Pet Tips 'n' Tales©
Gregarious Great Danes
Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"©
June sewed Oregon Duck jackets for Scrappy, Duke and Baylee. When June and Dave walk their dogs they resemble an Oregon Duck Great Dane sled team!
"It's the little things our pets do that melt our hearts," said Dave. As Dave and his wife, June, own three Great Danes, Duke, Scrappy, and Baylee, age nine, six, and ten, respectively, the "little" things that go on in their household are usually BIG "Oh! Ohs!" inspired by their gregarious dogs.
Baylee was June's dog before June and Dave met. After Baylee's approval and acceptance of Dave he proposed, and the three of them began a "happily ever after" life together. Soon the "pitter-patter of little feet" could be heard with the addition of "rescues" Duke and Scrappy.
Home life is anything but normal with 400 pounds-worth of dogs whose heads reach above the level of one's waist. (Scrappy's shoulder height is 37".) It takes a lot of food to feed three big dogs, "But it is the money we spend on treats to spoil them with, that adds up," admits Dave. "They are our 'cheap dates' on the weekends, though, because they consider it a great treat to walk the two miles with us to Kool Beans. June and I treat ourselves to coffee, and the dogs with doggie treats. We donated several bags of safe/nonrecalled dog treats to the shop for other customers' dogs, too".
Housebreaking with "Puppy Pee Pads" doesn't work for dogs of this size, so Dave installed a doggy door to promote housebreaking. However, it is used more for house "escaping" than for housebreaking.
Dave and June's Danes are all purebreds, but Duke is an exceptionally "well-papered" dog. Duke grabs any toilet paper roll he can find, runs out the doggie door and TP's their yard. "Once, Duke commandeered 24 rolls!" said June, "We forgot to put the newly purchased TP away before we left the house. Duke found it and "played" with it all day. The rolls were spread all over our yard! Then when we were cleaning it up, Duke thought this was "phase two" of his game.
We can't hang a toilet paper roll in our bathroom because Duke will grab the roll in his mouth and race for the doggy door. During his sprint the TP unrolls, intact, trailing through the house, out the doggy door, and into the yard."
"We've modified our lives for the dogs in several ways," said Dave. "Nothing edible is left on the counters because their heads are at stealing-food-off-the-counter heights. One morning, we put a frozen loaf of bread on the top of the refrigerator to defrost, thinking that it would be safe there. Nope! Returning home, we found the empty wrapper in the yard.
I can't leave my cell on in the house, because two of our dogs are frightened by of its ring. I've tried every ring tone possible, to no avail. As soon as they hear it ring, they run outside. Maybe I should try the "Meow" ringer that Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe" has for her cell phone; they might love that!
Anyone considering adopting a Great Dane puppy, must take into account their future "full grown" adult size. When we rescued Scrappy he weighed seven pounds, and was smaller than my shoe. Within a few months, he was up to 94 pounds!
When I get home from work, Scrappy dances around me, waiting for me to sit down, so he can sit on my lap. (June has learned to overcome her jealousy). Then in the morning, starting at 6 AM, Scrappy whines at the bedroom door for me to get up so he can replace me in the bed.
Our dogs are all spayed/neutered and good friends. Baylee is a blue merel color but we call her our "dizzy blonde" because she's like a bull in a china shop. When you stand still she'll lean on you, pushing you over with her 150-pound frame.
Duke's favorite treat is a "tester" vanilla ice cream cone. The first time he tasted ice cream, he consumed it in one gulp. His stunned expression revealed his brain-freeze reaction. He's learned to "slowly" lick an ice cream cone.
Our dogs have never spent a night in a kennel. They accompany us everywhere be it on a camping trip to the ocean, the mountains, wherever, and whether we stay in our tent, trailer-tent, or motor home. The best accommodation is our eight-man tent as it is devoid of dog-reaching counter tops. The food is actually "safer" outside the tent! The dogs sleep in the tent where there is lots of room for them to spread out.
Camping "isn't what it used to be" so when Duke indicates that he is leery of a certain camper we trust his' intuition and avoid that person.
As you can imagine, at home, the dogs sleep wherever they want to because who is going to move them!? Their preferences are our love seat, recliner, and couch. During the night, when one of the dogs goes outside to relieve him/herself, a late-night game of musical chairs begins. When he/she comes back in to find another dog in his/her spot, he/she enters the bedroom to wake June to "rearrange" the others.
During the day, though, when Baylee wants another dog out of "her" favorite spot, she starts barking like something fascinating is happening outside. Then she runs outside "pretending" to chase it. The other dogs' curiosity is aroused, so they follow her to investigate the commotion. Baylee then turns, and sneaks back into the house to her just-vacated-by-the-squatter, preferred spot. Despite their super-size, our dogs are really "big babies" who are filled with undying love and dedication to their owners," adds Dave.
"Feed rapidly-growing Dane puppies a high quality puppy food to prevent future health problems. Keep adult dogs' food and water higher than floor level because they are deep- chested, and to help prevent their stomachs from flipping, resulting in bloat, and expensive lifesaving surgery," advises Dave. "I built a two-foot high dog feeder, to just above the height of their stomachs, that holds a five-quart water bowl. We also prohibit running/playing for an hour after eating."
In the summer, Dave fills a plastic kiddy pool for their dogs to cool down in. "When the dogs get hot," said Dave, "they walk into the pool and wait for us to splash them or pour a bucket of water over them."
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