Dalmations Champ and Kora have found their perfect place in Greenbrier

By Becky Bell

Getting a pet is a big commitment, and for years Julie Wilson, a traveling Nurse Manager Consultant, did not think her lifestyle was stable enough to make a pet a part of the family.

Originally from Maumelle, the Wilsons lived in California and moved to Greenbrier last year. That was when her youngest turned 14, and Wilson decided to give in to her daughter’s request for a Dalmatian puppy. 

Julie Wilson with her Dalmations named Champ (from left) and his half-sister Kora. Photo by Mike Kemp

Myley had been asking for a dog for a while, Wilson explained. So, they purchased a Dalmatian pup from Olympus Dalmatians in Guston, Ky. The dog’s AKC registered name is “Going for the Gold.” 

“We wanted to name him Champion, but we couldn’t because that is the title they receive when they win competitions, so he is called Champ,” Wilson said. “And when she saw him, Myley said, ‘He’s just beautiful. He’s a champion!’” 

Although her daughter was completely in love at the sight of the puppy, the road to getting him was not without challenges. Wilson was scammed twice online — for a loss of $1,000 by people claiming they were Dalmatian breeders who seemed very believable, she said.

Wilson said the first scammer was a woman who allegedly owned a farm and bred Dalmatians. She found her website online. “She wanted more information about me and said she wouldn’t give her puppies to just anyone,” Wilson said. “She said there was a $500 deposit to be paid online if this was something I wanted to do. I paid her and never heard from her again.”

Wilson said the other scam was similar. It also had a website, and all it promoted was breeding dogs.

“It was not a puppy farm. I knew better than to buy from a puppy farm,” she said. “A man emailed me a form to fill out and a contract to sign and said to pay how you want and then come pick up the dog.” But what gave the scammers away after the fact was that the names in the contracts were different from the emails and the websites. 

“I was able to track both scam websites to areas in Los Angeles and turned it in to the LA Police Department. They shut down the online sites, but that was just two of the thousands of sites the scammers used. 

“Right after I found out that I had been scammed, my son heard a story on a Christian radio station that one of the DJs had been scammed when she was trying to find a certain breed of cat. It is a big industry. It happens every day, and there are so many scammers online.”

Wilson struggles to think of something sadder than if the $500 a parent spent on a make-believe dog was supposed to be a child’s Christmas gift.

But this story does have a happy ending. The Wilson family grew by one more pup last November when they brought Kora home to be Champ’s playmate.

“Champ and Kora are half-brother and half-sister, same dads, different moms,” Wilson said. “Kora is a liver Dalmation, so she is brown and white. And she also has one blue eye and one green eye … my daughters love them.”

And before Christmas, Wilson plans to retire from nursing and work with her husband on a new project to help low-income families rent decent homes. Having more time at home means the Wilsons may add yet another Dalmatian to their home, but this spotted dog will be a rescue from Olympus Dalmatians.

The journey to getting the pet Dalmatians was difficult, but the Wilson family is now happy to have the active pups as part of their family.