Not understanding what Sascha was trying to tell them, they ended up sending their daughter to school only to receive a call from the school later that day that their daughter had a terrible fever and was sent home.
They decided to adopt the pair only one month of having Sascha in their care once they realized the impact Sascha had not only on their daughter but on their entire family. On the day of the adoption for both their daughter and Sascha, they gave their daughter a necklace and a card that read “Do you want to be Sascha’s forever mom?” Needless to say, the pair are inseparable.
Sascha is a very small dog, which isn’t a “typical service dog breed”. Sascha’s size didn’t stop the family from training her to be the best possible service dog possible for their daughter. It was a long, difficult process that took over one year to complete but they finally did it. It also took extra time after training to find a service dog vest for such a small dog. Sascha clearly warns her family when her mom is in danger and also lets them know when she needs a break. It’s a very understanding relationship between the family.
[Sascha] is a goofball but she is the most loving, understanding and well-behaved dog.Morgan
Sascha was specifically trained to sense when her mom’s anxiety would begin to pump and alert her family so they could get her to a safe place. Sascha’s alerts help Morgan and Lizen use skills they’ve learned from therapy to keep from their adopted daughter’s anxiety from getting worse to even a dangerous point.
Sascha isn’t the only dog the family has. Morgan and Lizen have three other dogs, all with their own distinct personalities. Sascha isn’t just a service dog for their daughter, but also for their other dogs. Sascha had no issues fitting in with their already existing pack, all of whom are also rescues.
Morgan is extremely passionate about rescuing dogs. She explained that “thousands and thousands of dogs die each day in the shelter and for every single dog that dies in the shelter, there’s a human that’s responsible for it.” Rescuing isn’t easy and foster dogs tend to be in the worst circumstances but rescuing makes the difficult times worth it and can be so rewarding. If Morgan and Lizen hadn’t rescued Sascha, who knows what type of situation Sascha or their daughter would be in today. Luckily, we don’t have to think about the what-ifs and can simply appreciate the miracle bond that occurred when the two were brought together.
There are tons of dogs in shelters waiting for their forever family. Many have amazing backstories that really drive home why people may choose to adopt or foster. For more stories like Sascha’s and information on upcoming events, check out the Rescue Dog Games site.
For the published version of this story on the official Rescue Dog Games site, click this link!