Thursday, June 1, 2017

All the Recaps: Go to a Horse Show, Get a Dog

The face of trouble.
When I knew I had limited time with Moo, I started occupying my mind with other thoughts to help get me through the difficult weeks I had ahead. Some people can't get new friends right away (I was like that when I lost my gelding) but I couldn't bare walking into the house and seeing just Meaty's sad face staring back at me. I knew I either wanted to rescue or wanted to get a pup from a reputable breeder.
The puppy picture I saw!
My worry with getting a rescue is not knowing what the breeding is. There is a big problem with backyard breeders in all breeds, but especially with Great Danes. Mostly because people think "Hey, I have a Great Dane, I should breed it" and don't do any research on possible health conditions, compare their dog to the breed standard, and they whole fad with creating rare colors is all too appealing. One of these issues is when people breed merle dogs, thus creating double merle pups. These dogs are severely disabled and often blind and/or deaf with many other ailments, and often don't live long. In our valley alone in just the past 8 months, random people thought it was a good idea to breed their shouldn't-be-bred dogs and added 75 FREAKING PUPPIES. And those are just the ones we know of. That is 75 Great Danes that came from parents that weren't health tested (I asked and was ignored or got yelled at for asking) and are creating dogs that are taking steps away from the breed.
This one too! Just look at that face.
Sorry, I got a little side tracked there. Can you tell I am a little passionate about this crap? Anyway...

I checked our rescues in the North West region. They had some lovely dogs, but none that were going to quite work in our family. We are quite equipped to take care of a double merle pup, nor could we take on dogs who were not good for livestock or a dog that wasn't good with other dogs. I knew that there weren't any good breeders in the area (that I had come across) and I didn't even know where to start, so I just googled something along the lines of "mantle Great Dane breeders North West" and came across a website that looked promising. Unfortunately, the breeder didn't breed anymore, but she did say that if anyone needed help finding a reputable breeder that she could certainly do that, and that she knew which ones to stay away from as well. Ding ding ding!
Her dad.

Her mom as a puppy.
I sent her an email and she was quick to reply. I had been picturing a mantle male for a loong long time and was hoping that would be what I could find. She replied that she was a little busy getting her mom situated with hospice, but she would help me when she could, and that she did know of one breeder with a female mantle pup that was a little older looking for a home in Spokane, whose contact info she could share if I was interested. Sure, why not. L, the breeder of the female, emailed me with the info of "Rauri", and 11 month old who had been boarding the last three months because she was in the process of selling her home and moving to Florida. I was intrigued, loved the pictures of the pup, but a little worried about the price, as a dog like her tends to go for $1200 or more.
First truck ride with us. Looking terrified and very very skinny.
A new doggy for me!
I asked her more questions about her and told her my situation as well, and also asked about the price, holding my breath. It turned out that she was just really looking for the right home for her and that a price didn't matter, as long as I got her spayed. I was astonished. I can certainly do that and I was planning on it anyway! We ended up having to put Moo down shortly after, and I told her that I would be up there for a horse show in a couple of weeks and could meet her and see if she would be a good match. She was perfectly happy with that, although I wouldn't be meeting her, just the boarder. That was fine with me.
Loves from Blaker
After XC schooling that weekend, we went to go see her. When the boarder pulled her out, I was a little shocked to see how skinny she was. She had informed me that she just bumped her food up to 6 cups, which I thought was a little less than what a growing Dane should be receiving. She also informed me that she had chronic diarrhea. Rauri was cowering behind her, growling and barking at us and I took over her lead. I just kept petting her and gave her a couple treats and she soon stopped. She came with her medical records, a very nice expensive bag of Acana food, and we shoved her into the truck for her first ride sans kennel. Life was going to be a little wild for her that weekend.
This life is fun!
She got to see lots of people, dogs, horses and jumps that weekend. She had to potty on a leash, ride in a truck for 8 hours, learn to sit still and behave, and not potty on things. A dog bed suffered a terrible fate, but other than that, she did really really well and her personality started to come out quite quickly. But she needed a new name. We all sat in the trailer one cold night watching the only channel that came on. Originally, I was going to call my male Dane "Ichabod Dane", but that wasn't going to happen. I knew I liked the Halloween type theme, so I tried names like VooDoo (hubs said no), Elvira (hubs said no), but we sat there scratching our heads. X-Files was playing while we picked up the discussion again, and Dana Scully sauntered onto the screen. Hmmm. Skully...Yep. That will do!
My two neurotic creatures.
So, Skully now keeps us all on our toes. Various things have come to their death because of her (my most expensive paint brush, some shoes, furniture, holes in the yard, more dog beds, etc). She is a Houdini at pulling things into her kennel to destroy. She is also a klepto, and steals things like gloves, pajama pants, hats, and stuffed animals. I am not even sure where she finds most of it. We still have to tape and post her ears for a bit, as they are still floppy from the crop her breeder had done. Had I gotten her when she was a puppy, I would have not opted for a crop. People don't seem to care though, and I have been told that I am an animal abuser, cruel, selfish and that I should cut my own ears off so far. It is discouraging, even though they can see the clearly happy, healthy puppy in front of them.
Two puppers exploring the canyons of Idaho and the Snake River.
Using brother for a better view.

Wat R Dis?

Supermodel. Except for saggy ear.
Skully is stuck to me like glue and has been since she got in our truck. She has gained 15lbs so far, and now has normal poops (yay!) and loves her big brother. He is a little discouraged because he has never met a dog that can defeat him before, but she is so athletic and uses her butt against him. She has been to the pet store, the river, another horse show, and a friend's house. She has learned to sit, down, shake, stay, come, crawl and we are working on spin currently. She will wait patiently for her food with me out of the room until I give her the OK. But we are still working on some separation anxiety, fear of people, and not destroying things. But she has made definite progress. So, here is to future doggy posts with this weirdo in them, and to her helping me heal my heart a little bit too.
Yep, already learning to tolerate my crap.

23 comments:

  1. I think she's absolutely beautiful. I understand the ear thing - I personally don't care for it but a lot of time reputable breeders still partake in the practice because it is tradition. If it is done right, it's not harmful. I'm looking into dobermans in the future, preferably an older pup, so I may also not have a choice on tail/ear docking, but I would also prefer natural if possible. Just ignore the people who call you names. They're likely completely ignorant about breeding/dogs in general. My mother who breeds one litter of dachshunds a year from grand champions that are tested for everything imaginable (all negative of course, so she wont breed) still gets 'YOU'RE KILLING SHELTER DOGS BY BREEDING PUREBRED DOGS.' So frustrating.

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    1. Sigh. There will always be someone who has something negative to say, no matter what. And good for your mother for doing it right!

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  2. Awww so glad she landed with you. :-) Everybody wins.

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  3. Skully is a beautiful dog, and she looks like she fits right in!

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    1. She made herself right at home, that is for sure.

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  4. What a smart girl. I hope she's just what you need to help your heart heal.

    And ooh so frustrating on judgemental people. I get a whole different slew of comments on my Siberian. My favorite misconception through the years? "It's not a purebred husky if it doesn't have blue eyes," and secondary to that, folks who say, "If a dog has blue eyes it's always a husky cross." No. So much no.

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    1. Ha! Well, considering my last Dane had blue eyes, she MUST have been a husky cross... can you feel my eyes rolling?

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  5. She is so stinking cute. I looked for a GSD pup for years, so hard to find decent breeders!!
    www.baysoverbaes.wordpress.com

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    1. So ridiculously hard. I just got lucky!

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  6. man i really love her already. i'm so excited for you and it sounds like you perfectly lucked out!!

    i wont lie, i cringe every time people get on you on your fbook posts about her ears. sigh.

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    1. People are ignorant assholes. I wish they would worry more about the animals who are starving, needing medical attention, abused, etc. Oh well.

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  7. I love Danes! My roommates have two, they just seem to keep accumulating rescue Danes. They are so much fun and I love them!

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    1. I have a list of breeds I hope to own (all giant breeds) but after owning my last Dane, I don't know how I could go without! Or without an English Mastiff now either...

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  8. Aw glad you two found each other

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  9. She's gorgeous and I LOVE her name! I'm soooo with you on the not so reputable breeders ruining the breed (and others) I love so much. Mostly for that almighty dollar. Ugh. Anyway, congrats again!! I look forward to watching her grow. :-)

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    1. I could write a whole post on things to watch out for on looking for a Great Dane from these "breeders". I am constantly seeing them and it is disheartening. People do not do enough research as well.

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  10. I love that last picture! I am so glad that things worked out with her.

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    1. It all just fell into place at the right moment and at the right time. Thank goodness.

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  11. Omg I love that last picture. She's great!

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