All his bedding, toys and blankets have been put in bags. This
morning we found his paw prints on the floor and still in our hearts .Outside in
the garden I am still finding little parts of his toys half chewed and hidden
away. There is still his dog hair on my
The other day I was reading the average life span of a Dalmatian
male is around ten to twelve years. Crispin almost made it to the ten…I didn’t
think at one time he would even make it to
The bladder stones, the cystitis the pain and the horrible
operations he went through and a life of medicine and vet appointments slowly
sapped his strength. But he remained jolly and a perennial puppy right to the
end. He even enjoyed going to the vet!!
Perhaps in this awful, cold, wet and snowy time of year he
decided enough was enough and it was time to go. He went out with a lot of
dignity at the end…a bit of pain, a little vomiting, moaning a bit and
then….and he spared us the terrible future choice of having to give him the
Between picking him up and putting him in a blanket and carrying
him to my friend’s car to take him to the hospital, I believe he had a heart
attack and when he was laid out on the table he was already gone. His eyes were
wide open and he was warm, but he was
But I think of Crispin now in his youth and full of vim and
vigour and so strong that I could not hold him back with a lead, but was forced
to put a muzzle on him. I think of him loving the pet training school he went
to and all the joy he gave to passing schoolchildren as they called out “Pongo
Pongo” to him. I think of the many friends we have made because of him –people
we would not normally speak to, but he acted as a sort of ‘ice-breaker’ and
very soon the strangers became good
I think of him bounding up from his sofa to greet anybody who
came to our door (he would have been the worst guard dog in the world). I think
of him almost giving me a heart attack by running across a playing field onto a
crowded and busy road. Most of all I think of waking up in bed and having him
wash me and eat my biscuits.
I gave up my job at a school to spend more time with him over
three years ago and now it seems the best thing I ever did, for we could spend
countless extra hours walking together in the countryside woods. I had hoped he
would make it to the summer and once more he would gambol around on the meadows
with his friends, but it wasn’t to be.
I remember about ten years ago my sister sending me a check list
of things I would have to do when getting a dog…example: can you continually
pick up his poo? Can you go without foreign holidays? Etc.
All in all there were nine questions and I think I only could say
yes to two of them.
So I thought I would never have a dog during my lifetime, but one
day I put an ad in the paper.
A guy phoned up and said he had a worm-infested, flea ridden;
ill-treated, rescued Dalmatian puppy and I could have him for free….he was – in
his words “a lovely chap “despite having gone through an awful puppyhood chained
up most of the time.. His name was Dagger…horrible name; we changed it to
Crispin as soon as the guy left and we never saw him again. Crispin ran outside
into the garden and weed for five minutes straight…thus claiming the garden and
us for himself.
We kept him in a caravan at first, but he chewed up all the
bedding. He then had his own large kennel with a court-yard and a fence, but in
the winter he would whimper and very soon he made it into our bedroom…at first
at one end of the bedroom and finally on to our bed.
I miss his deep, manly chocolate bark…just one woof it was! I
even miss picking up his dog mess (I never thought I would, but I would walk all
day to do it now)
Now time hangs heavy on our hands. He was a full time dog. We
shall have a long holiday in Japan and then plan for the rest of our lives.
Maybe I will look for a little job...I don’t know.
No, we will not get another dog.
(If you want to see his photos and read a bit more…go to“More”
and click on Crispin’s page)