Dog Daze, Raya, Daphne

My dog, Blackjack, cracks me up. He’s a rescue Dalmatian, about 7 years old. He was covered in chemical burns when he was taken from a shelter by the rescue group, and he was in the rescue for about a year before I adopted him. He is tremendously entertaining when he dreams. I used to let him sleep on the floor in my bedroom, but he runs full-tilt and sometimes even barks in his sleep, which isn’t helpful when you’re already a raging insomniac. When he stretches while lying on his side, his legs stick out straight in the air and don’t settle back to the ground for a good two minutes. They’re just out there, floating in the air, ramrod straight.

Blackjack is a big fan of flies. He likes to sit next to the French door, and when a fly finally gets stuck in that lowest window, the sound of his jaw repeatedly snapping shut reverberates throughout the room. Luckily, he also disposes of said flies.

The other day I asked him if he wanted to help me get the groceries out of the trunk. He trotted merrily to the car, and when I patted the bumper to show him where the groceries were, he gamely jumped into the trunk and stayed there, a spotted sentry, until all the groceries were unloaded. Not really helpful, but definitely funny.

He also enjoys rubbing his head and body against my furniture, which leaves an icing of black fur on the sofa and comforter. This really isn’t my favorite thing, but I love him, so I’ll just keep vacuuming.

I’ve had a dog for most of the last 12 years. One of the best moments of my day is when I come home from work and see an eager, furry little face and a wagging tail through the door. I never really thought about how much I love my pets until I lost two earlier this year. My 14-year-old Dalmatian, Raya, had some sort of “neurological event” in early May. She lost the use of her back legs, and I was forced to euthanize her the next day. I adopted another female Dalmatian in late May. Daphne had been neglected and was found starving and covered in sores in San Antonio. She was extremely shy, but so sweet and gentle. About two months after I adopted her, I let her out in the pitch black yard one early morning. She did not come back with her usual promptness. I found her struggling to stand and unable to use her back legs. She had a clot that had lodged itself in her spine and cut off circulation to her back legs, and even her little toenails turned blue for lack of oxygen. After 5 days, I was again forced to euthanize a pet. I miss both of them every single day.

Hopefully Blackjack will be with me for a long time.

Sherlyn from TX