The Dalmatian wanted a home, but not just a home – he also wanted to do BIG things, like help people.
I want to do BIG things, thought the Dalmatian. I want to help fireman!
One day, when there was a terrible storm, the Dalmatian hid in his doghouse. After a few minutes, an old woman came walking down the street. She was going to get her mail when the Dalmatian’s eyes met with hers.
“Oh my, you poor thing,” said the old woman. “You don’t have an owner, do you? I don’t see a collar, so I want to help you. I’ll feed you loads of food and water. I hope you are a boy, because I am naming you Dally the Dalmatian.”
She sat Dally down and let him play, eat and drink.
Right when Dally finished his food and drink, he could talk to humans.
“Thanks for the meal,” he told the old woman. “But your house is too small for me. I need more room for myself.”
The old woman understood, and they said goodbye.
One day, there were tryouts for being a firedog!
He went back and told the old woman, and she was nice enough to drive him to the fire station.
“We need a new firedog,” said the fireman named Frank. “Our old one retired.
“Pick me,” squeaked Dally.
No other dog wanted to take the job, except Dally. Just when Dally got a little too happy, another dog walked in. It was another Dalmatian.
The old woman left Dally and the other Dalmatian to be trained.
“What’s your dopey name?” asked the other Dalmatian.
“Dally,” said Dally.
“Mines Winston, and you are SO not going to win! I’m gonna win, dumbie!”
“Don’t call me ‘Dumb’,” cried Dally.
“You’re ugly looking, too!” yelped Winston. “And I’m gonna make sure you don’t win.”
Winston bit Dally hard on the throat and shook him back and forth with his savage teeth, ripping Dally’s skin.
Finally, Winston let go and threw Dally into a shelf of books.
When the trainer dog finally arrived, he smiled at Winston and frowned at Dally.
“Well, I’m afraid Dally can’t participate,” growled Winston. “He is a dumb dog and hurt himself.”
“Winston, it looks like you get a head start on training,” said the trainer dog, “But at the end of the week there will be a quiz on how to be a firedog.”
Dally was sent back in bandages to the old woman. The old woman fixed Dally up right away, and the next day he felt better. He went back to the fire station to begin training.
“You are still not going to win,” said Winston.
But Dally wouldn’t fall for it. He wouldn’t give up that easily. Dally practiced sliding down the fireman pole. He practiced jumping into the big truck. Both of these challenges got him into bandages again.
The old woman frowned. “Are you sure you are okay?” she asked.
“Yup,” barked Dally.
Dally would never give up. He would keep trying!
On the final day, Dally grew very nervous. They started off lifting weights.
“Use those strong dog muscles!” the trainer dog yelled.
Finally, the quiz began.
“Who can slide down the fireman pole the neatest?” called the trainer dog.
Dally won the first challenge! Dally won the second challenge, too!
The third challenge was the most important challenge, and if Winston won this one, it would tie the score.
Who was better at putting out a small house fire?
Dally won this challenge, too! What a great day this was. Dally had never felt more proud!
“No!” cried Winston. “You are amazing, and I am a STINKER!”
Dally was the new Firedog!
The old woman came to visit Dally at the fire station once and a while. And Dally’s job became easier and easier. One day, Dally settled down, had a wife and some kids, and was better off with a lot of happiness.
A Note from Professor Watermelon: Jada, what a great story! You are a very talented young author, and I can't wait to read more of your work. When you originally shared this story in class, I was so inspired that I wanted to write about Dalmatians, too. If you haven't taken a look at my "finding the MUSE" post on Dalmatians, I invite you to do so. Also, take a look at Sparky, the National Fire Protection Association's Dalmatian mascot. He reminds me of "Dally"! Take care, Jada, and stay in touch!
Photo Credit: Justin Otto
Photo Credit: Justin Otto