Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Posted June 20, 2015
Indy was a dalmation that we took home from a small rescue shelter that was part of a vet practice in Pompano Beach, FL. I always get my pets, Indy and two cats, from rescue shelters. Please don't support a cruel industry, which it isn't always but often is, especially when you can help adopt an animal that could otherwise be put down.
We assume Indy wasn't a purebred because her spots were not completely black. She was also nothing like the stereotypical, difficult dalmations that we had heard about. However, we were told that she was pure bread from at the shelter and have no other experience with dalmatians to compare her to.
She was a gentle animal that loved us very much. She loved to cuddle and do anything she could to make you happy. She could get a little hyper, especially around new people. But that was only the case if she didn't get enough exercise during the day. We walked her twice a day and was let off her leash often on fields and whatnot. Even when she saw a cat and was ready to pounce, she would look at me for approval. If I said no, she wouldn't chase it. If I said yes, she would go at it. She never hurt another animal though. Even if she caught a cat, she wouldn't even pick it up and certainly would never bite it. She has never bitten anything in her life. Even taking food from my hand, it was always very gentle.
She could sit or 'go get it', and would not use the furniture. But she was never trained with anything other than love and she responded very well to that. We never felt the need to train her beyond these simple things.
Training her to not poop or pee was not too difficult. She peed inside for the first couple days and then occasionally for a couple weeks. I don't recall poop being much of an issue. When we discovered where she like peeing in the house, we laid newspaper there and she learned to use the paper after a couple days. We slowly moved that paper until it was in our back yard and then eventually stopped using paper. That seemed to work just fine. Taking her for a lot of walks also helped a lot as exercise made her want to go.
It was a very sad ending for us with her, although not tragic. We had to give her up after she was about ten years old. I was young and had moved out of the house to go on tour with a show as a sound engineer. My mother had to sell the house because of financial troubles. She moved in with a friend for a few months where pets couldn't stay. Then she moved back to her native Poland. She couldn't keep her and it broke her heart. I'm crying just writing this. She was given to some friends of friends of friends of friends who were rich farmers with a huge amount of land. I never saw her again and by now she must have passed on. She was my hero. She made me feel better when sick or depressed. She was companion and best friend. I would have thrown myself in front of a bus for her and and I know she would have done the same for me. I miss her.
Indy was the most incredible companion and was never any trouble for us. She was loving and gentle. She was always healthy. She shed a lot of hair and really needed to be well brushed every day. If you do that, the hair won't be any trouble. I wouldn't dream of recommending another kind of dog. When I see another dalmatian nowadays, my heart just melts away. Did I mention that I miss her?