I call Satia (say-shuh) “little” even though she weighed over 60lbs. I also call her a “puppy” dog, even though she’s over ten. But the biggest understatement of all is to call her simply, “happy.” She had a Spirit that was damn near indomitable, and she enjoyed the hell out of every day she had.
When anyone came to the door she would immediately tear off through the house looking for her “Proud.” A ball, bone, or other such toy she could proudly display as greeting yours or anyone else’s arrival. She would then dance around you, her “Proud” tightly clutched, madly wagging her tail as hard as she could. We knew because her whip like tail hurt! If she was next to something that resonated you’d even hear her before you made it through the door. WHAP! WHAP! WHAP! WHAP! WHAP! WHAP!
She never so much ran, as simply picked a direction and threw herself that way. Other dogs may trot, but she either sprinted, legs churning to keep up with her momentum, or she would slowly walk towards you, regardless of any hurry you happened to be in. She also loved the ancient art of “Rolly-Polly.” She would flop on her back, twisting and wiggling back and forth, happily grunting the whole while. She was so prodigious at it that she would come running into the bedroom at full speed, leap towards the bed, and begin her roll in midair! She would land on her back, already in mid flop, and the Rolly-Polly would commence. It is just one of the many puppy things that she never did quite get around to outgrowing.
We got her from the Humane Society where she was 1/11 of a sharpei/pitbull litter dropped off in the Spring of 2005. We already had Zack, a 2 year old lab/border collie, so he came with us to meet his prospective sibling. We introduced Tomika first, one of Satia’s sisters. She saw Zack and tried to hide from him behind our legs. So they brought Satia in. Her response to Zack was to jump on him and start playing. She became part of our life that day. Whenever she wasn’t playing with Zack she would follow you around the house, room to room, just to stay close. Thus earning her the endearingly appropriate nickname, “Bug.”
Naps for her were an especial favorite, and she slept with us from the get go. She was all of a foot and a half long, could be easily picked up with one hand, and could snore louder than a grizzly with a sinus infection. Or, more appropriately, if you imagine a grizzly with a sinus infection snoring, that would be her. It was ridiculously loud, and would usually start deep in the middle of the night, startling you awake. We soon learned you had to adjust her head just a bit to stop it, but we seriously wondered if we would ever get sleep again before learning the trick. She was a vigorous sleeper and she ran with as much abandon in her sleep as she did awake. She would also often bark in her sleep, which was an adorably, soft ruffruffruffruff. She epitomized joy and exuberance every day. Everything she did, she did at full throttle. Even when it came to laying down she wouldn’t slowly lower herself so much as just drop straight down, or flop on her side.
Unfortunately we noticed one day she had a growth on her abdomen around her umbilical area that didn’t look good. Our vet agreed and he promptly removed it, but our fears were realized, triplefold. She had cancer. It had metastasized. It had become systemic. Our beautiful spirit had only a matter of weeks, maybe a year left with Chemo. Maybe. We opted for the Chemo, and decided to make the most of that year.
Three years later, and she was still with us! Even as recently as this past Spring our vet would see her and marvel, “Does she know she’s not supposed to be around?”
“No,” we’d say, “she doesn’t even know she supposed to be sick.”
And she really didn’t. Several times in these past three years we’ve thought, “This is it. It’s her time,” only to have her prove us wrong. The last time, six weeks ago, she waited until hours before the scheduled appointment before making a happy recovery from her downturn; giving us more time with our happy little puppy dog.
Today though was finally her time, and we let her go this evening. Though her body was no longer able to support her Spirit, we know her Spirit is far from done. Godspeed my happy little, puppy-dog. You will be dearly missed but I look forward to seeing you again on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. I cannot wait to see what you bring me as your proud
D. Paul Angel