several with individuals that wanted a jogging compan- ion. That’s what they were initially bred for. Our 12-year- old would never leave the unfenced yard and was always helping me weed, plant flowers or just sit with me on the patio. She stayed right by my side. One day I went inside for a second, “Care Bear” would usually wait by the door in case I brought her a treat. This day she was nowhere to be seen. We called and called, walking the fields and wooded area. Care Bear was gone. Three hours later, while we were still searching, a pickup truck pulled in the drive and as the driver got out, here comes Care Bear. We asked where he found her and he said he lives about five miles away and found her on his road. He knew she was ours because he’d seen her in our yard before. Five miles in three hours, that old girl was still in good shape. PS: Of course Dalmatians should be beautiful and well spot- ted, but the key to judging them well is to assess spotting after finding a moderate, well-balanced, athletic dog capable of trotting all day long. 7. And, for a bit of humor: what’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? MH: There are a lot of tales I could tell on myself and others, but I won’t. However, I do remember showing in a group in the rain before we worried about getting wet. All the Non-Sporting dogs were soaked and all the grooming on the long haired dogs was in ruins! The Dalmatian won the group that day and that made me very happy! JL: I had a young junior handler in my ring and I was about to check the dog’s bite; I asked the young man if I could see his dog’s bite and he replied, “Yes” and continued to stand by his dog’s side. (I had to chuckle—he answered my question, but he did not realize that I was actually asking him to show me his dog’s bite.) JEM: True story—many years ago, while living in Louisville, Kentucky, one of my favorite shows to attend was the Lexington KC because it was outside in a grassy area with lots of shade trees. It was a beautiful site. I had entered my dog and the day before the show no one could go with me to take care of my 10-month-old baby girl while I was in the ring. I arrived and contacted the show chair and we agreed my daughter would be safe if placed in a spotless ex-pen on a blanket with her toys while I was in the ring for four minutes and she was within eyesight the entire time. My dog lost, but the baby had fun with her many admirers. A photo of her in the ex-pen ended up in the Lexington Herald on Sunday. Can you imagine doing this today? It would be called child abuse or neglect. PS: One year long ago, the show rings were inadvertently set up over a very active gopher colony at Richland Wash- ington. You probably needed to be there to appreciate it, but it was hysterical watching exhibitors trying to keep their dogs under control as one gopher after another popped up.
“I LOVE DALMATIANS.
i cAn’t imAgine not hAving one At the house! they Are funny, energetic And
beAutiful to WAtch. THEY MAKE ME SMILE.”
PS: New judges sometimes can’t see the forest for the trees. They get hung up on a specific feature, worry about spots running together, try to judge the breed based on priorities from another breed, expression or head type, for instance, and wind up rewarding a poorly made, flat-footed, out-of-balance Dalmatian that could never do the work it was intended to do. Dals are supposed to be able to trot great distances. Dals that are out of balance, unsound and/or lacking in muscle, cannot do this. 6. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? MH: I love Dalmatians. I can’t imagine not having one at the house! They are funny, energetic and beautiful to watch. They make me smile. JL: The Dalmatian is a very versatile dog; he will do what- ever you want—he is happy to sit on the coach as well as work in obedience, agility, tracking, barn hunts, cours- ing; anything you want to do, he will be happy to do it with you. Contrary to public opinion, most Dals are very intelligent and are good with young children—just look out for the wagging tails! MM: I feel the breed is a hidden gem among breeds. JEM: The Dalmatian, besides being distinctive, is an active dog that requires a large fenced yard for exercise because if they get loose they will run for miles. I’ve placed
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