Its A Dog Of A Thing

Dear People Who Like My Dog,

No, he’s not a Weimaraner. He’s not even part Weimaraner. Yes, I can see why you think he looks similar. They call that colour “blue” but I swear he is a pure Great Dane. I have the papers to prove it. Also, I am well aware that he is a big dog. I did my fair share of research before he arrived (believe it or not) and I was well aware that he wasn’t what one would normally consider a “large breed dog”, he was in fact a “giant breed dog”. What, did you think I meant to get a Chihuahua instead and made a mistake?

Also, just to let you know, I have heard the saddle comment before. And it was amusing – the first couple of times. By the one hundred and seventh however, it really starts to lose its appeal. Just so as you know. I mean sure, you probably could put a saddle on “that thing” as you call him but you know what, he’s actually been trained to carry me in his mouth. Just kidding. But if you’re game, I’d like to see you try to put a saddle on him…we have enough problems with winter coats.

So I know you probably have a couple of questions. Most people who stop long enough to say more than “that dog is HUGE!” (no shit Sherlock!) want to know a bit more about him so here’s the basic rundown:

Q. How much does he eat?
A. There are several answers to this one. Most of the time its about 3 kilos per day however my favourite responses are “how much do you weigh?” or “two kids a day”.

Q. How much does he weigh?
A. One of these days it’ll be more than me but he’s still a pup and he’s only about 50kgs at the moment.

Q. He’s still a pup?!?
A. No, I like lying for a living. Yes, he’s a pup.

Q. What do you feed a 50kg dog?
A. Anything he wants! He really likes raw meat though.

Q. Does he bite?
A. Only on Tuesdays…

So what is living with a Great Dane like? Um, like living with a pet. Sure, occasionally your shoulders have paw prints on them, when you vacuum out the car at least half the fur is on the ceiling and the only safe place to put anything is on top of the fridge but apart from that, all he needs is a decent walk (who ends up walking whom is still occasionally under debate) or a trip to the dog park and he’s ready to sleep for a couple of hours in front of the TV. Bliss. And no one stops you in your own home. When you take a Great Dane to a park or a café or even down the street, you tend to attract a lot of attention. And interruptions. And questions. And stupid comments…

Ok, so there are maybe a couple of down sides to up-sizing your hound…We also need to buy a chest freezer – for the dog, the dog food budget is fast approaching the people food budget (especially since rawhide bones and pigs ears can last less than 5 minutes) and we’ve learned to hug the wall when the dog passes us because we can no longer walk in a straight line in our own house. On the plus side however, small, yappy dog owners cross the street to avoid us and its great fun to go through the drive through window at McDonalds and watch the dog try to stick his head through the window and give the cashier a heart attack.

The rest of it is mostly dog specific rather than breed specific however. Like it takes three people to get him on the scales at the vets or the fact that in about 4 months he destroyed we have “lost” 2 leashes, 1 seatbelt harness, 3 ferns, 4 pot plants, 1 soccer ball, 1 remote control, 2 plush toys and 3 vinyl kitchen tiles. We love him though and wouldn’t swap him for the world. Even though he can hide an entire tennis ball fully inside his lips and give you an innocent look that says “What? I’m not eating anything!”. Actually, its probably partly because of that. He’s funny to watch when he needs rescuing from under tables and he can sit down on laps and couches with his hind on the “seat” and his front paws on the floor. He sleeps inside and is a valued part of our family. If you ever come to our house you will need to remember, he lives here, you don’t.

But thank you for liking my dog. He is awesome. If he doesn’t like you though, neither will I. He is a great judge of character. And if you are a total stranger and catch us on an off day when we’re not falling over ourselves to sustain unsolicited conversation, don’t take it personally and leave us alone. Or take a photo with your phone so you can share with your friends (I swear there are more photos of my dog on other people’s phones than there are on mine). If you insist on petting my dog however, please don’t sneak up behind him because he doesn’t like it (would you?). Let him know you’re there, let him sniff you and then scratch his neck or his backside. He likes that.

A Great Dane Owner

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