Mrs. Dada and I got our first dog in '88. I don't know what took us so long. Perhaps we were too busy for a dog while building lives of quiet desperation.
Her name was Susan and she was the runt of the litter. Her coming to us was the realization of a dream we'd long had to one day have a dalmation. (Some subliminal Walt Disney marketing, no doubt.)
I recall one of Susan's early visits to our vet when he remarked, "She doesn't seem the least bit squirrelly." My wife and I looked at each other in puzzlement. We didn't know that part of their reputation. But for a first dog, Susan the dalmation turned out to be all the dog one could ask for -- and more.
I realize many with dogs reading that may feel the same way about your own. We learned this from our three subsequent dogs, 2 retired greyhound racers, and one "feral" greyhound rescued from the pound by the local greyhound rescue people, adopted out, and then returned to them five years later when her owners became pregnant and were no longer able to afford "Annie."
As with Susan, our first, each of the greyhounds succeeding her proved to be more than anyone could ask for in a dog. It's still a puzzle to me how Annie's previous owners would opt to give up such a great dog instead of their new baby. (Okay, okay, that was tongue-in-cheek for those who prefer people over dogs.)
With the departure of our last greyhound, Pony, this past May, I noticed after a couple of months I began making friends with neighborhood dogs during walks. I wouldn't walk without a couple of dog cookies on me. This was followed by a growing interest in the "Dogs" section of the classified ads a month or so later.
After reading the same ad for dalmation puppies for over a week, I could no longer resist. I called just to "visit" with the woman selling them. And after our conversation, I realized I'd made a date for Mrs. Dada and I to meet her and view the two remaining females she had left.
The next afternoon, we visited the dalmations for almost an hour. I took a liking to the litter runt (pictured here on the left). But as we had agreed before our visit, Mrs. Dada and I left dogless with a promise to call the next day to reveal our decision. We did that before departing for a greyhound "meet and greet" the following morning. "We aren't quite ready to adopt just yet," we told the nice lady.
There were only a couple of greyhounds available. I bonded with one already taken. Probably because that was safest. Pictured here is one of those up for adoption. Her name is Byline B-Line. (You have to love their racing names.) Again we managed to come away dogless.
But two days later I found myself at the Humane Society. We've heard the larger dogs are the ones least likely to be adopted, so those are the ones I decided to visit. Three in particular caught my attention. I took notes on each: age, sex, whether housebroken, why they ended up here, etc.
And then there was the dalmation mix. We spent a half hour with him in one of the yards, then left. That was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. As the doors of the Humane Society opened the Friday after, we were there.
The rest is pretty much history. Named Luxor by his previous family, then "Charlie" by us, and now "Sammy" (his final name, I hope), he hopped in the car for his ride to his new home. On the way, he fell asleep.
After two weeks with this boy, we can honestly say, Sammy the dalmation has turned out to be all the dog one could ask for -- and more. But that seems to be the nature of most dogs, doesn't it?