Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Pennsylvania, United States
Posted August 21, 2015
Dalmatians are beautiful, one-of-a-kind dogs, but in my experience, they're not for everyone.
My childhood pet was a black and white dalmatian named Ziggy. We got him when he was three years old from a family friend who assured us Ziggy would be a low-maintenance dog. In many ways, he was. There was little grooming required, and he had very few health issues.
However, Ziggy was emotionally unstable, and always seemed "on edge." He barked constantly, and showed signs of being aggressive, even violent. This, of course, occurred when he was "watching" me and felt I was being threatened; he was very protective, and often kept a close eye on me and the other children in our family. Still, we got many complaints from friends and visitors about Ziggy's demeanor.
Ziggy was an independent dog; he didn't need a lot of upkeep or playtime. He usually preferred being indoors and, like I said, he was great at keeping me safe (however he perceived it). Though he wasn't overly affectionate, I know Ziggy loved me. And really, I loved him, too, even if we weren't overly attached.
Ziggy lived a long life and passed away when he was nearly 12. We didn't get any more dalmatians after that, but I have fond memories of the years that he was in our lives.