The many scrapes and scruffs he's encountered in his dog life only served to feed his machismo. He always says, "Chicks dig scars."
His arch enemy, Bud the Wolf, lives up the street from us. In the summer of 1996 Satch and Bud got into a super scrap. Bud is about the size of a Volkswagon and he sits behind the front door window all day watching Satch run free. One day Bud got lose and the two of them went at it. Satch came away with a fractured front leg and a bloody eye. Bud had rips in his ears and snout. Even today they hate each other and raise hackles when they see each other.
Satch and I decided that when he died as all dogs do, he would like to die from being attacked by a bear. Dying from old age or a car accident is so pedestrian. We spent many camping trips as he chased skunks, deer, and foxes, but we never encountered a bear big enough to do him serious damage. I did however have cause for concern from mounting veterinarian bills. His various salves and antibiotic pills cost copious cash and I attempted to dissuade him from continuing on the violent course he had chosen.
Finally, in the summer of 1994 on Grateful Dead tour, after I'd spent the entire West Coast Tour up to Seattle pulling him off every hippie boy dog he ran into on Shakedown Street, something inside him just switched off. Perhaps it was all the hippie chicks, perhaps it was a sudden cosmic event coupled with the fact that after weeks on the road with a bunch of partying DeadHeads he just got dog tired.
Regardless, as his muzzle began to gray he mellowed. These days he hardly bears a fang unless it is to warn some young would be dominatrix mounting male of his once mighty wrath. He has had a few fights, some of them pretty horrific, but overall he's survived. The boy has chilled. With his ascent into social circles in the Bay Area, he has a reputation of sophistication to uphold rather than his youthful street-wise scrappiness. Satch the angry young man has mellowed into Satch the demur, Satch the lover, Satch the successful and prosperous older man.