Now having lost my beautiful BDW Dally Sasha (Angel Eyes) in early November 2014 we decided to wait until the New Year before even looking at another Dalmatian to adopt. We had in fact both decided that we wanted an older Dally rather than a youngster because Sasha had been 7 years old when we adopted her and we thought how nice and settled she was. Also, we think that the older Dallies have more difficulty finding a forever home than the younger ones, but something happened in mid November 2014 which we did not expect.
I was looking up The Dalmatian Welfare Website to order my 2015 Calendar and notelets I promised to people for Christmas, when I had this really weird strong urge to look at Dogs waiting. Against all odds there was a beautiful Dally named Donna, a 13 year old in need of a home. I was saddened, seeing that as my Sasha died at 13 years old and here was a healthy one, in need of a new home staring back at me. So I said to my partner how sad it was, especially given the same age as my late Sasha.
I made immediately enquiries with the BDW to find out more about her. Then I was asked if I might be interested in rehoming Donna. After speaking to my partner, we both agreed as our home is pretty much set up from Sasha’s time, it would only be a continuation of that… or so we thought. On Thursday 20th November, Donna arrived! Brought to us by a lovely lady volunteer and we chatted over the information provided about Donna. Her second day with us was an unusually warm November day so we gave Donna a lovely warm bath and a new collar and name tag. By the time we finished, she just looked gorgeous.
I think we turned a corner after Christmas when Donna contracted a gastric bug and was refusing all food and generally feeling very sorry for herself. Seeking advice from the lovely ever supporting Dalmatian Welfare team was a godsend. We rallied around, making special meals for her to entice her to eat , finally the bug passed and I noticed how much more affectionate Donna was towards me and my partner. It was as if, she suddenly realised that we loved her and to help her enjoy her new life with us. On the advice of the Vets, we have changed her diet and put her on anti-inflammatory tablets for her very painful leg and back (because constant pain made her such an angry Dalmatian) we now have such a sweet natured beautiful Donna.
Last weekend was the turning point that made my heart swell with pride for my Donna. Once againmy fellow walking friends presented the biscuits and it was very quiet affair. There stood my Donna; quietly and patiently waiting her turn after the other dogs got their treat. As my friend turnedto Donna she said, ‘Such a good girl Donna’. The angry Donna has now gone forever and we now have a loving, affectionate Dally. Donna came into my life after such a sad year in my life. My lovely father passed away in July after a brief illness and for a while I had Sasha for comfort. She was my father’s Dally chosen for him because of her gentle nature. Soon, time came to claim Sasha too in early November after losing her ability to walk. So what made me look at the Dalmatian Welfare website for Dogs Waiting in mid November?
I really cannot believe my fortune finding Donna or believe she is here. When I was telling my brother in USA about this and how we discovered Donna so soon after the deaths of my father andSasha he said this story makes him believe that some Dalmatians have a Guardian Angel – Donnaseems to be no exception. I think I know which one it is…It is our Sasha. I do believe this was Sasha’s doing – because of the weird urge to go against all our initial plans -she gave the first nudge, drawing me to look at the ‘Dog Waiting’ page.
We still have some way to go such as encouraging Donna to sit with us in the lounge and relax andunderstand that there is nothing to be afraid of here. But each day we are seeing something new inher; she now has doggy friends and a favourite one called Tess, a Spaniel. Yesterday, she calmly approached a beautiful Black Labrador and they were happily wagging their tails whilst sniffing each other. She has also re discovered the love of play; she especially loves the squeaky Pork Chop and tennis balls. Seeing her play was a lovely thing to see her do. It is like she rediscoveredher puppyhood and relearning the fun to play without a care in the world.