Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Part 4: Bess

After Taylor went back to the breeder, Adam and I were kind of in limbo. We had gone from having two great danes with the plan to add a third in a year, to having only one dane and not really knowing what to do from there. After talking with some people I decided that it was best to kind of get out of the harlequin color family. My original plan was to get a black puppy. We found a very reputable breeder and got on the waiting list for a puppy. While we were waiting for the breeding to take place, we did some more thinking. Did we really want to go through dealing with a puppy right now? And not just any puppy, but a cropped show prospect puppy from a breeder that was an inconvenient distance away? Ultimately we decided not to get the puppy. We had tossed around the idea of going through Dane Outreach and adopting a dane, but unfortunately Trinity kind of burned us both on the idea of taking on an adult dane with potential baggage. Not to say that all rescue dogs have baggage, but you do need to be prepared for that possibility when you take in a dog that someone else decided they didn't want for whatever reason.

After throwing around all sorts of ideas, we were pretty much back to the drawing board and not really knowing what to do. At the time I had some friends who knew that we were looking for another dane and that I also wanted a conformation dog. It just so happens that they passed my name along to Georgia, who just so happened to have a dane that pretty much fit exactly what we were looking for. We didn't want a puppy, we wanted a conformation dog, and we also wanted a dane that had some energy. While Heffner has mellowed some, at that point he was quite high energy for a dane. We did some emailing and talking on the phone and decided that Bess was the right fit for everyone!

The back story on Bess was that she had been originally placed in a pet with a family who had small children. Unfortunately, she ended up being way more dog than they were able to handle. Her energy level was something that they just couldn't manage. After some discussion with Georgia, Bess went back to the Daynakin ranch. I didn't realize until more recently just how long Georgia and Jack had Bess before she came to live with us. They got her back at I think about 12 weeks old and she was 11 months old when we got her. That's one of the hallmarks of a very reputable and dependable breeder. They knew that Bess needed a specific home that would work with her, give her an outlet for her boundless energy, and also make her use her mind. They kept her for 8 months until they found the home that they felt would best suit their dog. How many back yard breeders do you know of who would do the same for one of their puppies?

I drove up to Lynden, WA to pick Bess up in April of 2008. When I got to Georgia and Jack's house and was ready to see our little Bessy Poo, Georgia warned me that she hadn't had a good run yet that day (she was in one of the outside runs at the time). As she went out to get her she turned to me and asked me if I was ready for her. I said sure, while kind of laughing to myself. After all, how "bad" could she be? Heffner was a very busy puppy who was also an only puppy growing up and we were the focus of his energy. After going through that, this should be a piece of cake. Um, yeah. You know that Warner's Brothers cartoon character the Tazmanian Devil?

THAT was Bess as she came tearing into the living room! She did laps around the room, literally running on the backs of the couches! Was I ready for her? Holy cow, I wasn't expecting THAT much energy!LOL Once she decided to stop her lap running and settle down, she came over to the couch I was sitting on and did what I now know to be her signature move. She came over and hovered within millimeters of my face. Not necessarily sniffing me, but just hovering and soaking whatever about me in. She was definitely entertaining!

After that, we hit the road for the 5 hour trip home. I let her and Heffner out together in our back yard and they got acquainted. Heffner pretty much liked her right away. She was a little unsure initially, but warmed up to him very quickly!

It really amazed me just how quickly she settled in and how it seemed like she was always meant to be there. We got home kind of late that first night, so the dogs didn't get a whole lot of time to play with each and get to know each other more. The next day though, it was like she had already been there for weeks. She and Heffner played like old buddies and it was just the easiest transition we had had. And do you know how awesome it is to bring home a new dog who's already house broken???:o)

She just really was the perfect fit for us and we're incredibly happy that we have her. Although I do have to admit that when she goes into season and loses her brains for a couple of weeks, she does make me want to strangle her just a little bit. But just a little.;o)


My Sons Mum said...

Aw they look like great mates...Can I ask what you mean by a conformation dog?

Lindsay said...

Conformation is the typical dog show. Where people take them into the ring, gait, and stack them appropriately. Essentially what they're saying is that they feel that their dog fits the breed standard and they're all competing to see who's theoretically is closest to the "perfect" dog for that breed.