"Lizzie Chretien 8/24/1998 - 5/20/2013"
by Carol Chretien
Lizzie was our second Dalmatian; she was the smartest and most entertaining girl we could have ever hoped for in our life. She was the center of all the things we did and planned for almost 15 years. Lizzie is very sorely missed. She left a huge hole in our days, our hearts, and our home. She was the last of our 3 elder pets. Our two cats were gone before her.
Lizzie was the inspiration for my artwork. She was my first subject after a long hiatus from painting. That led to another painting and another. I began painting with a clear purpose to help Dalmatian Rescues.
Lizzie was not a rescue. She came to us from a responsible breeder. It was long before I knew anything about adopting rescues. In fact, in our area, you rarely see a Dalmatian anywhere.
All my art for rescue has helped non-profit Dalmatian rescues is in other parts of the country where Dalmatians are readily available for adoption.
I always felt that although Lizzie was not a rescued Dalmatian, she helped me help others by inspiring many paintings that allowed me to support those rescues that I have come to respect and love. Dalmatian Rescue of Tampa Bay is part of my heart through the incredible work the volunteers do on behalf of my favorite breed.
A "daddy's girl" and a "mom's best baby" she gave us everything she had. Time cannot be stopped, even with the best care she just got tired. Lizzie crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Monday, May 20th. She was ready to be free.
We knew she had to leave us but she is very much still with us in our hearts and thoughts. She will always be our best girl. We still feel her with us and we love her very much.
Thank you to Dalmatian Rescue of Tampa Bay for all your wonderful work with senior Dals and all the rescues you have done. When I get back to painting again, the thousands of images of Miss Lizzie will continue to inspire many paintings that will help me support the important work of rescue.
In the meantime, we have adopted three orphaned kittens from a rescue that will keep us busy for a while helping us heal and filling the space in this empty house with a different kind of energy for a while.
by Chris Devine Davis
Our Sweet Kumba got her angel wings today. She came to us four years ago at 11 years of age because her family had gone through hard times and could not afford her medical care. They loved her very much and contacted Dalmatian Rescue Tampa Bay for help, I saw her picture on the DRTB site and decided she could live out her senior years with us. She was a party girl, knew the difference between a beer can and a coke can (I did not teach her that - she came that way) she loved boat rides, swimming in the pool or the pond, and hanging out with her Dad in the garage while he worked. Mom and Dad were by her side as she got her wings today, she knows that she was special and very loved by both her families. God speed sweet girl - we will think of you and smile :)
"Two Certain Things"
by Tom, Sue & Sam Prentzel
As Art our Sarasota Senior Pastor has spoken about there is two certain things in this world. You are born & you will pass, what we do in between is of most importance.
We went away this past week end & put Daisy & Sam in a very nice full service Pet Resort w/A/C. Full written instructions were given to them for the care of each of of them. Daisy & Sam both got fresh baths, extra special breakfast & suppers along w/a short walk out in the back yard for Daisy before dropping them of at the Resort. Their bags were packed w/their favorite food, towels to lay on etc. Daisy was like a cat & loved tuna fish.
We were happy that she could do the Visitation Ministry for a few months at the Rest Home. We haven't taken her for the past few months because she had trouble on the slippy tile floors. We were looking for a baby carriage to roll her around in because everyone, to this day, still asks about her by name. Even the ones that can't remember their own. She is such a Sweet Heart as we are sure all your Dalmatians are at your Rescue Center.
Sadly right before we were going to pick them up Monday we received a call around 8AM telling us that Daisy had just passed away, they think a possible stroke. So we went right over to see Daisy & talk w/the Resort. We talked w/the actual care taker & he told us how he took care of her & her special needs. It was exactly as we had written. Daisy & Sam stayed in the same fully air conditioned kennel room all week end and it was comforting knowing that Sam was w/her to give as much comfort as possible when she passed.
With the older dogs as we have said we give them as much Love, Caring & Attention for as long as they have on this earth. Daisy was very happy the whole time we had her & all that met her Loved her also. Daisy was always wagging her tail, it was like a Grand Father Clock, non stop. Such a Sweet Heart.
We will take a pause before getting another one from your Rescue Shelter. It is so hard to see them go, but so rewarding to change their hard lives into fully Loved Spoiled lives. Sam, along w/everyone else,
will really miss Daisy. Sam is still wandering around looking for her. As soon as we got home he wanted to go into the bedroom where she hung out mostly & was sniffing around for her along w/sniffing her collar & leash that was on the kitchen table. They were best of buddies.
Daisy is in a better place now & has her Golden Wings.
May God Bless your work at the Rescue Shelter.
Chase, A Gentle Giant
by Jennifer Sterner
Chase came into my life when there was a big hole to fill and was a perfect fit. He was big and clumsy, but sweet, loving, and most of all wanted to be near me and be loved. And he was so much! He was a best friend to Tag and Blue (my other 2 Dals) and when my 2 babies were born he was the most gentle soul with them, letting them pull on him, lay on him, and hug him senseless. He was getting older, recovering from kidney surgery and suffering badly from arthritis and Cushing’s when his time to go came about. He is missed every day and I hope now he is running around and playing ball (something he was never taught to do as a young puppy by his neglectful 1st family) and knows how much we miss and love him. Sleep well my sweet gentle giant boy and I will see you and hug you again! Love, Mommy
by Jan & Ernie Remus
Quincy's smile scared most people at first, but when reasurred he was friendly he became the neighborhood Romeo. However, as a heartworm victim, his life with us was a short two years. We loved him as he loved us and we miss him no end!
by Bruce Richter
Smokey Richter, beloved friend to Terrie and Bruce, crossed over the Rainbow Bridge this past Wednesday. Besides being a great companion, he had this ability to do the "Dalmatian Smile" on both sides, even when he was being roughed up by his roommate Shadow. He was rescued 9 years ago and it seems like yesterday, he had a good (spoiled) life. Farewell Smokey, you will be missed most of all.
Cruz, Part of Our Family
by Mellisa Dearth & Julian Araiza
Cruz came to us as our second DRTB adoption, and at 12 years old we knew that we wanted to give him a place to live out the rest of him years. Molly who is our first DRTB baby was the only dog in the house and we loved the idea of her having a companion. The day we brought Cruz home was perfect. His foster, Jay Cannaday, had told us about him and we really hoped that he would get along with Molly. When we brought him home Molly walked right up to Cruz, licked his face and we knew we had found the perfect companion for her. Ever since that day Cruz has been a wonderful part of our family. Cruz was full of energy and his tail was always going. Cruz had three wonderful years with us. Recently when Cruz fell ill, we knew that we wanted to make his remaining days with as comfortable as possible. Cruz just was not doing well and we knew that our days with him were becoming limited. This past weekend Cruz was having a really hard day. Julian and I wrapped Cruz in a blanket and we laid down with him and comforted him the best we could. Before too long the three of us had drifted off to sleep. When we woke up we saw that Cruz did not wake up. As heartbreaking as it was we were relieved that we were with Cruz until the end. Cruz was a one of a kind, and we cherished every day we had with him. We can never thank the wonderful people at DRTB for taking Cruz in and giving him a second chance at life.
Cavan, My Best Friend
by Kennon Hudson
Cavan started life as the best friend of a transient. He was the calmest, most gentle dog I have ever known. Unfortunately, Cavan developed a heart murmur. His dad knew he could not give his dog the care he needed He loved him enough to let his best friend look for a safer home. Cavan was released to the local shelter. I always wished I could have let the man know that Cavan had found a loved pampered home. He went from the streets to Spanish Bay in Carmel, shopping at Saks and Neimans, and riding in his own Porsche. Cavan was between 11 and 13 when I adopted him. He helped me raise two feral kittens. He put up with their kneeding his side with their tiny razor claws! He never met anyone or anything he did not love. He became a working therapy dog, visiting the senior homes several times a month. His love and gentleness was appreciated by all that met him. The SF Giants baseball team has the Dog Daze of summer every August. Cavan cheered for two wonderful seasons. He shared my bed and heart for 22 wonderful months.
Unfortunately, he bloated on Dec. 9th 2011.
He was rushed into surgery and seemed to be doing great. Sat. night the surgeon expected him to be going home in a day or so. Early Sunday, the 11th, his weakened heart stopped. Thanks to great medical care they got it going again. He knew I was there, petting and kissing and talking to him. About 11am his heart gave out for the final time. I had to let him go. I was blessed to have had three extra hours with him and to have had him know I was with him. I try to keep that memory, but I wanted so much more time with Cavan. He truly was a class act; a total gentleman and my best friend! I will miss him for all of my life, but I was blessed with a true gift in him. I am grateful that.
Cavan you are loved and missed everyday!! Until, Mom
Warm Memories of Lillian 1996 ~ 2011
by Claudia Rysdon
My Sweet Lillian,
Little did you know what adventures lied ahead of you as we left the Humane Society on that November Day! You ended up at my bed and breakfast in Plant City and became my “right hand” girl! You loved all those new people who were coming just to see you (so you thought). You would jump up at the half-door to my office, to hear their “Awwwws” and to have your head petted. Should they avoid you, you would reach out with 1 paw and wave them over. You became quite the “social butterfly” as well, winning their hearts as well, with them asking “Can Lillian come up to our room for a little while”. With the demise of the bed and breakfast, we moved to Tampa.
Seeing the sadness you felt after losing your ongoing flow of new friends, I felt that you needed a canine companion - then came Terri! She lacked the “Regal and Princess qualities” you possessed, but you loved her in spite of that!
Then we settled in together. You and Terri got along well, except for a couple confrontations when you got too close to Terri’s food bowl - you lived and breathed for treats and your dinner in the evening! There was never enough…..
Counter-surfing was your specialty!! Somehow I think you could stretch your body an extra foot to reach the back of the counter to grab an extra snack. My fondest memory was of you prancing quickly through the living room with an entire loaf of bread in your mouth, taking it to your crate. Before I could get to retrieve it, all that was left was a torn plastic bag and the tie wrap! You had the tenacity of a piranha!!
As the years passed, you gradually slowed down, you could no longer jump up to the counter and your pace became slower. I give you credit, girl, you hung in there as long as you could until your rear legs could barely carry you or function properly. I did all I could to keep you going, but your body was just wearing out and you were tired! As much as it hurt to put you into your final rest - I will be eternally grateful for all the love, laughs and dedication you so easily shared with me!
So run quickly, sweet girl, over the Rainbow Bridge and join your other “spotted sister”, Dalmer…find us all a shady tree, along a rushing stream! I look forward to the time when I cross over the Rainbow Bridge and see you 2 girls racing towards me, what a joyful reunion that will be!!! Hugs and kisses for everyone!!
Rest in peace, Dear Lillian, for now it’s time for you to begin the next journey of your life!
With love, that will remain in my heart forever!! Your loving Mom
by Lisa B
"Spud's one hot potato" is what her website adoption site said from dalrescuetampabay.org. I could never figure out why they named her Spud, but we learned to love her and her name, even if she wasn’t a potato. I remember the first time we saw spud. She was in the back of a SUV. All we could see coming down the road was Spud's head out the back window enjoying the breeze. All we could do is laugh. I believe it was Susan who brought Spud into our lives. Spud took great to our previous Dal Purdy, who was reaching those prime years. Our family thought bringing another dog into our lives would help the transition in case something ever happened to Purdy. Spud and Purdy bonded well after the years.
Susan told us that the previous owners kept her outside on the cement because of that she was full of cuts and scrapes. Either way we took Spud in and gave her a great home. There was never a dull moment with her around. She would follow my mother around the house all day to no end. I think my mother actually enjoyed the company even though to this day she won’t admit it. One year I even dressed her up as a turtle. She didn’t like that too much.
One thing Spud could always do no matter what is play ball. She would play with that tennis ball like there was no tomorrow. Even if you were tired of playing ball with her, she would still keep bringing the ball back and dropping it at your feet. I remember the one year my parents brought her to the Dalmatian Halloween picnic. My mother dressed her up as a breast cancer ribbon. She was one of those dogs if you let loose she wouldn’t come back so playing ball was an indoor sport for us. My father was so excited to actually be able to play ball with her. So he threw the ball for her and there were so many other balls around she didn’t know which she wanted! He got a good laugh out of it anyways.
This past fall she slowly went downhill. We all continued to love her but finally it was her time to go. We tried to hold out till past the holidays but it was just her time. Early December we said our goodbyes. I held her until her last breath. She was with us for a very short time, but we loved all the moments we had with her. We will continue to love her through our memories and hearts. You will be missed Spudoodle.
Domino, A True Southern Gentleman
by Ronni Coppola
Domino had two human families before ours and from what we know they did not give him the love and doggie comforts that he so well deserved. When he seemed to realize that he was with us to stay he started to walk around the house with a doggie smile and a look of wonder on his handsome face. He seemed grateful to the doggie gods that he was in his final home. We often called him Stevie Wonder but mostly he was known as "Velcro Dog" usually chanted like "Super Man".
He eyes were not so good and neither were his ears although he could hear the fridge open no matter how softly you tried to open it. He ate what appears to have been his first ice cream on September 11 to celebrate his sister's fifth birthday. From that day on he danced when he saw the half-gallon container come out of the freezer. His favorite was Dulche de Leche but he would eat Vanilla or Strawberry with much enthusiasm. I wish he had more time for ice cream or that we had known how short his time would be.
Domino joined our family on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend 2010. He was a chubby 12-year-old liver boy and he and my liver girl took to each other quickly. He loved going for walks around the neighborhood with his sister and all the kids in the neighborhood loved them both. I loved walking my matched pair of Dalmatians. He was a great lizard hunter and caught his fair share of little ones, which he would line up on our patio. Now, when I see a lizard I think Domino is saying "hi" and "thanks".
He was a true southern gentleman and I find myself using a word to describe him that I don't think I have ever used about a dog. That word is "kind". He was a kind, sweet, gentle, smart dog that disproved the adage about teaching an old dog new tricks. He loved his life here and he brought much joy to our family.
By all accounts he was a healthy boy and we thought we would have him for a long Dalmatian life. And then his liver started to fail.... He was taken from us way too soon, a week less then five months, but he has made a permanent place for himself in our hearts. We are honored that he chose us to be the family he awaits at the Rainbow Bridge.
You are missed sweet boy.
Love and kisses,
Mommy, Daddy and Diva.
Dogspeed Dear Buddy
by Kathy Lamborn
On Wednesday, April 14, 2010 Buddy crossed the Rainbow Bridge leaving our house empty even though Luna still remains.
This is a picture of the night he came home, his forever home that was only for a moment. He was only with me under 2 years but made a giant impact. He was a sweet, gentle, loving boy. He just wanted to be with you, by your side, just behind you or with his head on your lap. He wanted to touch you, or be touched. He just wanted to be loved. He was SO loved, that sweet gentle guy with those big expressive eyes. He seemed to speak to you with those eyes. He is missing from my side from his head on my lap, from the office where he made the futon His own. Even Luna is mourning his passing. She just stays in her bed most of the time. He loved her too. He would follow her around outside, checking each area she sniffed. His collar, leash and blanket are reminders of our loss.
Buddy you are Missed! You were loved by all who met you!!
Tribute to Titan
July-97 - August-09
When we first got our dalmatians they were only 3 or 4 months old. If one went for a walk, the other was right there beside him. You couldn't tear them apart. Their names were Titan and Harley. Both were very loving.
One day the meter reader came to read our meter and left the back gate open. When we got home from work we let them out just like always checking on them every few minutes. When we went to let
them in we noticed they were gone! We searched and put up flyers all over but we only got Titan back. I'm sure God has a reason for us only getting back Titan. We just prayed Harley had a good home. This is where our story begins with Titan.
We moved from Tampa to Wesley Chapel Florida, where we live now. Titan was only about three years old when we moved there. He was always there for me and the wife waiting for one of us to get home. He loved us no matter what was going on. It was like he was saying, don't worry mommy and daddy, I am here for you. We would come home from work and there he would be with his face in the window waiting for us. If my wife went right, so did Titan. It didn't make a difference where she was, Titan was there by her side. Titan was our life, we have no children, so he was our son and our love and he thought he was human.
Titan started having hip problems so we took him to our vet, and we found out he his kidneys were failing. We also had to put him on a diet cause he was 20 lbs over weight. Well we got him to lose that 20 lbs., but he started losing even more weight. We took him back to Dr Farr and found he was down to 64 lbs. Dr Farr recommended to put him down but that wasn't the answer we were looking for.
Titan knew however, it was time to cross over into rainbow heaven, so we had a mobile vet come out to our house. When titan died that Tuesday morning, a part of me and my wife died also. When I buried him in that hole it was the hardest thing I had ever done. It was like losing a child. As we held Titan for one last time, he looked at my wife as to say, thank you mommy for the fun time we had, but don't worry i'll be waiting for you and daddy in rainbow heaven so we can play together again. We will always love you Titan, and keep you in our hearts.
Love, Mommy and Daddy
Ziggy The Dalmatian
by The Ritter Family
You were our friend, our son and a great dog. Unfortunately you passed over the rainbow on February 28, 2008 and will never be forgotten. You taught us many things such as unconditional love, how not to judge, never to go to sleep angry and always cuddle every chance you get. We miss you with all of our hearts.
Not a day goes by that we don't think of you. Goodbye our Best Friend until we meet again.
The Life of Pongo
A Poem by M. Sickora
Pongo was going to be put down at the pound.
Vicki realized that Pongo was quite a hound.
John and Diane said Pongo! "He's ours!"
But Pongo acted like he was from Mars!
Pongo said "No kids! No Guests! and I'll be okay!"
Keep to these rules, this Dalmatian will stay.
So John and Diane abided by the rules, but Pongo then was enrolled in "school".
He learned and learned and learned and learned. His smartness had us all concernced.
How could this dog count, hum and read?
Ride a roller coaster, give high five and spin backwards through your knees?
Pongo kept us all amazed.
He opened the slider, did his business, and closed it unfazed.
With all these great tricks and personality to boot
How could Pongo cost so much loot??
Allergies, rashes, kidney, bladder if you please.....
This would bring anyone to their knees.
But John and Diane loved Pongo so...
It was off to the vet they would go, go, go.
How can this be happening they would always say?
We only want Pongo to be healthy, happy and stay?
But after many visits and not so much as a clue,
We all found out Pongo had the big "C" and there was nothing we could do.
Pongo is now in a better place.
He left this world with class and grace.
He's not scratching or swollen or suffering at all.
Pongo will always love John and Diane, the best Dad and Mom of all.
We love you Pongo.
In Memory of Sparky
12/21/92 – 8/26/05
by Heidi Sutton
“Sparkle in my Eye” was Sparky’s official name on paper. He was truly the sparkle in my eye for almost 13 years. I got Sparky back in February of 1993 when he was just a pup. I remember how he whimpered as we drove off and away from his mother. I promised him from that day on that I would love him and always be there for him and that there was no reason to be sad.
We embarked on our new life together and it was the best! Sparky was a wonderful, loving companion for so many years! No matter how bad my day, he was always there to provide me plenty of lovin’ and kisses to make all the bad things seem like nothing at all.
Sparky was with me through thick and thin. We were attached at the hip for most of his life. He was a shoulder to cry on when I lost my father, he was there the day my husband asked me to marry him on a hike in North Georgia. He moved to Chicago and back with us and never complained a bit…. Even when I dressed him in a sweater and booties to try and keep him warm in the snow on our walks! :o) We celebrated Christmas each year with pictures with Santa and gifts for him to open, which he so loved to do. Sparky was there when my son was born and even though he didn’t really like him he really tried to make the best of things. He was here to comfort me through this last year after my husband was diagnosed with cancer and was being treated out of state. I can’t tell you how many nights I sat on the floor hugging him and getting kisses wondering when life would get back to normal. He was there through it all….. My best friend always there to provide unconditional love the way only a dog can.
Sparky suddenly took a turn for the worse about a month ago and stopped eating. His hips had gotten so bad that he could not get up off the floor without me supporting him at his hind quarters (even with medication). He just lay on the floor with those sweet, deep eyes looking up at me. Even with his pain, he was still ready to give me a kiss and nuzzle up to me as I laid on the floor with him those last days before he crossed the rainbow bridge.
On Friday, August 26th my husband and I loaded Sparky in the car and took him to the park he so loved for a last romp. Sadly, he could only lie under a tree, but we all laid there together and let him smell the sweet grass that he so loved. We hugged and kissed him and whispered sweet nothings in his ears until the time came for him to cross over to a much better place for him.
Two weeks have passed and I still cry every day because I keep looking for his sweet little face in the house or in the yard. I also have my 2 yr old son who keeps looking for him and calling “Sparkle-mania” which was one of his nicknames. Then when there is no response my son will say “Sparky in heaven” as I have been telling him now for two weeks. It’s the saddest, sweetest thing you have ever heard. But I have to take comfort in the fact that Sparky is in heaven and is at peace now. I know I will see him again some day and will be able to kiss him and hug him once again. I hope that Sparky is looking down on us from heaven and knows just how very much he was loved and IS truly missed.
A Tribute to Baron
by Neil Boling
From the moment I met Baron in April of 1992, I knew it wasn't going to be easy. He was out in the driveway of the Malone's, the folks that were selling him. We pulled up to their home on Trask Street... and I was eager to pet my first Dalmatian. Baron took a playful swipe at my face with his paw. It scratched my upper lip all the way through (the first of many through the years). The Malone's could tell we were a match made in heaven, opting to sell him to us over several other people. My dad picked him up, and I raced home from school on my bike with Corey to see my prized new pet. There he was... on a leash with my dad. I couldn't believe this magnificent, beautiful dog was mine.
I had plans to rename him "Flash" (the Malone's called him "Bear", a rather common nickname at the time). He bolted around the back yard, true to his new name. I remember waking up to "Flash" hogging most of my undersized twin bed, parked up against the window... and wondering if it was dream. Dad eventually convinced me to settle on "Baron" for his name. It sounded closer to "Bear" and it was short for his official registered name "Sir Robin Baron of Nottingham." Baron it was. Baron, forever it will be.
I remember pulling into the driveway and seeing his mouse-like ears sticking through the blinds. He turned his head in jerky motions to verify that I was indeed coming in the door. Dad always got something out of the fridge as a treat, sending Baron into a state of delirium. Baron got to roam a nice, big backyard. He loved to play with the soccer ball, fitting it somehow into his mouth and demanding that I chase him. But his heart belonged to the football, pulling the first two strings out to make it easy to carry. I would chase him to the point of exhaustion, for the both of us. Eventually it would be the two of us rolling in the grass, panting... and happy as two creatures could ever be. He loved to chase the glass snakes (the ones with legs). Of particular delight was when the tail would fall off, and flip around uncontrollably in the grass. Dad and I would be reduced to tears at the sight of Baron pouncing on that tail with all four feet together, like some kind of doggie pogo stick.
His life, and mine, got even better when we moved into grandma's house. I think he became her dog there for a while, choosing to sleep with her. But who could blame him? Grandma would butter his waffles, and always dressed his food with a little extra. One bag of dog chow would last months... highly unusual for a dog his size. My aunt would sneak him half her plate, and Grandma's crusty boyfriend couldn't resist using Baron as a foot warmer.
After one year in the college dorm. I made plans to get an apartment, and reclaim my best friend. I'll never forget that August night in 1997, when he lifted his leg and kept it lifted, but only little dribbles came out. I stayed up for the next several hours, petting him, comforting him. We made it to the vet in time for emergency surgery. The vet pulled out dozens of bladder stones.
Baron survived, and lived a long, happy life. He was my companion from middle school, all the way through the recent birth of my daughter. Almost 14 years of memories, laughs, and friendship. He was one of kind. He will always be one of a kind. Like I said the first time I saw Baron, I knew it wasn't going to be easy. But then again, nothing in life that is worthwhile ever is. "Worthwhile" is about the biggest understatement ever applied to Baron. Rest in peace, my friend. I will always remember you... and cherish the times we had together.
10/20/1990 – 2/21/2005
by Susan Weber
The little light of my life shines no more. On Monday, February 21, as the sun was coming up my Lady left this world. It has taken me weeks to even be able to share with you her passing. Her blanket still lies untouched. I can’t bring myself to wash it as her scent is still faintly there and it is all I have left of her. Somehow, once I put it down on paper, it seems very real that she is truly gone. But I must write of her because not doing so would be to let the little spot I loved so dearly pass without tribute.
Lady has definitely left her mark on this world. She led me to a mission in life…that resulted in creating Dalmatian Rescue of Tampa Bay….one that has led to at times the most rewarding and the most painful experiences I’ve known. And without Lady I wouldn’t have had the privilege of meeting some of the nicest, caring and dedicated people ever who share the passion of helping our voiceless friends. Those who keep me believing in the human spirit after a day of walking through another animal shelter.
Lady and Tramp were the furry loves of my life. I know how glad Tramp is to now have her with him once again as the two were inseparable. They will now be directing me to carry on without them. Their legacies will live on in each animal’s life that we can touch in some small way. And that makes the pain a little easier to bear.
My Tribute to Nicola (Nikki) Anna Winnick
by Susan Weber
I still remember the day I picked "Mocha" up from Hillsborough Animal Services where she had been turned in by her owners who no longer wanted her.
Even though she was beautiful, the strikes against her were piled high. She was heartworm positive, thought to be deaf, 5 years old, not very friendly with the other Dals at the rescue and, to make matters worse, growled at Pat when I went to introduce her. Things were not looking up. But we loved our sweet Mocha anyway and were determined to see her through to a new home.
Then a miracle happened....after successful heartworm treatment, a nice gentleman called to say he would like to adopt a female Dal. He was the perfect owner for her....no other pets, no children, nice house, good job and Dal experience!
Fast forward....Lee (our own DRTB Secretary/Treasurer) gave Nikki a new name and three years of a life that any dog would want for. She got toys, treats, love and more love. And she even got a rescued liver spotted brother named Charlie whom she pretended to tolerate but we think secretly adored.
Three weeks ago, the world came crashing down for Lee, Charlie and us....our Nikki was unexpectedly called to join the doggie angels up above. We were all devestated by the news.
Now Nikki lives on in our hearts where she has imprinted her little paw prints forever. We will never forget her and am glad that she graced our lives with her sweetness.
"Little Tramp O’Mine"
On Sunday, November 28th, 2004 the angels decided it was time to call my precious Dalmatian Tramp home to be with them. Tramp was just 5 months shy of being 14 years old. He came into this world on April 6, 1991. He was with me since he was nine weeks old when I got him “on sale” at a pet store. No one wanted him because he was over spotted in their opinion. His nails were filled with blood from having to sit on the wire cage floor for so long. I never have and never will walk into a pet store again.
I know so many of you have shared the awful pain, grief and emptiness that I am feeling right now. Losing our four-legged best friends is one of the worst sorrows life can throw our way. Please know how much I appreciate your calls, emails and cards offering comfort – they truly do help.
Tramp always played the gracious host to so many of the homeless dogs who have come our way. He didn’t care whether or not they were lucky enough to have spots. When I look up at the stars at night now I think of my Tramp up there and I hope he knows that for every dogs life I have saved, my never ending love for him will always be the driving force behind.
Crystal ... A Very Special Girl...
The day I was asked to go take a look at an abandoned dalmatian at the Clay County Animal Control, I had no idea what I was about to find. Susan called me hoping that I would be able to take a look at what was supposed to be a 2 year old female in pretty bad shape and told me to use my judgment as to take her home or have her put to sleep.
When she was finally brought out to me the first thing that came to mind was "this poor thing probably won't last a week". In front of me stood the remains of a once beautiful female with one blue eye and one brown eye, an arch in her back so extreme to look at it hurt me, painfully underweight, and so disoriented she didn't know which way to follow me.
I couldn't leave her there.
With my five year old daughter asking me why we were taking her home with us, the only thing I could tell her that this little girl deserved a loving home, even if only for a short time.
When my husband got home, he wanted to name her Crystal because of her one crystal blue eye. The next day at the vet's office, we found out more about Crystal. First thing the vet told me was that our 2 yr. old was actually closer to 10! She weighed about 19 pounds, had a degenerative eye disease, was partially deaf, several missing teeth due to age and malnutrition, arthritis in her spine along with other ailments. Despite all of this, the vet told me that with a little love (which she had obviously been lacking for a long time), Crystal could go for a little while longer.
Believe me, there were days that it seemed like all of our efforts were going nowhere, but to look in her eyes you could tell that Crystal knew we loved her more than she ever had been. As much as we told ourselves that she probably wouldn't be around for too long and that we shouldn't become too attached to her, it was impossible not to.
Every day we had with Crystal made it harder for us to understand how any person, whether an animal lover or not, could let such an amazing creature get so bad off and ultimately dump her off without any regard to her well-being. Unfortunately, we were forced to move out of our home a few months later, and had to ask Susan and Pat to take her in for a while. Although we knew that she would be loved and well cared for, it was hard to let her go knowing that we may miss her final days. Which is exactly what happened.
The amount of love and attention we had all given to Crystal had kept her going for several months, months that she would have otherwise not had, but the abuse she had suffered finally took its toll on her. The day I went with Susan to have Crystal put down was one of the worst in my life. The minute is saw her I knew it was time, but I still couldn't help thinking that if someone had loved her before she got to that point, she may have gone on for several more years.
As I looked into her eyes during her last few minutes, I saw something I hadn't seen when I first met her... it was a look that told me she knew she was loved, almost as if she were saying "thank you". I will never forget that look, or my little Crystal.
Sweet Dreams Sissy Boling ... Holly's going to Miss You
When you adopt a senior dog, you take a greater risk of having something happen. You also get to experience one of the greatest pleasures ever knowing you gave a poor helpless animal what little time it had left an ending filled with love instead of abandonment.
This is what Neal & Meg Boling (and we at DRTB) have just experienced. Sissy and Holly were two 9 year old Dalmatian sisters transported all the way from Georgia with the help of caring people after we found out they were to be euthanized because they lost their home. Neal and Meg didn't waver about taking the two of them in since they had not been separated since birth. They even bought both the "girls" pink collars with little red heart shaped name tags.
They had both adjusted very well to their new home and other canine friends when suddenly last week Sissy became very ill. Her kidneys were failing. After 4 days of round the clock fluids, Sissy finally gave up. Her little body was worn out and we couldn't stand to see her suffer any longer. So today, June 7, 2004 we let Sissy go in peace after saying goodbye to her sister.
It was and still is a heartbreaking experience for all of us involved. Although Sissy was only with us a short time, we wouldn't have traded the experience for anything. A sweeter dog you couldn't find. Her tail continued to wag up until the end even though it was becoming a very weak wag. We also believe that animals are much more sensitive than people give them credit for...this morning after seeing Sissy was the first time Holly didn't finish her food. And she truly seems to be missing her sister - her sudden constant howling has a very eerie tone to it.
Sissy will now join the other Boling dogs that have past on and Holly will continue to be loved until it's her time to join Sissy once again.
by Amy Fahy
Noelle, you were truly a gift. Actually, that is literally how you came to be in my life, as a gift from a boyfriend. Although that relationship didn't last, he unknowingly gave me the best gift I have ever received and probably will ever receive. The gift of unconditional love, loyalty, protection, comfort and companionship that came wrapped in a little spotted package.
Thank you for being all the things a dog is suppose to be and more. You were not only my dog, but also my best girlfriend and my child. I miss waking up with your nose next to mine and the thump thump thump of your tail as soon as I opened my eyes. I miss your hugs and grunts telling me you love me too. I miss your gentle angel kisses and silly smile. I miss your soft "woof" in the middle of the night to let me know you heard something and were ready to protect me.
I miss your "Welcome Home Mommy" bark and the way you hopped up and down as I came through the door. I miss your talking to me with your "roo roo roo" to let me know you needed something. You were my real-life teddy bear, thank you for letting me cry on you when I needed to and for keeping loneliness away.
We had nine wonderful years and Edison and I miss you every day. Thank you my sweet girl. I always called you "Angel Kisses" and now you truly are an angel. Knowing that you will be waiting to greet me when I get to heaven softens my sadness a little.
I love you, Noelle.
Remembering Vicki Valentine...
Sometimes life just seems so unfair and this is again one of those times. Always looking to help people adopt dogs from the shelter, a nice couple mentioned they wanted to adopt a female German Shepherd and would be willing to take an older one. After checking with several shelters, we found a beautiful 7.5 year old that had just been deserted by her family when they moved. (Some people still don't get it that dogs can move too.)
They had owned her since she was a pup and she had been a loyal companion. Even knew lots of tricks (including Show Teeth - her special smile) that she showed off for the shelter workers who instantly fell in love with her. They did call to say she had severe hip dysplasia but that didn't phase the nice people that were willing to take her into their home. They just figured they would make whatever time she had left good and as comfortable as possible.
They drove 2 hours each way in the rain to pick Vicky up and since it was February 14th, they decided to call her Vicky Valentine. That night Vicky got lots of love and even slept on the bed for a while. The next morning, after getting petted during morning coffee, Vicky died suddenly. It was a shock for all involved and we were all deeply saddened.
We will never know what happened...possibly she had a heart attack from the stress of being moved at such an old age. Maybe she was older than the owners had said and had a condition they didn't mention when turning her in. Or maybe she just died of a broken heart from being abandoned from the family who she had loved all her life.
We are so thankful that she didn't die in the shelter. We hope that she knew that there were people that cared about her. We wish all the other old dogs that people just toss aside in their last days of need could feel the love that Vicky saw at the end. And we pray that someday this will be a better world for all of the unwanted animals.
We love you Vicky Valentine.
In Memory of Jack…
My beloved Jack,
The day I met you I wasn’t at all sure that we would ever be friends. You had been treated so badly and the look in your eyes showed a sense of hurt and abandonment. I sensed that you might never trust a human being again.
But…there was something else I saw in your eyes that day…a look that yearned for another chance to experience life, as it should be for such a handsome animal like yourself. So…we set out together; and the adventure began.
Slowly and on no one’s timetable but your own, you decided to take the risk and from that moment forward, you never looked back. For the next 10 years you showed and taught me about complete loyalty, unrelenting devotion, and unconditional love.
I miss you greatly—even profoundly. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of you. Most of all I remember your "smile" that always made every day a good one—it didn’t matter whether I had been gone 5 minutes or 5 days—you were always at the door grinning to welcome me home, as if to say, "I’m sure glad you’re here." For that and so much more, I thank you.
I will NEVER forget you, and I will ALWAYS love and cherish you. My life has been truly blessed with the companionship of my faithful friend.
This was not goodbye. This is "I’ll be back." Every time I speak your name, you will be with me. My prayer is that when you awoke from the sleep where I left you and you headed off for your next great adventure, you continued to know that I love you very much, and I can’t wait to see you again…because I know you’ll be waiting for me with that great big smile of yours.
BJ ... You Will be Missed
Often, Dalmatian Rescue supporters have dogs outside of the Dalmatian breed. Such is the case with Nancy and Tom Krull. There cherished pet, BJ, showed no signs of illness until suddenly, it was too late. Dispite the Krull's efforts in the final hours to save him, BJ lost his life to liver cancer.
A kind, loving animal has now crossed the rainbow bridge, and he will be missed by his family and all who loved him.
"Farewell, Master, Yet not farewell.
Where I go, ye, too, shall dwell
I am gone, before your face,
A moment's time, a little space.
When ye come where I have stepped
Ye will wonder why ye wept."
After Death by Edwin Arnold
A dear friend and supporter of ours, Merna Feygelman, lost her 17 year old baby, Sadie, this week.
All of us who have lost beloved pets know the pain that comes with the loss. Therefore it is with heartfelt saddness that we take this moment to remember Sadie with a verse...
God saw you were getting tired
And your cure was not meant to be
So he puts his arms around you
And whispered "Come to me"
A golden heart stopped beating
Adoring eyes went to rest
God broke our hearts to prove
He only takes the best
You were with me for almost 17 years, and it wasn't long enough.
I miss you my dear, sweet Sadie!
And I always, always will.
Our house is a little quieter today.
We lost a very special Dalmatian who came in to our lives 1 1/2 years ago.
His name was Shadow.
Shadow endured 11 years of a miserable life, living outside in a pen, with dirty water and a filthy house, only being used as a money maker to breed. The owners even had his voice box removed because the neighbors were shooting B-B's at the all the Dalmatians kept in pens because they were barking too much. When the owners finally decided to stop breeding, they put an ad in the paper and a young girl went to see the dogs. Even though she couldn't financially care for one, she took Shadow because she felt so sorry for him. She found us, called and we went to pick Shadow up without a second thought. Because of his age and the fact he had never had much human touch, we decided to keep Shadow for life. He lived in the "kitchen wing" of our house and tolerated our kisses and hugs every morning and night. He got fresh water, clean blankets and treats, and had his spotted pals to hang out with. Although we only had the privilege of having Shadow for 1 1/2 years, he touched both of us with his big sad eyes and "barkless" bark. He will now join all the other precious creatures on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. We will always love you Shadow and never, ever forget your sweet soul.