Bonita Springs – Satcha and Pam Umscheid started their 11 year relationship with a fish. Umsheid’s previous long-haired dachshund was a rescued dog and a beloved family pet that had been gone for nearly two years. Their busy lifestyle did not leave room for a new dog.
“Let’s go to Fort Myers and trade my fish,” suggested her spouse, Tom, one Florida morning. “You can play with the puppies.”
The trip to the pet shop was for the aquarium. Little did they know that the puppies that day would include a charming dachshund, black with long hair.
Umscheid made three more trips to the pet shop in Fort Myers to visit the puppy before she could resist no longer. She bought the puppy and took her home. Soon Satcha was playing puppy tricks on the family in their Bonita Springs home. The first look at the black puppy with big feet stole Umscheid’s heart. It was true that the entire family had careers and a new puppy was challenging compared to an older dog. They preferred dogs from shelters. Their son Luke started with a list of reasons why they did not need another dog and ended naming the new puppy.
“Satcha was supposed to be a mini. Big feet were a clue to the present 21 pounds instead of six to eight,” explained Umscheid.
The dachshund, meaning “badger dog” in German, was bred in Germany three centuries ago as a hunting dog with a keen sense of smell. It is one breed with three varieties (longhaired, smooth and wirehaired) and two sizes (standard and miniature). Described by the AKC as a lovable and playful companion, it is a popular pet, no longer thought of as a fighter of vicious badgers.
The puppy trained quickly and slept most of the day when the family was not home. Umscheid returned home at lunch. An active life has never required a kennel; friends or family watch Satcha if she just can’t travel along. She would miss her neighborhood where she’s everyone’s friend and has a special ability to calm even the hyper dogs. She simply sits still until they calm down. As a puppy, she tried the usual puppy tricks: trailing toilet paper around the house; wearing embarrassing articles of clothing into the midst of company; and actually fighting for clothing while a family member was dressing. Those days evolved into watching the neighborhood from the window and enjoying her visits on the leash.
Her special friend is the neighbor’s small parrot, Sport, perhaps more a curiosity than a friend. When the neighbor travels, Umsheid and Satcha watch the parrot. Once, when Sport was on the porch, an open cage door provided unexpected freedom; Umscheid found both the parrot and Satcha walking in circles around the table legs, stopping to stare at each other, not quite sure how to react to sharing the same space.
Satcha learned quickly that Sport is an eating machine. Satcha hovers around the cage to pick up what Sport might throw out or drop. Each time Satcha eats on schedule, Sport dines as well. Satcha is quite tolerant of the feathered visitor just as she is tolerant of other dogs.
“Satcha is content watching clouds and birds and neighbors from the front window,” said Umscheid. “She is a very calming influence by her own easy going disposition; however, she can be quite stubborn. When it’s time for a walk, she might decide to just sit instead. I have actually carried her nearly half a block to let her know sitting was not an option!”
Satcha has one speed, slow (unless she sees a squirrel). As a result, she forces her busy family to slow down and appreciate a walk and what they see around them.
“Taking care of her yields unconditional love and appreciation that’s hard to find everywhere. She makes us laugh. We are more human because Satcha is in our lives,” Pam said with a smile.