Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Training: Attended conferences / shows
Posted April 18, 2015
My uncle actually found Romeo, the dalmatian, near his job. He would wander over and the workers started giving him food and toys making him somewhat their pet. When the weather got cooler, we didn't want him living outside so he was brought home to us. We put fliers up indicating we had found the dog around the neighborhood and to call to claim him. We took him to our family vet to make sure he was up to date on shots and didn't have any illnesses or even if he had a microchip. When we got the all clear, we brought Romeo home, he got acclimated very quickly, loved to go for walks and runs on the beach and knew to alert us when he had to use the bathroom. After about 5 months, we got a phone call from the people saying that they believed we had their dog, and wanted to come see and bring his documents. We allowed them to, just as we would hope to be given the same courtesy if the situation was reversed. It was their dog and they requested to take him back. As attached as we were, they were a family with little children that we knew would be heartbroken, so we gave them back their dog. However, a month later they called us and asked if we would like the dog permanently because they were moving to a location that didn't allow large dogs, and we gladly accepted. We were so happy when Romeo returned home, but we noticed a change in his demeanor right away. Our vet attributed it to having to get acclimated again to his surroundings. One night, while we were upstairs, we started hearing a ruckus downstairs. Not knowing if someone had broken into the house or something, we were very cautious to come to the stairs and look down. Romeo had been at the bottom of the stairs growling and snarling at us in a way that he had never done before. We were pretty much trapped, until my cousin managed to climb from the handrail of the stairs to the top of the counter in the kitchen to get the phone and contact the vet. The vet explained that some Dalmatians are inbred and can snap at a moments notice, which is what Romeo was doing. He was growling and biting himself. It was a very scary sight, we ended up having to call Animal Control to come and subdue to the dog so he could be brought to the vet and we were't strangers in our own home. The vet ended up advising us that putting Romeo to sleep would be in his best option before he ended up hurting one of us, a stranger, or himself. I am not quick to say that it was his breed that made him snap, but I often wonder if something happened in the month that he had been returned to his previous owner. If given the choice to get a Dalmatian again, I would definitely be weary and probably against it, just in case. Our photos of Romeo got destroyed during Hurricane Sandy but I found a similar photo on WikiCommons.