At Satchel's Last Resort, we provide lifelong shelter to dogs deemed unadoptable, nurture and train borderline dogs, and offer temporary shelter to adoptable dogs whose owners can no longer care for them. We believe all dogs are created equal and deserve to live the life of a beloved pet. Each dog that comes to us has its own unique and personal history. We get to know each dog individually – his favorite toy, his favorite game, his favorite foods. The residents (dogs forever with Satchel's) and guests (adoptable dogs) live in an airy shelter with spacious kennels, go for three romps or walks per day, and even take the occasional car ride to let their fur flap in the wind. Most important to us, we keep our dogs safe from other residents and from humans who may want to harm them. Behaviorists work with the dogs a few times a week to teach them that they can trust humans and other animals. We actively seek forever homes tailored to the needs of our adoptable dogs so that they can live the rest of their lives among a family of their own. We believe that by harnessing the unconditional love that the dogs in our sanctuary put forth everyday, the world becomes a brighter place for animals and people. Each and everyday we try to give a little of their love back – back to the dogs and back to our community.
WHO IS SATCHEL?
Satchel was my magnificent mahogany Irish Setter. He was goofy and smart; the only dog I’ve ever known who seemed able to actually weigh the consequences of his behavior. He would look at me, look at whatever it was he desired, decide if he could get to it before I could get to him; determine if it was worth it, then the race was on! Satchel embraced all that came into his life with optimism and acceptance. I was one of only a handful of women traders on the Chicago Board of Trade back when I got Satchel; he changed my life. He brought me back down to earth. My love for him forced me to live more responsibly. His unbridled enthusiasm for his daily routine was a huge life lesson for me. He showed me that no dog ever has a bad walk; I realized what a great way that is, for all of us, to go through life.
HOW WE GOT STARTED
When Michael (my husband) and I were still living in Chicago, we found a stray Chesapeake Bay Retriever on the streets. It took us hours, and I mean hours to catch him. Both of us were on the board of a local shelter at the time so we took him there. They wouldn’t take him due to his “bad” temperament. The SPCA turned us away also; as did a national rescue out west. He was so wild no rescue would take him, so we took him home and loved him. That was the beginning. It took some time but we were able to turn him around, to accept our companionship and the companionship of other dogs as well. Originally we called him Grouchie, but as he progressed we felt perhaps that name was doing him a disservice so we changed his name to Bouchy. What we learned from our experience with Bouchy was that there was a need for a “place” for dogs like him. And we wondered - if we could turn Bouchy around –could we do that for other dogs? We wanted to take unloved dogs and love them; to take throw away dogs and turn them into viable, productive members of society. Everything we’ve done since then has just evolved from that first experience. We have two dogs, originally strays that we are especially proud of. One is a service dog assisting a polio victim in Bradenton. The other, Finn, is now a service dog for a man in Tampa who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis.
OUR FUTURE GOALS
- To fence and light the seven acres behind the kennels at Satchel's Last Resort so the dogs can spend more time running around outside.
- To rebuild the kennels so that every dog has their own indoor and outdoor area.
- To build two new cat rooms: one for HIV cats and one for cats with feline leukemia.
- To obedience train our adoptable dogs and to help those who adopt them continue with that training.