I've always had a particular knack for dalmatians. My mom always told me they were mean (which usually isn't true, by the way), but I loved them unconditionally. In my eyes, they understood me. We shared something, something that defined our identity, something that set us apart from all others, something that whether we liked it or not, placed us in our own painfully different physical pool: we both had freckles.
Needless to say, I was not a big fan of my freckles while growing up in the land of Baywatch babes oiling their perfectly bronzed skin on the beach. I was that girl whose mom attacked her with sun care from an early age. While my Italian-ancestry classmates ran out slow-mo style in bikinis on school field trips without a second thought, I was forced to dive into a 20 gallon vat of SPF 9000 before exiting the car by my ever-careful mother.
But I digress. Dalmatians don't use sunscreen, and their spots have nothing to do with sunshine. Californian dalmatians are probably no more emotionally scarred by their freckle-like dots than are West Virginian dalmatians, because like most dogs, dalmatians are primarily concerned with being loyal and loved.
Chelly will always be loved. She likes cuddling, giving kisses, and is beautifully different. I get stopped often while walking her because her spots make her special. It took me years to appreciate my freckles, but now I love them because it's what makes me unique. Chelly and I walk down the street and we strut our spots.