Hello, My name is Chris Aranowski and I live in Mars, Pennsylvania which is about 25 miles north of Pittsburgh. I have had Dalmatians since 1996 and each and every one have been a joy to live with. I currently have five! My oldest two oldest are Bella and Bridgette. Bella is a beautiful double blue eye girl who is as sweet as cotton candy. Bridgette, who is co-owned with my dear friend Jeff Gillespie (Siobahn Dalmatians) came to stay and have two gorgeous litters and then stayed with us. Guinness is now retired from showing in conformation and has been running in Coursing Ability Test (CAT) Trials. Harlow is Bridgette’s granddaughter who came to live with us in 2016. She is the sweetest dog that you will ever meet! Liesl is my youngest and just so happens to be Harlow’s daughter! Bridgette, Guinness, Harlow and Liesl are LUA Dalmatians. I am very active with all my dogs, from conformation, to Lure Coursing, walking in community parades or just hanging out with them on then couch.
I am a member of both the Greater Pittsburgh Dalmatian Club (GPDC) and the Dalmatian Club of America (DCA). My dogs are registered with the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club. I also health test all of my dog with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and post the results on their public data base.
I thought I would share with you what started my love for dalmatians. Hope you enjoy the read.
709 Winter Pine Drive
Mars, Pa 16046
Diary of a Mad Dalmatian Lover
It all started innocently enough… a kind and wonderful aunt who wanted to do something memorable for her five year old nephew. I had been promising my nephew something special for his birthday and bought him a gorgeous, Dalmatian puppy. For reasons that I still don’t understand (allergies, a mean older sister – his mother) I was told in no uncertain terms that it would not be a good idea. So I did the only thing that I could do… I kept the puppy and named her Lexie. This definitely was not on my agenda. My career required travel and a great deal of pressure. Working for Bayer Corporation at the time, in their polymers division, I had little time for a new puppy in my life but those big eyes won me over. So began my life, years ago, as a Dalmatian obsessed owner.
Lexie was the joy of my life and we did everything together. When Lexie was only seven months old we were involved in a serious car accident caused by a drunk driver. She hit and cracked the windshield and from that time on the bond became unbreakable. She was so protective of me that she would not let the police take me from the car. I kept telling them not to hurt my dog. We both came out of the accident with new, even deeper feelings for each other. She wanted my undivided attention at all times and I pretty much gave that to her. With Lexie, I could never get through a phone call without her complaining. She had personality plus and was the most loyal dog I had ever seen. With all due respect to Caesar, she never, never understood the Alpha concept.
I decided that maybe another Dal would help and proceeded to get a rescue dog named Cassidy. Cassidy was the exact opposite of Lexie. His nickname was Perry (after Perry Como) because he was so laid back. He developed urinary stones despite trying every medication we knew of at the time. When my sister would stay overnight to watch the dogs she would leave the back slider open so that he could come and go as he needed. Not such a good idea during Pittsburgh winters! Cassidy also wanted to be with me at all times. He, however, understood the Alpha concept and Lexie still ruled the roost. Cassidy eventually developed doggie dementia and went to Rainbow Bridge in September of 2007. One week later, Lexie followed him. She had fought a long and valiant fight against cancer. I still miss them dearly.
While Lexie and Cassidy were still with me, in 2004, I adopted another Dal who became B.J. once after he joined my pack. He had been dumped out of a truck and found his way into my friend’s driveway, nearly starved. My sister wasn’t fond of him at first since he was so different from my other two Dals. He was not very trusting, needed to eat by himself, and became very territorial at feeding time, but I always loved him. One day, this past summer, while my sister was lying on the sofa, B.J. crawled up on top of her and placed his head on her shoulder. Needless to say my sister is now one of his biggest fans. Funny how these Dals seem to win people over! Perhaps that is why I am so wild for Dals… they never give up and remain loyal to the end.
I knew that I wanted another puppy and found a breeder named Barb Allison in Latrobe, PA. In November of 2007 I got Bella, a double blue eyed Dal with bilateral hearing from Jeff Gillespie in Ashtabula, Ohio. She is the epitome of a lady… sweet, gentle, and manners that are impeccable. Everyone loves her and she knows it. This is where my madness deepens. I joined the Greater Pittsburgh Dalmatian Club where Bella’s breeders Barb Allison and Jeff Gillespie sponsored me while my application for membership was under consideration. They are the nicest people, the best dogs, and lots of laughs and learning is a constant. It doesn’t get any better than that… but it did.
In 2008, my very good friend Barb was having another litter which I was on the list for for a girl. Barb told me that she had a very special boy that she did not want to go to a pet home. She asked if I would be willing to take him and SHOW him. The idea intrigued me. I would try this new world of show and the worst that could happen is that I would have another wonderful dog and be back to three. So, in November of 2008, Ryder came into my life and so did the world of showing dogs. I have had lots of support from two great mentors, Barb Allison and LaDonna King. We stepped into the ring, a first for both of us, in March of 2009. The show was at the David Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, so it was pretty local. Ryder was 6 months and 4 days old and walked away with a three point major!
I was immediately hooked! At 15 months old and after 26 shows, Ryder ended up with 3 majors and 15 reserves. He never finished any lower than 2nd. In between the AKC shows, Ryder got his United Kennel Club (UKC) Grand Championship in October, 2009. He made the UKC Top Ten for 2009 where he is ranked 3rd!
I have meet friends that will be life long, learned more than I could ever imagine, and have had fun with my Dals. If this is madness, I hope never to be cured.
and the journey continues… Welcome to Soulryde Dalmatians