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Happy Birthday Michael

Happy Birthday Michael

Michael was surrendered at seven months old because three goats were killed. We brought him to Reno to determine if he had high prey drive or was simply a big puppy unsupervised around livestock. Within days it was clear that Michael was a sweet, shy, 115 pound puppy that didn’t know his own strength when he played. Due to his temperament, I decided to keep him and train him to be my partner and a big brother to all the foster Danes that would be coming in.
Fast forward to the present. Michael is celebrating his fourth birthday. Yes, he does look older but being a big brother to Danes coming and going is hard work. He has accepted 17 Danes into his home. Some were easy breezie, some not so much, but he was patient with them all. He helped them in ways I couldn’t, just by being a good dog. Right now we have Daisy & he has done wonders with her.

Michael, I want to wish you a very Happy Birthday. I’m so proud of you and love you very much. 

Rest in Peace sweet Brooklyn

Rest in Peace sweet Brooklyn
Brooklyn with her family

Alyssa and Ben adopted the sweetest Brooklyn from us several years ago. We received this note from them this week letting us know of Brooklyn’s passing. Our sincere condolences to Ben, Alyssa and Charlie on the loss of their wonderful family member, Brooklyn. She was one lucky girl to have such a loving family.

I was lucky enough to adopt Brooklyn from you about three years ago. Unfortunately, I’m e-mailing to let you know that she passed away last week. She was diagnosed with a heart condition about a month ago. She responded well to medication initially, but soon began to suffer. We were with her as she passed and it was very quiet and peaceful. Our hearts ache for her – she became a part of our family immediately, and it feels likes she was with us much longer than three years. Early last year, we welcomed a baby girl named Charlie and Brooklyn became a big sister. She was so loving and patient with Charlie. Always hanging out underneath her high chair, waiting to clean up any left over peas. 
She was such a sweet, goofy girl. So easy going and lovable. To say she will be missed is a huge understatement. We are so lucky to have the time with her that we did and we’ll always treasure our memories with her.   

Thank you and GDRNC so much for everything you do, and allowing sweet Brooklyn into our lives. 

Percy gets a ride –and a family !

Percy gets a ride –and a family !

A woman reached out to us late March to surrender a Dane she only had four months. Unfortunately her male boxer was not thrilled about another male in the house and the fights began. She assured us that it wasn’t Percy’s fault but she didn’t want one of them seriously hurt. With her location and work schedule it was difficult coordinating a time to bring him to the rescue. When she finally was able to come, the kennel in the Sacramento area couldn’t take him. Lucky for all, a family on our list volunteered to transport him to Reno. Once they arrived, I received a call that they wanted to adopt Percy. He met the whole family and everyone approved. Percy found his forever home. Everything happens for a reason.

Percy makes friends a family on his ride to rescue !

Greeeeen Acres…

“Green acres is the place to be…Farm living is the life for me…Land spreading out so far and wide…Keep Sacramento, just give me that countryside.”

Michael and Blake sold their condo and moved to a farm. So far they have three sheep, two alpacas and a rooster.

Congratulations on living your dream!

Levi and Gideon

Levi and Gideon

We’re thrilled to get this fabulous update from Levi and Gideon’s family:

“These two big male Danes are gentle giants.  They love each other, and are deeply imprinted.  We’ve watched them change each other.  It’s been amazing.  They play rough, wrestle hard, and have zero negative altercations.  Levi takes toys right out of Gideon’s mouth, and Gideon isn’t the slightest bit bothered by it.  Gideon has been the most flexible, accepting dog you could possibly imagine.  No jealousy…and no reaction at all to having a big, crazy new buddy in the house.  No reaction except love.

They have separate beds, but never sleep apart.  Levi still suffers from a little bit of separation anxiety, but we are working our way through that, and he’s gotten much better.  

We’ve also started introducing Levi to other dogs.  He’s now perfectly comfortable with my parent’s 40 lb. rat terrier.  And my brother was recently in town with a pair of Ridgeback puppies and he did great with them.  “

Charlie (formerly Spike) update

Charlie (formerly Spike) update

“Adoption” photo of Charlie and part of his new family, the Brocatos. We are so happy Charlie found a great, loving new home. They are working on teaching him some house manners, and we appreciate them being willing to work with this sweet boy.

Next photo is Charlie trying to sleep with someone snuggling against him. I’m sure Charlie is thanking his lucky stars he is home!

Dory (formerly Dolly) update

Dory (formerly Dolly) update

Here is a nice update on Dory from her owner Maureen:

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“Dory is doing great. She and I are close friends. Dory is getting better around Gary and makes sure to get a pet from him each night but still skitters away half the time when he tries to pet her any other time. Ryan on the other hand is still working hard to gain her trust. Even though he gives Dory a treat every day she still jumps away from him whenever she sees him. She does take the treat now so that’s a little progress.

When we go for our twice daily walks she runs and runs so I guess she likes the open spaces.

Gary welded a special eating and watering station so we’ve gotten over her not eating. Maybe it was the enclosed porch that bothered her. As soon as we moved feeding to the side porch outside she was fine.

All in all Dory is doing fine although we have to work on her shying away from everyone.”

Merry Christmas with love,


On Adopting a Rescue Dane

On Adopting a Rescue Dane

Here is a narrative from a recent adopter (thank you Mark!) on his experience with a rescue Great Dane.  We think it may offer some help/support/comfort to potential adopters!

“My wife and I love Great Danes. No…I mean REALLY, REALLY love Danes. When we got married, the choice was kids or Danes first. We chose Danes. We’re now on our fifth Dane. (The kids are now grown and out of the house. ) The only downside I can think of to the breed is that they don’t live long enough. But you get twice the love in weight…so it makes up for it.

We recently rescued a 19 month old Great Dane, to give our almost three year old male Harlequin, Gideon, a friend. With both the kids now out of the house, we were ready. Or so we thought.

We found Levi (formerly Bently) online at Great Dane Rescue of Northern California. He’s a beautiful Merle / Mantle, with bright blue eyes. We were drawn to him from the start. We brought Gideon for a visit at the kennel where Levi was temporarily housed and fell in love. Gideon too. They played together well, if a bit rough. And Levi seemed desperate to be loved. He had spent many months without attention in someone’s backyard. He had been so neglected, he didn’t know his name. He needed a family to love. He literally wrapped his body around our legs to get closer to us. We couldn’t resist. We decided to come back the next day and bring him home.

We’ve never rescued a full grown dog before. We’ve always had puppies. And we never even gave a moment’s thought to how different this would be than that. You see, just like people, dogs come with a history. And with dogs, you really never know the real history. That means they come with all kids of hidden personality traits, some good, and some not so good.

We brought Levi home, introduced him to Gideon and all seemed well. They were a bit wild together but seemed to get along famously. They played all day, and slept together that night. All was well. Or so we thought. Levi fit right into our routine and Gideon was thrilled.

The next day started with more “routine.” We headed out for a long hike with the dogs. We took them to the trailhead, leashed them up, and started out. Everything was fine, until we came across our first unknown dog on the trail. Levi became extremely aggressive. He was almost impossible to control. It was a very bad scene. No one was hurt, but we were stunned, and shattered.

It seemed clear that we had adopted a “bad dog.” We talked…we cried, and we called the adoption folks and said we were returning him. We made arrangements and drove down to the kennel. When we dropped him off, he was frantically looking for us as we pulled out. We cried all the way home. We were heartbroken.

I went online to do what I should have done before bringing him home in the first place. I researched…”how to bring home an adopted dog into a home with an existing dog.” There was a wealth of information. There were many do’s and don’ts, and we had violated virtually of all them. I felt stupid. I know better. I’m a researchaholic. But in this case, my excitement overrode my common sense.

We had brought Levi home and assumed he understood everything. We assumed he was completely comfortable. We assumed he trusted us, and everything going on. We assumed that when we took him out that morning for a hike that it would be as normal for him as it was for us. We assumed we knew how he would react to new situations, new people and new dogs. You know what they say when you “assume.”

For the next couple of nights I dreamt about Levi…I saw his blue eyes, and how much he wanted to be loved. And I knew that we had done wrong…not him. We talked about it a lot. We debated back and forth. And ultimately, we did something scary…we went back and got him. And we brought him home. And we followed the advice we found online. We took our time. We went slowly. We didn’t introduce him to anyone, or take him out for a couple of weeks. We wanted him to know he was safe and secure. We wanted him to understand that he had pack leaders who would take care of him, and protect, and who he could trust. And we wanted to learn to trust him too. Trust is a two way street.

There’s a lot to it. It’s complicated to bring home a rescue. It’s not like the movies. It’s not all cuddles and cuteness. These dogs have histories. They don’t know you. They don’t trust you. And you shouldn’t trust them…immediately. That trust has to be earned; both ways. And it takes time, and patience, and commitment, and lots and lots of love.   But if you commit to it, the rewards can be incredible.

It’s been almost five months since we brought Levi home. There’s been a lot of learning. He’s had to learn our rules, and we’ve had to learn his personality and his quirks, some good and some not so good. We’ve all had to adjust. It’s been a process, and it’s continuing. It’s still a work in progress. He still has a bit of separation anxiety to work his way through. But it’s getting better every day. And overall, it’s really, really good. We love Levi…and he loves us.

Levi and Gideon are inseparable. We have two beds, but they sleep together. Gideon has been the ultimate, patient and loving big brother. We haven’t seen a jealous moment. Levi is well adjusted and goes out with us all the time. We still discover things about him (and him about us), and we’re still working out a few kinks, but we wouldn’t trade him for anything. This dog loves to be loved as much as any dog we’ve ever had. And there’s something special about looking in your dog’s eyes and knowing that you rescued him…that he really, really needed you.   All Levi wanted was to be loved; and all we ever wanted to do was love him. But it was more complicated than that when it came to reality. That’s an important lesson.

So here’s my brief advice for those wanting to adopt a Great Dane.

  1. Do it. The returns are incredible. They are the best breed in the world (and yes…of course I am biased). And there is something special about a rescue.
  2. Don’t do it without thinking it through and doing your homework. There is a right way and a wrong way to bring home a rescue dog. It is not the same as bringing home a puppy, and there will always be surprises. Be prepared to put in the time researching and preparing, and be prepared to put in the time when you bring them home. You must commit. And if you don’t have the time or the energy or the flexibility for that, don’t do it.
  3. Be patient and take it slowly. It’s all new for your new dog. You may love them immediately, but they don’t know or trust you when you bring them home.
  4. Be careful and cautious. Big dogs may seem cuddly, but they can be dangerous too. They can do damage to you and your stuff. I’m not saying that to scare you…just telling you to be very cautious. Because you don’t want a mistake that can cause an incident that ruins an otherwise good adoption (like we almost did).
  5. Let your new dog adjust slowly. Don’t take them out in public for at least a couple of weeks. Limit outside visitors for awhile too. Your dog needs to get to know you, and the pack at home, before you introduce other people. Take the time so that they trust you to protect them, and they know you are in charge. You must be a calm, assertive pack leader. Your new dog needs that from you.
  6. Commit. Don’t give up. These dogs have already had to deal with the instability of losing their family home. Maybe more than once. Don’t be part of their history. Be part of their future.

I’m sure there’s a lot more. Someone should write a book. And we’re no experts, so it’s not us. But we have been through it, once.   And we made mistakes. Thank God we decided to give it a second try.

Remember, we thought we had adopted a “bad dog.” But he wasn’t a bad dog, we were bad adopters. But only because we didn’t know. We hadn’t done our homework. So don’t let me scare you off. I’m encouraging you to do it…but do your homework, be prepared and be committed. If you do, you won’t be sorry.

How do I know? Just look into Levi’s eyes…like we get to do every day. If you look close, you’ll see love…just like you’ll see in the eyes of every Great Dane waiting to find his or her forever home”


Rest in Peace Sweet Priscilla

Rest in Peace Sweet Priscilla

Our own Lori Lynne and Eric’s sweet girl Priscilla recently passed on. We want to extend our heartfelt sympathy to them on the loss of their beloved girl. Lori Lynne and Eric kept Priscilla going many months after medical problems arose. They went above and beyond what most people would have done to make Priscilla happy and gave her quality of life. We are so sorry she lost her battle, but know she crossed over in Lori Lynne’s arms in her own home, as peacefully as could be.



Just wanted to give you an update on Bella. She is doing AMAZING, and she is so much apart of the family it feels like she has been with us from day one. She is one the sweetest dogs that I have ever been around, with a human personality. Sometimes when she does things we just laugh because it different for us. In the morning I watch the news and she sits on the couch right next to me staring at the TV like she knows what is going on. She sleeps on her dog bed through the day but she has to sleep thespyexpert in my bed at night, and she makes sure she has a pillow, I couldn’t ask for a better dog. She has gained 10 pounds and looks healthy 🙂 I can’t thank you enough for her, she is simply the best. I adore her.