1. It’s a Great Dane, not a Greyhound. (Or a Dalmatian)
Not that I mind this, right now, especially because she’s little, she’s being mistaken left and right for different breeds. What I love is “Mommy, that’s a fireman’s dog”, sure kid, I love that you just connected with her, even if she’s eye level.
I do have a pinch collar (sorry naysayers she has a swerve on her!) and because of her puppiness (that’s the state of being hyper and sometimes prone to just “HEY! LOOK!” syndrome), it’s going to stay that way for awhile. I bought the least pokey one I could find, it’s just small spikes instead of a normal leather collar. I took her to the Rice Festival this weekend and she did perfectly fine with it, no yelping (I pictured blood in the streets and an SPCA SWAT team) and she heeled even in the rain!
3. No, you cannot saddle her up. or ride her. or have her drag things.
In fact, she’s more delicate than you think. She just got over the growing pains, but those bones are still growing. I’ve still been told to reign in on the hard runs and the wild playing where I can. She still has tears around the house she goes on, especially when cheered on by Ralph, but that said, her growing period extends beyond a normal puppy’s time and for that, she’s due a little delicate handling.
4. A great dane lives…until it passes away.
Honestly. This one hurts my heart a little. I hear this more than anything else. “Do you know they only live for 5-7 years?”…”I would love one, but I don’t want an animal who’s only going to live for ‘so’ long”. Having lost my own dog to a car accident several years ago, we never know how long anyone or any thing may be in our lives. Please do not pass up these amazing creatures because you can’t hedge your bets on your emotions. I am head over heels for Penny, I know I, and probably Ralph, will outlive her, but my life is infinitely better because she has gotten me out of a ditch in life I didn’t know I was even in. In 9 months. When that dog gets hugged or rounds a corner and makes smiles, there’s nothing like it – because I know as a human, I should be doing that for others.
5. No, I don’t live in a huge house, nor a farm, and definitely not a kingdom.
I do have a backyard. I do not live on a palatial acreage of sorts that would allow for livestock to be raised. My chihuahua takes up more floor space running than she will any day of the week.
6. Yes, they eat a lot. No, not truckloads.
At her puppy size, my dog eats two large bowls of food a day. However, in adulthood, she will eat no more (or maybe less than) your adult lab. So, eating me out of house and home will not occur – and for the record, I drive a Mini, not a dumptruck…I shop at a Petsmart or even my grocery store, not a feedstore or farm supply.
7. Great danes are not for security.
My rabbit will show you where the valuables are kept in the house. If she’s too busy to notice you, ask Ralph. But Penny will stand there, face to face with a stranger and either want a hug or burp at you. Neither of which is foreboding. Her hugs are generally a lean into your legs. If you’re looking for security, get an alarm. If you need to have a codependent affection fest with a canine – get a dane.
8. All you need is a space.
No, they don’t take up a lot of room. She takes up no more space on the floor than a teenager watching tv. She is absolutely overly content chewing on a bone and listening to reruns of the West Wing. She does not lunge or dart at things unless she’s playing with you, and she only plays when you initiate. These are amazing gentle giants who want love and affection and hugs and everything, but they don’t want to run a marathon. She is perfectly content in her little corner of the room.
9. They, really, are nice.
And “nice” doesn’t even get the job done. Gracious. Humble. Affectionate. Loving. Needy for People. Unassuming. Open. Loving. Warm. Kind. Fearless. They are as humans should be, and it makes me near guilty feeling to see how she acts and never judges.
I’ll give you that. I can’t lift her to weigh almost anymore. All that means is that I get an amazing amount of heft thrown into me when I get home. That’s a gift in itself. But she thinks she’s tiny, and still lives under the bed.