Wednesday, March 24, 2010

These Are the Danes of My Life.....

he he.....I do kind of like dramatic titles when I can come up with them. I was sitting at my desk pondering what to write about today. I've had a few different topics percolating in the back of my mind for a while now. And I know that in a number of previous blogs I have a tendency to start to mention something and then say that I'll devote an entire post to it later. Later hasn't really come with any of those topics. Until now!LOL

I believe that I've mentioned previously that Heffner and Bess aren't the only danes that we've had living with us. Or pseudo living with us. I'm not talking danes that we've dog sat, but danes other danes that came to stay that we actually thought we were going to keep. There were two to be exact. However, I would like to start from the beginning. As I am always curious as to how others came about getting their dogs, I'll start with our very first dane, Heffner, and how he came to be our special "little" boy.:o)

Way back in college when Adam and I were dating, I was getting to the point where I REALLY wanted a dog. We weren't really in an ideal position for a dog, but that didn't stop me from wanting one. The problem was, I didn't want just any dog, I wanted a great dane. And pretty much nothing else would do. When my urge was getting the strongest we were freshly graduated from college, engaged, and kind of stumbling around trying to figure out what exactly we were going to do now that we were out of college and expected to be grown ups. It most certainly was not the right time to get a dog. So we got to kittens instead (a post that I WILL get around to).

When we finally got good stable jobs that paid an actual salary, and we had an honest to goodness house, we decided it was time to get serious about a dog. I had various pound puppies growing up until about high school when my mom got on her golden retriever habit that she hasn't been able to kick.;) However, I still wanted a great dane. Adam wanted an english bulldog. Hmmmm....compromise? There really weren't any breeds that we could agree on that we both liked enough to actually go through the process of getting a puppy. However, we did agree on a doberman. I went about contacting a reputable breeder and we sort of got on the waiting list for a litter. But that fell through. And we were back to a dane and a bulldog. Hmmmmm.......

For a VERY brief time we joked about getting both breeds and trying to get them at the same time. Yes, we do know that would have been ridiculously stupid, but it was kind of amusing to think about at the time. You know, when the idea of two puppies doesn't have the full ramifications of the work of two puppies.:) Oh yeah, and did I mention that this was going to be Adam's first dog ever?? he he he

Finally we made a compromise. Adam wanted to get a projector and in return I could pick the breed of dog that we would get. Yay!! Great dane it is!

Then I set about the work of finding a reputable breeder. I had done my homework and I knew that I wanted a puppy from health tested parents who were either both finished American champions or at least the sire was. I also didn't want to have the puppy shipped to us, so it had to be a breeder within a reasonable driving distance from us. At that point, I also had no preference on color. I just happened to find a breeder in Oregon, who had some OFA numbers on one of her dogs (um, this is where I recommend that you actually check the numbers you are given so that you can verify that the numbers match the dog that the person is saying they are from), and BOTH the sire and dam of the litter were finished American champions with the dam also being a finished Canadian champion. The sire of the litter was also a pretty well known harlequin dog by the name of CH Manatasquots James Taylor, who won the breed at Westminster in 1993, I believe. Needless to say, I was quite impressed. The breeder even sent us a little prerecorded DVD of Taylor's time in the Westminster ring. Yes, I was quite excited about getting a puppy from this litter.

Originally, I wanted a female puppy. I wanted to have my little princess dog (gag me, I know!). However, there was only one puppy that wasn't spoken for in the litter and that was an adorable little mantle merle male. Well......she sent me pictures of him and I was sold, hook, line, and sinker! He was so adorable!! Unfortunately I don't have any of the digital pictures left that she sent me and I don't have anything from that time scanned in. So no really little puppy pictures of baby Heffner.

When we went to pick him up, I knocked on the door and when the breeder opened the door, there was Heffner standing there looking through the screen door at us. I just MELTED! He was absolutely the cutest thing that I have ever seen! It was love at first sight!

We took him home and the rest is pretty much history. However, many things have changed between Heffner's breeder and I. I won't go into it, but we no longer keep in touch and I choose to have nothing to do with her. We've had a difference of opinion on a few things and that ended that relationship. I am definitely better off because of it. I thankfully have an awesome breeder/mentor now who is teaching me a whole lot about danes specifically and dogs in general. I have greatly benefited from my relationship with Bess' breeder, Georgia, in too many ways to count.

However, Heffner's breeder and I didn't cease our relationship right after we got Heffner. It was a few years after that that it happened. During that time, there were two other danes that came into our lives for periods of time. I will get to those particular dane girls in the next few posts.;)


Schwang said...

I can't believe how tiny he was. He was able to sit on you and you weren't smushed!

brooke said...

I love seeing Heff's baby pictures! Such a cutie!

The Thundering Herd said...

Woo - Baby Hef pictures. We love it (and thanks for the story).

my2danes said...

Nawwwwwww baby handsome heffner

Training my Mammoth said...

He is ADORABLE!! Awww!! I love hearing about how people got their dogs, too.

I see a similar situation coming between Layla's breeder & I. I won't pry into what happened with yours, or get into the whole story of what's happening with Layla's, but let's just say that some people like taking full advantage of people who mistakenly think that their breeder will be honest and forthcoming, as well as some people are only in it for the money their dogs can make and not for the dogs themselves.

That's the end of that rant!

Love the pictures, can't wait to hear about Bess :)

Ellen said...

Just wanted to comment on you great pictures. Baby Hef is ADORABLE!

M.T. said...

I enjoyed reading this post, can't wait for the next "installment"! I had to grin seeing that Heffner used to fit on your lap! Didn't know you wanted to get a Doberman, you should have stuck with that :p Just kidding!! lol

Kasha The Dainty Great Dane said...

AWWWW what a cutie patootie Heffner was as a baby...can't wait to hear the rest of the story.

AARF Kasha the Dainty Great Dane