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Old 08-06-2004, 03:57 PM   #1
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Default Cutural Difference Question

Being a brit I sometimes miss the significance behind some of the stamps

But I was wondering if there is a reason on why Dalmation Puppies are included in the Fire Brigade set of stamps? Are they the offical dog of the US fire service?

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Old 08-06-2004, 04:04 PM   #2
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Don't know if they are the official dog, but for as long as I can remember, if you see a dog in a fire house then it is a Dalmation. Usually it is just "full time-paid" fire houses that always have someone there on duty that keep dogs there. Kind of like a mascot.

I live in a rural area and we just have volunteer fire departments where the guys (and gals) just wear pagers all the time and have a schedule as to who is going to be out of town and when. So they don't keep a dog at the fire house as no one is there to care for it!

hope this helps in a small way.
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Old 08-06-2004, 04:06 PM   #3
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Emma, I'm not sure how it started out, but for many years, Dalmatians have been associated with firefighters. For as long as I can remember, I have seen pictures of them on firetrucks, etc. Are they truely the dog of choice? Will you really see them at fire stations? I know there are some around, but they are not the only ones you will see... They have just become the unofficial mascots of firefighters... some of the others... this could make an interesting thread --- how many more can people come up with?

German Shephards - police officers
Dalmatians - firefighters
English Bulldogs - US Marine Corps

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Old 08-06-2004, 04:12 PM   #4
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I love learing about different cultures, so I think its cool that something we have grown up seeing (dalmations/firemen) is a question to someone from a different country.
Imagine all the things we would learn if we visited other country's.
I did know a brittish lady who saw sheep and called them woolies!

We laughed at that!

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Old 08-06-2004, 04:12 PM   #5
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I just did a Google search for "firehouse Dalmation history" and this is what came up at http://www.brockvillefire.ca/ffhist.htm:

We're all familiar with the image of the "Dalmation" on the fire engine. The dogs came into use because of their protective nature and loyalty. Dalmations have shared the barns and the hunt courses with horses for centuries, so when fire-apparatus was horse-drawn, nearly every firehouse had its resident dalmation to help direct the horses, keep the horses company, and guard the firehouse. The horses are gone from fire stations today, but the Dalmations aren't! Firehouse dogs nearly always were called "Sparky" so Sparky was the obvious name for NFPA's fire prevention symbol. Dalmations were also used to protect the fire company's engine and equipment at a time when fire companies actually competed against each other at fire scenes, each trying to out-perform the others.Dalmations were favoured probably because of their size, friendly nature, ability to train, and ability to care for themselves. Likewise urban and nearby departments gave away puppies as new litters were born thus creating an ongoing fire service tradition.

Something I never knew!! ~Pam
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Old 08-06-2004, 04:13 PM   #6
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Hi Emma,

I don't know if this is true or not since I'm not a dog person (unless it is a stuffed Beany Baby!), but I'll go ahead and put in my two cents. I've always heard that dalmations are extremely hard of hearing so they are not affected by the loud sirens like other dogs would be. I'll now have to do some research to find out!

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Old 08-06-2004, 04:14 PM   #7
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By the time I started typing my response, Pam had already done the research! Thanks for the info, Pam.


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Old 08-06-2004, 04:16 PM   #8
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My husband says that dalmations date back to long before Fire Engines were gasoline powered. They use to be horse driven and the dalmations were used by every fire station to chase the horses to make them go faster so they could get to the fires faster! After gasoline powered engines became popular, the firemen didn't want to give up the dogs and had them hang around just for company, or to be their mascot. I don't know if this is really true or not, but I asked my neighbor who has been a fireman for 25 years and he said he thought this was the truth!
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Old 08-06-2004, 04:21 PM   #9
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Now I just need that question to come up in a trivia game!
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Old 08-06-2004, 04:35 PM   #10
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Quote:

Originally Posted by melissaschauer
Hi Emma,

I don't know if this is true or not since I'm not a dog person (unless it is a stuffed Beany Baby!), but I'll go ahead and put in my two cents. I've always heard that dalmations are extremely hard of hearing so they are not affected by the loud sirens like other dogs would be. I'll now have to do some research to find out!

Melissa
You're right, they are prone to deafness, which tends to make them unsuitable as family pets in households with young children. Little kids don't know how to behave around them, and dalmatians have a nasty bite. Also, the breed is too high-maintenance for someone who doesn't understand what they're getting into. This is why there was so much worry about impulse-buying of dalmatian puppies, and the subsequent overwhelming of animal shelters, when the live-action movies came out several years ago.
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Old 08-06-2004, 05:13 PM   #11
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Hi Emma,
What's the weather like in Bristol at the moment? Which part of Briston are you in? My brother went to University there.

Sorry, but being a displaced Brit I need an update from the "homeland" while I swelter in the Texas heat.

THanks,
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Old 08-06-2004, 05:24 PM   #12
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Cate
Sorry, but being a displaced Brit I need an update from the "homeland" while I swelter in the Texas heat. THanks, Cate
Cate - we've got gray skies and rain in the Seattle area - finally! We had a heat wave w/ record highs before this! So, if you're tired of sweltering, you can come here - I've been told the climate is alot like England's.
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Old 08-06-2004, 05:52 PM   #13
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My husband is a Captain with our local volunteer department, so I asked him. He said that because of the calm nature of the dogs they were used to calm the horses. He also said that they are loyal so that they were used to protect the firehouse from having things taken. Just my .02.
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Old 08-06-2004, 06:37 PM   #14
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Pam,
Gray skies and rain sounds wonderful at the moment. They promised a cold front, but it didn't bring any rain here, just humidity (although I did see storms down San Antonio way on the weather channel.

I'm beginning to think that I suffer from reverse Seasonal Adjustment Disorder - I feel so down because it's just too hot to go outside and enjoy the sunshine. I can't complain really because we do have a great life here.

One day, when the children are older, I will travel more. DH has been to Seattle on business several times and says I'd like it ...

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Old 08-06-2004, 07:15 PM   #15
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Cate,
I have lived in the Cedar Park/Leander area all my life and I am still not used to the heat. It has been almost unbearable this week. Even the pool feels like bath water!

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Old 08-06-2004, 07:21 PM   #16
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Cate
... down San Antonio way ...

One day, when the children are older, I will travel more. DH has been to Seattle on business several times and says I'd like it ...

Cate
Caught you speaking Texish there!

Come for a visit! We have lots of room!
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Old 08-06-2004, 07:23 PM   #17
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JJ
I've just seen the forecast for tomorrow - it's supposed to be a pleasant 93 with a 10% chance of rain!

It's good to know that I am not alone.

Cate

PS I'm down near Lakeline Mall but we won't be going there tomorrow - too many people shopping!
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Old 08-07-2004, 12:24 AM   #18
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Wow - thanks for all the responses this has been a great read first thing in the morning! The only dog assoicated with the emergency services over here is The German Shepherd (or wronly named Alsatian) which is the dog of choice for the police.

Cate - Re where in Bristol I live - a village up by the Bridges into Wales called Severn Beach - but I work in Filton and the weather is a balmy (well for us) 24 degrees with - as you would expect light showers on the way

Thanks for all your answers
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Old 08-07-2004, 05:29 AM   #19
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Oops, busted by Pam.
yes the "Texish" does creep in sometimes!

Emma,
my brother lived in Clifton while studying there - and I remember a couple of wild parties when I visited.
My older brother and Dad now live in Cheltenham and we were there for a week in July, when it was cold and rainy to start with but improved.

So how do you know about Stampin' Up?

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Old 08-07-2004, 05:39 AM   #20
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Default Here is what I know..........

We used to have 2 dalmatians and found out that the dalmatians (often spelled wrong as dalmations)... were pace dogs. They have phenomenal lung capacity and they were able to set the pace for the horses when the fire trucks were horse drawn. The dalmatians were kept on as a "symbol" once the fire trucks became motorized.....

Many people actually thought that it was because dalmatians were prone to deafness and the fire bells would not bother them and make them howl. I cannot count the number of times were were asked that when we had our dogs. Dalmatians are actually more prone to deafness because the gene for hearing and the gene for white coloring are next to each other (at least that is what a vet once told us). Additionally, Dalmatians are actually black dogs with white markings, not white dogs with black spots. Some dalmatians have brown (liver colored) spots.

Dalmatians are the #1 biters - or so we were told. People just assume that "pongo" will not bite. People would send their kids up to us and let them pet our poochies without ever asking. Luckily our dogs were fantastic with kids. There was a HUGE problem with people buying dalmatians once the disney movies came out, esp. after the "live" one!

I would not reccomend a dalmatian as a pet. They shed PROFUSELY! We still have dog hair all over the house (and they were not allowed in the house the past 5 years). That is how bad they shed! Plus, they have been dead for quite some time. It is just that the hairs are spiny and sharp and they STICK to everything. I think once we move out of the house, the hair will follow us!


That is my 2 cents......
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Old 08-07-2004, 07:26 AM   #21
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Cate - I'm married to a US Airforce Lawyer who is stationed over here. I discovered SU whilst over in the states - and like most on these boards I now have a SERIOUS habit that needs feeding
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Old 08-07-2004, 07:18 PM   #22
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Hi Emma,
Serious habits are dangerous! I started out stamping to help a friend and then became an SU demonstrator - if only at a very "hobby" level to keep myself in stamps.

Just wait until SU moves across to England.

I will probably be permanently in Texas, or at least the US at my husband (originally from SE London, like me) loves it here and has the job to prove it!

Will you be permanently based near Bristol, or will you "cross the pond" at some point? I love the cultural differences, even though I am used to a lot of them now.
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