Page 3265 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 18 October 2022

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where he was very uncomfortable, and we knew, and I like to think he also thought, that it was time to say goodbye and end his pain.

Kenny joined our family 15 years ago, and 15 years is a pretty good trot. It is longer than some of my marriages have lasted! At the time, we also had a lovely Rhodesian ridgeback called Bundy as well, and Kenny adored Bundy and would always like to be touching him and would sleep half on top of him. We got Kenny from a local breeder, and he was the proverbial runt of the litter. He was a bit small for a Dalmatian, but what he lacked in size he made up for in personality. He loved kids and kids loved him. Every child seems to have seen 101 Dalmatians and wants to pat a spotty dog—not to mention the fame of Bottomley Potts, all covered in spots, from the Hairy Maclary series.

Kenny was not always good with other dogs. He especially disliked other dogs off-leash running up to him, and he did not react well. Truth be told, I did not really blame him for it as it always annoyed me too when people allowed their dog to rush up to us. This was usually okay, except for an unfortunate incident during the 2020 election campaign, when Kenny and another small dog who had run up to him had an altercation. No dogs were hurt, but I was mortified because Kenny was wearing a “Vote 1 Nicole Lawder” coat the time. Other than that, Kenny did a lot of letterboxing.

I have never had a more entertaining, character-filled dog in my life. He was always so excited to see me when I got home—much more so than my husband and children! He had so many antics that caused us stress and joy. He liked to become very sick on long weekends and public holidays—of course, the most expensive time. He developed bladder stones that had to be surgically removed on a couple of occasions. Apparently, this is a genetic trait in Dalmatians. He then had to go on a special diet and medication for the rest of his life to try to stop the development of more of these urate stones, to the tune of about $200 a month.

He later developed dementia and his behaviour changed. He was often lost and confused, but he still had good days where he was still the same old Kenny. He went on human dementia tablets to slow the progression of the disease, and at about this time he decided he should sleep on our bed. I have never before in my life had a dog sleep on my bed, but nothing I did could stop him. In his final days, I had to lift him on and off the bed.

He shed hair like you cannot believe and, if you wore black, you felt like a post-modern Collingwood supporter because you had so much white hair on you! He loved walking around Lake Tuggeranong, stopping at Mimi’s for a coffee, and also down to Common Grounds in Gowrie, and he was very well known in the neighbourhood.

Dogs are pack animals and my husband and I were his pack. He was very talkative. In fact, to be honest, he whined a lot. I do not even think he knew that he was doing it. Sometimes it was very annoying, but at other times it sounded like he was talking. He thought he was a person.

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