Great Danes and Us...
When our last family dog, Lucy the Dobermann, died in 2003, we decided to spend some time investigating other breeds that we either just like, perhaps because of their appearance or character, or dogs that we might want to own in the future. One of the breeds that really interested us was the Great Dane.
When we thought about having Great Danes, our initial response was "no way". We thought a huge house - and an even bigger garden - would be needed. A little time spent looking at Internet sites and discussion on a few forums changed our minds. Bear in mind that at this point we'd hardly ever seen a Dane in the flesh, let alone had any knowledge about the breed...
One of the first sites we came across was that of the Great Dane Adoption Society. Apart from a great deal of helpful information there was an excellent piece of advice. It was suggested that volunteering as a driver for the organisation would be a good way of learning about the breed.So, I offered my services as a driver.
Shortly afterwards I was contacted and asked if I would help transport a Dane from its foster home to the sanctuary, where he was to undergo some health tests. Yippee!!! My first "job".
And so on 22 October 2004, I met Baxter, a young male Dane pictured here on the right. Fortunately for me, he needed collecting from his foster home the day before he could be transported to the Sanctuary, so we unexpectedly had him as an overnight visitor.
As I brought him into the house, my wife was coming down the stairs. She stopped in her tracks, her jaw dropped and she said "he's absolutely HUGE, he'll never fit in here." Well, she was wrong. He made himself at home quite quickly and we were all surprised at how well he fitted into whatever space was available for him. This was it. Our first ever experience of a Great Dane, and what a superb experience it was, if only a very short one. He had a wonderful temperament and really made US feel at home with him. Although he was only with us overnight, we of course took loads of pictures.
There was a moment when we became a little worried.We thought the devil in him was emerging...
Of course we should have known better - he's a Great Dane after all, who don't do "nasty"! it turned out that we'd simply caught
Oh, how could you possibly even think I'd be nasty?? Just look at me, I'm so angelic!! Surely you know that all I want to do is cuddle up to you, sit on your knee, lie on the sofa and be loved!!
And so it was that our encounter with Baxter spurred us on to regularly foster this wonderful breed. The Fostering Danes page gives a little bit of information about just a few of the more than 40 Great Danes we've looked after between 2004 and 2016.