It’s a Brand New Year!!!

Hi everyone! Luke here…. I’z hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Years! I had a good one. I’z got some nice prezzies, had a turkey dinner ((Mom had to leave me ALONE for christmas dinner since it was at our Grampy’s house and there was too many people there to take me 😦 )) Here are some pictures of me on Christmas, and a video of me opening my gifts. Well, Mom opened dem actually, since I was too excited about the first toy I’z got.


A few of my gifts

My new collar with the new name/number tag.

Posing my handsome self 😛


I LOVEEEE treats!

Just me and Mom 🙂


So, we had a nice quiet Christmas. I hope you all got whatever you wanted.

Here’s some bad pictures of Mom and I out on a night time walk 😛

In the parking lot of Brother’s school

In front of our my favorite pee tree 😛

My new coat kept me nice and warm that night!


On New Years Eve…we had Kayla over. We didn’t do much. Mom wasn’t feeling the best, so we had a quiet night. Until the neighbors starting partying ((they do that a LOT here!)) Then the fireworks started, so Mom and I went downstairs to watch them from our living room window. I wouldn’t go outside in the yard because it was raining. I hate the rain! Mom says we have to make resolutions, but she hasn’t really thought of many, other than hoping this new year will be better for us than the last one was. One thing though…we want to start keeping my blog up better this year!

So yesterday we took  Kayla back to her house. On the way back home, we stopped to have a little run behind the mall. Mom wanted to get some “thug wannabe” pictures of us in front of the graffiti filled walls as a joke. It was COOOOLD! I was so glad I had my nice warm coat on, but Mom wasn’t so smart. She didn’t want to wear her old green winter jacket and look funny, so herz wore two hoodies instead. Well…she regretted it after ten minutes outside. It was freezing and then, so was she! Silly Mamma!

Here I am showing my distaste at pretending to be a “gangsta”.

Here we are together..before Mom ran home crying that her hands were gonna break off from the cold.

Thanks for stopping by! I’z will see you in the next blog 🙂 ~Luke~
I will try my best to post more often, and get around to everyone’s blogs to read and leave comments as I’m able. I hope everyone had a great holiday. I want to share some great articles on training and other canine related issues that I’ve come across and enjoyed, and will do so, when I have time. See you soon! ~Jenn~

Luke’s new Coat..A GREAT company for those looking for giant breed coats!

How could I have forgotten to post this earlier? Ahh, stress and the ever fading memory of a 30 year old 😛
Anyway…back to the topic. Back in November, I was searching for a good deal on a coat that would fit Luke. I came across the Tootlewear website and could hardly believe the price, the quality and add to that, FREE SHIPPING! So, I ordered Luke their winter coat, and it came a couple of weeks later. ((It was later for me because I had just set up a paypal account for the first time, and had to wait for my money to clear))

I am VERY pleased with the coat, and the “snood” that came with it. Not only does it fit perfectly, it’s warm, it looks great, and it has his name embroidered on the side for no extra charge! I highly recommend this company. Their website and facebook page is listed below the pictures of Luke in his coat.


Their website:

Facebook page:

Luke and I say a big THANK YOU to Heather and Tootlewear!

The Liebster Blog Award!

I was surprised and flattered to receive this award from a fellow blogger, Donna, who can be found HERE. I first want to say, that in the new year, I’m hoping to have more time to really get this blog back up and running again, with lots of new info, pictures and daily stories of  Life with the Lukester when possible. I’ve been spending most of my time on Facebook, in my Great Dane groups, that I often forget about this site all together lol. So thank you to Donna for reminding me why I started the blog in the first place, in the hopes people might actually READ it!LOL

Part of the process of getting this award, is giving it to 5 people of my choice. Here are the RULES:

The rules are fairly simple.

(1) Thank the blogger that gave you the award and then add a link to their blog. Again, thank you to Donna for my very first award! 🙂

(2) Reveal your top five picks (with less than 200 readers) and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

(3) Copy and Paste the Award to Your Blog.

(4) Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favorite up-and-coming bloggers, and keep it going!

So my top 5 pics are:

Evolution of Darwin @

They have some great pictures and stories about life with their Great Dane Darwin on their blog.


2nd Pick: Life with Big Dogs!

Tons of informative posts and links to some great sites, lots of nice pictures and stories about living with two Great Danes.

3rd Pick: Danes World with Sasha, a beautiful fawn Great Dane who always has great pics, funny and touching stories to share, and who’s Mom I haven’t chatted with in a while but hope to again soon!

4th pick: Milka [the Great{est} Dane]

I’m loving Milka’s blog! I first came across Milka and her Mom on facebook, and just started reading her blog…it’s full of beautiful pictures and stories.

Last pick: A new blog I have just browsed..found on Milka’s site. A Wonderful Dog’s Life  found here:

I hope I did this right Donna!:)


Wow….I never expected…(response to all the wonderful comments)

I woke this morning, to find so many wonderful comments on Facebook and my inbox in response to this blog post! I never expected something I wrote on here to be viewed by so many people, or to have the kind of response that it has received. Rather than try and reply to each individual comment, I thought it would be best to just write a new blog post all together, to thank everyone for their thoughtful and touching stories. Thank you so much for taking the time to not only share this with your groups and pages, but for taking time out of your busy days to write and share your experiences with me here and on Facebook.

How nice it is to know that we are not alone in our feelings for our dogs. It still amazes me to this day, how simply having a dog/s in your life, can bring people from all over the world, from all walks of life, together. People we would never meet, become a big part of our daily lives just by virtue of the fact we share a common bond…our love for our dogs. With all the negative that has come from technology, there’s no doubt that in this case, it has brought a lot of positive to our world as well!

I  often think of that…of how I really owe Luke, for most of the good friends I have now. I may never meet most of them in person, but I have had the opportunity to get to know so many wonderful people all over the globe, thanks to him and my joining dog forums and Facebook groups in the quest to share and learn with other dane/dog owners. Just one more way that Luke has brought blessings to my life.

The stories and memories that you all have shared with me, touch my heart. It’s nice to know we’re not alone in our passion for our dogs isn’t it? I’m sure many of you can relate to how many times people in our off line lives tell us we’re “crazy”, or “obsessed” lol. Family members who think we spend far too much time talking about our dogs, or spend too much money on them, etc. For many…the only way we get to meet like minded people IS to go online. When our beloved dogs pass on, it can be those people who we only know through a picture or a screen name, that can be of the most comfort to us. Thank God for that link between us, otherwise many of us would have to go it alone.

When I started this blog, it was more with the intent to have a place to jot down my thoughts at the time, experiences I shared with Luke, and the occasional bit of advice or education that I’ve come across over the years. I am no expert, by any stretch of the imagination, on anything really lol…but I have seen so much misinformation out there in regards to Great Danes, that I do try to help educate those that I can when I have the opportunity. I’ve been grateful for the chance to do that quite a few times, when new owners who haven’t had the time put into researching so many aspects of the breed as I have over the years, have come across a problem they needed some input on, and have later told me I helped them to figure it out or solve it. It makes the time I spend trying to learn even more, worth it, as it’s not just for me then, it’s for other people who may go looking for answers themselves someday too.

I wish sometimes that Luke could actually know the huge impact just being in my life has had. Maybe he does. I often say that we don’t give animals nearly enough credit as they deserve. After all, we humans think we have the intelligence market covered…but there are often times where we shown that we don’t know nearly as much as we like to think we do 😛 Animals do things everyday, all around the world, that blow our minds. That make us wonder….how did they do that? How did they know that? Maybe WE are the inferior species after all 😛 After all…how many times do we see evidence that animals possess a greater humanity and humility than we ever will as a species?

Thank you again, to everyone who shares their personal stories. If I don’t get to you all individually, I want you to know that if I see it, I am reading it, and it means a lot to me that you take time out of your lives to share it. Each of you are just another thing I must thank Luke for, as it is he, that bridges the gap between us, and allows us to get to know one another when our paths would otherwise never meet.

God Bless!

Why We Choose To Lose Our Hearts to A Breed With Such A Short Lifespan….

Why We Choose To Lose Our Hearts to A Breed With Such A Short Lifespan….

Great Danes are truly a beloved breed. Everywhere you go, people are drawn to them, even those who are afraid of dogs in general, or those who aren’t dog friendly. I once met an elderly woman at the strip mall a few minutes from here who had been afraid of dogs her entire life; she seen us standing outside of the pharmacy, approached me and asked if she could meet and pat Luke. She was almost in tears at the end of the meeting; it seemed to be such a momentous occasion for her. In situations such as that one, I have no problem whatsoever stopping and allowing them to meet my boy.

Another time we were just out for a nice afternoon stroll on the next street over, when we came across an older gentleman who crossed the street to talk to me and of course, meet Luke. It turned out that he had once had a blue female Great Dane, whom he’d adored, and throughout his telling of the story, the emotion this man displayed for a dog that had been gone a very long time, was incredibly touching. I stayed there for quite a while chatting with him and just letting him soak up the opportunity to be near a dane again.

One of the most common things I hear though, or read online when I’m in my dog forums, is people who say they would love to have a Great Dane one day, but feel they could not handle the short lifespan. The risk of pain so early in the dog’s life, the knowledge that they will grow incredibly close and bonded with the dog, only to lose them in a short amount of time, is too much for them to risk. I can understand and sympathize with that sentiment completely. It is after all, the bane of a Great Dane owner’s existence. That whisper in the back of our mind…what if we only have a year, five years, ten years?

Perhaps that is why for so many of us who live and breathe these dogs, we don’t “sweat the small stuff”. What owners of other breeds, breeds that are known to live a lot longer under the right circumstances, take for granted, we never do. We don’t fret as much about the little misbehaviours, or the mess they make when drool goes flying, when it’s shedding season or when the giant paws track muck through our house so that it ends up looking like a barnyard. Most of us, at least from what I’ve witnessed, tend to be the odd balls that stand by with a smile on our face and just pray that we will have many more opportunities to clean up after those paws. God knows, that whether we are blessed with two years or ten, there simply are not enough of those moments.

There is little doubt that living with and loving a Great Dane can bring us incredible pain, as well as the most intense joy. Ask anyone who has shared their life with more than one, who has rescued, bred, or grew up with the breed, and I’m sure you will be able to hear it in their voice or read it in their words. You know going into it, that unless you are very lucky, you will have to say goodbye too soon. It is that I think, that makes our relationship with our danes that much more intense, more powerful….more…memorable.

I remember all the teasing I received from Patty and my mother about the huge amount of pictures I took of Luke from the day I brought him home. It’s simple really. For one, I don’t have a very good graphical memory. I remember in emotions not pictures, so it is incredibly important to me that I document my life with Luke as much as I can while he is with me, so I have those pictures to help bring his physical memory alive to me later on, when God forbid, I must go on without him. I want to remember every single facial expression, every bit of body language, every new experience he had that I managed to catch on camera. I want to re-live those moments over and over again until the day we meet again, if that’s possible. Because I know me, and I know that it’s going to damn near kill me to lose him. It is a dread and a pain that I hold in my heart every single moment of every single day, and have since that first meeting with him. Yet, it is that very fear of losing him that makes our bond so strong makes each moment that much more special to me than any I’ve ever had with anyone or anything else before in my life. I don’t want to waste a second. I actually find myself getting angry if I am sick or tired and I think I may be wasting valuable time with him. Every minute with him is precious to me.

I pray more now, over him, than I’ve ever prayed in my life. Every night I thank a God I’m not sure I get along with most of the time, for giving me this wonderful gift, for making my dream come true. I pray he will be merciful and give me many more years to share with Luke. Lord knows I can’t even stand the thought of one day without him now, let alone the rest of my life. He is truly the other half of my soul. Not many people “get” that. To many, I am the crazy dog lady and he’s “just a dog”, albeit a handsome, special one, but a dog just the same. Not to me, never to me. He will never and has never, been “just a dog” to me.

I can’t really explain what it is about these dogs that make them so much more than other breeds, what makes them so special and unique. It just IS what it is and you have to have lived with one to understand it. There are some who do have a Great Dane who still don’t seem to “get it”. That much is obvious when I hear horror stories of so many being dumped, or worse, abused. But many of us out there around the globe, do indeed understand, and I think it’s why no matter how different we may be when it comes to all other aspects of our lives, that one thing brings us close together….our intense bond with and love for the breed that only we can really comprehend.

I have the utmost respect for those out there who have rescued and rehabilitated countless danes over the years. Who have loved and lost one after another, always getting back up after the great fall and doing it all over again with a new dane. I know I couldn’t do it; because as much as I know that the pain is worth it, there will never be another Luke. I’m just different that way. I can’t bring another into my life and live with them, knowing they can never be him. I wouldn’t be able to stand the guilt of that. But for those who can, and do, I commend them with all of my being because they truly do take selflessness and unconditional love to a whole new level.

It is human nature to take for granted things in our lives; people in our lives who we assume will be there forever, or at the very least, for a long time. It’s kind of like how, you hurt the ones you love the most because you know they will always stick around, always be there no matter what. When you know going into it however, that they won’t be there forever….it makes you act differently. Feel differently, do things differently. You are much more careful about what you take for granted and what you are careless about. It makes relationships more intense somehow, when you already have an estimated end date. It’s sad that as people, we know this, yet still instinctively do it. You’d think that we would learn from those that we do lose early, to never take anyone or anything for granted, to always treat every person in our lives, every pet, everything that matters, as if tomorrow they could be gone and every second is an important one. Maybe that is one lesson we learn from living with and loving our Great Danes. That each second is precious. Not to be taken lightly. That the muddy paw prints are blessings, not something to curse about. When you know that there will soon come a day when you will wish with all of your heart and soul that you had just one more day to sweep up the hair, one more day to clean the drool off the walls…you realize that even the hassles are blessings in disguise.

I never go to bed, no matter what mood I’m in, no matter how rotten my day has been, without making sure Luke gets his loving and attention. He wouldn’t let me now J I go above and beyond to make sure that I never take my frustrations about my life out on him. He is my sanity, my light in a world full of darkness. He is the smile on my face and the laughter in my heart when otherwise there would be none. He is the reason I give thanks when it seems I have little else to be thankful for. He is not just a dog, and I know without a shadow of a doubt, that when the day comes that we are forced to be separated, no matter how my heart will break, no matter how much I drown in pain, I will forever be grateful for every single moment I have had with him. Because no one, and nothing, has given me in my entire life, what this big black dane has given me in just one day of his time with me. Oh I will hurt, more than ever before or again, but I will never look back and say it wasn’t worth it, or wish I hadn’t have opened myself up to that hurt. Because nothing has or ever will be again, worth it like Luke has been worth it.

The “New” Way versus The “Old” Way of Raising a Dog

There is little doubt that the world of dogs and dog ownership has changed drastically over the years. With the advent of online forums, blogs, training articles and television shows that focus on training Fido to do behave properly; the amount of information out there available to anyone who’s looking, at just a click of a mouse, can actually be quite overwhelming for many.

Whether you are looking for information on what to feed your dog, or how to potty train, the vast amount of opinions is enough to make anyone’s head spin. Many are left wondering, “Why does it have to be so complicated?”.” How can there be so many answers to one simple question?”, and “Which answer is the right one for my dog?” Each area of raising a dog is fraught with debate from so many experts and training guru’s, that it’s little wonder that the vast majority of average everyday pet owners just throw their hands up in the air and go with whatever they have seen work in the past. Even if those methods are not what we today call “the right way” of doing things.

For those of us who are active in the online dog world, who interact daily with hundreds of fellow dog owners, many who are highly experienced in anything from general dog behaviour to professional levels of training, it can be easy to forget that we are not the majority. No matter how large our numbers, we are still the minority when it comes to dog owners around the world. The vast majority of average pet owners are not spending hours reading up on training articles, nutritional studies, breed profiles and breeding practices. They are not spending hundreds of dollars on professional training classes, agility courses, and other dog sports. It would be safe to say I think, that the overall majority of dogs in this world know only the basics, IE: “sit”, “come”, “stay” and “paw”.

I would be willing to bet a good amount of money, that if I were to walk through the streets of my city, polling the general public to see how many know who people like Ian Dunbar, or Patricia McConnell are, they wouldn’t have the slightest clue. Yet go online, into any of the hundreds of dog forums out there, and you’ll see those names touted often in regards to the behaviour and training of our dogs.

I already know for a fact that most people I run into while walking Luke, haven’t a clue what Orijen is, or what breeding practices to look for when buying a puppy. Most have no clue as to what health issues are common to their breed of dog, or what a clicker is. Yet, if I ask them who Cesar Milan is, they can tell me in a heartbeat. And the vast majority of those who know of him think he is brilliant, and that his methods are THE way to train a dog. Go online into one of those forums however, and you will see a totally different story.

There is a good reason for this. Human nature plays a huge roll for one thing. We live in a society of “we want it all, and we want it NOW”. The easiest path and the method that gets us to our destination the fastest is generally the most popular choice. We also live in a society where the more something is advertised, the more bombarded we are with certain images and ideology; the more apt we will be to follow it. If it’s on TV, on commercials, if it has a cute little jingle or it makes the least bit of sense, and if the method is easy and works fast, you have a winner. Cesar’s methods seem to do just that. They make sense, and work fast with relatively little effort. So it SEEMS. There is little understanding among the general public on what negative effects can be seen from training dogs in the manner in which he does things on his show.

People are busy today. We have families who have to work long hours in order to make ends meet. Time is a luxury. Anything we can get to make that time more efficient, allow us to do more than one thing at once, is gold. All you have to do to realize this fact is take a look at the technology we have at our disposal now. We have Iphones and Ipads, gadgets that can do anything we want or could ever need them to do at just a push of a button, so we have more time to focus on other things. So, it makes total sense then, that so many people are going to take the path of least resistance when it comes to dog training doesn’t it?

If you can train a dog to walk on lead properly within a few minutes using the prong collar, why not use that? Why take time we don’t have, trying to train a dog that pulls and yanks us down the street, to walk properly using positive only methods, methods that may take weeks of repetitive and frustrating attempts when it can be done almost instantly? When you’re pressed for time and you have a family to raise, kids to get off to their various sports and school functions, a nine hour work day; most people just do not have the time to spend taking multiple baby steps when one big one will do. Even if those smaller, longer steps might lead to a happier, healthier and better behaved dog in the end, time and patience is always a big factor in our lives these days.

There is no doubt about it: the culture of dog ownership is changing every day. The amount of accessible information is staggering. Education is only a tv remote or mouse click away from our fingertips at any given moment. There are enough books on raising dogs on the market now that it would make your head spin. More and more obedience classes and other types of dog training and fun activities are being opened up in cities and towns across the globe. Yet…there still remains a vast amount of the population who see dog ownership in much the same way they did fifty years ago or more. Even my generation, when looking back at how our family dogs were raised, can see a dramatic shift in the thinking behind how we raise and train our dogs.

Dogs were not furry people. They didn’t require play dates and dog parks, nor did the owners go into emotional meltdown at the idea their pooch might not like every dog in the neighbourhood. Behaviorists and trainers weren’t called upon and paid fifty bucks an hour to evaluate whether the dog had fear issues or to fix social problems. They didn’t need to meet a dozen new furry friends a day in order to be happy, fulfilled dogs. Many slept on the floor of the home with no expensive dog bed or even a blanket in some cases. Many slept outside the home altogether. They weren’t fed organic, holistic blend kibble costing an arm and a leg. Owners didn’t spend hours online or at the pet food store reading labels and studying ingredients on the back of food bags. The dog ate scraps from the kitchen table if it was lucky; otherwise the cheapest bag of kibble, which could change weekly, was thrown into a bowl without a second thought as to the nutritional value. Nobody worried about allergies and cancer, whether Fido was getting too much or too little exercise or none at all. Building six foot privacy fences just to keep him secure was probably unheard of. Vets were for emergencies and maybe a few vaccines if that.

Pedigrees and researching breeders was something only a very few worried about. If you wanted a dog, you got one for free at the neighbour’s house when they’re dog happened to have pups. Or you came across a sign on the side of a road somewhere, saying “free pups”, and stopped to pick one. There was no waiting two to three years and signing contracts more complicated than getting a mortgage for a home, to get a pup. There was no worrying about back yard breeders or puppy mills or genetic health testing. Today to not do all of these things is to be considered an unworthy owner. If your dog isn’t involved in some sort of activity, exercised at least an hour or two a day, trained to do a dozen tricks, and socially adept with all other dogs and people, you are considered a failure to Fido.

There is little doubt that with all the new information out there, positive changes are taking place in the dog owners’ community. We now have a much greater understanding of a wide spectrum of issues; like the topic of breeding for instance. We have more insight into how health issues are perpetuated in the lines of breeding stock, how temperaments are genetically passed on. We now understand why some dogs behave in ways that prior to these past few years when behavioralism started to become popular, were just passed off as the actions of a “bad dog”.

Yet….as with so many other areas of our world where we are in possession of so much more knowledge, we still make so many mistakes. There are still so many problems that you would think, knowing what we now know, we wouldn’t have. It seems though that nowadays every second dog we see or hear about, has some sort of behavioural issue. Excessive barking, biting, chewing, digging, separation anxiety or severe fear issues, are just a few of those issues. It would appear, that now more than ever before, dogs in general are having more problems, despite all the hundreds of methods we can use to train them, all the scientific research to explain why they behave the way they do; the more understanding we have, the worse the dogs behaviour gets.

Perhaps this is why it is so difficult at times, to convince people that the new ways are the best ways. Scientific research and results are great, but they have little value when set against anecdotal evidence or previous experience the person we’re trying to educate may have. If Jane has raised a dozen dogs before, none of whom had any of the behavioural problems she is now seeing in all her neighbour’s dogs, dogs who are being trained with the “new ways”, it’s going to be pretty hard to convince her that her ways are wrong isn’t it? It’s like going to a person who’s never been sick a day in their life, telling them that the lifestyle they lead is unhealthy; all the while the person preaching is running to the doctor’s office every week.

It’s hard to convince people who have owned and raised the farm bred mutt their entire lives, dogs who happened to live long, healthy lives, that spending thousands of dollars on pure bred, health tested dogs from “reputable” breeders is the best way to go. Especially when every pure bred dog from those top of the line breeders they’ve ever met or come across in their life has been dead by the age of 8 or 9, racked up thousands in vet bills; while their Heinz 57 lived to 15 while seeing the vet only for emergencies or vaccines. It looks good on paper, or online in dog forums, but harder to convince those who’ve lived long enough to see years of anecdotal evidence to the contrary. This is why education can only go so far. Experience counts a lot more to most people than words on a page in a magazine or in a forum online. Even if those words happen to be actually true.
To be continued……………………………….

The Stigma attached to muzzles and dogs who wear them




If you have ever worn a muzzle on your dog, you have probably noticed the looks you can receive from passerby as you walk along, or have heard the snide remarks hidden behind the hands of the person walking an out of control beast or rather, being drug by the dog, or noticed how they glare at you like you’re some cruel monster abusing your dog.

It amazes me how the human brain can work sometimes. For instance, logically, you would think a person would feel much safer approaching a dog with a muzzle on, than a strange dog that does not. I mean think about it, at least the dog with the muzzle CANNOT bite you..where as the other dog, who knows?

It saddens me to think that there are truly responsible dog owners out there, who would be much better served by having a muzzle on their dog, who refuse to do so, and thereby may be putting society as well as their beloved friend at risk, out of fear of being judged for it. I myself have been guilty of this. Often times over the past few months I’ve found myself thinking it might be a good idea to get a muzzle for Luke, but kept turning away from the idea because of the stigma, almost buying into it myself. “Oh I can’’s cruel. It looks barbaric, people will think he’s nasty”, etc.

I have since woken up. And realized that there is nothing more loving or responsible, than knowing your dog, their limitations, their quirks, understanding the public and their inability at times to make rational say, ASKING before running up to your dog to manhandle them? Somehow that seems like such a foreign idea to some people these days 🙂 I realized, that my dog is telling me, he is not comfortable with strangers man handling him. He doesn’t like children, and he doesn’t want them rushing at his face, hurling themselves on his back and body like he’s a wooden horse. And as such, that someday, he might not just stand there and growl, he may actually snap and bite. I know that about him, so it is only right and responsible for me knowing that, to make outings with him as safe as can be. So I will be getting a muzzle for Luke.

Is he vicious? NO. This dog has been socialized to the point of insanity since the day I got him at nine weeks. He’s like me I guess. I can take you or leave you, if you’re human lol. I don’t want strangers mauling all over me either. And you know, if you keep disrespecting me and my space? I just might bite you too. Rather than keep going on the way I am now, always hoping I’ll have time to tell people BEFORE they rush us not to do so, praying he won’t snap this time…I will make sure that nothing CAN happen.

It seems as if the general public has this idea in their head that we Great Dane owners are somehow obligated to let them maul our dogs. Yes, we get it. He’s huge. You haven’t seen them often or at all before. But at least have the common courtesy to respect me when I say “please don’t do that”, and to respect HIM by not rushing at him like a crack head. Because you can damn well bet that if he did snap, he’d pay the price for it, and that I won’t stand for.

We dane owners do not owe the public our dogs. They are not circus freaks. They are not toys for your children. Many people out there walking Great Danes are owners of new rescues, or fearful danes who really aren’t comfortable around new humans yet. Some never are comfortable. Just because they’re huge, and Scooby Doo was a cute and snuggly, does not mean all danes are, and you might just be setting up an innocent animal for failure by not respecting that fact.

A properly fitted muzzle is neither cruel nor barbaric. It is not a sign that you have failed as a trainer of your dog. It is not a sign that your dog is nasty or a man eater. There are many reasons one might wish to use a muzzle. If only more people would do so, we might see a huge reduction of dog attacks on both other animals as well as humans. At the end of the day, it’s more cruel to set a dog up for possible failure, set them up to be labelled a vicious dog when they bite someone, than it is to prevent such a thing from ever happening.

Fearful dogs are the number one candidates in my opinion for a muzzle. Every one who knows anything about dog behavior will tell you, a fearful dog is an unpredictable dog. You never know what is going to trigger or when that trigger will occur.(You can only micro manage the world around you to prevent it so much before something at some time happens to set them off) Not only does having the muzzle on help YOU feel more confident and at ease, it helps the dog because they no longer have to deal with YOUR fear right along with their own. If you’re walking down the street and you know there is no POSSIBLE way your dog can harm another dog or person, even accidentally, then you are going to be walking with much more confidence and more relaxed at the other end of that leash. This transfers to your dog…making your outings that much more enjoyable for both of you.

Bottom line? If you feel that a muzzle is the right answer for your dog, let NO ONE tell you otherwise. Don’t be guilt tripped or criticized out of doing what you feel is safer for YOUR dog. Don’t feel as if you have to prove something to the world by forcing your dog into situations they cannot handle, just so you can say “I fixed him I’m the great dog trainer who turned my dog hating dog into a dog lover, or a dog who hates kids into a daycare stalker” Because when you do that, it’s not just the public you are risking to prove that point…it’s your best friend.






Socialization:The Importance of it and why it doesn’t always fix everything

One of the first commandments of dog ownership is to “socialize your pup/dog”. Its importance in raising a dog to be a well balanced, happy dog is even stated in the actual breed write ups aka breed standards of many different breeds. Some dog breeds of course, require much more extensive socialization than others, due to their genetic predispositions to things such as dog aggression, or trust of strangers.
What does it mean to socialize your puppy or dog? It means exposing them to as many new situations, places, people and animals as you possibly can,early on, so that the pup will grow to be confident and secure no matter where you may take them or whom they may meet later on in their life. It is extremely important that any socializing be monitored so that new experiences are made as positive as possible for your pup/dog. A bad experience can leave a dog that was once confident and secure, quivering in fear at even the sight of another dog, person or place. This is one of the reasons dog parks can be such a disaster, especially for a young pup who is still learning the ropes so to speak. They can learn to distrust and fear dogs in general after being bullied at a dog park….leading to the owners having to then bring in trainers or behaviorists in the attempt to reverse the problem. And sometimes, no matter how much they work to correct it, that dog may never be the same again. May never be totally stable around other dogs.
Many people suggest, myself included, that instead of putting your pup or older dog in situations that can be unpredictable and risky, it is safer to arrange smaller, more secure settings where you have a better idea of how things will go. For instance, instead of taking your pup into a large gathering of other dogs to socialize, pick a dog or two that you know and trust, who’s play style suits that of your pup/dog and go from there. Arranging play dates with your friend’s dog is a much safer bet than putting them in a fenced in area with strange dogs you’ve never met before, and have no way of knowing how they will behave…or if the owners are in control of the dog/s.
Try not to overwhelm your dog. Too much of anything at one time is never a good thing. While some dogs may cope just fine with an overload of stimulation, others can shut down completely, leaving you ten steps back rather than ten steps ahead.
It is true, that by socializing your dog as much as possible, you can make a dog much more likely to be confident and secure in new situations. That is a given. However…what I do not agree with, and never have, is the idea that socialization is the cure all to ALL behavioral issues, or that it completely erases a dog’s genetic predispositions. I’ve seen far too much evidence to the contrary to believe that. It is a preventative, it is a teaching tool,but it is not a one size fits all fix to everything.
I hear of or have seen, an awful lot of dog owners who have gone into the relationship with their new pup or dog, no matter the breed, thinking that as long as they socialize, that dog will never have dog aggression issues, never be afraid of or not like people, never chase rabbits or want to kill a cat. It simply isn’t always true. There are some dogs, who despite all the socialization in the world, still retain certain personality traits that while may be controlled or containable with proper care and consideration (being careful about what dogs they meet, where they are taken in public, never allowed to run off lead for instance) are never quite trustworthy in certain situations 100%. It is when these owners refuse to acknowledge that fact, that disasters can and do occur.
Some breeds are just naturally leery of strangers for instance. This is in their genetic makeup. Even when breeders have tried over the years to breed more stable, friendly dogs, many still retain those original traits.Some breeds have a natural desire to chase prey. Some need to herd. Take herding dogs. They may not all be living on farms nowadays, herding sheep…but they still retain that desire, that genetic NEED to do so. How many of these breeds end up in shelters when the owners live a lifestyle that isn’t conducive to fulfilling those needs, and can no longer cope with the consequences of choosing a dog that NEEDS to be stimulated?
It bothers me when I see people trying to fit dogs into their own cookie cutter ideals and personal needs, and when the dog doesn’t conform 100%, they suffer for it.
Here is the fact. While socializing your Great Dane will go a long way to helping them be more trusting and comfortable with strange people and other animals, it does NOT guarantee that your dane is going to end up loving all animals and people they meet on the street. At the end of the day, these are still dogs who have a genetic predisposition to be protective of their immediate families, to be a bit leery of strangers. While dog aggression is not a huge problem in general, it can and does happen, and just because your dane was great with dogs for the first year or two, does NOT mean that they will not later on with maturity, develop some sort of DA.(Irregardless of how well socialized they may be or have been) Not ALL Great Danes are going to “LOVE” children and want to be climbed all over and mauled. And I don’t think it’s fair to fault them for it if they just happen to have the personality that they were originally meant to have. Faithful and protective of their masters and immediate family, guardians of their home and territory and leery of those outside of that intimate circle.(as all mastiff’s are supposed to be) Nor is it fair to expect every single dog of any breed to share the exact same personality or traits. We are each individuals at the core, and so are our dogs.
I think it can be very dangerous in some ways, for people to tout socialization as the automatic fix of all issues. When we refuse to realize that there are some things that just cannot be completely removed, we put our beloved dogs in danger of reacting in ways that may cause them harm, other dogs or people harm, and ultimately end their lives. It happens a lot with bull dog breeds. People refuse to accept that their dog just may never like other dogs. Period. They continually try to “socialize” that out of them…putting their dog and the public in danger by forcing them into scenarios where they might react negatively. If you know your dog has a problem with male dogs for instance, you simply make sure you avoid letting that dog engage with other males. You don’t stick them in the face of every male dog you come across, hoping that by flooding them with the very thing they can’t handle or don’t like, they will magically become the friendly dog at the park who loves and wants to play with everyone. It’s irresponsible, and as far as I’m concerned, another great example of how we as humans continue to put our dogs in harms way just so we can show off how superior we are as trainers, as dog owners, as “alpha’s”, or what have you. And when you make a mistake, when you’re not watching for one instant, when your dog attacks and maims another dog, or a child, when you KNEW that it was a very good possibility, and that dog is forced to be euthanized, labeled a vicious dog, you have no one to blame but yourself. And maybe the people who spend so much time convincing the dog world that by bombarding your pooch with experiences they can’t handle or don’t enjoy, you’re going to cure them of that dislike.
There has to come a point when you realize that changing certain traits that could otherwise be managed and prevented, is not worth the risk. When the children you so desperately want your dog to be fine with, might prefer keeping their skin intact, rather than being a guinea pig so you can re program your dog. It’s fine to try and work with your dog to get over fears, to help build confidence, to eradicate certain negative associations. I’m not disputing that at all. What I am saying is, that when you get to the point where you just know in your heart that your dog is never going to be a lover of strangers, of certain people, of other dogs, of cats,etc…then accept those “flaws” if you see them as such,and manage them the very best that you can so both you, your dog and the public will remain safe. And so your dog can lead a happy life not having the very things they will never enjoy shoved in their face and down their throat all of the time.
Luke does not like children. I know that, I accept that, and I manage that by not constantly parading children in his face every day. I make the public very aware that he doesn’t want to be manhandled and to please respect his space…as you would want people to respect yours. And guess what? You could not ask for or probably find a more socialized dog than Luke. That poor guy has been literally bombarded with people of all ages, shapes, sizes and dogs of all shapes and sizes and breeds, since he was a pup. And yet he still does not like certain male dogs now. Nor does he want people man handling him anymore. Socialization didn’t affect that. What he put up with and seemed to even enjoy a year ago, is not what he prefers now. And I don’t see anything at all wrong with that.
The point? Know your dog. They’re strengths, their weaknesses. How far you can push them and when to just back off and let them be. Don’t let anyone else talk you into putting YOUR dog in dangerous positions that may harm you and the one you love, just so you can say you didn’t give up, you got the upper hand, or what have you. Sometimes we just need to let them be who they are. We don’t have them with us nearly long enough in the first place…let’s not let their short lives be full of turmoil as we try to force them to be something they are not.

Luke’s 2nd Birthday and A New Sister!!!

I have news!!!

First off, my baby boy is now a “man” lol. Luke turned 2 on July.14th, and what an emotional trip that was for me. I created a video of our first two years together, with two songs that really get to the heart of our bond and how I feel for my boy. I also caught a few pics of our day before my camera died on me. He had a nice time. We went to visit Nanny at her house, then Grampy at his house. He had a birthday muffin with candles and recieved a box of plain timbits from Patty, which he of course, LOVED. He had a few little presents (Mamma didn’t have a whole lot of money to spend this month although he’s since gotten a few more toys and treats lol) It’s hard to believe he’s 2 already. Sometimes it seems like only yesterday I was picking him up at the airport…and other times, it feels like we’ve been together, attatched at the hip, forever.

Here are the pics and video. I hope you will enjoy them.


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Some pics from a day or two after his birthday, down by the water…a place we walk often.

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And now for some news!!
Lukey has a new sister/aunt 🙂 This is Sophie, a Valley Bulldog. She is my mother’s pup actually but since I will have her here with me a lot of the time, and will be doing most of her training with her, she’s sort of mine too lol. Luke will be meeting her tommorow and I will be getting some new pics and videos then. I’ll also be making videos of her training progress as we go along. I think he’s gonna love her! She’s a doll, that’s for sure.



Pics of Sophie from at the breeders, until now:

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Common Mistakes New Dog/Puppy Owners Make:part 2

To continue on where we left off….

Another hugely common mistake new owners make when first bringing home their new pup, and for the first few months of their lives, is allowing behaviors that they won’t want continued into adulthood. There’s no doubt about it, it takes a pretty tough person to say no to a brand new pup. The little face looking up at you with such love, excitement and trust, melts your heart and steals a part of your soul, leaving you unwilling to say that big bad word..”NO!”.

What we dont’ take into account, is that much of, if not most of what our dogs learn about life, social behavior, how to interact with other people and animals, and proper behavior in the home, is learned in those first few months when the cute overrides our sense. It is imperative, that we realize that every single moment of the day from the minute we bring home our new pup, is a potential for learning. Be it positive behavior or negative.

I find many dog owners seem to think that training is a chore. We take out a certain amount of time per day to work on things like “sit”, “Come”, “Stay”,etc. We forget that each and every interaction we have with our dog during the day, is indeed a training session. A time of learning, shaping behavior, teaching our dog what behaviors we want, and preventing those we do not want. Looking at it in this manner, and living by it, makes training SO much easier! It means that you are steadily and constantly working with your dog, even when you’re simply sitting down watching a tv show, or putting food in their bowl, every time you go to let them out to potty. Everything, even the most seemingly unimportant, means a lot in the end.

It is MUCH easier to work with and train a dog when that dog knows exactly what behaviors we want from them, expect from them and behaviors that please us….rather than waiting until they do something we want to correct…and expecting them to understand what it is they’re being corrected for and why. A dog that isn’t taught how TO behave, won’t understand what it means to NOT behave. Make sense?

It is a wonderful idea, to establish what “house rules” you want your puppy,and later on, your adult dog, to live by. These rules should really be established before you even bring Fido home. If you live in a family setting, or with anyone other than yourself…these rules/guidelines should be clearly discussed and decided on. It is imperative that each member of the household understands the rules, and how you will go about teaching them. If every member of the house has a different set of guidelines, or allows different behaviors…and if they go about training differently, it is going to be MUCH harder for the pup to learn, and quite confusing for them. All guidelines should be simple, clear and easy to understand.
That means..if you’ve decided no dog on the furniture…NO ONE is allowed to let the pup on the furniture. Period. No excuses. No special occasions. Later on, when the dog is older, more reliably trained, and more mature…perhaps you can then start showing him/her different scenarios in which he’s allowed to go on the furniture. But allowing it one moment and not the next when first training, is not going to work well for most dogs and will indeed only make the dog not trust rules…since rules change so very often for no apparent reason in the dog’s mind. This is one of the hardest things for families to accomplish. Because we all see things differently, each member has a different bond with the pup, a higher or lower threshold for what behaviors they can ignore and what ones they can’t. But to successfully raise a well behaved pup who understands their place, it really is important to do our absolute best on this.

People don’t realize that you don’t have to be in “training mode” with clicker and treat handy at each moment…in order to teach your dog. Nor do you have to always give cues, or lure behaviors in order to reinforce them. A great example of this is the “sit” command. Go online and there are at least a dozen different methods given by various trainers on how to teach “sit”. When really, it’s quite simple. No luring necessary, BECAUSE…the sit, is a natural body movement that every single dog, cat, person and animal does. Every day, multiple times per day.

Rather than put a dog on lead, pull up on the lead, push down on the back-end, lure with a treat,etc….the easiest and most common sense way to accomplish this, is simply reward and praise each time you notice your pup doing the sit naturally. If you are supervising your pup properly, which every dog owner SHOULD be doing in the first place, it won’t take long to teach this, as they will be sitting multiple times throughout the day. Each time they do? BIG praise…and add the command “sit”. Not only is this easy, it also helps with dogs that are a bit more stubborn minded and like to think THEY make the decision to do the behavior 🙂 Same thing with the down command. A lot of dogs do not take well to being physically forced into  down. Especially those who have fear issues or who are reluctant to put themselves in a vulnerable position. Rather than force them, causing more anxiety…simply wait for the natural behavior to occur, and praise/treat accordingly. No fighting with the dog, and you get the results you want. Relatively quickly too! 

Again…rather than wait until your pup is exhibiting behavior you do not want….teach them what behaviors you DO want, by always supervising, being close by and noticing their movements and actions, so you can then tell them when they are doing the right thing. Pup is sitting calmly at your side? PRAISE. “Good sit”. Pup comes up to you and doesn’t jump? Praise..good puppy. Pup barks once or twice to alert you of something, then stops barking….BIG PRAISE…”Good quiet”. You are teaching the pup long before excessive barking becomes an issue…that it’s ok to alert you, but once you’ve been alerted and acknowledge the situation, pup must then quiet down.

REMEMBER::Consistency is EVERYTHING when working with dogs, old and young. Use the same command for the same behavior, praise every time you see the good behavior, even after they’ve already learned it. Luke is 2 years old, and I still thank him for telling me when he has to go outside to pee. I still thank him for heeling properly, for quieting down after alerting me to strangers near our house, for waiting patiently for his dinner.

So, pay attention to your pup. Sticking a pup in a crate for most of the day, may make potty training easier for you, but it doesn’t teach the pup how to properly interact and behave in the home and out. That is up to you. They don’t come to us already knowing everything. It is our job to teach. Patiently, fairly and with the understanding that each dog is different. Each one will learn at their own pace. Each dog may require different methods of training than others. Some may be food motivated, some toy motivated. Some may just want praise. Learn about your pup, what motivates them, what makes them tick. Observe them in all surroundings and see how they naturally react. Make all of your interactions with your pup positive and rewarding for both of you. Training a pup can be hard work yes, but it should never be a dreaded chore. It’s a part of everyday life, and should be, for the entire life of the dog. Make it fun, make it simple. Make it a bonding experience for you both. And make sure the entire family is on the same page. I will share some more in-depth methods in a later post….

Common Mistakes New Dog/Puppy Owners Make

This article written by me (Jenn Higgins) will be posted in parts, as it will be too long to put in just one blog. Stay tuned 😛

It is a fact, that a lot of, if not most of the huge number of dogs being re-homed, sent to shelters and rescued, or sold in the attempt to make a profit…are all the end result of common and all too frequent mistakes made by people getting a new pup or dog. despite the over abundance of information IE education out there, accessible by just a click of a button, we still see it over and over again. In this article I will try to outline each of the most common problems we see. Keep in mind that there are always exceptions to every rule…and that there are indeed some very understandable reasons why some dogs need to be re-homed. This post is in no way to degrade or look down upon those situations…but to instead, highlight some key points to think of before ever bringing that new cute puppy home.

– Not doing enough research on the breed of dog one is getting (if any is done at all) Not understanding or coming to terms with the reality of living with that breed…the specific requirements of the dog, as well as taking individual qualities and/or issues that may crop up. 
This is so rampant it’s not funny. Someone sees a cute puppy in a picture, on an ad site, out on a walk…and all of the sudden they just “have” to have that kind of dog. Or they see it on a tv show, movie, commercial and that’s the dog they want…RIGHT NOW. No thought whatsoever is put into the fact that although every puppy is cute, cuddly and adorable, not every puppy who will indeed GROW UP TO BE A DOG…is the right one for them. In fact, very few people have a huge list of suitable breeds that actually match their lifestyle. So we have Mr. & Mrs. Jones rushing out to get this cute puppy,not realizing, or considering that the pup they just picked up, is a very high energy breed…one that needs continual training, socialization, mental and physical excercise multiple times per day, may have a host of health issues that is common to that breed of dog, has specific feeding requirements,etc. Perhaps they didn’t take into account that this dog may not be great with children, of which the Jones’ have three. So what happens when reality sets in? The pooch gets dumped on the first willing rescue or person who will take him.

There is a reason different breeds were created. They are all different in their own ways, while at the same time, sharing certain similarities. They each had their own job that they were bred to do. While many breeds no longer retain much of the original working purpose they were bred for, nor used in that way, many others still do. In fact there are quite a few breeds that to this day REQUIRE work, in order to be stable, happy and healthy. Dogs like Border Collies, GSD’s, Malinois…without a steady stream of activity, both mental and physical, can become a NIGHTMARE in the hands of uneducated, ill prepared novice pet owners whose lifestyle simply does not match the needs of the dogs.

This is where we see the “I don’t have enough time for him”, “He needs more room to run and someone who’s willing to give him all the time and attention he needs” comes in. Which is basically the nicer way of saying “Hey..I have this dog who is no longer a cute fuzz ball…I didn’t think anything through before bringing him home. I assumed he’d raise and train himself and that knowing how to sit and give paw was enough in the way of “training”. I thought walking them once or twice a month for a half hour while I’m being drug down the road behind a dog who has no manners whatsoever, because of course we thought he’d learn those on his own too…was enough excercise. I was wrong. Now I need you, I need ANYBODY to come take responsibility for this dog so I don’t have to do what I should have been doing from day one. Thank you.”

Although each dog is at its core, and individual…it cannot be denied that indeed the breed DOES matter in the grand scheme of things. There are some breeds that are simply not suitable for a certain type of home. A BC should never be with an elderly, disabled couple who cannot walk much or leave their retirement home. A Great Dane is not for someone who wants to run marathons and climb mountains everyday, someone who wants to be out in extreme weather or someone who requires a dog with a ton of endurance. There are general breed characteristics for a reason. So that each and every person can decide whether this is the kind of dog that will fit into their lifestyle smoothly and happily. Beware those who claim a lifestyle they do not yet have. It is very easy for someone to say “I’m going to change my life to start doing this, to accommodate my new dog”, but it’s very rare that the person will actually do it, and stick with it. Thus another dog being either trapped in a home that doesn’t suit, or re-homed. Every person MUST be 100% honest with themselves. ARE you truly an active person? Are you SURE that for the ENTIRE LIFE of the dog, you are going to be willing and/or able to get up and take your dog out for walks, runs, training sessions, etc? What other options do you have set in place should there come a time when you are ill, or can’t do these things for a while. It’s easy to say “Oh I can get my neighbor or my sister to come over and let the puppy/dog out, etc.” REALLY? Are you SURE?  In the end we all should know who we are as people and what we want in our lives. If we’re lazy couch potatoes and aren’t absolutely sure we can give a high energy breed 100% of us, then we have no business getting that dog. If we’re a super high energy marathon runner who wants to go go go all the time or someone who travels constantly, then we do not need a Great Dane or other moderate/low energy breed that NEEDS to be with their owners, not left alone or dumped in kennels every week while their people travel the world. So again, before ever bringing that puppy home…BE HONEST about who you are as a person, and what you are TRULY capable of giving, LONG TERM, to a dog. Any dog.

Simple Questions to ask one’s self before bringing home a new pup/dog:

-Do I have the time to train, socialize, walk, and otherwise spend quality time with a dog? Is fluffy going to spend more of her time in a crate alone, than being among family and her owners? Is she going to get enough excercise not just for this week, or the next few months, but long-term?

-Do I understand both the positives and negative aspects of this breed/ or mix of breeds? IE:Health issues, specific nutritional needs, training requirements (you may have chosen a stubborn, harder to work with dog, rather  than a super easy,brilliant and eager to please pooch) Can I handle things like possible dog aggression if I pick a breed that may be more prone to it? Do I understand that not all dogs learn at the same pace, that mine may be faster or slower than other and that it might be up to three years before I have a reliably trained dog in my home? Can I cope with that?

-Am I financially capable of caring for, feeding, vetting, this dog?

-What am I actually looking for from this dog? What am I expecting it to be like, act like, live like? Are my expectations realistic? Am I willing to put the time and effort, perhaps even money if I require a professional trainer, into making those expectations come to fruition?

-Does my entire household/family agree with getting this dog? Is everyone going to be involved in raising and the upkeep of the dog? Not just during the cute phase but for the entire life of the dog? Who will be the main caregiver? What will I do if I have to do it alone?

-If renting, am I absolutely positive that I’m allowed to have a pet, including a dog? Is there size or breed restrictions where I am living currently? What will I do in the event that I am forced to move for some reason. Do I realize how incredibly difficult it can be to find an apartment or condo that allows pets, let alone dogs?

-Do I have enough on my plate already with children in the home? Am I truly willing to supervise the children and the dog AT ALL TIMES…NO QUESTIONS ASKED? For the safety of both dog and child? Am I prepared to teach my children the proper way to interact with a dog and make sure that this dog is not going to be used as a jungle gym, tail and ears as tug of war toys?

-Do I already have pets in the home? Is one more going to upset the balance and cause issues? What will I do if they don’t get along? Am I willing to keep separate any animals and do a “Crate and rotate” type deal, if indeed they do not get along? Can I handle that stress and worry every single day for at least ten years?

These are just a few questions a person should ask themselves before bringing home a dog. The question should never be..what can a dog offer me. It should always be..what can I offer this dog. Only then, and only when all questions are answered truthfully and coincide with the dog you are getting, can you ensure a life long happy home with your new friend.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother….

You would think with all the information out there, with ease in which you can learn just about anything these days, that people getting a pup or a dog, of ANY breed, would at the very least, take a few minutes to learn what kind of dog they’re getting, what the basic ideas of training are, and try to use them. Not in this area! And certainly not on some of the sites I am on. Yahoo answers for one. Why I go on that site when all it does is aggravate me is beyond me. Apparently I’m a sucker for punishment. And facebook groups. The ones for Great Danes really upset me. Of course being the breed of my heart, it always upsets me when I see them in the hands of owners who are not even willing to learn more in order to better the health and welfare of their dane. Some of the things I read make me so frustrated it’s a good thing I’m sitting behind a computer screen miles away from the person lol. Once in a while though, I will come across someone who genuinely cares about their dog, who genuinely wants to learn more about the breed itself or how to improve on training, behavior or perhaps nutrition. The food issue seems to be one of the most common questions. On the occasions when the asker actually appreciates my advice or suggestion, and can better the life of their dog because of it, it makes all the aggravation before that worthwhile. MOST of the time lol.

The “I want to stud out my merle dane”, or “breed my ten month old obviously poorly bred, unstable female dane” ones just burn my butt though. Those people don’t WANT to learn. They don’t want to hear the truth, and sometimes I just have to ignore them all together. A facebook friend of mine tells me not to go on these sites…I think he might just be right lol.

Anyway….back to topic. So I’m walking home yesterday with Luke and we come across this lady and her boyfriend holding a sharpei pup. I’ve seen the pup before but every time I’ve walked by she scoops him up into her arms and snuggles him close as if the big bad people and dog are going to eat him. Now…I could see it if it were the drug dogs walking past, the ones that lunge and growl and foam at the mouth to get at othe dogs, but everyne around here knows tht Luke is well behaved and is great with small dogs, and pups especially. Anywho she goes on to say that this pup is terrified of other dogs, and babies him, totally reinforcing a fear which to be honest I don’t think is really as bad as she makes it out to be.Infact…if she would just let the pup get on his own feet and meet a nice dog or two, she just might find that he’sn not afraid at all. So I told her…you have a breed that needs to be socialized ALOT…NOW. He needs to be exposed to as many people, situations and dogs as you can find and soon, before the fear period kicks in and he becomes antisocial and ends up with fear aggression towards everyone and everything. I didn’t want to come right out and tell her that by her acting teh way she was, she was the one who was infact teaching him that dogs were bad and something to worry about. I’m sure we all dont need a lot of prodding to conjure up the picture of the little purse puppy who’s held way up in his Mommy’s safe and loving embrace, all the while yapping like a maniak, biting and snarling at everything t hat moves past? Well this is what is happening, only soon…this won’t be your little shih tzu or yorkie..this will be a medium/large breed with tendencies to be aggressive to other dogs and sometimes people. JUST WHAT WE NEED…another nasty dog in the neighborhood. And the worst part, is that in a year or two, after they’ve totally taught this dog all the wrong behaviors, it will be either locked up like a criminal because it can’t be trusted…or it will be sent ot the shelter or pawned off to some unsuspecting innocent on Kijiji, when the owners have “no clue why he’s like this but he’s just not safe, we just dont have the time, we cnat have a vicious dog around our kids”,etc. Hmmm…I wonder WHY he’s like this? Just remember I tried to tell ya!

Which brings me to the online dog forums, yahoo answers and facebook groups again. It never fails. People will wait until the dog is exhibiting behaviors they don’t want….before going online asking for anyone they can find to somehow fix it. None of them seem to comprehend the concept that you train a dog by showing them what you WANT them to do first…not by waiting until they do the wrong thing and correcting them, expecting the poor dog to understand why he’s being corrected and what in the heck he’s supposed to be doing instead. I don’t know….this just never seemed to be difficult concept for me to understand. Even when I was a young kid and Mom was bringing home a new dog, different breeds every other month, and I was the one who had to train them all, I always enforced the behaviors I did want by praising and or treating, before ever correcting. To me, it’s like sticking a kid in college without ever having gone to school before, and expecting them to start writing exams, doing speeches, and then smacking them when they don’t have a clue what to do.

I suppose if Luke were a human, he’d have one hell of a big head lol. An ego the size of North America. Because since the minute I brought him home, and literally every day since….he has been told a million times a day how good he is…ho proud I am of him…for the simplest of things. Things I never set out to teach him, he learned through watching me, through being praised for doing the right thing when I really didn’t even realize it. Looking back, I can see how certain behaviors were ingrained in him naturaly just by always acknowleging them and praising him for it.

Example…when it was time to teach him “sit”…I didn’ set out to lure him into a sit. I didn’t push his bum down and then add the command. I didnt yank on the leash or pull up on it to force him into a sit. I simply praised him every single time he sat on his own, then taught the actual word/command sit by adding the word to my praise. He’s playing around the house with me, stops, and sit….I’d say “GOOD SIT!!!!!” big praise and a treat if I happened to have one on me.
lt took maybe two or three times before he had that command down flat. And all by me reinforcing a behavior that was totally natural to him and not trying to force it. Same thing with the “down” command. Every time he moved into a down on his own…big praise, add the command. Kiss…same thing. Heel, same thing.
But what I really got to thinking about the other night, was all the little things we dont set out to teach, things that aren’t tricks, or commands we want them to learn like stay or come or sit. Every time he waited for me to go down the stairs or walked beside me, I praised him and thanked him. I still praise him to this day, for things he has known how to do since day one. When we’re walking on leash and he’s doing it right…he gets praise. When we walk by lunging dogs and he is calm and behaved, he is told how good he is. When he chewed on his own toys and not my things, he was praised and rewarded. Little things that most people never notice their dogs doing RIGHT because they only focus on the dog when they are making mistakes, I have always reinforced and praised without thinking about it. It truly wasn’t a conscious thing on my part. Maybe that’s part of the reason some people see us together and think he’s spoiled. Because he is noticed and loved on for every good thing he does natural or otherwise. I don’t and never have, waited for him to make a mistake to correct him. And when he IS corrected, he knows why and what he SHOULD be doing, because he was shown the RIGHT way to behave. And all in a non training like way. That’s the best I can explain it really. I don’t stop praising him for doing things he knew how to do a year ago. He doesn’t get a treat everytime he sits, but he knows that I am still just as happy with him today as I was last year. He never has to go around with his head down, nervous and unsure what to expect from me. He never has to wonder…is this the right thing to do? Am I doing this wrong? Is she going to yell at me, smack me, yank on me? Once in a while he has his stubborn moments…and once in a while you have to convince him that he really wants to do the right thing lol….but he really is a good boy…and always was. I’m just glad that he KNOWS he’s a good boy.

My point in all of this I guess is….never take the good your dog does for granted. Let them know, every day, when they’ve done somthing right. Don’t wait until they mess up a bit to notice their behavior. Notice all the little things and make sure they know you’ve noticed. If you have a new pup, start out on the right foot by showing them from day one what IS expected of them, instead of always being there to correct to them for something they don’t understand. Try your best not to lose patience, because being frustrated with them teaches nothing and only upsets them further. Don’t expect too much too soon. Take the time….some dogs take longer than others to learn. Each dog will have a different motivator…things that make them want to work for you more than others. Find what works best with your individual dog and stick with it. Don’t give up when you don’t see results right away. And if you’re trying to rehabilitate, or change behaviors already ingrained in the dog, remember that in order for them to choose the RIGHT thing, they need to understand what the right thing IS first.
Not only will you get better results from it, but the bond and closeness you will share with your dog will be much stronger for it. Everyone wants to know they are valued….important, doing someting right. Just because you’re dealing with a dog doesn’t mean the same principal doesn’t apply 🙂

Recent Pics of Luke & Sleepy Ramblings lol

I’m a terrible blogger lol. I admit it. With everything that’s been going on here at home, having my home computer fried by a virus and borrowing this laptop from my sister, ((which has a horrid keyboard that  makes typing a nightmare! lol), I almost forgot about this blog.

Hmm..what’s to tell? Well, the weather has finally started warming up, although at the moment it is pouring rain outside. Luke and I have been getting out everyday to the football field/parks. He’s met a few new doggy friends, all females..what can I say, he loves girls lol.  Kayla has been over a few times for visits. Infact the pics I’m about to post are from their last playdate together at the park.

Really there’s not that’s new in Luke’s world. He’s still my joy, my world. Still always at my side, still very well behaved. He’s the only dog in the neighborhood who doesn’t lunge, bark and growl and want to attack every other dog out on the streets lol. Still the main attraction wherever we go. Poor boy, can’t get a moment’s peace wehn we go out. Everyone must meet the biggest dog they’ve ever seen. And I suppose, he IS huge lol…to most people.

We changed his food last week after he went through a picky stage and lost a few pounds. The Taste of the wild just wasn’t doing it for him anymore. Even adding tasty things to it stopped working so I said to hell with it, we’ll try something else. He’d lost a few pounds and me being me, I worried myself sick over it so we switched him to Innova Evo for now. I say for now because knowing Luke….he’ll want something new in a month or two. The good news is, right now he loves it…and as long as he’s happy and eating, the few extra dollars and hassle to go to the only place in the city that sells it, is worth it.  Then again, if I had to march barefoot through snow up to my eyeballs naked to make him happy I’d probably do it. No sense of me even trying to deny I am sucker for this guy lol.

Speaking of nasty dogs in the neighborhood…we had our first run in with a dog aggressive pitbull a week or so ago. It was dark, and Tyler, Luke and I were walking home from the store when all of the sudden, out of nowhere I see this blur of red/brown coming at us. I didn’t even think…didn’t have time..I just started kicking. Probably not the smartest move I’ve ever made but all I knew was this dog was going straight for Luke’s throat and he wasn’t “getting it”. Once I yelled to the owner who was across the street, “GET RID OF IT!!!” I think he realized this wasn’t play, and started growling. Thank the good lord the man got ahold of her and drug her away…all the while she’s still frothing at the mouth. He was very apologetic, and drunk…telling me that this dog HATES all other dogs and he never noticed us when she all of the sudden lunged away from him.  It never hit me until we were almost home, just what a close call that was. How shaken up I was about it…Luke was fine though..infact after the owner got ahold of her collar Luke wanted to PLAY with her! He’s slow at times, my boy lol. I’m walking away saying “Luke honey, somehow I don’t think she wants to play with you..”

Anyway, since then, the dog has broken off her chain atleast once that we know of and attacked another dog. We are now much more alert on our walks, and I won’t be walking by there at all, especially at night. But it’s getting harder to avoid all the nasty dogs now that the weather is nicer, everyone is out walking them, very few have any sort of control at all, and it’s worrisome. Druggies with their status dogs. Untrained dogs with the power to do a lot of damage. Then you have your little dogs that just want to attack everyone and everything. Atleast the pitbulls are PEOPLE friendly…they just hate dogs. I can’t help but be proud of Luke when we’re walking along the sidewalk…other dogs going nuts, owners struggling to control them, and he is prancing along with his head up like the king, looking from them to me as if to say, “what’s their problem Mom?” LOL

However…he seems to have taken a real dislike to German Shepherds. I think it could be because of our neighbor’s dog. Now this dog…is vicious. He almost attacked Patty once. He lunges and drags his owner whenever he sees a human, cat, car, dog…anythign that moves is a target. His owner seems to think it’s funny. But so far, when we’ve come across eachother on walks he goes in the opposite direction real fast. Anyway ever since Luke saw him go after Patty, he HATES this dog. they’ve never met face to face, THANK GOD. But when he sees him through the window he’s a totaly different dog…he really doesn’t like him. So, the last few times we’ve gone to the park, there were GDS’s there in the next field. The first time there was two at once, and these two women were walking them by the fence where Luke and Kayla were. At first I thought he was just going over to greet them like he always does, but he started growling really low and acting  unlike himself. Almost the way he is when he sees the neighbor’s dog walking by. So needless to say they didn’t bring the dogs in to play… Then the next day, we ran into another one, same thing…although not as bad.

So…that’s all I can type for now, it’s almost four am and I am exhausted. I just had the urge to write (although I’m sure it makes little sense me being as tired as I am :P)

Here are the pics I took at the park before my camera died. I just love the one with his football…I tell you, I never get tired of looking at him…even now, after almost 2 years with him, I’m still in awe that he is really mine. Or I am his. Because lt’s face it….I belong to him lol.

This face gets whatever he wants and who could blame me?LOL



Another Picture & Video Catch Up Post

I’m still alive! lol. Depending on how you look at it that is lol. In all seriousness, it has been a really tough few months for me which is why I haven’t felt up to blogging much. If only the non dog portion of my life were as positive and enjoyable as my life and love with Luke. Unfortunately, family, health and other life drama is not the fun loving experience I share with him.

It’s been a very long winter here…We’ve had so much snow and freezing rain, ice…that getting out and about was a real challenge this year. There were days where we were literally housebound, the roads and sidewalks were THAT bad. Thank God it is now starting to warm up a bit, the snow is pretty much gone, and Luke is very happy to be out running in the football fields again.

We’ve had Mom’s dog Kayla over a lot this winter. She has a very strong attachment to me. Not so much Luke lol. She puts up with him in order to come be with her “sissy”. Poor Luke loves her to death, but she’s a different sort of dog. She doesn’t understand the concept of play and never has. She’s kind of sad really. Totally a people dog. Luke tries so hard to teach her how to play tug of war, or chase me, ANYTHING besides put your paw on my head and growl at me, all to no avail I’m afraid 😛

Anyway I’ve taken some videos and pictures of the two of them over the past month or so.


A fun video I made to show Luke’s bad luck with the ladies 😛


Got a few pics and a video of him trying his best to share his toy and get some kisses before they fell asleep.
"I love my snakey"


"If I share it with her, do you think she might love me more?"

" I am the mistress…You will obey me"

"Momma it’s not working "


And a video I made to show how much he grew from his first winter, running in Grampy’s back yard versus this winter when he visited.



Fun at the park 🙂







Oh we can’t forget the one where he almost killed me at the park 😛


The Big “Breeder” Debate



No matter where I venture online, it seems the topic of breeding, the practices of breeders, what is considered good breeding and what is classed as a puppy mill or back yard breeder, is a never ending discussion…in some places, a never ending WAR. While I agree that education and information is key to improving anything in life we want to see change for the better, I must admit that this discussion in particular has long since gotten old for me. Probably because the die hard folks on either side of the argument will never see anything other than that they are in the right.

Perhaps it’s the Libra in me that allows me (to my detriment at times lol), to see both sides of an argument. It’s what helps me to mediate arguments among friends and family, it’s what has helped me run forums without the ever present drama that is so prevalent in so many places online. I have the ability to look at things from both the emotional and rational point of view. I can and do, separate the two, so that on the one side I have facts and realities, versus what my heart and emotion would LIKE to believe, or would like to see happen.  Yet seeing both sides, often leaves people thinking you are sitting on the fence, that you have no concrete opinion on an issue. Not so…and this post is my ATTEMPT to explain my own personal views and arguments I have within myself, on the whole breeding issue.

Being as passionate about Great Danes as I am (or dogs in general really), it stands to reason that I too have my feelings on the breeding issue. To me, if you truly love and respect a breed, you will go out of your way to make sure you are breeding the absolute best specimen you can find. It makes perfect sense to me to do genetic health testing, although I also know it is not a guarantee of any future health of an individual dog…I know that it does indeed increase your chances of having a better shot at a healthy, longer lived Dane. Having a breeder who backs their pups to the end of their life, is obviously a great positive. It SHOULD be the law…but alas, as of yet it is not.  All of the things we say we want and look for in a reputable breeder, make sense and are great things to strive for.

Of course when someone is talking about wanting to get a puppy, your first words are advising them to research extensively the breed itself, then look for a Reputable breeder who: Shows, Health Tests, Is involved with their breed club and in good standing, has titles in obedience, tests the temperament of all breeding stock,etc. You list off all of the signs of a less than reputable breeder or puppy mill, advising them to not buy that puppy in the paper, and why.

But here’s the reality…like it or not.

In a country the size of Canada, there are only a small handful of breeders who would fit into that picture of perfection. These breeders do not breed often, do not have multiple litters every year, they have long waiting lists, they are VERY picky on who they choose to sell a pup to, they are not always right next door, or even in the next province. Many will not ship a pup….many have extensive screening policies that even the Pope would probably fail at. And all those things are GREAT.


The reality is that there are not enough “top breeders” having pups, to meet the demand of those who want one. There are many people, who, by the way would and DO make excellent pet owners, for one reason or another, do not agree with how they must go about getting a pup from these breeders.  I have read the contract/questionnaire forms from some of these breeders to people I know, and they laugh out loud at some of the questions being asked. They simply refuse to dish out $2000 for a dog that: A. They won’t be able to pick out for themselves. B. They have to explain their entire life story, give WORK references, financial statements, explain the relationship of every Tom, Dick and Harry who comes into their home…etc, in order to qualify. C. Have to spend big bucks to fly across country to meet the breeder first, then fly back again to pick up a pup IF they are lucky enough to be approved, then fly or drive back home with the pup.  D. Have to have strangers walk through their home and dig into their personal life in order to ascertain whether they are good enough to own a pup. There are more examples of course, but that’s just the ones that I’ve seen great pet owners refuse to consider going through in order to get a dog.

I know quite a few GD owners whom a rescue or “reputable” breeder wouldn’t have looked twice at, yet they are EXCELLENT homes for their dogs. I myself am one of them! I know that there are many dogs, hell, many PEOPLE who would give anything to have the life my boy has, yet had I asked one of those top breeders for a pup at the time I got Luke…I would have been laughed at, scorned even.

So let’s get real. We live in an age of instant gratification. We want it, we want it now. And really, those who know anything about life have figured out that life IS short…Why should Jane Doe wait four years to get that high bred puppy or not get one at all, because she doesn’t have a high enough fence, or she isn’t rich, or one of the other reasons she might be turned down? Do these breeders really think the person is going to totally give up on the idea of getting a puppy because THEY said the person wasn’t ready? Nope…don’t think so! Jane Doe is going to say to hell with that, I want a pup, I know I can give it a great life, and I’ll get that pup SOMEHOW, somewhere. So Jane goes to Kijiji or the newspaper..and finds a litter of pups.


While Jane has probably read all the horror stories and fights over breeding practices online, she has heard enough from friends who’ve had dogs, or seen it with her own previous dogs, that not all “BYB” dogs are going to be sickly or have temperament issues. Perhaps she even knows of people with those top bred, titled dogs who suffer from everything known to man, and has decided..if it’s a risk no matter which way you turn, and since she doesn’t qualify for a high quality pup, she’ll just have to take her chances with the little family who raises happy, supposedly healthy, friendly Great Danes from their proverbial back yard. Not only is this pup a bit cheaper, she can actually pick out which one she wants instead of paying a ton of money to be told THIS is the pup you can share your life with. So Jane gets her pup. She may or may not end up with an unhealthy dog. She has indeed, perpetuated the cycle of more dogs being bred that shouldn’t be…but in her eyes, she deserves a dog just like the people next door and down the street.

The arguments used against buying from a byb do not mean much to Jane.

So the breeder doesn’t offer a guarantee? The one who does, only offers it for up to two years, when we all know that most genetic issues don’t show up til after than anyways (thus why tests are done after the age of two and the reason we say no dog should be bred before the age of two) Many contracts state that you have to return the dog for a replacement pup. Well hello…who is going to live with, love and bond with a dog for up to two years, find out it’s sick and hand it back over for a NEW pup from the same people who gave them the sick one in the first place? It’s useless. Good in theory, but in reality, not many are going to make use of it…not if they truly love and want their dog through thick and thin, which is what we want from dog owners correct? The only way a contract guarantee means much to most people, is if it includes a full money back policy not including the return of the dog to the breeder. If they do indeed lose the dog, they might want to have that money to go to another breeder with different lines.

Explaining to Jane that by buying this one pup, she is putting money into the hands of the byb, making it possible for more poorly bred pups to be born doesn’t mean much to her either, because she tells herself the pup would have been sold to someone else anyway, or dumped in a shelter, or put down perhaps.

Jane doesn’t particularly care if the breeder wants to be bosom buddies for the next ten years, exchange cards and emails and personal life stories for the remainder of the pups life. As far as she’s concerned, the dog is now do with as she wants..not to be under the thumb of, or answering to someone else.

It’s true…if there was no demand..there would be no supply. Someone who is doing anything for the money is going to stop when the money dries up, and the venture is no longer profitable for them. But it is also true, that as long as we have a shortage of GOOD breeders, and these breeders only have a small supply of pups, whom only go to the best of the best of owners..then there will ALWAYS be a demand for pups. It’s that simple. The reality of human beings is that if we can’t get the best but we still want whatever it is, we will settle for second best. Not many people are going to give up their desire for a dog because someone else tells them to. It’s ludicrous to assume otherwise.


So how do we make it better? Education is the key. But not just of potential new owners, but potential breeders as well. And alienating them by treating them like idiots, like trash, by insulting and ragging on them is NOT going to make that person want to stick around for more “education”. Passionate as we are, we have to learn how to deal with people, the same way we learn how to deal with our dogs, otherwise we do more harm than good in the end. You can’t teach someone to better anything, if you are pushing them away. It’s that simple. We need to quit the bickering and making those who’ve already gotten their dane from whatever source feel like a piece of trash…and start coming up with ways to better the entire dog owner/breeder community. Lobby for stricter breeding laws perhaps. Make it easier for potential breeders to do it the RIGHT way…Get rid of this elitism that is so prevalent in the dog world, and sorry…NO ONE is going to convince me it’s not there, I see it every day just in forums, not to mention real life offline.

This is a hot topic for debate, and the problem lies in the differences each person has in what they consider to be proper breeding practices. No matter how much we fight and bitch and moan the truth of it is that as long as there are people wanting a Great Dane and not being able to get one within a reasonable time frame, without being made to jump through hoops of burning flames in order to get one…the demand for lower classed breeders will always remain.

We need to ask ourselves…is it worth the long term cost, by being so picky in who we allow the privilege to have these dogs, even though we do it out of our love and passion for the breed…Are we not in a way pushing those very people to go and support the very ones we’re trying to stop from breeding? It’s a catch 22, a most difficult situation…and until we can all stop bickering about it, and start coming up with some real solutions instead of insults and innuendos, nothing is going to change. It’s the real world…and sometimes logic outweighs emotion, and vice versa.

My story with Luke is not about me deciding one day, I want a GD pup, I want it now, I got him. I had spent years doing the research, I lurked on all those top breeder’s websites..I even had it narrowed down to the two breeders I would go to when the time was right for me to buy a pup. I didn’t search for Luke. I wasn’t looking to get a pup at that time at all. Had I been looking for a pup, I would definitely have gone the route I had long since decided I would go…with those reputable, top of the line breeders. IF I ever decide later on that I want another dane, which I can almost guarantee will not happen (Luke is my one and only, and no matter how much I love this breed, he can never be replaced) but if I were to do it..I would do it the right way. I’d wait my time…I’d plan it all to the nnth degree.

When I came across my boy’s picture…I knew without a shadow of a doubt, like I’ve known NOTHING before or since, that he was mine. He was THE one…and although I knew the risks, there was nothing to be done about it. He was meant for me and I him and every single thing that has happened since the moment I laid eyes on his picture has proven that, a hundred times over. I should have never been able to get him at the time I did…the stars just aligned in the right place I guess you could say. Miracles occurred in my life for this boy to come home to me. It was never about having a Great was about HIM…which of course I cannot begin to explain and frankly, I don’t owe it to anyone to even try. He is here, he is loved beyond anyone or anything I have in me and frankly when he leaves this earth I pray I go with him because he is not just my dog, he is not a pet…he is more than I even comprehend at times, and to even contemplate a day without him now is like tearing out my heart with my bare hands. And I’m a tough cookie…trust me, nothing affects me if I don’t wish it to..I have the emotional control of a bloody robot…but not with him…Not for Luke. He ruined me lol. Or saved me, depending on how you look at it.

My point is…while it may seem hypocritical of me to try and convince people who are looking for a pup to go the reputable route…I do so because I HAVE heard the horror stories, seen the heartache so many people have suffered because they went with Mr. Jones and his untested dogs. I also see how the sheer amount of badly bred danes is changing the way our breed looks and behaves, and that is not a good thing. We who love this breed must want what is best for them…which means, better health, better longevity, better temperaments, better conformation. Too many GD’s are looking like sad examples of a greyhound mix…or too beefed up like a Neo Mastiff. Too many are scared of their own shadow or showing signs of aggression when it’s not who they are supposed to be. So yes…breeding IS a VERY important topic, one we have to take seriously and together as people who love and appreciate the breed, we MUST find a way to make their futures even brighter.

I pray every night to a God I have had my on and off’s with for years, that he will let Luke and I have many many healthy and happy years together. My biggest fear in this life is to lose him, but even more so, for him to suffer in any possible way. Because I know me, and I know that I am not selfish when it comes to my love for him, so if they day ever comes that he is suffering…it will mean my loss of him…because I will not let him continue to suffer through a life he cannot understand, just so I don’t have to say goodbye. So yes, you can bet your life that his health and wellbeing is of top priority to me. I do everything I can do to assure that he remains healthy. But I know it is a jack in the box type deal…you just never know when that evil looking clown is going to pop up on you. I pray he stays in that damn box for good.

I hope I’ve explained my thoughts clearly enough..I am now tired and in quite a bit of hopefully it makes sense.

Luke having fun in the snow

Just a little video of my boy playing in the backyard the morning after our big snow storm here. He was having a blast. Oh and I was wrong, it wasn’t Tyler’s poster he had, but an old part from a vaccume cleaner that for who knows what reason, had been under the deck lol.

Trust…How much of it do we have?

We all like to say that we trust our dog…that we know without a shadow of a doubt, how they will behave in any given situation. And most of the time, if we’ve done extensive training, exposed our dogs to many different situations and scenerios, we may just be telling the truth. That being said however, there is a real danger in us putting 100% unconditional trust in our pets. The truth of the matter is, at the end of the day? They are all animals. Just as human beings, some we can live with, love and share the whole of our lives with, can sometimes act unpredictably, do something we never would have expected and totally surprise us, so can our dogs. Frankly, in my opinion, it is incredibly arrogant of us to assume that we can predict ANYONE or ANYTHING’s behavior 100% of the time. Unless we are truly psychic, it’s just not possible.

Of course hindsight is 20/20. It’s very easy for us to say, well I had this dog for ten plus years, and my kids could do this and that to him/her, and he never so much as blinked. Or, my dog was never on a leash from the time he was a pup and yet he never got hit by a car, never escaped, never….you fill in the blanks. Lucky you! Because if that is the case, you are very lucky. Now ask the people who have had dogs act out of character by bolting out of the driveway unexpectedly one day, who ended up getting hit and dying. Ask the people who had well trained, well socialized dogs who out of the blue bit someone without any forseeable reason or warning. It happens.

I think if we truly want to keep our dogs safe and happy, we have to always keep it in the back of our minds that while we may have incredible bonds with them, we may have trained them extremely well, and the dog may be totally reliable up to this point…at the end of the day, they are still animals first and foremost. We cannot read every thought, every feeling, every instinct in our dogs, no matter how much we may want to think we can. Forgetting this, can be fatal.

I do not put Luke in situations where I am setting him up for the possibility of failure. I don’t just assume that because he’s never done something before, that he will never do it. I know that there is always that tiny possibility that something might set him off the wrong way, and he might react differently than ever before. I don’t let him walk along on busy streets offleash…I don’t let him leave my house, even to go out to the car without a leash on. Those are just examples that I use. There are many.

How often do we see someone in the park with their dog, or out on a walk, and that person will say “oh fuzzy butt just LOVES other dogs, he LOVES people”, and then all of the sudden the dog just takes a dislike to a person or other dog and a fight breaks out? Well maybe fuzzy butt DID love all dogs and people up to that point..maybe he just got bad vibes off of the person or dog at that moment.
Or a dog who is usually perfect on leash, who all of the sudden takes a “I think I’ll pull you down the street” notion one day? I’ve seen it. Luke has been perfect on leash since nine weeks yet once in a while he’ll have those times when he’s less than perfect for whatever reason, Maybe he’s just in a pissy mood and doesn’t feel like being totally obedient, who knows? It doesn’t mean he wasn’t trained, it doesn’t mean he’s bad, just means for that moment he isn’t doing what he normally does.  For heaven sake..I myself do things to surprise myself sometimes, and I’m ME!

My point I guess is this. Far too often, we humans think we are sooo smart, so above every other species, so in control, when in reality, we have barely scratched the surface. Never assume that you know EVERYTHING about anyone, human or dog. Training does not rid any animal of every single instinct it possesses. Even if you personally never witness some of those instincts.

Pets more trustworthy than people: Survey

Click on the link to read full article

Pets more trustworthy than people: Survey

This article is so true!LOL It proves that we Canadians are smart. We know our pets make better company than most humans we know 😛

Canadian pet owners would rather deal with their furry friends than other people: You bet we would! lol

The study revealed that 53 per cent of Canadians who own pets find them more reliable than people: No kidding! lol

Ninety per cent of Canadians talk to their pets and one-third have confided their deepest, darkest secrets to Fido or Milo or Hero. Yes…I talk to Luke about pretty much everything. Atleast I know he can keep his mouth shut and he never judges.

Pets have always been a social network of sorts. According to the survey, 61 per cent of pet owners say their neighbours talk to them more when they are with their pet, and about 41 per cent say their pets have helped them begin a new relationship with someone they might not have otherwise met.

Pet people seem to meet other pet people. THIS part I really can relate to. I have never been a groupie…never too keen on hanging out in crowds or large groups of friends at once…yet ever since Luke came into my life, I have met more people, speak or write daily to people all over the world, people who I share a lot of common ground with, even more so than just our love of Great Danes or other pets. Some of my closest friends now, are those I met online through pet groups or forums. I look forward to chatting with them daily, sharing our stories and experiences with our beloved animals, learning from one another. I talk more to people now than I ever did. Yes, the thread that binds us is our common love for our dogs, but we soon find other interests that we share and a closeness is formed when every day you’re sharing your life with these people. In offline life, I’ve met TONS of new people. Most of which I may never see again, but Luke has been the cause of so many great conversations, opportunities to educate those who are interested in the breed. I have found that my pet lover friends are more supportive and understanding in all areas of life, are there for you when you’re down, need prayers or advice, than people I’ve known my entire life. So yes, pets bring people closer together, there is no doubt whatsoever about that. Just look at what pet blogs have done to bring awareness and cause close friendships to form!

61 per cent of survey respondents said their pets deal with them differently when they are sick. Pet owners said their animals helped lift their spirits. Again, I can relate to this statement. As a person who suffers from chronic pain…I cannot begin to tell you the impact Luke has had on my life, on my health. If it weren’t for him some days? I’d never get out of bed. He has given me a reason to fight, to keep on going when every fiber of my being wants to just lay down and sleep. He gets me up and out there, pushing through the pain to take him on his walks, to play and laugh and have fun with him. Just looking at Luke makes me happier than anything else has ever done. He truly is and has been, a life saver to me…in more ways than I can say. He never leaves my side when I’m feeling really low or in a lot of pain. When I had my surgery to have my teeth removed, he didn’t even want to go out to pee lol. He never acted hyper or got the zoomies…never pushed me to get out there, but yet I did it, because I knew he needed me to. I wouldn’t have done it for anyone else!

I think we’ve seen enough evidence on the many positive effects therapy dogs have had on the lives they touch while on the job. There is no debating that animals are truly remarkable creatures who we humans can learn a lot from, if we just get past that human-like mentality that we are above everything else on the planet, smarter, more evolved……better. The more I see of the human race and its’ actions..the more convinced I am that animals are the greater species 🙂

Great Danes in the News

I decided I really wanted to start sharing any news stories I come across in regards to the welfare of Great Danes. Since I don’t watch the news lol, I am relying on the help of my facebook friend Meredith, who is a real advocate for animals and is aware of news stories. So thank you Meredith, without you these posts wouldn’t be possible. I hope by sharing these stories, new and old, we can spread awareness of what is happening to and with our beloved breed.


April 9, 2008

Dead dog walking

Animal shelter employees work to save life of emaciated Great Dane


Police: Long Island Woman Starved Pet Great Dane


A Long Island woman faces up to a year in jail after police say she failed to provide food and medical care for her two-year-old Great Dane who ultimately died.



Animal cruelty arrest

The Nassau DA’s office says a Farmingdale woman faces animal cruelty charges after she starved and neglected her 2-year-old great Dane, which later died…….

Video and More HERE

Great Dane starved to 82 pounds
Farmingdale , NY (US)

Incident Date: Monday, Nov 22, 2010
County: Nassau

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Alleged
Case Images: 3 files available

Alleged: Rose Neira

An emaciated dog of one of the largest breeds died despite desperate efforts by veterinarians on Long Island to save it.

‘Zack,’ a two-year-old Great Dane, weighed only 82 lbs. when he was taken from the home of owner Rose Neira, 30.

The Farmingale resident is accused of starving the dog and failing to provide proper medical care.

According to the American Kennel Club , a Great Dane is “extremely large and known for being strong yet elegant, with a friendly, energetic personality.” A normal, healthy Great Dane typically weighs 125 lbs.-150 lbs.

‘Zack’s’ bones protruded from its body and its nails were damaged and overgrown. Its ear cavities were caked with dirt, said the Nassau County officials.

Acting on a tip, investigators from the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office removed the dog from the home on November 22.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, Neira initially told investigators the dog was suffering from a parasite, but she could not provide evidence of the dog in a veterinarian’s care.

‘Zack’ was treated for 10 days at the Oyster Bay Animal Hospital were it died on December 1 from heart-related problems.

Neira is charged with misdemeanor counts of Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring an Animal and Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance.

She faces up to one year in jail if convicted. Neira is due back in court on January 3.


Read more: Pet-Abuse.Com – Animal Abuse Case Details: Great Dane starved to 82 pounds – Farmingdale , NY (US)


Starving Great Danes and Owner Gets Only 90 Days in Jail

Read the blog post HERE

Court Delays in Great Dane Starvation Case

Hempstead, NY – Meredith Foster, an animal rights activist, was outraged when she first learned about the case against Rose Neira, 30, a woman accused of severely neglecting her 2 yr-old Great Dane, Zack.The dog was confiscated from Neira’s home….

Read More HERE


After that heart wrenching news…it gives me pleasure to share this latest news about the heroic acts of a Great Dane and his owner 🙂

Great Dane stops sex attack, corners suspect


Happy Belated Holidays Everyone!

Mom has been lazy with my blog again, but she’s trying to catch up by visiting as many blogs and commenting as she can. We hope you had an awesome Christmas and New Years! Ours was nice, very quiet. Mom didn’t feel up to doing the big family gatherings this year, so we stayed at home and had our dinner with my human brother Tyler and Patty. I got some turkey dinner…I LOVE turkey! Here’s me watching Patty stuff and baste it 🙂


I got some great prezzies too!

Did someone say prezzies? For me? Im on my wayyyy!

Let’s see what’s in here

Is that a steak?? But it squeeks!

FINALLY I get the one Mamma kept hiding from me!

Ohh a new stuffie!!!!

Mamma hers said we have to WAIT to eat.. Crying or Very sad I’ll just chill here wit my doggy til it’s ready


Or maybe try a little rubber steak to tide me over?

So, christmas is over and a new year has begun. Mom says we have some goals she’d like us to achieve. She wants to work on fun new tricks with me, and try to get together more often with our fellow dane friends. I heard Mom and Patty talking about me going to the vet later this month too. Something about being neutered? I don’t think I like the sounds of that!! More on that topic later….

Anyway I better go..nap time! See you on your blogs.


Hi everyone…so sorry I haven’t been around to visit and comment lately. Things have been pretty hectic here, alot of changes and personal issues happening, but I’m trying now to catch up, I’ll get to everyone sooner or later.I’m also busy working on my Great Dane Owners forum…Today I did up a brand new background/forum skin, so far I like it. I’d love to see some fellow dane owners join us there for chat and fun, and all things dane. We truly are a close knit happy dane family…and would love to see some new faces and danes on board 🙂

See u all later on! Jenn




He is My Everything…My Savior

I can honestly say, that without Luke these past few months, I don’t know where I’d be. He has always been the positive in my life since he came to me, the light in the dark, the love and happiness in my heart….but with the things I’ve been going through here at home over the summer and fall months, I credit him for my ability to stay sane and not completely lose it.

He knows me so well…he knows just what I need and when. He’s so patient with me on the days that I just cannot bring myself to be very active. He will snuggle close to me for hours, talking to me and loving on me until I cannot help but smile.

It’s funny how no matter how miserable or sick I am, I cannot be in a bad mood with him. He runs through my house, flinging muck and god knows what else all over the place, messing up the newly washed blankets, and all I can do is laugh because he’s having fun. I take the greatest pleasure in coming home to him with a new toy or treat in a bag, knowing he’ll be looking in those bags, searching for his present. He gets quite peeved with me in fact, if I don’t have one!LOL

Every day the strength and intensity of our bond astounds me. There are times when I’d swear we read each other’s minds! We have conversations with one another, yes, he talks back LOL.

He has become such a wonderful young man….My baby has grown up so fast, so big. He’s now over 38 inches at the shoulder, probably close to 170 pounds, although I haven’t had him properly weighed in a while. We’ve switched to Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream a couple of months ago, as I’d noticed that he was getting sick of the chicken soup. I’m very happy with the food..he’s doing just as well on it as he did the CS.

He’s so smart! He has quite the list of commands and vocabulary of words he understands under his belt. That being said, I know my boy, I know when to work with him, and when he’s just not into doing tricks/training. We work together as a team but on his terms. His attention span has never been long LOL. So far, he knows or can do the following:





Roll Over




Catch It

Leave it

Pick it up

Drop it

Bring it


Talk to me

Follow Me

Dig/No Dig lol



Touch It





He knows what many words mean like:
Time for your pill



Did you miss me?
Big Stretch


oh there are just too many to count! It helps that we’re always together and ‘I’m always talking to him, so even if I’m talking to someone on the phone, I know when he understands what we are chatting about lol.
He is still perfect when left alone at home. He still loves meeting new friends. He still comes with me where ever I go that he can go to, including the bathroom lmao. I’m almost tempted to try and teach him to use the toilet since he already knows what it’s for lol.

I wish that he could speak our language, if only for an hour…so I could tell him just how much I love and adore him, how much he’s saved me, how I would give anything, do anything for him. To ask him if there’s anything at all that I could be doing more of, in order to make him as happy as he can be. I know he knows that I love him. He is secure, he has no fears, he comes to me with everything. If he’s unsure about something, he comes to his Mamma. He even wakes me up to hold him in my arms tighter if he had a bad dream. I just wish I could tell him and know he understood the depth of what he means to me. Maybe he does…


December’s Picture Catch-Up


Here I am again, after neglecting the blog for a few months. There has been a lot going on here at home, so I haven’t felt up to doing much online I’m afraid. Anyway…here are some of Luke’s latest pictures. I’ll add the newest videos to his video page for you all to check out. I hope this post finds you all well and happy and ready for the holidays to come.


Starting with oldest first:

Fun at the park with Kayla, and my little sister Leah










Just a grouchy face


Fun Pics







Luke loves to watch us cook. Here he is learning how to make Patty’s special Potato Salad  lol


“Time to add the eggs”


“Now we add the Miracle Whip”


Be Sure To mix it well Luke!



More fun at the park












Over at Mom’s with Kayla





Luke and Kayla at a new park/field we checked out

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Our first real snow


  They put up a christmas tree in the little park at the end of our street…so I had to get some pics of him there.
Snowflakes are falling on my head!

What a pretty tree…but can we run now?

Ok Ok I’ll pose..just one more!

I know we’re not supposed to run offleash but what if you just DROP the leash by mistake Mamma?

Yeehaww it’s fun being a rebel!

Yeah yeah I’m handsome..let’s go to the big parks now

Surveying my Kingdom Wink

A walk through the woods

Can you find the Greatest Dane?




I was out running errands and picked this toy up..I was SUPPOSED to save it til christmas, but I’m worse than a kid when it comes to him, I just HAD to give it to him today Rolling Eyes Embarassed He loves his new "froggy".
Just a little vid of him after I gave it to him. Very Happy



Luke and I were playing around on the bed and Tyler snapped a few pics.
LOVE the wink..I wonder what he’s thinking? Laughing

Good thing he doesn’t have GERMS Shocked Laughing

"Whaaa? U talkin to me?

Happy Gotcha Day Luke!!

It’s been a year today since my boy came into my life. I can still remember waiting at the airport for his flight to come in….seeing them bring him out and looking into those big brown eyes with those wrinkles I fell in love with. I remember the drive home, wishing the stupid cab driver would let me take him out of the crate so I could just hold him in my arms. I remember the moment we got home and he just seemed to know what stairs to go up to get to our house. I remember the feel of him the first time I held him, the smell of him, the absolute joy and happiness he brought to my heart for the first time in my life. What a journey we have had together so far! I wish I could freeze this time forever….how I miss those puppy wrinkles and being able to ALMOST pick him up and hold him lol. Now he’s a young man, so perfect in every way. I still wake up with his jowls on my cheek and wonder if it’s really true..if he’s really here with me, or if I’m still dreaming the dreams I had of him for over 20 years before he came to me. I’ve had a lot of animals over the years, a lot of dogs, a lot of PEOPLE come and go….but no one…nothing has compared to what I have with this boy. I know a lot of people don’t understand it, and I really don’t expect them to. There are times in our lives where things happen, that make no sense. All I know, is that no matter what happens from here on out, I will always be grateful for the time I had with Luke….Every second with him is a blessing, a gift I never take for granted. He’s special. I know everyone says that about their dogs, but he truly is…almost out of this world, like he isn’t quite dog, not quite human, yet something much more. I know he’s more to me….he’s my world, and I could not love anyone or anything more. <BR>Thank you for being with me….for the fate that led you to me. May we have many more years of fun and love and joy to come. <BR>Mamma loves you!




It was a nice day….after I got home from shopping with Mom, I gave him his treats. A pig’s ear, some all natural treats he LOVED, and a new tug rope. He LOVED this toy for some reason. He usually doesn’t carry toys around the house and beg me to play with him, more like he’ll get them, and then when I happen to go sit on the couch or on the bed he’ll tell me he’d like to play…but this time, he got all happy and wanted to play real bad lol. It was so cute! While I was gone, he dug my bra out of the laundry, and had it on his pillow on the couch. Rolling Eyes Such a man! Laughing I traded it back for the toy lol. Then we went for a nice long walk where he gathered his usual following of admirers. Walked through the Tim Horton’s drive through and got a plain timbit Very Happy His head rested on their window…it cracked everyone up. The whole store was over as close to the window as they could get looking at him resting his head there waiting for his treat.

What’s New? I’ll tell ya!

Hmmm…let me think of what’s been happening in my life lately. Well…My Nanny got a new puppy a couple of weeks ago. Mom gave her a BIG talking to since the pup was taken too early from it’s Mommy…and with everything going on in that household, no one has the time or energy to deal with a brand new puppy. Mom has always been the one to train and look after all the dogs Nanny would keep getting, and this time is no different.

Mya, is a Shih Tzu. Cute as a button but BAD BAD BAD!! She BITES! Hard! Mom says she has definite aggression/dominance issues, and really needed to be trained, so Nanny volunteered us to do the job. I met Mya last week at Nanny’s for the first time. I could hardly believe how small she was! Mom wouldn’t let me meet her any earlier cause she was just too small but even now she’s tiny!

Here are some pics from our first meeting 🙂

Ahh Mom these girls are sooo BORING! Laughing

Wow a new friend! she’s kinda tiny aint she?

OWCH kid! That hurts!

I like your kisses better Momma

Ohhhh I smell TREATS on da fireplace!

Aww thanks Aunt Leah..I love treats!

Nanny says I’m not allowed on the furniture…does dis count?? Wink


Soooo…today Mya came over to stay for a week or two. I have been a VERY good boy! Mom says she’s very proud of me. Not only am I being extra gentle with the little mop, but I don’t eat her when she jumps up, grabs ahold of my jowls and hangs on! OWWWWWWWWCH! Those needle teeth sure do hurt.


Pssst::I think I can convince Mom to make the little mop head go home soon. After all, I AM the Greatest Dane, and she DOES have to keep me happy! I don’t want to share MY Mom! Sure, it’s nice to play with a new friend for a while, but she can’t stay here, nope, no way!

Mom is using the clicker thing to teach her new tricks, like sit. I admit, she is pretty smart for a tiny girl :)- She caught on to the sit word pretty fast. But I was better. And faster. And more reliable. So there!

And you know what? Mom’s giving her MY treats! Imagine that! And making me share my toys. I got told off when I growled at the mop for trying to take my toy. Mom says I have to learn to share nicely. Hmmph…why should I? It’s MY toy. Mom’s can be dumb sometimes..but don’t tell her I told ya that or she might give ALL of my treats to the little ankle biter.

Here she is….the little intruder






Just so you know? Mom doesn’t really like small breeds but she says “I can’t help but think she’s cute”. Hmmph! I’m still cute right?


Ok enough about her….I did a bad thing the other night. Mom keeps laughing about it though, even though it’s not real funny. See, Patty came over for the night and after we watched a movie together, we all passed out on our bed. Well….later on Patty tried to crawl over me to go to the washroom, and I got startled. I jumped up, with Patty over top of me, sending her flying up and off the bed, down to the floor face first! Oh dear!
I almost re broke her hip…that wouldn’t have been good..Nope. Patty’s nice though, she forgave me, even though I kinda just looked down at her, and went back to cuddle up with Mamma as if it was ok I pushed her off the bed. After all, she WAS taking up space on MY bed. :)-
I’m glad I got some cuddle time with her before that happened lol.


“What do you mean this is uncomfortable?!!”




So I’m laying right on your broken hip…what’s wrong with that? I’m protecting it for you 😛


So…that’s about it…I gotta head to be with Mom now. I’ll post more adventures with the mop later.


Luke and the Crate

You would be surprised how many people are shocked when I tell them that Luke is not crate trained, in fact never was. That he is left alone to roam free in the house, with absolutely no problem. The looks of "REALLY???" I get are almost funny….but I understand from my research before ever getting him, just how many Danes have to be crated when left alone, or else their owners are looking at thousands of dollars of damage not to mention the danger to their dog should they get into something harmful.
As I said, I did all the research….I knew that crate training is the new thing. Mind you, with all the dogs we’ve had over the years, only one of them was ever trained this way..and yet we never had dogs that used the bathroom in the house after puppy hood, nor do I remember any of them being destructive. How did we manage that without a crate? I can’t even remember lol.
So I went into this thinking I would crate train Luke, even though I figured I could do just as well without one…I lived in an apartment that I did not own so if he was going to be a destructive little bugger I had no choice. I bought the crate. The people I bought it from arrived at our house, set it up for me and Luke ((at this point was about five months I think)) and he went right in it. He loved it! Knowing that his crate must always be seen as a positive thing for him, I made a HUGE deal about it. He got treats and praise galore whenever he went in it. I slowly started working in the part where I closed the door and left him in it. Of course Luke being Luke…he didn’t like that part but at first, he actually went along with it. I again praised and treated like crazy because I truly wanted to get to the point where I’d be able to leave him without getting a doggy sitter for him. ((which is what I had been doing from nine weeks til this point whenever I left him, which wasn’t often because we both kinda suffer from "I don’t want to leave you syndrome lol"))
Anyway…he was doing fine, until this one day…BAM. No more crate! He simply REFUSED and I mean refused, to go in it at all. I tried everything. Every toy, every treat, every food item, to get him to go in it. Nope…ain’t gonna happen. I tried leading him into it…NO WAY MOM!! I even went in the stupid thing myself with a pillow, laid down and hoped he’d come in with me..Nope. He stayed outside the crate pawing at it and severely telling me off for being in that thing without him but no way was he going to join me.
I got the puppy he loved from upstairs to come down. She went in it no problem because she’d been crated since the day her owner got her. Nope…no way was Luke buying into that trick.
So here I am, with a dog who cannot stand to be out of my sight for five seconds, will not go into the crate no matter what I do….and I at some point HAVE to leave my house without him! What to do???
Then came the day that I had no choice. I had a dentist’s appointment to make arrangements for surgery and I had no one to come stay with him. I had to go. So off I go, terrified, literally shaking at the thoughts of what that boy was doing while I was gone. I sat in the office toes tapping, fingers shaking, thinking omg the landlord is going to KILL me. I bet I have no house left. What if he’s howling non stop?? OMG!
Well…I came home an hour or more later, to a VERY happy boy. He was so happy to see me he was almost doing…but guess what? Not a thing had been touched! I couldn’t believe it. It was like a miracle..a gift from God. Something, but definitely not what I’d expected that’s for sure lol. I went next door and asked the old folks if he’d made any noise. Nope…never heard him. I was ecstatic! This meant that Luke could be left alone without being crated! No more babysitters!
I slowly acclimated him to being alone for longer periods of time. I’ve never been gone more than 7 hours though, and frankly even if he were fine for twelve….my heart can’t take being away from him for long. I miss the little bugger ten minutes after I leave him for heaven sake!
So I sold that crate.
I do recommend crate training to a lot of people though, especially those who don’t have the kind of time to literally be with their pup side by side twenty four seven. Especially during the potty training phase, because once a pup gets used to going in the house, your work has just gotten a heck of a lot harder. Luke though, was totally trained at nine weeks. When he came home to me he already knew to go to the door and whine/scratch to tell me he had to go. If I was sleeping he’d kiss me awake and talk to me til I got up to take him out. He still does this today. I think he had 2 accidents the whole time I’ve had him and both were my fault.
I must say he has been the easiest of dogs to train…and I’ve had many over the years. I can’t claim the potty training reward though because he was already trained when he came to me, but he learned how to walk properly on a leash, sit, stay, leave it, and down all by 1o weeks. He’s brilliant in one way, kinda well….I won’t say it but…slow, in others. No…its just that he doesn’t have a big attention span. He gets bored with training excersises very fast and easy. So we have to make them short and fun…make the most of the time we have his full attention and then move on.
I shudder to imagine a half grown Dane going in the house..but I know there are people out there with this problem who are frustrated and at their wits end.

Oh and I must share that when I mentioned in other forums that I had decided not to continue trying to force Luke in the crate, I received some interesting comments. A couple people told me that by letting him win that way and by not making him do it, I would have an out of control dog that would never respect or listen to me. Um…wrong! The whole point of the crate is for them to see it as a positive place, a safe place, a den of sorts. It’s hardly going to be seen as such, if I am forcing him to go in it against his will, even if I COULD physically force a dog who at that point was already stronger than I was. Why fight with him over something that isn’t going to be a problem? Just to say I won, I’m alpha, I’m the top dog? No…I want my boy to be happy, healthy and secure. Forcing him to do things that make him uncomfortable just to prove I’m boss is not my idea of getting that result. I KNOW this dog…I know how he thinks, how he’s feeling and I KNEW that no matter what I did, I could never change his mind on that crate. He would forever see it as the obstacle between us. The thing that kept him from being able to get to me. Kept him from touching me, seeing me, following me. He never would have seen it as a safe den trust me. So I went with what I knew about HIM, not a dog in general, not the breed, but LUKE…and I’m glad I did.
Sometimes, you just have to know your dog very well, and know what works with them and what won’t. When you do, it’s easier to find what methods of training will have good results and what ones will be useless.


Spoiled?? Who ME??!

I am NOT spoiled! You know I get really tired of hearing people say that.  It is totally normal for me to be treated the way I am. After all, I AM the Greatest Dane in the World! My Mom says so!

So what…I get a massage for at least an hour before bed. Who doesn’t? So what, Mom runs downstairs to bring up my water bowl if it’s hot and I’m tired and don’t feel like getting off the bed to go get it myself.  So I wake her up in the middle of the night when I have an itch that I can’t scratch, so that she will do it for me. I don’t have thumbs and I’m not double jointed…what else can I do?

Ok, so Mom spends more money on me than her. It’s not my fault my food costs more than hers! So she spends more time worrying about what’s actually in my food than what ingredients are in hers….isn’t that normal?

So I get a new toy or a treat every time she comes back home after leaving me for a few hours. Well she SHOULD! After all, she did do the BAD thing and left me…all ALONE…no Mom to tickle, scratch or massage me. Run to the kitchen to grab my treats when I have a craving. No Mom to hold my bones in just the right spot so I can get those back teeth clean. She’s not here to play with me or fetch me my favorite toy that somehow escaped and is hiding under the couch. Of COURSE I deserve a treat for being neglected this way!

And for the record? I don’t think there’s a thing wrong with her taking me out to the park or on play dates when she’s in horrible pain and the doctors at the human hospital told her to rest her shoulder and not use it. Nope…she SHOULD be out there throwing that ball, playing tug of war, because, well because I said so! And I am the Greatest Dane!

So I decided, instead of listening to people tell her how spoiled I am, I am having her write up a list and put it up in each room of our house. Also, she is to take a copy with us wherever we go so when people stop us in the street, all of my commandments are ready and waiting for them to read.

Wanna know what they are? I think ALL danes should have these rules 🙂


1- Thou shall have no other dog, cat, other furred or winged creature, or human, but me.

2- Thou shall surrender all furniture, blankets, clothing, food, and personal space, to ME.

3- Thou shall  not be tired or too sore to play when I want to play.

4- Thou shall spend at least 5 hours per day telling and showing me how much I am loved. This will include, but is not limited to: hugs, kisses, rubs, tickles, cuddles, forgiveness of any and all drool that ends up on you or elsewhere in the home.

5- Thou shall stop making play dates for yourself and start making more for ME.

6- Thou shall not be annoyed when I have the zoomies at 3 am and make a ton of noise that might tick off the new neighbors.

7- Thou shall not leave me for any reason, for more than a total of 4 hours, and if thou does leave, thou MUST return with quality bribes to ease my pain and prevent me from taking my revenge at a later time.

8- Thou shall limit all visitors to a maximum of one hour stays. After all, visitors take time away from ME. That is a NO NO!

9- Thou shall not complain when you have no room in the bed, when my feet end up in your face, my drool in your hair, or when I pass gas. This is MY house, MY bed, YOU are mine.

10- Thou shall NEVER even CONSIDER bringing home another man, puppy or human. Again, you belong to ME. My rules. No flirting with cute police men, nor cuddling with cute pups. I am all you will ever need.

Got it?



Luke’s First Swim!

I took Luke down to the water again this afternoon. We can’t get down to the actual water line but I took some pictures to show you guys the view. We watched the boats and Luke explored all around.

The pic got cut off Crying or Very sad but he was giving me a big kiss Very Happy


And later today…..My two little sisters came over to visit. We decided to try another area where we could actually get to the water, and see how Luke would take to it.  He loved it…he got so mucky we had to give him a bath when we got home but we all had a blast. I’m so proud of him Very Happy

Here’s the pics

His first tenative steps with Becca & Leah
"What IS this?"

I’m not sure about this Mom!

SPLASH!!!!!!! Very Happy

What a time getting him to drop this treasure! Rolling Eyes

It’s Hard Work being so Popular!

Hi blog buddies, Luke here! 🙂 Ever have one of those days where you wish people just didn’t notice you as much while you’re out and about with your human? Well I am having one of those days. Usually I love all the attention and love I get from people wherever we go, but today Mom isn’t feeling well and I could tell she really just wanted to go home. Plus it was RAINING! Like…HELLO? Dane in the rain? I MUST go home now! Leave us alone!

Then, we get home and I go out to my back yard, that has a six foot privacy fence, and there are a bunch of kids trying to climb the fence to see me! Mom told them to go away and never try to get into our backyard again. See, when Mom was young her family had a dog that ended up hating kids for just such a thing, being teased through their fence. So now Mom’s mad because these kids are rude brats. Today is not a good day. I think I’ll go snuggle up with Mom and give her alot of kisses and cuddles to cheer her up 🙂

Bye for now!

So much to catch up on!

Hello everyone! Long time no see! 🙂 It has been a very busy summer, with so much to catch you all up on. First let me say, that I hope everyone had a wonderful summer, whatever it was that you did. I hope all of your danes and other beloved fur family are happy and well. Luke has grown up to be a gorgeous, wonderful young man, one I am so proud of I still look at him each day in awe that he’s by my side. He turned One on July the 14th, and although we didn’t have the big party I had been hoping for, things were too hectic at the time, I enjoyed a nice day spoiling my boy and just being with him.

We began looking for a new place to live back in late June. What a time that was! Finding an apartment in this city that was affordable, one that you would actually want to live in, and one that allowed pets, cats, let alone a great dane, was no picnic let me tell you. There were nights where I literally thought that by the end of August when I had to vacate my previous apt, that we’d be homeless. It was a scary thought! I went to look at quite a few dumps that let’s just say, I wouldn’t let a rat live in, let alone a person. Things were getting discouraging to say the least, when I happened across an ad for this townhouse we are now living in. I almost didn’t call about it….from the pictures in the ad, I figured it was too nice a place for them to ever allow dogs, let alone a dane, and after getting the door slammed in my face so to speak, so many times, I thought for sure it was a waste of time. Well, Patty convinced me to call and thank God she did! I was so excited when the woman on the phone said they did allow dogs, and didn’t start choking the minute I said my dog was a Great Dane lol. I went to look at it a few days later, and even though I didn’t like the area of town it’s in….I felt good vibes about the actual apartment, and I just knew Luke would love having a fenced in back yard to go out in….it is MUCH bigger and nicer than our old place, so  I took it.

The next few weeks were busy with getting ready to move. I had forgotten how much work it was to move, since I’d lived at the old place for ten years. Well, we’re now here, have been here almost two weeks now and we’re settling in nicely. Luke loves it, although it took some adjusting to the huge amount of young kids and noise that we didn’t have at our old place. The constant commotion had him barking a bit more than usual but he’s starting to realize that not every sound means someone is at the door, and isn’t barking as much anymore. We still have our moments where I want to go out and shut some brats and their parents up though lmao.

Luke and I have had fun exploring the new neighborhood. The good news is, there is a large park with five seperate fenced in fields to go to, only a five minute walk from here. We use one for the great dane meetups that I started back a few months ago when I decided to create a facebook group for local dane owners and have playdates with our danes. I’ve been to two so far, and Luke has really enjoyed them. He loves playing with other dogs. Especially Lilly, his little woman. There is a story there, but I’ll tell it another time.

So…it’s been a busy summer as I said. Tons of pics to share with you guys that I hope you’ll enjoy. 

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Chasing a girl he liked at the dog park lol

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At our first dane meetup

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Some of my favorite pictures of him

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A new toy and bone

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With his little woman Lilly

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With Kayla, Mom’s girl

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At the meetup last sunday

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More pictures to catch up on

I’ve done it again…forgot all about this blog lol. Well what can I say about my boy, who’s fast becoming a man? He’s still my pride and joy, still makes life worth living, still puts a smile on my face when it’s hard to find a reason to smile. We are enjoying the warm weather, going to the park, walking the trails that we love so much, well except for the bugs that is. 🙂 He met his first deer the other day while on our way home from those trails. It was so amazing, how they stood so close to one another, neither moving, until after about five minutes my boy decided he just had to play with this new found friend of his, and the deer took off back into the trees lol. He also met his first ground hog, down at Grampy’s ((they live under his shed apparently)) but I’m afraid Mamma wouldn’t allow him to play with them either. Nasty little buggers they are! 🙂
In other news, I’ve been searching for other dane owners in my city, and have found 8 so far. I opened up a facebook group for us to keep in contact, and we’ve been planning a big Great Dane meetup this summer. We’re having smaller ones when the weather allows. Tommorow hopefully, Luke will be meeting 3 danes when we meet at the trails mentioned earlier.
One more month…and Luke is ONE! I can hardly believe how fast time has flown. He’s grown up on me so fast…he’s so tall and looking more “manly” every day now. He’s still a giant love bug. Has to sleep in the bed with me, cuddle on the couch with me while we watch tv or movies together. He’s still my shadow, everywhere one goes, the other is there. People who see us together still marvel at the fact we communicate with one another as if we speak the same language. I suppose you could say that Luke and I have our own language. 🙂 I know this boy, I know what he wants just by the look on his face, the tone of his “voice”. And I will admit, nine times out of ten? He will get it lol. He loves everything he meets, and just wants them to be his friend. Right down to butterflies and the two crows who visit here every morning for their breakfast.
We are in the process now of finding a new place to live, so I may end up being offline for a month or two, but I will definitely be back to share anything we’ve missed during that time.
So here are some pics taken since my last blog entry. They are not in order of time, but I hope you enjoy them.

These were taken at the Memorial Park we visit often:

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Here he is playing with his new friend Max, a 7 month old dane

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These are pictures taken from a trip to the trails we love

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Here he is with his “doggy” ((the one he stole from the neighors every chance he got until they finally gave in and let him keep it lol))

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These are the ones taken the day he saw the deer :)]

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Can you see me now???LOL
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Hey Deer! Come back here! I wanna play with you!

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Picture Catch Up 2

Ever have those times when you get blog burn out? Well after my surgery it happened to me. I haven’t done alot of the things I usually do online, but I’ve kept busy with my boy. He’s growing up on me, my little man. Here are some pictures to catch up on since my last blog post. Hope you all enjoy them.


A really nice day last week…Luke wanted to stay out front and catch some rays, but of course he had to have Mamma come out with him so out I came with a book. The blanket and pillow were for him by the way, before I got out there lmao.

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Enjoying the sun

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Why Mom needs a bigger bed!

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Look how big these feet are!

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So considerate…he chewed his new bloody bone on the towel instead of the bare couch 🙂

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Yeah Yeah..I know, I’m gorgeous!

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Ohhh a new admirer is coming?

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Come and get the ball Mom!

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The King..surveying his domain lol.

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Getting some digging in before we leave 🙂

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Gotta have a rest…it’s alot of work being so handsome!

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Thanks for playing with me Mom!

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A Visit with the neighbors next door. Luke just loves them. Probably because they spoil him rotten lol. It was cute to see the old guy down on the floor playing like a kid. Faces warped for privacy.

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Sorry no blog :)-

Hi everyone! Mom hasn’t been able to blog lately….so here we are playing catchup again. Here are some pictures of our run through the trails we go to before Mom went to her surgery last week. 

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I was such a good boy while Mom was sick. I did get bored though so even though she didn’t feel good, she took me for my runs at the playground.

Here’s a few pics of us today before she went out today.


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Mom says she’ll be working on this site this week…so come back soon!

Why Prior Research of Your Chosen Breed is SO Important!

Lately I have been just blown away by the sheer number of people online who have Great Danes, and yet know next to nothing about the breed. I belong to facebook groups for dane owners, and half of the people that post, don’t seem to know even the most basic of things, like what to feed a puppy. What really bothers me, is that when you try to educate them, which is supposedly what they’re there asking questions for, you get attitude from them as if they know it all and don’t need answers. Well then why bother asking them? If you don’t like the truth, don’t ask for it…or so my way of thinking goes.

There are so many Great Danes lately for sale on free ad sites. The excuses are usually the same. Excuses that to me, are IN excusable, if you had bothered to do your research BEFORE bringing home the pup that is.

For instance…the most common one I see, is “I have to get rid of my 8 month old dane. He’s just gotten too big and is too rough with my son/daughter or small breed dog. The other one that is common, is ” I can’t afford to feed him”, or ” I wasn’t expecting the vet bills to be this high”. All of these things, had they bothered to do ANY research at all about the breed, they would have known to expect, or atleast anticipate the possibility of such a thing happening.

First of all…feeding. Oh how it bugs me to read owners BRAGGING about how they feed Iams puppy food, or god forbid, puppy chow. Yes, let’s get you a gold ribbon right away! Although there is always a large debate on the food issue when it comes to danes, atleast in regards to the different varieties out there, the main point always stays the same. Great Dane pups especially, MUST be feed a premium food. Food that is within the proper protein, calcium and fat range. This is detrimental to their growth and health as they mature. The sad part, is the vets who reccommend these crap grocery brand foods to them, and tell the owners how wonderful they will do on it.
We’ve all seen what can come from feeding bad food to a dane. Puppy food especially, unless designed for a growing giant breed’s needs, is a big problem. Knuckling over, bones that grow too fast, and other health issues abound. It’s sad too see and maddening to watch when you give the advice and it is ignored. Only to read from the very same poster a month or two down the road…”Oh No my pup has this problem!”

Then we get to the issue of kids and danes. I know that many a dane has been raised with children and made out just fine. I also know, that many reputable breeders and rescues will not sell to those with small children. The reason being that they are far too accustomed to seeing danes being rehomed or dumped, when Little Johnny gets knocked over or gets a whipping tail in his face sending him flying across the room. Knowing how big these dogs get, and knowing that as they grow, there are going to be times when they’re clumbsy, maybe not paying 100 % attention to where they are going and how fast….you SHOULD know that this can and probably WILL happen. Even if your dog and child are supervised 24/7, some things happen before you can react. Sadly, 9 times out of ten, it’s the dog who will pay the price.

Same goes for small breeds dogs in the home. Again, I know MANY dane owners have both, and make out just fine. I also know, that accidents can and do happen, usually in the most unexpected way. The dogs start playing, and the next thing you know, the dane steps on the little one the wrong way, and instantly there are broken bones or brain damage. I’ve heard it many times. Cats, dogs, stepped on or mouthed a bit too hard and either the little one ends up with thousands of dollars in vet bills to fix it, or it’s put down. These things should always be taken into consideration before a person gets a dane, because again, nine times out of ten? The dane will be the one who suffers, even though he/she never intended for the accident to happen.

I have done my best to socialize Luke with every type of dog, person or situation immaginable since the day he came to me. It’s been difficult, because where we live, there is not a huge abundance of dogs, and those that we do see, are not dog friendly, half of them aren’t even PEOPLE friendly. He adores every dog he meets, big or small. But because of his size, his ability to seriously harm one so much smaller than him, I do not allow him to play much with little breeds, especially if I don’t really know the person that well. I am responsible for Luke. I have to put his safety first, and I know that even though my boy is the poster dog for GENTLE GIANT, things happen, and I never want to put him in that position. He wasn’t even allowed to be around Lilly much, until she got big enough. Now I have to try and keep him away from HER because she beats HIM up!LOL

The same goes for children. If I don’t know them personally, I do not allow Luke to run offleash in the park if there are kids there. He loves kids, and usually he is very gentle with them, but again, this is for HIS safety. Alot of parents don’t seem to teach their children how to behave around a dog, any dog, let alone one who’s twice the size as them. So Luke is socialized with children who I know are dog friendly, who will actually listen to me when I tell them how to behave around him so that both they and him can enjoy themselves.

I know we dane owners get a laugh out of the comments we all recieve from strangers on our walks, wherever we take our dogs. There are some main misconceptions we almost always hear. It doesn’t bother me to hear them from someone who doesn’t have any experience with a dane. Most people here have never even seen one except on tv. But when I hear those things from a dane owner??? Yes…it bothers me. It makes my stomache turn a little bit, wondering just what that poor dog has in it’s future, if their owner doesn’t even know the basics. Yet you can only educate if that person is willing to listen.

I take advantage of every opportunity that I get when out walking with Luke, to educate those who ask about him, or who mention they’d love to have a dane of their own. I tell every one of them, flat out…they are the most wonderful, beautiful, loving creatures on the face of the planet but they are NOT for everyone! They are not a breed that you should just go buy because you saw one that caught your eye. They have many needs….they come with many issues. I think it’s important for all of us who love and appreciate our beloved danes…to take advantage of any chance we get, and do our best to let people know just what these dogs are about. Encourage anyone who is seriously considering a dane in their future, to do their research! I spent hours upon hours, year after year, lurking in groups and forums, reading every website I could find, learning as much as I could about this breed before I ever even thought of getting one.  If we can teach just one person to do the same….we are doing a major service to a Great Dane in the future.


Never Left Out & Another walk through the trails

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I really don’t understand humans who think I shouldn’t be a part of EVERYTHING Mom does…I mean come on! She loves me best! I know she tries not to let her other human people know, but it’s pretty obvious if I may say so myself 🙂 So lately Mom’s been telling me that I should really let up on the possessive streak, and let her have some space with her humans. I don’t get it…you mean, you want to hug and kiss and touch people and I’m not supposed to be there? HUH? Sorry….no compute. Here’s some fun pics of just how well I’m doing with the new “let Mom have some space excersise”

Umm..EXCUSE ME?? What do you think you’re doing with my Mom’s lips??

Mom??? U ok??

Ok lady…we have to have a talk! Do the words “SHE’s MINE!” mean anything to you?

Ohhh you’re just playing?? Ok well let me in on the fun then!

Hmm…well that excersise went well I think…I didn’t eat anyone after all! 🙂
Today Mom and my human brother Tyler took me to the trails again. The snow is starting to melt and what a mucky mess of fun I had on the way back!!
Here we are walking…


We Love These Trails!

We love these trails

Luke and I have started going out to the trails a few minutes away from here and we’re really enjoying it. It’s so peaceful out there and Luke has so much fun exploring and smelling new things. The last time we went I took some pictures.

Luke’s paw print
Not much difference between my hand and his paw!

A rabbit print

A Day with my best friend Lilly

A day with my best friend Lilly

My best friend Lilly was here all day yesterday and over night and we had a BLAST together! She’s really kinda rough with me ya know…my cheeks are sore from those puppy needle teeth. Mom says I am a great boy for being so gentle and patient with her! We played and played all day and night, then Mom took us down to the park, and still we played until Mom did some training with us and it was time for a few hours sleep.


Please stop eating my face girl!

Yes you can play with my toys…Im good like that!

Look at how big my paws are compared to hers!Finally the little monster fell asleep! I’m soooo tired!
I love you Lilly but I don’t sleep on the floor…I’m a GREAT Dane! I get da bed or the couch at the very least.

What’s Important

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sometimes I find myself feeling guilty for the things that we don’t have…like a big house, a big yard, alot of money. Especially when I read about other dane owners who seem to have such a great life, have the means to go all over the place and do all sorts of different things with their dogs. Which is funny when I think about it, because I’ve never felt that way before. I never felt awful about my son not having EVERYTHING he ever wanted, not having the best of the name brand clothes or the top of the line toys. I always looked at it from the point of view that having everything doesn’t make you a better person.
I know there are people out there who think that having a dog in an apartment, especially a Great Dane, isn’t fair. Well what I’d like to say to them is this:
We might not have all that others have…..but when I go to bed at night, I can rest easy knowing that Luke has everything he needs. He is not just a dog, he is at my side no matter what I do. He isn’t ignored while I go about my daily routine. He is included in everything, even if it’s something as simple as doing the laundry. He is talked to, he is loved, he is made a part of every family visit, every place I can take him, he goes. He eats better than I do that’s for sure!LOL
Luke gets more exposure to new experiences, more excersise, more socialization than most every dog I know, atleast around here. I know people who have houses, who think the back yard is plenty enough excersise and stimulation for their dogs until the odd day they feel like going somewhere like a park for a walk. Not so with my boy. Everyday we go out, even if it’s only for short intervals because of the cold. I’m lucky that I have a playground right down the street, a memorial park about a ten minute walk away, where he can run to his heart’s content.
He is not just a dog….he is my world. I thank God for him every single day when I wake up with his jowls on my cheek and his drool on my pillow…and every night when I give him a kiss and tell him how he has changed my life, I pray that God will be merciful and allow me to live a long life with him.
I am a tough cookie..always have been. I’ve known loss, and lived on with barely a hiccup or break in my stride. But I can honestly say, that if anything were to happen to Luke…I would be totally and utterly lost. The bond between us is something I cannot ever describe. I’ve tried believe me. I can’t immagine a life now without him totally in the middle of it, tail wagging a mile a minute, feet stomping on everything, drool flying. I love this boy more than I ever thought it possible to love someone or something.
I find happiness when he’s happy. If he’s playing with a new dog and enjoying himself, I enjoy myself…as if it were me who were playing. If he’s happy to get a new treat, I am happy, as if it were me who went out and treated myself, which never happens by the way lol. If he’s bored, then I get up off my butt and do whatever I can to give him something fun to do. He gives me a reason to get out of bed when otherwise life and it’s many stresses, not to mention the pain I’m in most of the time…would make me want to just crawl back under the covers and stay there.
I don’t need him to be the BEST dog, the robot who does a million tricks and never disobeys a single command. I don’t need him to be the smartest or to win anything to prove how he great he is. To me he is perfect, even when he steals the toilet paper, or the potatoes lol. Even when he has his moments of being the rebel. His personality is amazing to me. The way he finds such joy in simple things. The way he is so eager to give love and affection to anyone who will take it. He doesn’t care if I ever get out of my pj’s and put on my make up. He doesn’t care if our house is perfect, if we live in a mansion, if we drive a fancy car. As long as he gets to snuggle and play tug and mess up the sheets when I’m trying to make the bed, as long as he gets to have his zoomies and play in the park, he is happy. He doesn’t ask perfection from me….He doesn’t want an explanation for everything I think and say and do…he simply wants to be by my side.
Crazy as it may sound….sometimes I will look at him, and ask him….”Do I give you enough? Are you happy? What else can I do to make your life better?” and in those moments, I wish so badly that he could talk…that he could tell me in words exactly how he feels. But everytime, he will look deep into my eyes, and give me the biggest kiss. Maybe that is my answer.
I keep telling him that one day, we’ll win the lotto and I’ll buy him a big house with lots of land to run and play in. But you know? I know Luke. It wouldn’t matter if I had 50 acres…he would never be the dog to go out and run in it if I wasn’t by his side. That is who he is.
I wonder sometimes there is truth to what some believe, that people can come back in another life as humans, or vice versa. I don’t really believe that, but there are days when I really can’t help but wonder. He is so human like, has been since the minute I picked him up at the airport. That wasn’t something I taught him, by treating him like a human. It was simply him. The fabric of who and what he is and always will be. I know Danes are one of the most if not THE most human like dogs….but Luke takes it to a whole new level sometimes. Again, something I can’t explain or describe. You’d just have to know him.
There are alot of things I want to do with my boy…new things I want to experience with him, things I want to teach him. But in the end, if he never learns another command, if he simply stays the sweet, funny, loveable guy he is, then I will thank God for every second I am lucky enough to have with him.
He is irreplacable…..he is what love is and should be, and I’d rather live in a cardboard box with him, than live in heaven without him.

I’m Not Dumb!

I’m not dumb!!

I may not be the smartest dog on the block, but I sure aint the dumbest either! I know when Mom gets out of that shower thing and uses that machine on her hair, she must be going somewhere, and lately, that might mean she’s going to leave me behind. Well no way was I gonna let that happen last night! My little Aunt Becca was over, and I was just sure that Mom was going to leave me with her while she went out without me. Gasp…Now why would Mom ever want to leave ME???HUH?? Sooo…while she used that machine on her head….I did what I always do, I guarded her. Aunt Becca got some pics of me doing it 🙂
Uh oh…she’s got that thing again!
“You don’t have to leave me here, I’ll be good!”
“Really? We’re only going to the park??!! Yay!!”

“Thank you Mom…I’m happy now!”

My Mom Loves me!

More fun at the park & a walk

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Yesterday it was pretty nice out, still cold but not as cold as it has been…and Luke wanted to get his zoomies out so we went down to the park to play in the snow again. After he got his zoomies out we ended up walking to this HUGE grave yard called Fern Hill Cemetary. It’s very beautiful, if you don’t think of the grave yard part. Strangely enough, Luke wasn’t the only dog that ever walked in there. Every few steps we could see where other dogs had marked their territory, and we even saw a man with his smaller breed dog down on the other end. It was a nice, quiet, long walk..and we enjoyed it.

At Fern Hill

Playtime with Mom

Playtime With Mom

Mom always plays with me when I get bored. Whatever I want to do, is ok with her. Well Most of the time. People say I’m spoiled…well I don’t know why I shouldn’t be, I mean come on, I am Luke..the GREATEST Dane! 🙂
Mom makes me do some tricks before I get to play with her though. I have to do things like sit or down, and then I get the ball.

I have do go ALL the way down??? No fair Mom!

Come on Mom I’m sitting, just gimme da ball! Mom doesn’t mind when we make a mess either. She took alot of stuff out of our livingroom just so I wouldn’t have to worry about breaking things. She says it looks empty but she doesn’t care.
Tell me you’re not gonna eat my treat Mom!!

I’m gonna win! I’m stronger!haha

Luke’s 1st Babysitting Gig lol

Luke’s first babysitting gig lol

Luke is in love…with a puppy named Lilly. 🙂 She lives upstairs with my friend and neighbor. He’s loved her since the day she came home, but because she was soooo small, we never allowed Lilly to actually be down on the ground and play with him, just in case. Although they did get to see eachother often as long as someone was holding her.
Well…Lilly has grown up enough so and had enough exposure to Luke that I felt it was now safe to let them play a bit. He was so excited to have her here, and I will be honest, I did worry at first because he is just so big and shhh (so clutsy at times lol) that I worried he might hurt her. He did great, so…I offered to watch Lilly for the afternoon while her Mom took my son and hers to the mall. Good trade if you ask me…I got the better end of the bargain!LOL
Here are some pics from their day together….

I’m So Proud!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I must say that I’m very proud of my boy. This past week, I had appointments and things that I needed to do, and I couldn’t take him with me. Patty couldn’t come and stay with him, so he had to rough it out alone while I was gone. No crate, since he still refuses to go in it, and I will not traumatize him by forcing him. I already tried, it’s a no go. Anyway…I was worried, not about what he’d do to the house, as I kept him in the livingroom only, and let’s face it, the couch is junk and replacable, Luke getting so upset about me leaving him and getting sick…is what I was worried about.
Patty teased me terribly about how I was acting lol. She said and I quote: “I don’t know which one of you is worse, you or him!” lol.
The first time I was gone about an hour. I don’t know whether he howled much since I wasn’t here, but when I got back, he was quiet until he heard me and then he was just SOOO happy to see me it was unreal lol. It took him a good ten minutes to calm down and I was so proud of him.
Later that night I had to go shopping for groceries, and it was a major storm out. I had to leave him again…this time I was gone atleast 2 hours and as with the first time, he did great. I brought him back a nice treat and gave him tons of loving.

The Memorial Park

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hi there! These are some pictures from our visit to the Memorial Park a week or so ago. Mom’s been sick with the flu and hasn’t been able to do much online.
This was a great day though…I had a BLAST!






Mom put my coat back on because it started to get colder….and I played with my human brother Tyler…






Mom sat right in the snow to get a picture with me. She didn’t even complain about having a cold wet behind 🙂 I fink she loves me!

Do NOT Get A Great Dane If:

Monday, January 4, 2010

These are just MY personal opinions…my take em or leave em basically.

Do NOT Get A Great Dane If:

You think that a dog has it’s “place” and that place is not with you.
If you want a dog that will automatically learn every trick you try to teach him, never make a mistake, never have it’s moments of refusing to do what you KNOW he/she knows how to do. They are not robots!

Don’t get a Dane…if you think that dogs should stay outside all day and only come in at night. These precious dogs NEED you…ALL of the time. To outcast them is to break their mind and spirit.

Don’t get a dane, if you think harsh commands and treatment is the way to train. They are extremely sensitive, and nothing will shut them down faster than having the one they love yelling, hitting or using other harsh methods to get your way with your dog.

Don’t get a dane if you worry about drool or slobber on your clothes, in your hair, ont he couch, EVERYWHERE! Those of us who truly love these dogs, clean it up with a smile because it’s just part of what makes them who they are.

Don’t get a Great Dane if you cannot comprehend that they are unlike any other animal, any other breed on the face of the planet. What works for one breed in training, behavior and otherwise may not and often times DOES not work with these dogs. They are unique, they are incredibly special, and they are truly a blessing to anyone who is lucky enough to have them in their home.

They are not just dogs, they are family. They are your best friends, your confidantes. They will make you laugh and they will make you cry. You will worry yourself sick over every little hiccup and bump and bruise…sometimes worse than you did your own children. You will pray everyday that God is merciful and allows you to keep them in your life for longer than what is so often the case with this breed.

Do not get a Dane, if you are not willing to go through each and every stage they have with them. If having your furniture messed up or destroyed, your shoes obliviated, your clothes full of hair and drool bothers you….these are not the dogs for you. ((ALTHOUGH not every dane is destructive, you never know until you get one, it’s a chance you take until they’re trained))

Don’t get a Great Dane if the only reason you want one is their size, their ability to intimidate, just by their look and size alone. They are not there to make you look cool!

Don’t get a Dane if you’re not prepared to spend the extra money to buy a premium dog food and to research extensively the best foods to give them.

Don’t get a Great Dane if you cannot find humour in the silly things they do…in the zoomies that will totally wreck your livingroom but to those of us who love them, bring nothing but laughter and a smile to our faces.

If you can’t give 100% of your love, affection and care to one of these giants…then walk away and get another breed. Do ALOT of research and talk to people who live and love these dogs, find out what day to day life is REALLY like with them before taking that leap.

DO Get a Dane: If you want the best friend you ever had, the best cuddle partner, the funniest, the most gentle hearted, loving spirited creature on the face of the planet. You will never regret a minute of your time with a Great Dane if you truly love and appreciate them for just what they are.

Fun At Grampy’s

Fun at Grampy’s

Yesterday Mom and I went down to our Grampy’s to make him supper. I love Grampy’s back yard…I can run and pway there! Mom got some pictures and a video of me having zoomies before I had to go in and be a reaaaaaaal good boy in Grampy’s house. Dere’s tons of rools dere…after a while I wanted to come home.

Snow! Woooweeeeeeeee!





Then it was time to go in so Mom could cook supper. I was on my BEST behavior HONEST!


Who could doubt this face?




At home I get to sleep on the couch or da bed. Here I have to lay on da floor. No fair!

Or I can just use Mom as a chair!

Can we go home NOW Mom? I’ve been good long enough!

I’s is sleepy!

Video from Grampy’s

Here I am getting my zoomies out before dinner!

All About ME!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hello World…Dis is my blog. My Mom is writing it for me of course 🙂
I can’t wait to meet other dogs with blogs. Since we don’t know any other Great Danes here where we live, Mom says this is as close to it as we’ll probably get.
So you wanna know about me? Ok here we go:
I’m a Black Great Dane. I was born on July 14, 2009 in Quebec.
I had lots of brothers and sisters, but fate made me stay with my Dog Mom until my Human Mom could find me and arrange to bring me home.
I came to my new home on September 16th, 2009. I flew in an airplane! I didn’t like dat much. Very loud noises and I was scared. But once I seen my new Mom standing there when dey brought me out I knew it was all worth it. I had come home…my real true home forever.

Mom was trying so hard not to cry. The mean cab driver wouldn’t let me get out of my cage to be in Mom’s arms…but I twied my best to let her know I waz happy to see her! I kissed her through those bar things…and was a very good boy da whole drive home.

I am very happy in my home with my Mom. She wuvs me soooo much! She tells me every single day, atleast a billion times 🙂
My favorite thing to do is snuggle with Mom. It makes me feel good to be so close to her. Infact…I don’t wike it much when I can’t be close to her. And I let her know it too!
Things I Like:
My Hedgie (( a stuffed/squeeky hedgehog that my friend Loki gave me for christmas))
My squeeky hammer
My “baby”: a stuffed guinea pig toy that my big brother Tyler gave me when I first came here.
I LOVE treats..any kind will do. Mom likes to give me natural kinds though. I love jerky, any type of bone, especially the big marrow bones..YUM!
I am not a real active dog, although I do get zoomies once or twice a day. Mom always laughs even though I sometimes totally wreck the place :)-
I’m very good at getting brushed and having my nails done.
I don’t destroy stuff most of the time. Sometimes I like to rip the buttons off of the couch or take off with shoes, but it’s a game…they have to chase me to get them back! So much fun!
I like to play tug of war with Mom. She’s the only one allowed to play it with me. Sometimes she lets me win, and sometimes I let her win 🙂
My favorite place to go is down to the playground/park at the end of our road. I get to run and dig in the sand, I LOVE to dig but I never do it in our yard.
I have a sister…she’s a cat. Hailie. And she is NOT nice! I don’t know why but she don’t like me…I try to be nice to her, and I don’t chase her or nothin…but she meows and hisses and sometimes she tries to scratch me…for NO reason! I don’t fink we’ll ever be close. Oh well…I have Mom.
Every night Mom and I curl up on our bed…and watch tv shows on her computer. Sometimes she has a treat, and I’ll steal a few…but now she’s bringing MY treats in so we can both have some once in a while. Dats always nice!
I grow so fast I amaze myself! Sometimes I feel like I’m in a giant body dats too big for me. I wanna pway with little dogs but I’m just too big and rough even though I don’t mean to be. HONEST!
I don’t bark much…only when someone is around our house outside, and only to let Mom know. I don’t keep yapping like some dogs. Mom wouldn’t like that!
I’m VERY good on a leash. Mom says I always was. It was like I was born knowing how to heel hee hee. Mom tries to take me out as often as she can but since I can’t handle the cold…we don’t get out as much as we used to. It’s SOOO cold here in da winter!
So yeah..I’m special..Everyone tells me so. I get alot of attention when we go places. Not many people in our city have seen a dog like me. I’m always very nice to them so they know we’re not a mean dog. Mom says I make her proud when I’m good. She always praises me no matter what I do right. Even though I have always known how to pee outside, she still praises me and tells me how good I am when I let her know it’s time to pee.
I think I have a great life here with Mom. She asks me alot if I’m happy…of course I am Mom! I have a Mom to love me and keep me warm and fed, she plays with me whenever I want, she lets me drool and slobber all over our pillow and in her hair. She tries to teach me new things all the time. I’m a lucky boy but Mom is luckier! 🙂

My First Christmas

My First Christmas

I had a great christmas!! My Mom spoiled me with tons of treats and fun stuff to pway with. Mom was worried that I might ruin our tree but I’z was good and never bothered it. I loved having friends and family come to visit. Sometimes I got a bit too excited and had to get “spoken to” but Mom still wuvs me and says I waz good!
I even got my own turkey dinner right off of da china! I’z is special don’t ya fink?:)
Here are some pictures of our christmas together.











MY prezzies:Minus da ones I’z ate lol




Any more for me Mom???

I’z a tired boy!!



Videos Of My 1st Snow

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mom borrowed her friend’s camera to take videos and pictures of me before she got her new camera for christmas. Here’s me at the park playing in the snow.
Mom has to tell me to “Go play” alot cause I don’t like to leave her. She says I can’t get excersise if I’m by her side all the time. I think she’s probably right :)-

My First Snow!

My First Snow

Mom wazn’t sure I’d wike da snow…cuz I don’t wike the cold or da rain. But I’z wuved it!! We went to da park and I pwayed and pwayed. Mom gots some pics and some videos of me.








Aren’t I handzsome??Mom alwayz says so!

See all da holez I’z dug? I wuv to dig..but only in da park. I’z a good boy!








One of deze dayz I’z gonna find us some tweazure!