Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tagged - The Spotty Dog Story

I've been tagged by Jenn to share the story of how my three spotties came into my life. Before I start with Pongo, I have to say that I've loved Dalmatians for as long as I can remember. Since I didn't know anyone with a Dal, it could have been the Disney influence, but actually I think I just had an obsession with black and white spotted animals. In addition to a Dal, I wanted a spotted cow, but (smartly) my parents said no to both! :)

During my freshman year at Purdue, my boyfriend at the time (who remains a good friend) learned of a young Dal who would soon be headed to the shelter because he was too much for his family with young children to handle. This would be Pongo - and from what I understand, he was spending most of his time outside chained to a tree. Long story short, my friend picked him up and brought him to West Lafayette so that I could meet him. I still remember that night...Pongo was sitting in the front seat of a pickup truck and he had just finished eating a hamburger from McDonald's (yuck, although I'm sure he was thrilled!) I remember him being very calm, quiet, and pretty reserved - I think he was probably about a year and a half then, although I wouldn't be surprised if he was a little older than what we first thought.

Needless to say, it was NOT the right time for me to get a dog (I was living in the dorms at the time) but somehow we managed to work it out and for the first year, Pongo split his time with me, my parents, and my friend's house until I moved into an apartment my sophomore year. After that, Pongo was pretty much a full time college spotty! He handled apartment life very well and adored my roommates and loved having friends over. After graduating, he moved with me to Indianapolis and four years later we moved to Florida. Looking back, I was probably a little crazy for trying to manage a young Dal and college life, but Pongo always seemed to take everything in stride. To him, moving almost every year must have seemed normal. :)

Fast forward to spring 2004 - we had just moved to Sarasota and I was really missing my horse that I had to leave behind. I wasn't sure that Pongo would be happy adding a new puppy to the mix, but after several months of looking we found Indy at Animal Services. It was love at first sight! Although Pongo was less than amused, Indy absolutely adored him and they ended up getting along great.

Fast forward to spring 2006 - Again, I found myself with a mild case of puppy fever, but at that point I wasn't seriously considering adding another spotty to the family. I just happened to be (innocently) browsing when I happened upon the cutest little dal puppy in an Orlando rescue. And again, after a lot of agonizing over whether or not it was the right time for a puppy, I found myself making the trip over on a Friday afternoon and ended coming home with the little spotted monster, aka Peyton.

So that's my not-so-little story about my three spotty dogs! Here are a few pictures from Pongo's younger years. They are all old scans so the quality isn't great, but I still think that they show what a handsome young spotty Pongo was! I think the one on top is the first picture I have of him - when he was sitting in the truck on his first visit to Purdue. Sometimes I wonder how different my life might be now if I had chosen the slightly more sensible route of not getting a dog while in college - I really can't imagine!

I think I'm supposed to tag someone now - so I'm tagging Brittany to share her story (if she hasn't already)!


BrittBeah said...

In my experience at the clinic a lot of poorly socialized dals end up being big time fear/ aggressive biters (a lot of my co workers won't mess with them :( ). Good for Pongo for getting a good home and beating the odds.

Kim said...

Although it took some time for him to really trust us, Pongo has always had a great temperament and I think he probably came from a decent breeding. On the other hand, despite excellent socialization as a puppy, Peyton is just different...not that he's a "bad" dog, but I think if I didn't work as hard as I do in training him, I could see the potential for him to develop fear aggression. Nature vs. nurture...both play a big part with any breed, but I think with Dals the nature part is especially important.