Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Posted February 21, 2014
I found my 9-month-old pitbull dalmation mix on the side of the road, tied to another dog with a shoelace. She was so sick and malnourished that she couldn’t even stand up; the other dog (in slightly better condition) was trying to drag her down the street.
I do not know if it was due to her breed, temperament, the special bond foraged by the circumstances of our introduction, or a combination of these and others, but my pitbull dalmation mix and I were soon inseparable. She was by far the most loyal dog I’ve ever had and was quick to pick up on my mood and act accordingly, whatever it happened to be.
She always stayed nearby and mostly managed not to be underfoot when I was working around the house. However, within seconds of me sitting sown, she would start trying to creep into my lap. Her favorite spots were sleeping between my legs on the recliner or sharing my pillow. We broke more than one recliner (apparently 60-lb dogs aren’t meant to sleep on the footrest for extended periods of time) and she snored pretty loud, but I wouldn’t have traded it for the world.
My pitbull dalmation mix was very well behaved in general and particularly obedient if I was the one giving the instruction. She rarely barked (almost always at the gardener or other people wandering around outside the house) and never chewed much of anything she wasn’t supposed to. She actually never chewed much at all. Unfortunately, she was rather fond of catching things outside (giant sewer roaches, frogs, etc), bringing them inside, and tossing them up in the air repeatedly… never killed them though. Disposal was apparently my job.
At about 3 years of age, she developed epilepsy. Again, I’m not sure if it is in the nature of the breed or if it was related to her illnesses when I found her. Regardless, I got her on medication quickly. Even so, she usually had a day where she would have 2-5 seizures grand mal seizures once a month. “Seizure Day” usually started in the middle of the night, which would scare me half to death every time it happened even though I knew what was going on. It would also result in me having to do a load of laundry as she always wet herself during the seizures. In response, I got a highly efficient mattress protector, invested in a lot of towels, and opted for tile instead of carpet when I remodeled my house, thus making Seizure Day a pretty small inconvenience for having such a sweet, affectionate, and loyal dog.
We settled into an easy-to-maintain vet routine and she made it five years before there was a rapid and significant increase in seizure incidents, most likely due to a lesion on her brain. Over the course of a few months, we went from having Seizure Day once a month to having it every few days. One day she just wouldn’t stop seizing. A few seconds after she would come out of one seizure, she would lapse into another. There was nothing left for me to do but put her down.
In spite of the bugs, the pee, and the crushing sadness of losing her so quickly, I would do it again in a heartbeat. She was the sweetest, most unbelievable loving creature I’ve ever had the joy of having in my life. You simply couldn’t ask for a better dog.