A Day In The Life of a Dalmatian Owner

The Dalmatian - made famous by the Disney films 101 Dalmatians, easily recognisable by their black and white spotty coat, tall, lean body and floppy ears. Adorable right? Well... try living with one.. or two for that matter.

Now a few facts you might not know about these spotty dogs; dalmatians now come in black spotted, liver spotted (brown) and lemon spotted (yellow) or in a mixture. In more recent years, extensions of the breed, including long haired dalmatians (seriously fluffy!) and miniature dalmatians have been developed. Originally, dalmatians were used as firehouse mascots (particularly in America) and carriage dogs so they are built for their stamina. Dalmatians are born completely white and develop their first spots in their first 4 weeks of life. According to the Dalmatian Club of America, around 12% of dalmatians are deaf and many more are partially deaf.

Our younger Dal is called Mia; she is two years old and is characterised by an adorable face which looks like butter wouldn't melt but also has a VERY stubborn and often naughty streak. This little pooch has had a very spoilt life and has been with us since she was 7 weeks old. She is partially deaf in her left ear - this doesn't actually affect her hearing but it affects her ability to recognise the direction of a sound and can often be seen tilting her head (adorable!) and looking around to work out where a noise is coming from. Mia is also known as Mia-Moo or Moo-Pig. She is a very cuddly, loving, needy dog - Dalmatian's are often known as Velcro-dogs and Mia fits this criteria. Her favourite things to do are go for very long walks, play with a rugby ball and her furry playmates (she's a popular pooch) and lick everyone's face - literally everyone. No-one is safe around Mia. She literally could not hurt a fly, she would just try to play with it.

Our older Dal is called Ruby, however, she is only called Ruby for formal and official purposes; her day-to-day name is Doo / Doobie / Dooba. Ruby is 8 years old, Liver spotted and she is a rescue dog. We rescued her when Mia was around 6 months old because she was absolutely desperate for a play mate in the house. We drove for 3 hours to collect Ruby from County Durham and were told that she was around 19 months old but she had been rehomed numerous times. We knew nothing about her past, she had no paperwork and no medical history and she had only been in her last home for 6 months. Fast forward 3 months, we received her microchip details in the post. This piece of paper said that Ruby was microchipped in 2008. We immediately phoned them, claiming it must be a mistake as she was born in 2013 to our knowledge and they informed us it was definitely not a mistake. We had already encountered a few health problems in the first few months that suddenly made sense after we found out her true age. Ruby has definitely been severely beaten at some point in her life, but she is the most loving, cuddly, obedient dog and we got very lucky with her. In the time we've had her, she has been in and out of the vets with every health problem possible, she's seen numerous specialists and cost us a fortune but she is worth every penny. Her favourite things to do are swim for hours, be permanently attached to a human all day, eat everything in sight (we call her a spotty Labrador) and play with her sister.

So, after all that, what's a day in the life of a dalmatian owner like?

Well, sometimes, your dalmatian will decide it doesn't want to be a dalmatian anymore and want's to turn itself into a chocolate Labrador. There have been two occasions that Mia has decided she doesn't like the stigma attached to being a white dog.

Often, especially with young dals, you will find you have purchased a faulty bed for them. One that self-combusts when you leave it unattended.

Many dalmatians smile - and no I'm not crazy thinking when my dog is panting, she is smiling.. No, I'm talking a proper smile. Ruby smiles when she is excited to see you, when she is feeling guilty or if she is being told off.. This is not aggressive and is always accompanied by a very waggy tail.

Many dalmatians like to swim... or pretend to be a seal. Sometimes you will wonder if you own a dog or if you actually purchased a strange seal like creature that resembles a dog.

Sometimes, if your lucky, you will end up with a singing and smiling dalmatian. Ruby's personal favourites are 'Don't Stop Me Now' and 'Somebody to Love' by Queen.

You will always find your dalmatian in an array of strange sleeping positions and ask yourself the question, are they actually a dog?

They sometimes forget themselves that they are meant to be a dog and they try human things, like horse-riding and driving a car. 

Also, if you happen to get two dalmatians, you will quickly learn that they are inseparable and love each other unconditionally and the cuteness hurts.

So that's just a few of things you can expect to encounter in a day in the life of a dalmatian owner. I hope you've enjoyed learning a bit about Moo-Pig and Dooba! 

Sarah (aka. Pale Princess) x