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Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Little Dipper by Carol Chretien


oil on canvas

Meet Cole Edward he inspired the painting of a Dal puppy out exploring the environment and putting his paws into a little pond. Actually his beautiful blue eyes are the real treasure.

Blue eyes in some animals, and often in Dalmatians, may signify deafness.
Cole Edward was recently adopted and his foster/ rescuer shared the story with me. He was originally named "Spike" by his first family and has been renamed for his new life:

"Spike's background is that he was given up to our local shelter due the family not having enough time for him, saying he was hyper and not trainable. After a few days in the shelter, he came to us for socialization and training so he could be an adoptable loving pet.
After about an hour at our home, we found out he was deaf.
He also came with demodex mange that took one month of treatments to get rid of.
Smartie pants that he is, he learned signs very quickly and loved being around people, kids and other dogs.
Before being adopted, we also found out he has a genetic problem with the formation of his teeth which will eventually cause them to fall out.
Luckily, the adoptive family regardless of his flaws still wanted him as a pet of their own. He is very happy and healthy and should live out a great life in his new forever home."

Cole Edward will be living in a family with other Dalmatians so his new family is experienced with Dals.
However this is their first deaf puppy, I do believe, and they are eager to make it a successful adoption so he is in training.

I would venture a guess that he was a "pet shop pup" or in other words a "puppy mill puppy. That is just an educated guess.
Responsible Dalmatian breeders have hearing tests performed on their puppy litters.
BAER testing is done on dalmatian puppies at 4 weeks of age. Many times a breeder will have a unilaterally deaf puppy ( deaf in one ear) and those pups do quite well in life. They will be spayed or neutered so as not to continue the deaf trait and will make wonderful pets. People would not even be aware of their hearing deficit.
Deaf pups have special needs for training with hand signals, vibration, flashing lights. Dals are very smart, they learn quickly with a patient and consistant teacher, they do very well with time and attention. Living with hearing dogs and being one of the pack helps too.
A secure fenced yard is mandatory (and in my opinion should be for all dogs) and supervision is essential.
In the case of dogs we have had in our lives (dals of course) they do not like being left out alone and would rather be with you for company anyway.
They are loving dogs who are natural born entertainers.

The reference image was provided by his foster mom and a donation was given to the Montgomery County Humane Shelter as my thanks.

The painting will provide a donation to our ART HELPING ANIMALS supported rescue
WILLING HEARTS DALMATIAN RESCUE. 20% donation goes to the org.
The sale is pending.

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