Saturday, February 27, 2010


What is smarlful? It’s an adjective crossed with a verb. It’s a feeling. Smarlful is a toothy smile and a sort of snarl (with absolutely no malice intent) and a whole lot of wonderful.

This "smarling" Dalmatian image is on loan from Dalmatian Rescue of Colorado.

Ask anyone who has ever loved a Dalmatian and they will tell you, this grin-style smile pretty much sums up their charmingly audacious personality. Dalmatians are intelligent, athletic, loving, mischievous, sensitive and silly.

The first time my Dalmatian – that’s Henry at the very top of the page – pulled a smarl on me was about the third day after we rescued him. To be honest, it scared me. I had already witnessed his intelligence and I thought he was planning something usually reserved for a Dean Koontz thriller. I’m so grateful that the momentary fear passed and I learned that this trait was unique to Dalmatians. Now I look forward to each and every smarlful moment, elusive as they may be, and giddiness overcomes me. I always try to give one back, but I just don’t have the spotted good looks to bring about the desired result. The best I can say is the silliness quotient is quite high in our household.

If living with smarlfulness sounds appealing to you, there are many wonderful Dalmatian rescue groups around (see below, or look for one closest to you). Be sure and learn about this active breed and decide if it is right for you and your family, and please be on the lookout (and report) puppy mills. A word of caution: If you allow a Dalmatian into your heart, he/she will own you. Life with Henry is nothing short of an exhilarating experience, and one I wouldn’t trade for anything – not even for a nose like Samantha in Bewitched.

And that’s what smarlful is.


  1. So sweet , I wish Maizy would smile , but I know she's smiling inside :)

  2. Definitely! Maizy makes others smile too!