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Wild Ones

Sasha Alex Sloan Is on the Hunt For the Perfect Wedding Guest Dresses For Her Dogs

Send Etsy suggestions her way.

by Nisha Gopalan
October 26, 2022
Sasha Alex Sloane wearing a bright red sweatshirt and light blue jeans holding her two small tan dogs while standing outside in the woods
Photo: David O’Donohue

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You know those Hallmark commercials from back in the day that give you the fuzziest feelings? Now, imagine them with dogs, their owners, and a tear-jerking song! That’s the vibe of soulful-pop singer Sasha Alex Sloan’s August-released video for her single “Thank You.” It’s on her second album, I Blame the World, a May 2022 release that accurately captures all the angst, disappointment, and apprehensions of this modern age.

We’re not exaggerating: She actually has a sobering song about global warming called — wait for it — “Global Warming.” Another song, titled “Adult,” features one of the most gutting lyrics released in years: “It finally hurts being hungover / But it’s still not worse than being sober.”

But thanks to her dogs, Sloan is not always bummed out. Ask her about her Chihuahua mixes Dory and Frida, and she will light up like puppy confronting a bubble machine. The Wildest recently did just that, and she spilled the beans on everything from the creative inspiration she finds at Costco to the beloved dog pillow she keeps on her tour bus.

Photo: David O’Donohue

Can you tell me about your amazing, dog-filled video for your single “Thank You?”

The song is actually about my significant other. But I started singing it around the house to my dogs. And I was like, “Oh man, how fun would it be to just, you know, make a music video for them, about them?” Meanings-wise, the songs can change depending on where you are in life. That’s what’s so cool about music. Anyways, I digress. So yeah, I had this idea: Why don’t we highlight me and my dogs? And then, my friend David [Od, the video’s director] said he knew a bunch of people in Nashville who had awesome dogs. I left for tour while a lot of it was being filmed. The first time I watched the edit, I started tearing up. I didn’t expect to, but it was just so touching to see other people with their animals.

And your dogs, Frida and Dory, are in the video, too.

They’re both rescue dogs. My fiancé and I adopted Frida in 2019 in LA, when she was three months old. And then we moved to Nashville with her. And later, my friend Catherine [at a rescue] texted me a photo of Dory — they found her on the side of the road in Alabama next to a stop sign. She was like, “I hate to text you this, but I think you’re gonna love this puppy.” And I was like, “Damn it. I guess you’re getting a second dog.”

Photo: David O’Donohue

Tell me about their personalities.

Frida is super anxious. She doesn’t do well around other dogs or people. She just loves her people being at home. That is her safe space. She’s the sweetest dog in the world. Dory’s personality is the total opposite. She loves people. She loves other dogs. It doesn’t matter how big they are. When she sees a Great Dane, she’ll start licking them. She’s just fearless.

Do they get along OK?

When we first got Dory, she was 12 weeks. Frida was almost three. So there was definitely an adjustment period of Frida tolerating a puppy biting her ears all the time to play. But now Dory has chilled out, and they they’re starting to cuddle. I think they’re, like, doing it privately, though, because I’ll catch them cuddling and being cute, and I’m like, “Why don’t you guys do this openly in front of me, you weirdos?”

Is Frida named after Frida Kahlo?

She is! And Dory is named after Dory from the show Search Party. Dog names are really hard, by the way. I can’t imagine doing it for a child at this point, because I feel like I struggled so much with dogs.

Can you tell me about this bit in the video where your dog spins in circles? Was that a trick you taught her?

That was Frida. I don’t know why I taught her that trick. She is not very well-trained, but she knows how to spin on command! And I’m like, “You know what? We’ll take what we can get.” She also knows sit, down, shake. She is very well behaved and smart. Dory? Um, so far she’s only mastered “sit.” Sometimes I wonder if she even knows her own name.

Photo: David O’Donohue

Well, she is only a year old. So, when you when you’re working on your music, are you writing at home?

Yeah, I mean, it’s kind of both home and the studio. I sometimes start ideas in the middle of my kitchen and just voice note it. And then everything typically gets finished in the studio. But, you know, I come up with things on a walk or when I’m at Costco. It’s just so random. I like it to feel authentic and real to my life. So I try not to rush the process when I’m writing.

You’re the first musician I’ve spoken who has found inspiration at Costco! How cooperative are the dogs when you’re at home?

Oh, they’re honestly great. They can read a room. Like, they’ll both get really excited at first, but usually they are very chill, especially when it’s just my fiancé and I at home. They love to cuddle. They burrow in our bed at night. They always like either sitting touching your leg or on your lap. If I’m sitting at the piano, one of them will definitely hop into my lap. They’re always hanging out and keeping me company. Sometimes it’s annoying because Frida will start barking at literally anything. So a lot of my voice notes have a dog barking in the background. When I replay it and listen to it, it’ll trigger Frida’s barking again. It’s like an endless cycle of dogs barking at themselves.

Photo: David O’Donohue

Your album is called I Blame the World, which we can all relate to. How have your dogs helped you keep your sanity through all of this? There’s public health, politics, the economy…

When I made the album, the pandemic hit everyone really hard, and politically the U.S. was just a mess. It was a really, really depressing time, and I did not take it well. My fiancé and I were those people who wouldn’t leave their house — for a year and a half straight. It’s just so nice to have pets. Something that loves you unconditionally. Not only that, but they don’t know what’s going on. They don’t know what’s on the TV. All they care about is sitting on your lap and wagging their tails. I can get so cynical and dark and just be in my own world of negativity. But having little furry friends running around all the time that have no idea that the world can be really scary is what I needed. 

Then, when I went on tour, yes, I missed my fiancé. But when he FaceTimes me, I’m like, “Show me the dogs!” Dory has no idea what’s happening. Frida knows my voice. Actually, a fan made me a pillow of Dory, with her face on it, that he gave to me at a meet-and-greet that I did. I will ever forget this fan, because he’s clearly an icon. I put it on the bus, and afterwards I found myself cuddling with it at night.

Photo: David O’Donohue

So I have a very important question for you. Halloween is coming up. Will you be dressing the dogs?

I’m not sure what they’re gonna be yet. But my fiancé and I are getting married in November. So I’ve been busy scouring Etsy trying to find dresses for them for that event.

Are you gonna strap the rings to them, or anything like that?

I don’t know if I trust either of them enough for that. All I can say is that Etsy has some incredible people out there making the cutest dog dresses I’ve ever seen in my life.

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Nisha Gopalan

Nisha Gopalan has been a writer/editor for The New York Times, New York magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and NYLON magazines. She currently resides in Los Angeles.