Martha was born on June 5, 1978 in a litter of twelve. Her mother was
an Irish Setter and her father was one of the largest Dalmatians I've ever
seen, tipping the scales at over one hundred pounds. Martha weighed in
at almost eighty pounds. She was very active and very intelligent. Not
only did she understand single words, but she understood sentences as well.
She was trained to AKC (American Kennel Club) standards. Depending on the
situation she was able to determine a command by the snap of my fingers.
i.e.: If we were walking and I snapped my fingers, she knew that I wanted
her to heel and she'd come around to my left side, align her shoulder with
my leg, and carefully match my pace. If she was on the couch and I snapped
my fingers she knew that it meant to get down, etc... She got pregnant
in her first heat and delivered a litter of nine. She loved to ride in
the car and I took her everywhere with me. She loved to chase cats, and
I have a picture of her up in a tree. I told her there was a cat up there
so she climbed up to look for it. She was a great swimmer and body surfer.
She would chase a tennis ball anywhere including past the surf-line at
the beach. She wasn't afraid of the waves. She grew up with her twin sister
Bebop. They spent a lot of time together and they were best friends. She
loved to roam around San Pedro. Sometimes she would be gone for days, but
mostly she would go for just a few hours. I knew her favorite spots and
sometimes I could find her with a pack of dogs following. I would pull
up the car and say "Martha, get in." She would jump through an open window
and climb in the back seat. Martha was an escape artist, no yard could
keep her in. She was a great climber like a cat. She loved attention and
she had a human quality to her. She must have thought I was her father.
The end of the story is very sad so I'll spear you the details. Now she's
chasing cats in dog heaven, and from time to time she comes to visit me
in my dreams. I think of her often and I miss her very much.
If you have comments or suggestions, e-mail Jimmy at firstname.lastname@example.org