While doing some cleanup after a bit of flooding we had in the basement last week I came across an information card for our dog Creed, whom we lost in 2018. All dogs are special and I hate to single any one out but Creed was very special in a lot of ways. He was our first liver Dalmatian, which got a lot of comments from people who would say things like, “He looks like a Dalmatian but his spots are brown!” They didn’t know Dalmatians usually either have black or liver spots, although they can also have brindle, blue, or yellow spots—black and liver just happen to be the only acceptable variants as far as the show ring goes, but that’s another story.
Creed was also excellent at raising puppies, knowing just how to handle them, and he absolutely loved toys. You knew he was your friend if he went and picked up a toy and brought it to you, and sometimes when I’d come home he’d run to the door and greet me then run to the den and come back a few seconds later with a ball or a stuffed duck or whatever he could find in his mouth. He didn’t want to play tug or fetch; he was just saying, “I have this!”
The information cards were something my wife came up with when we made our first cross-country trek to a big dog show. They were attached to each dog’s kennel and, well, as you can see from what I haven’t blocked out, they had basic information as well as my wife’s name, her phone number, and the phone numbers of people to contact if something happened to either one of us.
And that also reminded me that we used to have a picture of one of our other dogs in the window of our smaller car, sort of always traveling with us. After all Dalmatians are traveling dogs—they used to trot alongside carriages, acting as guards and companions, which is how they became firehouse dogs. Anyway one day when I was driving home from work I stopped at a red light and looked over and there was a guy at a bus stop motioning for me to roll down the window. He was old enough that he was making a circular motion and I was old enough that I knew what he meant even though car windows all operate by button now. I rolled down the window which I know was a stupid thing to do, but he just smiled and yelled, “You got a Dalmatian?”
“Yes,” I said back.
“I had one when I was a kid. They’re great dogs, ain’t they?”
“Yes.” I smiled and laughed. “Yes they are.”
Then the light changed and I went on. I hate to single anyone out but there was something very special about that guy.