Dalmatians -- Piper and Boone. Dumb and dumber. I only say that to
lampoon the Dalmatian's reputation for stupidity. Trust me folks,
Dalmatians are a lot of things, but stupid they ain't. Stubborn,
sensitive, strong willed, mischievous -- I'll grant you all of those. But
Piper turned 16 in August, and hasn't had use of her hind legs for 1
1/2 years due to a degenerative spinal condition. It isn't painful,
there's just no electricity. She's trundled about with a caddie fashioned
from a rifle sling and elastic handle. She also has a "wheelchair"
purchased from a company that specializes in such apparatus for crippled
I suppose a lot of folks recoil at the thought of retaining a dog that
can no longer walk. Well, here's the deal. This animal still exhibits
more enthusiasm for life than most humans I know. She's oblivious to her
predicament and relishes every moment of mealtime, walks and inclusions
into TV junk time with the family. As long as she has no pain or loses
interest in her existence, we will accommodate her disability, and revel
in every moment we can squeeze out of her time with us. It's hard work,
it's frustrating and it's sad. Are we nuts? I suppose.
Boone. Where to begin. Five years younger than Piper. The wild man.
The poster dog for total savage Dalmatian destruction. Dalmatians do NOT
like to be left alone once they have bonded to you. They LOVE you, and
have a very hard time realizing that you will, indeed, return home after
you leave, for however long an absence.
Panic is a powerful motivator, and Dalmatians demonstrate some very
dramatic manifestations of panic. Boone, as a puppy, at one time or other
dismantled every room in the house. He figured out how to open the
refrigerator. How to relocate the Christmas tree from the living room to
the bedroom. How to ferret out the Girl Scout chocolates, and deposit his
regurgitation of the purloined sweets into the heating register in the
floor, lending a permanent toasted sour Ovaltine essence to the house for
the next month. The list goes on.
Why would anyone put up with this nonsense?
Well, there are a lot of like-minded soft touches out there who put up