Raleigh is a 6 year old Dalmatian. I waited nine years before acquiring my best friend. I wanted to make sure I had the time to devote to him and was in the right place in my life. Since he's a high energy breed, I took up bicycling a year and a half before I got him (at the age of 50!). Raleigh runs alongside my bike when the weather is cool or cold.
He has a high prey drive and lives for seeing/chasing squirrels. I never let him, unless I'm sure there are no other dogs or cats around, people that he might scare, or traffic. I make sure we're not close enough to the road that the squirrel might go across the street. Most importantly, I make sure the squirrel can make it up the tree before Raleigh gets there!
He's absolutely my best friend! A real gentleman, I've never seen him lose his temper with people or other dogs, even when they really deserve it. He can tell a bad person from a good person better than any dog I've ever had, so I always watch his reaction to people. He will let the lawn man come into the backyard and mow with no problem, but he went after the electricity man who didn't bother to knock and tell us he was going into the backyard to mark the underground electricity path (which made me mad). He also tried to go through the screen door at two women who were trying to rip me off. Those are the only times I've ever seen him act that way, and it was nice to see that he can be protective when need be, since he's so laid back.
Raleigh is so beautiful! I remember a when I had Toby, he was a chow/pit mix, I was in my apt cleaning, behind the door, and I looked down at him and he had a warning smile on his face, which meant someone was there. I looked again and he took off down the stairs, a strange man running for his life. I don't know what would have happened, but the man was sneaking around trying to get in where I had the door open. I was very glad for Toby at that point and he was never aggressive in any threatening way unless he was actually taking care of me. Pets are so wonderful!
When I was a boy, my grandparents gave me and my cousins Dalmation puppies. Unfortunately, my puppy was killed at about 6 months old when he was struck by a car. I have always loved Dalmations and this little guy is a beauty!
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