I love meeting people and their dogs, which is a perk I enjoy daily when I am out on my walks. For months I have been watching an unlikely pair at the dog off-leash park, a senior gentleman and a massive, black Great Dane.
We have shared a friendly hello for quite some time, but recently, in my gut, I felt that there was a story to be told. A few days ago I approached the owner and introduced myself and my love of all things canine.
The Dane is named Duke and his owner is Peter. I told Peter about my blog and my desire to share people’s stories about getting their dogs. Peter responding by saying Duke was a Dane rescue and was his fourth Great Dane! Peter went on to divulge that he had been without a dog for some time. His present apartment allowed dogs, and a kind woman in a store one day told him about the Dane Rescue. He was intrigued having raised three Danes before.
I asked about the process getting Duke. Peter told me that the rescue organization brought a Dane to his home to see how things would go; they wanted to make sure that the match was a good one for both the two and four-legged. He was personally interviewed as well.
Duke was two and a half when Peter gave him a “forever” home. There were predetermined guidelines to follow. Duke had to attend obedience school with Peter or see an animal behaviourist. Secondly, Duke could never be given away if Peter was not happy with him. Duke would have to be returned to the rescue organization where he was from.
All vet bills were to be on Peter’s tab. He received Duke’s previous health records that showed a weak hind leg and a prior surgery.
When inquiring where Duke was from, Peter told me that Duke came from Indiana and that he had been in three foster homes.
My heart melted when Peter mentioned that he had been with Duke for two years. At seventy years of age Duke does not slow him down. His dog gets him out of the house to walk and he enjoys meeting people along the way, a positive attribute to his health.
His first Dane lived to twelve and a half years which I found extraordinary! His second Dane he had to give away due to his wife being ill and some other family issues; Peter realized that his dog needed a more stable home. Peter told me how sad it was to give the dog up, but that he found the perfect fit – a young family with boys had fallen in love immediately with his dog. They called that night to say the dog was sleeping in their boy’s room and that they were delighted.
Duke is quite the looker, being jet black and one hundred and sixty pounds. He is quite the cuddle bug and has a special friend in his building, the building superintendent who lives on the first floor. When Duke walks by, she opens her kitchen window and gives him a hot dog or two. Peter remarked that this interaction is like Duke getting take-out or McDonalds. “When the warmer weather approaches an air conditioner fills the take out window so she “delivers” to Peter’s apartment for Duke.
When asked if there are any restrictions for such a big dog Peter said that he cannot be exercised right after eating or bloat can occur, a very serious issue.
Seeing this unlikely pair enter the off-leash now brings a smile to my face and warms my heart. The bond between the two is a very special one. Peter was considered a perfect fit for Duke and Duke has changed Peter’s life for the better, both health wise and emotionally. Stories like theirs continue to reinforce my belief that dogs are important connectors in our world. We are truly blessed for the new friendships they bring to our lives. Here is the link to the Rescue Organization Peter found Duke through http://www.greatdanerescueinc.com/index.html .
Dogstwentyfourseven has a Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/#!/dogstwentyfourseven. Interesting articles and links are posted every week. Please click on “Like” if you are enjoying my posts and page. I can be found on Twitter @Dogs247Becky
If you would like to receive my blog posts by email as soon as they are published, click on “Follow” on my main page. You will automatically receive them immediately after publication. Thank you for your support! Becky White