A few years after the heart breaking passing of the last of my Afghan Hounds, I began searching for a “short haired” breed of dog. After 20 years of grooming up to 5 dogs every day, after I had arrived home from working all day, I was completely and utterly groomed out.
Backtracking a bit here, I had moved into a beautiful suite situated above 4 car garage located on 20 acres. And it was here my last Afghan Hound passed away.
Once my heart had healed I began researching breeds of dogs. Several breeds captured my imagination, but I kept returning to one, the Dalmatian. And the choice was largely due to my new social environment, not the standard cliché of which Dalmatians are most noted for, the Disney movie.
Daily, driving to work I would have to stop at an intersection few blocks from my home, to allow a man riding a horse to cross the street. And daily I would have to allow this same man to cross the street on my return drive home from work, though he was usually riding a different horse, on my return trip.
I remember after the first day of this unexpected crossing, I could hardly wait to get home and telephone my dad.
My dad had catered to my passion for horses from the time I came out of the womb, wanting to ride a rocking horse! Kidding. But if they could not find me, I was always asleep on my rocking horse. A feat that my parents could never understand how I did not fall off while in deep sleep. Perhaps this was God’s way of showing them the passion that would reveal itself throughout my lifetime. And this was my passion which my dad always did his best to ensure I remained immersed in my environment.
“Dad guess what?”
“What” came his reply?
“I ran into a guy riding a horse both this morning and again on my return home from work. How exciting is that!”
“My goodness must be a keeper then!”
“And, get this, he was actually riding English, not Western like most men do!”
“Oh a keeper for sure then!”
This intersected stop continued daily throughout the rest of the week. The conversation on Friday night added new and tremendously significant details, it went like this:
“Dad, guess what now?”
“What, oh I don’t know, you got a ring?”
“No don’t be silly; every time he is on a different horse, and all of the horses have roached manes!”
“Roached manes did you say?”
“Yes, I did; yes, ROACHED manes!”
“Ohhhh. Hmmm. Now I AM thinking this is a real keeper, don’t chase him away!”
“Oh, you are saying, ‘be nice to the boys, Fancy!’”
“Well I don’t think I would be going ‘that’ far, but you get my drift, if the horses have roached manes that probably means that he plays Polo, and at least can afford your lifestyle; and to get me off the hook would be nice!”
“Keep me in the loop, this is actually very interesting.”
A few days later I was in the neighbourhood pub with a friend having dinner. We were invited to join a table of “what appeared to be fellow equestrians”. And, they were the real deal.
I gave one gal at the table a ride home, as she had invited us both to go riding with her the following weekend.
And take a guess where she lived?
At “the Polo barn”!
When I dropped her off, she gave me the tour. She had one sweet deal, rent free cottage in exchange for feeding the polo ponies.
The Team had jointly purchased a 20 acre farm bordering on an 1800 acre designated Equestrian Park (the property where my suite was located was on the opposite side of the park). They offered self board to the public; but this gal, though not a Polo Groom, was offered a sweet deal feeding in exchange for the cottage.
The Team consisted of City Firefighters and City Lawyers, all of whom owned at least 4 Polo Ponies each, with reserve horses in each one’s string. And what an assortment of personalities comprised the team!
I am so bad, the wheels had started turning at an accelerated pace in my mind!
Maybe I had better wait until we all had that ride together before I mentally had moved all my belongings into the cottage! But I hope you can see, the breed of dog I was searching for, had already been chosen, it simply had to be a Dalmatian!