Acquired: Breeder (professional)
Posted May 7, 2015
We purchased Gidget from a breeder when I was a kid, chosen primarily because my mom thought Dalmatians were pretty. We loved Gidget, but she was a handful! It was largely our fault for not being consistent with training her. I remember my parents resorting to taking her to behavioral training classes. She wasn't a bad dog. She just had so much energy and would often ignore attempts to control her.
I have so many memories having to nearly jog to catch up to her and remain upright during walks! She was difficult to hold back when passing another dog. She wouldn't growl, but she would bark a lot and try to get to the other dog, to interact. This was another issue that was pretty much our fault for not putting in more effort and time to train and socialize her to other dogs.
At one house, Gidget would dig under the fence and go on her own little adventures. I remember we had to drive around the neighborhood because "Gidget got out again". It was a regular, frustrating occurrance. We took her for short daily walks, but she loved running around and exploring the world. When we found her she'd generally run up to us and happily get in the car.
Gidget got more subdued with age and the break-outs stopped. She was never a mean dog. Gidget loved the family so much! She wanted to be around us all the time. For years she slept in my sisters bed. They had a very close bond.
As a teen, I was often irritated with Gidget. She'd grab food off the counter and bark at passing cars or neighbors. And she would fart. The teenage me had little patience for her. Then one night I got horrible food poisoning, the kind where you literally sleep on the floor of your bathroom. And throughout the night, Gidget stayed by my side. She usually slept on her dog bed in the kitchen, but Gidget knew that I was suffering and chose to comfort me. We both slept on that cold tile floor that night. After that, my heart opened back up to her.
I think a Dalmatian wasn't the smartest choice of dog for us. We should have taken her for longer walks probably, and I know we should have put more effort into training. She wasn't perfect, but neither were we. Altogether, Gidget was a pretty great family dog. She was happy, good-natured and she LOVED being around us. Gidget was often a frustrating dog, but she was 100% a member of our family.