It all started with a wiggly high strung 3 month old dalmation puppy that friends of relatives didn't want anymore 12 years ago. It was July, around my husbands birthday and he begged me to take a look. I've always been a shepherd person myself, but them saying they were taking her to the pound knocked down my defences. Our first meeting was when they let her out of a very small room, in a very small house and she came out of there like a wild bull out of a shoot! I rolled eyes and sighed - This is going to take a lot of training-as my husband was grinning from ear to ear. Well Dal's are stubborn, but so am I, and she was very smart- too smart for her own good. If you told her NO, she would simply find another way of doing it. Needless to say their was a lot of head butting, but I came out Alpa or at least she let me think I was. She was a dog who was bred to be around horses, and she loved my Qurab very much and all the horses I aquired after. They would run and play,let each other out of the pasture or stall, sleep together etc. She was always watching the horses and was a great guard dog. I never felt scared when I knew she was outside, she always protected me and would never let a stranger close, killed any snake near me, ran off any other threat. She knew it was her job and she did it. I spent a lot of time alone with my husband in the military but she always kept me safe. No one would risk walking into our yard, not even people who knew her, she always took her post against the front door. But she was friendly, loving dog who loved my husband and myself and our family and the horses. The past few years she had gotten slower, her hips started bothering her and the meds just were't helping, still she tried to keep up with the others. She lost her hearing and her eye sight was bearly there, still she hung on, until today. The past few days we began to know the time was getting close. I was going to make arrangements with my Vet to come out and end her suffering. Last night she stopped eating and did not want to drink so we made her a bed by the front door, at her post so we check on her. By morning she had made her way to the dog house by her 2 buds, my white shepherds and layed in the grass. My husband and I went out to pet her, she drank a little and our other dogs licked her. a few hours later she was at peace. I'll miss my old friend and the way she use to follow behind me all over the yard like a constant guarding shadow. I don't know if I will ever feel as safe again.