Purdita(25.3.95 to 14.4.09)
Lady Purdi or Purdita as we called her came to us under sad circumstances due to the breakup of my son’s marriage. She was one of the casualties, and I could foresee problems with this pup, and damage to my prized antique furniture. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a dog lover to the core, but we have always been fortunate to take over other peoples cast offs that are reasonably trained. At the time we had a beautiful gold and white spaniel by the name of “Goldie” who was the most cheerful dog that I had ever met, he came to us from the Canine Defence League. We really only had time and space to deal with one dog at a time, so now we had increased our family by 1 overnight. However she had a real Dalmatian smile, from ear to ear and, as we were to discover as the years went by, she was always smiling when you pointed a camera in her direction. I think if you look at the picture of Goldie you will see where she got her training from.
He took to her instantly but did not give her any leeway, he was the boss, Alpha Number 1, and that was the way it would remain until we lost him at a ripe old age, from cancer. He was put to sleep at the vets while Purdi herself was having an operation herself for an injury she had received to her leg. She was about five or six at that time and the experience completely changed her, apart from the trauma of the operation, when we took her home she went racing around the house, into every room howling, looking for Goldie, I had never experienced anything like it before, it raised the hairs on the back of my neck.
From that point in time we had now experienced a two dog family and wished to remain that way, so I started to make enquiries through the Dalmatian Welfare and were very soon offered a beautiful liver spotted dal from Hereford. We went along to see him in his foster home where he shared the house with two minute female Dalmatians, I had never see dals that small before, anyhow we loved him, Chief was his name and we had Purdita with us, so we introduced them slowly by taking them for a walk in the local park. All was not going well, Purdita refused to acknowledge him, and was quite stand offish when he came anywhere near her, even though he was almost twice the size of her, she had taken over the role of Alpha 1 in our household. However we persevered by taking Chief home on a trial basis, to foster him in the initial stages and if things improved to adopt him.
This was not to be the case, Purdita had decided that she did not want him in the house and made his life very uncomfortable. I could see from very early in the proceedings that this partnership was not going to gel, my wife would come home at lunchtime and poor old Chief would be whimpering at the top of the stairs. I had warned Welfare and they had made contingency plans to whip poor old Chief out of here at a moment’s notice. This is what happened , and I am glad to say that even though we had developed a fond liking for Chief, he was relocated with a bachelor who wanted a large male dal on his own. It was the magic formula in this case. Chief, I understand settled in very quickly with this gentleman
Now this did not resolve our problem, but it wasn’t very long before we were offered another male dal that desperately needed a loving home, he was being kept at one of the kennels that is sympathetic to the cause of Welfare, so we dropped everything and went to meet this new potential member of our family. When we saw him in his solo kennel for the first time he looked very pitiful and puzzled, not knowing what was happening and where he would end up, they don’t tell us the previous history in an adoption, but all we were told that he was a very sensitive animal and needed someone with lots of time and love to bring him back to trusting situations, there was no aggression in him, in fact I would go further to say that you could have stood on him and he would only have only given a little whimper. He came with the name Buzz, he’s going on seven now, we think, they said he was about a year old when we had him, but the way he acts sometimes I’m sure he’s lying to us.
Anyhow from a frightened skinny dog he has developed into one of the most wonderful characters you would ever hope to meet, the funniest thing is that Purdita would boss him about much like she would do to poor old Chief, but Buzz does not have the nature or brains I feel to do anything other than obey When we would come home after a hard day’s work this time, we would find Purdita sitting across the threshold of a room with Buzz trapped inside, but as the years went by a wonderful relationship developed between them, and when no one was looking we would see them boxing each other in the field and running around playing catch me.
Almost a year ago my wife arrived home with a small Jack Russell called Bingo, initially I was not too happy about this because Purdita was of an age that was not likely to tolerate a young pup around the house, but in time she accepted him and I now regard him as a Dalmatian in training , he’s got all the spots but he just needs to increase his height a bit, slightly short in the legs, but he’s getting there, I’m sure he thinks he is a dal after being mothered all this time by not Purdita as one would think but Buzz, he would sit between his legs in the evenings whilst Buzz would give him a complete all over wash. Now the boys are on their own, the loss of Purdita has left a big void, but maybe once enough time has passed, I will never forget her, but there might be a space for a young female to join the family, one that is desperately needing the love that we have lavished on Buzz, time will tell! Mike Brewer