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Misty was adopted by a long time BDC member by the name of Joan some years ago. She eventually became housebound and had ‘live in carers’ who had their own dogs and were happy to walk Misty and take care of her. In 2016 however Joan had to go into residential care and the house was going to be sold. By chance Ian and Hilary also long term BDC members had just lost Daisy and had thought they’d perhaps have to give up taking on another Dalmatian because of their age (several of us know the feeling). So our coordinator rang them and they agreed to have Misty. What tipped the balance I think was that they were reassured that BDW would help with vet’s bills if this ever became necessary as she was now too old to insure (over 10) unless you paid an absolute fortune! We in Welfare are always heartened to read stories like this – of older dogs getting a last forever home.

This was written by Hilary dictated by Misty – of course!

Hello everyone I was so pleased to have your letter read out to me and to know that all is going well for all my old owner and her family.  For me, I have settled in so well in Somerset since December 2016 and I am even barking in Zummerzetese!

My days are filled with business and if there is nothing to do, then I leave it to Hacker (the brown dog in the pictures with me) to stay alert and wake me up if I am needed to go on barking patrol. You know the score, postmen other callers at the house and sometimes, even when said callers are invited in for a coffee, I continue to bark until ‘new’ Mum says ‘that’s enough Misty!’ I like to let people know that I am a VID (very important dog) and that I stay here, they will have to go……………

Hacker and I make a great team, he is my ears as I really do need an ear trumpet these days but what I miss out on hearing, my nose is very well attuned to SMELL.  Especially food! Very often on Sundays, after my people have been to church they go to a local farm shop for their lunch. They always bring back a doggy bag and I reckon I can smell that little parcel of delights from 500 paces.

I do enjoy being free range in our own fields – at first I wouldn’t let new master out of my sight but now I am so confident that I run where I please and sniff all the delightful smells which are around when I’m out on patrol. Rabbits, deer and badgers all live here as well.

On Saturdays I have a very important job to do. We are on our own spring water here and each Saturday morning I accompany new master all the way down to a place he calls ‘the pump house’. I wait outside while he goes in and writes down some numbers from a thing he calls a meter. This place is half a mile away from the house, over the fields. Hacker only comes as far as the ridge in the top field and sits and watches us. I know how important it is to keep my eye on new master – just in case. In case of what I don’t know but he knows I am there.

I like night time duties when I go, sometimes, out to the stables with Hacker to say good night to Whisper (my favourite horse cos she is black and white like me) and Maisie who is only a little bit taller than me – she is brown, just thought you would like to know. Out there we have a routine. First each horse gets a peppermint and then a liquorice twist and then pieces of apple! Maisie sometimes drops a bit of apple so I stay close to her door so I can leap forward and grab it. Oh yes – I must live up to the reputation of my forebears – Dalmatians are greedy dogs!

Then, last thing before new mum goes to bed – she has a special store of doggie chocolate drops. Hacker and I both know that she is going to bed and we can go out for last duties before we too settle down for the night.

It feels a long time ago now that I travelled so far away from my old home and family. I didn’t know what was happening and was rather anxious but I can truly say that I am a very happy dog and can say thank you to you, my old family, for taking the trouble and making the effort to find me a new home for my remaining years. Hurrah for Dalmatian Welfare – they take such good care to see that we are all matched up. I am Dally No 8 who has been rehomed with new mum – her story started in 1969. She has only ever had one ‘new’ dally – she says there is such a need to give a home to pre-loved dallies!

Lastly, may I wish you, Joan, my previous mum, a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY for the 7th September – I hope you have a very special day with lots of treats. I am hoping that new mum and master will give me and Hacker a little piece of cake and we can all say Happy Birthday to You. It will be at about 5.15p.m. after our early evening walk.

Next time I will try and organise a photo of the horses for you. Oh yes, and another thing – the blacksmith Paul is coming tomorrow and Hacker and I do so love to eat a bit of smelly horse hoof. You should try it sometime – I thoroughly recommend it.

I send everyone my very best doggie love and wishes. As ever, Misty xx

P.S. Dalmatian Welfare are getting their Christmas cards and Calendars ready for delivery – my predecessor Daisy was once a calendar girl – I am hoping that maybe one day a really ‘good enough’ photo will be taken of me to warrant being a pin-up girl.

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