satchAlso known as Satch, his full name was Satchmo. No particular connection to the first one, but I like to think of both our Satchmo and Louis Armstrong as gentle giants. Certainly, Big ‘Mo was. When he would encounter a small dog who would be afraid of ‘Mo’s 90 lbs. of muscle, Satch would lie down to get as low as he could so the small dog wouldn’t feel threaten. And often he would roll over on his back to submit himself to some 10 lb. toy dog.

Not that he couldn’t defend himself if needed or if his adopted brother Duke would get into a scrap, Satch was there with him, but somewhat reluctantly so. Mostly, he just wanted to love on you and be loved in return, which he was.

Satch was mostly boxer but we suspect with a touch of Bull Mastiff, which infused his gentle spirit. Like most boxers he couldn’t comprehend his size or strength. He would often come up to you sitting in a chair and put his front paws and then his chest in your lap—a 90 lb. lap dog—while his hind legs held up the rest of him. And yes he would occasionally see if he could get his entire body up there.

Boxers look fierce, but they are not aggressive. Our daughter Kate tells the story of when a drunk college kid broke into her apartment. Satch heard the broken glass and immediately started—whining. He wasn’t about to confront the spooks in the night, though in a real danger, I know he would have fought to the death for any of us.

Kate, her sister Hunter and Zack regularly broke my rule that dogs not be allowed in the bed. Whenever they could they gladly relinquished most of their bed to Satch and sometimes Duke, too.

When we rescued Satch, then ironically named Sugar Ray—again, he was not a fighter, he was a bit timid, thin and didn’t know how to climb stairs. He bulked up, learned about stairs and spent his life giving our family lots of love, though he wasn’t much for kisses. That was fortunate if you’ve ever seen a boxer with a long slobber drooling for his lips.

But like many boxers, he succumbed to cancer yesterday. We were able to relieve his misery with all three kids connected by Skype to say goodbye. He was one great dog. So long, Satch.