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The Dalmatian

       Tina had worked hard all her life. When she attended a private school her studies were never neglected whether Latin, English or Math. After her graduation she went immediately to work. Most of time the girl, who was now a woman, had a life filled with dedication to duty. She was unmarried so it became her role to stay with her elderly mother. Tina had been so dedicated to a serious lifestyle it was quite a surprise to her family when she decided to adopt a full grown Dalmatian called Lady.

       Her attention to detail regarding appearance was just a part of Tina's personality. Therefore, it was quite a shock for her to be in possession of a dog who was mostly out of control. Every morning when the woman stepped out the front door on her way to work she was greeted with evidence of the dog's early morning prowling. One day someone's chewed up slipper, a dog bowl or daily newspaper could be seen on the cement slab front porch. The next day there was a collection of new articles  to greet Tina. On and on went the dog's escapades. If she was quietly resting on the steps with an innocent stare to greet her mistress,  this was all the more of a difficult situation for the young woman.

       Tina  was now visiting on the phone with her sister.

      “You know Sis, I'm beside myself over this dog. She is just totally out of control. I know she is picking up things from the neighbors early in the morning. One of these days someone is going to wise up and then what?”

        “Are you talking about Lady?”  Her sister wanted to know.

        “Oh, I've given up calling her Lady.  She is now,  Sadie. I'm telling you she is no lady.” Tina was serious.

         Tina's sister wanted to laugh about the name change but she didn't dare.  She, as the older sister,  had always been the problem solver in the family. “Why don't you let me take her for a while?Maybe we can help.”

        “Anything! I'm up for whatever  will  allow me to keep her.  She is a gorgeous, sweet,  dog.”  Tina was relieved her sister was going to try to find a solution for her.

         So it happened,  Sadie was to live with a new family for a while. The difference was that Tina's sister Veda was more experienced with family and pets. She didn't even bring the dog home. Instead she took her immediately to a man in town who was known to train animals.

        “She is quite a problem, Jim.”  Veda told the man. “Sadie does not come when called. She escapes early in the morning and takes things from the neighbors. The dog loves to ride but won't get into the back seat. Her being so big  become a danger while she insists on riding in the front seat, not to mention the white hair on my sister's clothing from the car seat.”

        “Don't worry about it.  I guarantee,  when you come back to pick her up she will be a new dog.”

        Veda called her sister to let her know where Sadie's was staying.

       “Okay.”  Tina was agreeable. “I'll have to see it to believe anything can be done with that dog.”

        Of course, the children were  always observers. They were watching everything that was happening regarding the dog. They knew their mother always had a way with animals so weren't too surprised when the time came for them to pick up the dog.

       Jim brought Sadie out into his large fenced yard.  She walked obediently at his side which in itself was a shock. Before she would have been jumping all around, running here and there, helter-skelter. The man was putting the dog through the paces.  She was so obedient it was hard to believe.  There was an old tree stump in the yard.

        “Up on your stump, Sadie.  Up on your stump.”  The man gave the order to the now mannerly dog. This, of course, was in preparation for Sadie to get a command, “Up on your back seat, Sadie.” This would solve the front seat riding thing she wanted to do.

         Without any hesitation Sadie easily leaped up on the handy pedestal.  Calmly she remained until Jim called her down.

        “There is a dog parade next Saturday.”  Jim told them. “I think Sadie is ready to take part in something like this. It would be the ultimate test for good behavior.”

        The children were excited at the prospect of being able to parade the beautiful Dalmatian on the main street of Tonkawa. Of course, the gregarious Veda was open to the suggestion.

       “Mama! Mama!  Please say we may enter Sadie in the parade?

        Veda, was certainly not against the idea.  She was as youthful as her kids in many ways.

       “We will have a week to practice with her. I think it will be fun.” The mother granted the children's request.

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