Junior YearsComing Home
I got Satch soon after my Toy Poodle died. My friend Jackie heard someone advertising a 1.5 yr old Yorkshire Terrier on the local radio call-in-ad program and said I should go take a look since I had casually mentioned that I might want a Yorkie for my next dog. When we went to look at Satch, I had to pull him out from under the couch. Fortunately, he didn't bite me when I reached for him. He was a shy dog then, intimidated by the two other dogs in the house and I was told this before I actually decided to take him home with me. Satch didn't have any official registration papers because his mother, who was also there when I went to see Satch, was never registered. It was obvious to me that both these dogs were purebred, not that that would have mattered to me at the time. I decided to take Satch home (how could I not? He was just too cute.) despite his lack of personality. The first two days were absolutely hell to say the least. Satch wouldn't let me touch him and actually jumped out of an open window about four feet from the ground outside to get away from me when I tried to pick him up off the bed. My roommate at the time had to chase him down the middle of the highway and literally run him down to catch him. Thank doG, no cars were coming! The third morning as I was making the bed, Satch finally decided I was okay and pounced on my hand that was wiggling under the covers. That was the beginning of our very long term relationship and from that moment on he was absolutely *my* dog.
I took Satch almost everywhere with me except work and I came home each day at lunch to let him out and play with him. During the first five years Satch went to the barn, the store (often tucked under my armpit while I shopped), jet trips in cabin when we went back to Maryland for visits. My mother loved him and when I would go out in the evenings to visit my friends, Satch would sit quietly beside her on her chair and she would gently pet him.
Satch, The Escape Artist
Satch's Switzer Pack
Adult Years...Amorous Satch
Another famous story about Satch was at my mother's funeral. My mom died in June and on short notice, I flew back east and Satch went with me, of course. Everyone went to the funeral and then came back to the house for the "wake". It was a dour scene with noone talking much because we really didn't know what to say. That was, until Satch decided to "perform" for the entire crowd of about 50 people. He had been playing in the back yard with a spayed female dog from next door. I wasn't paying very close attention to Satch because he liked to play with other dogs, no matter how big they were. Remember, this was the same shy dog I had to pull out from under the couch. Satch, who had never been bred, must have gotten himself turned on by the foreplay with the other dog and had figured out a way to give himself alot of pleasure without actually mounting the bitch. And so, in the middle of my mother's very nicely manicured back yard, with everyone watching, he began to "do his thing". One of my mother's close friends had flown in from Texas for the event and she said to me, "What is he doing?". Just as the words crossed her lips, she realized what he was doing and broke out in this high pitched cackling laughter that was so contagious no one could resist NOT laughing....except me, of course. I was totally and completely demoralized by my 7 lb. bundle of "LOVE". It was a good thing, though, because after Satch's performance, everyone was in a much more lighthearted mood and we spent several hours hashing over the good times we had spent with mom.
Satch The Protector
Satch The Hiker
Another Escape Story
Senior Years...Around about the time when we thought Satch probably wouldn't be around much longer, Karl took a liking to the Miniature Pinscher breed. I decided to get Karl a Min Pin for his birthday and Beamer came into our household. We were just getting ready to buy a house and it seemed like the right time. Beamer arrived in May of Satch's 10th year and from the day that Beamer arrived, Satch hated his guts for no apparent reason other than they were both males. He had never exhibited this kind of behavior around any other dog. Satch decided it was his job to stalk Beamer's every move and keep close track of him even when Beamer was sleeping and also when Satch should have been sleeping. Satch would sit by the couch just below where Beamer was sleeping for hours on end just waiting for Beamer to move. When Beamer would move, Satch would go on attack mode...but there was no danger because by this time most of Satch's teeth had been removed. This went on for the last seven years of Satch's life.
Satch Goes On Vacation
We went to look at some German Pinschers one day and left all the dogs in the car. When we were leaving, the breeder walked out to the car with us and had one of her GP's along with her. I opened the van door and Satch was doing his normal "happy to see you" yapping. The GP obviously didn't like the noise and dove into the van and had Satch by the throat in an instant. Karl was right on the GP's tail and was able to get ahold of the GP's collar and twist it until the GP finally released Satch. Satch was shaken but looked okay so we went on our way. Satch had a very sore neck but had survived again. He definitly was a survivor.
The Glue Boards
Satch seemed to really enjoy the trip...sniffing everything along his path. He was beginning to show his age by this time but he could still get up and romp when he wanted to. Later on in the trip, I entered an obedience trial in Texas with Beamer. We got to Texas late Thursday, found a really nice Texas State Campground and went into find the trial site, about 20 miles from camp, on Friday. Saturday we went to the trial and left Satch and the other dogs in the van with the windows cracked and the shades all drawn so they would stay cool inside. After the trial, we walked to the car and Satch must have heard us coming because when I opened the door (remember that all the shades were drawn), he launched himself from the front seat onto the pavement as soon as I opened the door. He knocked himself out this time, but I thought he was dead. His little nose was bleeding and he was limp. I freaked out and, after we deterimed he was still breathing, I wanted to find a vet as soon as possible. It was a good chance there was one in the house as this was a trial site. Karl saw him move just as we were discussing what to do next and Satch came around. He was dazed but after a few minutes he was walking again and again seemed no worse for the wear. His neck was sore but he bounced back and, after a few days, was back to his old self...stalking Beamer and enjoying the ride.
The last six months Satch was with us, he began to have trouble getting up and down the 2 stairs into the dog yard and would go on the porch to potty. Karl was somewhat disgusted by this, I think, although I always cleaned it up right away. Anyway, Karl decided to build Satch a little handicapped ramp to the dog yard complete with asphalt shingles for traction. I told Karl that he would never teach Satch, at this age, to use a ramp. Satch's sight was pretty bad by now but dog gone if Karl didn't shuffle Satch over to and down the ramp enough times that Satch caught on. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? This gave Satch a new lease on life for about four more months. He really enjoyed spring and early summer in the yard and would spend time walking around and sniffing the air.
It was a really tough decision to put Satch to sleep but he seemed uncomfortable all the time. He would whine off and on all night and sometimes fall (or jump, I never knew) off the bed. He was having trouble breathing and walking. It was time and I knew it. It is probably the hardest single decision I've ever had to make. How do you really know if their quality of life is suffering? My clue was that he was no longer stalking Beamer which had been the primary purpose of his life for the last seven years. Maybe he'll get better next week....all this stuff goes through your head before you make the final decision. The day I decided, he had been awake most of the night, and had been wandering around aimlessly for a couple days. He had quit stalking Beamer even when Beamer walked right past him. He had been having trouble getting up and down the ramp all weekend. I made an appointment with the vet on Monday. It was a beautiful gorgeous summer day. Of course, Satch decided that he could now get up and down the ramp and spent the day going back and forth from the yard to the house and I thought about cancelling the appointment but in my heart I knew it was time. He had a peaceful last day on this earth. It was hard but I decided because he had been so loyal to me all his life that I just couldn't leave him with the vet, a stranger. So I stayed with Satch while they gave him the final injection and I watched him relax his body completely for the first time in what seemed like years. The vet did a quick exam before he gave him the injection and reassured me that I had made the right choice. His little old body had just plain wore out!
Satch led a long and lively life and was a true terrier through and through. He drove me nuts for years with his constant and incessant barking at nothing. Little did I know what I was getting into that day when I pulled him from under that couch. He was always a loyal companion. He was one of the best travelled pets in America and had more freedom than most dogs ever get. He was a survivor and lucky despite my lack of responsibility for his welfare in the early years...He is sorely missed and will always be a part of our lives in our memories....I'll see in the next life, Satch.