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GRASS VALLEY, California - Gibson, the California dog dubbed the tallest in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records, has died after a battle with bone cancer.

The 7-year-old harlequin Great Dane from Grass Valley measured 2.16 metres (7 ft 1 inch) when standing on its back legs.

Gibson was diagnosed with the disease in April this year and had his front right leg amputated to prevent its spread. He also underwent chemotherapy as a precaution.

Gibson's owner, Sandy Hall, decided to euthanize Gibson after learning the cancer had spread to his lungs and spine and that no treatment that could save him.

Gibson has appeared on "The Tonight Show," "The Oprah Winfrey Show," and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show

I never knew you, Gibby, but you were the one who founded my love of all big paws. Rest in peace, king of dogs.

Found this while searching for big dogs.

The points made are exactly what I think!

So I have a two and a half year old adopted fear-aggressive Dane.
When she saw another dog, nothing held her back. She turned into a whirlwind of barking, snarling, foam, scrabbling paws and red-eyed fury. She snapped collars, leads and halters.

After a few months of tears, fears, love, leadership and  training, here's where we're at:

I'd like to know more about this.

I have grand mal and petite mal seizures.
Most common is my petite mal seizures {abscence seizures}, where I "blank-out" for up to a minute. I do this up to, or surpassing, about 30 times a day. I lose a good hour of my day through absence seizures.
During that time I can't communicate, hold objects, keep my balance or do anything. Basically I 'freeze' to the spot.
Once or twice I stop breathing.
I don't remember these episodes unless they're strong onsets, and they have a very heavy effect on my life.
When my daughter was born, I was only allowed to hold her if she was in a sling attached to my chest or if I was supervised.
I can't cook unsupervised or do anything like pour tea, operate machinery or unload the dishwasher. The second I have an absence seizure, my hands either tighten in a vice-grip around what I'm holding, or they jerk and it drops.
Imagine holding a pot of boiling vegetables and then dropping it.
During most of my absences, I lose my balance. My family and friends are used to me suddenly swaying and falling, but in public it's embarrassing and irritating. One second I'm walking with a basket of groceries, next thing I'm kneeling on the floor and my food is everywhere.

I've been through tests, MRIs, EEGS, sleep depos, medication depos...everyt hing.
My neurologist doesn't know what's wrong with me. His team conclude that all tests show I don't have epilepsy, but I'm clearly not faking it. I'm on 2000 mgs of meds a day, and they work to stop the grand mal seizures, but they don't stop the absence seizures.

He suggested about a year ago that a service dog might be of use. I'd heard of dogs that can detect when seizures are forthcoming, but I never thought I was bad enough for that.
He gave me more information on it and told me that although it was a relatively new form of control, and was in it's experimental stages, it can be done.

The information said that Giant breed dogs were trained to assist with helping epileptics keep thier balance, and commonly Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds were used for this work, as most people can easily use them to steady themselves as they walked.

I've only just started to explore this as a possibility, as the falling and swaying has gone from a mild disturbance to an outright annoyance. As I was wheeling the pram the other day, I swayed and the pram fell with me.
If I had had a baby in it, they could have been seriously injured.

Now, I'm not at the point where I'm making requests that a dog be prepared for me.
I want to do a lot of research before I even consider doing this, as I know how hard it is to keep a service dog. Meatloaf is an ex-service dog {of a different sort, though}, and the first year away from his 'job' was hellfire and brimstone. He got depressed and anxious easily and needed constant companionship and playing to ease his stress.
After a year I guess he gradually realised that his job was over, and a new job was needed; if only as a companion and a friend to my children.

Does anyone here know of anyone who has a service dog for this purpose, or can give me more information?
I've googled non-stop over the past few weeks to give me a better understanding of what it is and why I would need it, but first-hand accounts are always better than a million pages of information.

I'm going to say again, in case anyone wants to have a go at me for anything I've said, that I'm not YET considering it.
If I consult with enough people who use a dog for this purpose, and my neurologists start saying it would be a definate life-changing help instead of a possible assistence to me, THEN I will start looking into it.

Yes, with pictures, which is rare for me.
This is the doofus Dane and her ability to resist a liver treat held in front of the flashing camera.

What astounding self-control  ::).

See the excitement in her eyes?

That's not a snarl. That's the velocity of her upward lunge rippling her jowls.

And plus, my daughter's love for her Giant sister.

Busted eating dog biscuits off the coffee table together.

"Mum! Protect me from the red-headed devil!"

General Board for Big Dogs with Big Paws / Success with puppy!
« on: June 03, 2009, 07:36:31 pm »
Well Josh and I have been considering buying a British Bulldog pup for a while now. We've researched until we're blue in the face and we chose this breed as our ideal next addition.

We've already been approved by the top breeders in Victoria, which you'll no doubt figure out, I like to brag about.

Problem is, our two year old non-fur daughter has never seen a British Bulldog.

We're planning on taking her to a Bulldog Club meeting {we joined the club to learn more about the breed and get helpful information} so she can meet some of the dogs.

I was a bit worried because she's big-dog-biased. {no, seriously}
If she walks past any dog that she can't look dead in the eye, she'll point and go "MUM! MUM! It's a rat dog! Look Mum! A yap rat! A rat dog! A rat!" etc etc.
So I was concerned over how she'd treat a bulldog.

BUT! What luck! While walking to the library, we met a lady walking a 10 week pup and a 3 year old adult! {both bulldogs, obviously}
The adult sighed and plopped down, and put up with Scarlet's prodding and fondling as she explored this new breed.
The pup was, well, a pup, and jumped and yapped all over her, but the lady was quite good, correcting the behaviour and showing it how to sit and wait, not jump up.
She was very embarrassed that her pup was all over Scarlet and displaying such bad manners, but her adult dog was very polite and even-tempered, so I wasn't judgmental.

Pups are pups, and children never act like adults, after all.

After we'd played with them for a bit and said goodbye, Scarlet said to me "That was a small dog, Mum"

My heart sank. I thought oh god, she's going to say she hates the rat dogs.

But she looked up at me and goes "I like that dog. You get one for me?"

And suddenly the sun shone through the clouds and all was well.

I practically swung her into my arms and said "Yes! Of course we will!"

Frank the red and white British Bulldog pup comes home August the 1st, peoples.

Count down to an exciting day!

My mother adopted a 4 year old female undesexed Dane from the pound.

As soon as she got it, I signed it up to be desexed. She called the vet's and took her off the desexing register because she didn't have enough money for the procedure.{she said}

Now, 6 months on, I asked her on IM when she was planning on desexing her, as she {mother} complains about the mess when the bitch gets bleeding, complains about male dogs following her around and complains about the smell.

She said "I don't need to desex her until she has the puppies"
In response to my "Huh?" face, she said "She looks like she'd want puppies, and it's easy to get a dog to mate with"

I said "You don't know anything about Danes and you want to breed her? That's irresponsible and stupid"

I IMed her a link to a BB page, and she said "Oh but she'd be inside so it's not cruel like those farms"

I Imed her links to sites that outline why regular pet owners shouldn't breed, and she had a whole range of comebacks, starting with "All breeders earn money, it's just a business", "If the dad's a champion the puppies don't need testing" and ending with "She nuzzles puppy toys so she's maternal and needs something to love"

WHAT can I say or do to stop her BBing?

Presently she's looking for a stud dog to breed from, she's emailed a few registered, responsible breeders in Australia asking for loans of their stud dogs and she's annoyed because all the replies were of a 'You shouldn't even be allowed to own a dog' nature.

Do not read and skip this!

A puppy will soon have the worst life possible for a dog and I want to stop it before it happens! I need everyone's contribution of ideas for this! From the shamefully backstabbing to the full-frontal attack, let 'em roll in.

Background story.

My fiance's uncle, who is turning 21 in a few months, requested a puppy off his parents as his gift.

He lives with his parents because he has a bone disease, brain damage, three types of epilepsy, he's half-blind and he has the mentality of a 10 year old {in all seriousness-he was tested, and that was the end result}
He has temper problems...he punched my two year old daughter in the eye because she tripped over in front of the tv, which caused him to miss the final goal of his soccer team.
He sleeps all day and wakes up at 10:00 pm to watch tv all night, before he goes back to sleep at about 9:00 am.
He exercises by walking from his bedroom to the kitchen, then to the loungeroom. He actually had to go to hospital because he wasn't getting enough sun.

Anyway, they {his parents} want to buy a Labrador puppy from a backyard breeder for his present. {why backyard? Because it's cheaper}
They asked me to draw them up a list of what they need to buy for the dog. Apparently being a veterinary nurse's assistant made me the authority of the year.

Instead, I drew them up a questionnaire that I said he could read and write the answers into, then I'd read it over and tell them what breed is most suitable for them.

Here's the actual questions, and the actual answers, with actual grammar.
Skip this part if you can't be bothered reading it.

1. Why do you think you're the right sort of person to own a dog?
Because they are easy to take care of and cheap

2. Can you afford a dog? Remember, they can cost thousands of dollars a year, if they have a disease or illness.
not if they never go to the vets

3. Are you aware of what puppies eat, and what dogs eat?
Yes a bowl of dry food every morning and water at night.

4. How much exercise will you be giving your dog, and when?
Backyard is big so no walks

5. Will you desex your dog?
no too much money

6. Will you attend any puppy classes, obedience classes or training schools?
no too much money and not enough time to do it

7. Are you prepared to spend most of your day playing with, grooming and caring for your dog?
when we have spare time

8. Are you prepared to share up to 12 years of your life with your dog?
no when they get too old you put them down

9. Where will your dog sleep?

10. What toys will your provide when you're not there to play with it?
tennis ball

11. How many times a week are you prepared to groom your dog?
if it never gets dirty it won't need it ever

12. Are you aware that puppies need housebreaking, and you will have to be awake and in a positive frame of mind to teach this?
if it sh*ts in the house you f*ckin smack it one and it won't do it again

So, horrified, I said "DON'T get a dog! Get him a guinea pig or a rat or anything BUT a dog!".
But no, he wants a dog, so they're set on buying a dog. The only thing I improved is now they're only wanting to buy from a proper Labrador breeder, albeit the cheapest one they can find.
Oh, and they chose a Labrador breed, because he can pronounce it.
Yes, that was the main reason for their decision. :o

Now, I'm not above doing the sneaky and calling the RSPCA or the Council on them. I'm a staunch defender of animal kind, and I'll gladly dob even my closest mate in if I think they're mistreating an animal.
My ideas included:

* Calling every Lab breeder in my state and telling them NOT to sell to these people, giving them the names and a copy of their answers to my questions.
* Calling the RSPCA and asking for help and advice.
* Calling the Council and doing the same.
* Arranging for the fence to be cut and the puppy to mysteriously disappear once it arrives in the h*ll-hole they call their house.

The parents aren't suitable to care for a dog, either.
His father is an alcoholic, is breaching 80 years old, and spends most of his time at the pub or asleep.
His mother works 18 hours days, except for Sundays, when she sleeps all day.

They also have a three year old in the house that is one of those type of horrid kids who take pleasure in kicking animals.

So, guys, I need some help.
It's 3 months until they go looking for a puppy, so I need advice NOW.

and no, I won't mind my own business. That dog will live in h*ll for it's entire life, and i will not allow it to happen.

Clifford The Big Red Dog {yes the cartoon}

I Wonder..

* Who cleans up his poop?

* How many cows does it take to make his dog food?

* Where and how will they bury him when he dies?

* How big is his drool-rag?

* What does he 'mark' on? Houses? Electricity poles?

* How did they neuter him?

* If he's not neutered, does he try the dirty deed on Cleo?

* Why is he based on a Vizsla, one of the smallest pointer breeds, and not a Dane?

* Why is Jetta still Emily's friend? Seriously, Emily, smack that snobby ***** upside the head already!

* How come nobody seems to notice how big he is? Tourists to the island look through him, as if he's an ordinary dog. Why is it no big game hunter has yet shot him?


Great Dane Pictures / Victorian fire defence {and info on my status}
« on: February 11, 2009, 09:59:47 am »
What's the best way to defend your precious sock toys against the raging inferno that's consuming Victoria?
Hide them inside a kiddie pool and sit on them!

And the fire got within 10 kms of my house!
We had everything packed to run, but turns out we were safe once the winds sifted. *phew*

*Jaws theme*

Today was a disaster. We're both in shame.

We were walking down the road, this being Shanty and I, and I saw a man leading a black German Shepard across the road. I thought hey, cool, that's fine, he's over there.
Well he sees us, waves, and crosses over.
Shanty leaps towards him, barking and snarling, and I'm trying to rein her in, with as much success as a toddler trying to reel in a whale.

The Halti/Gentle leader is digging into her face and neck but she's ignoring it like it isn't even there. Worst thing is, the guy keeps on walking towards us, smiling and waving, and boy am I ready to kill him.

After a minute the Halti/Leader breaks....yes. ..snaps...and she's off and running towards him.
This is the time he decides to turn around go back the way he came, fat little legs peddling, his Shep running as fat as it can with it's tail between it's legs.
Too late, she's running in circles around him, barking and snapping at the Shep.
We know she's not attacked yet, and probably never will, and all she does is run and bark, and does 'play' poses, but it always looks so fierce that the other owner gets terrified.

We eventually got away from him.

Should I resort to a choke chain collar?

As soon as she sees another dog she's like this, and she's a tall and hefty dog that I just cannot hold once she's going crazy.
h*ll, I don't know anyone who could hold her in check.
The Halti was useless once she saw that Shep, and it's the same with every other dog **except Meatloaf** that she sees.

what can I do?

Treatment & Preventative Meds / Quick question
« on: November 27, 2008, 06:20:53 pm »
Say you buy a Great Dane puppy {or any Giant breed, I'm using a Dane as an example}.

If you get the pup desexed straight away, as early as possible, does it still reach it's full height growth potential?

Or is it best wait until they're 2 years old, so they've grown to their full height, then desex them?

So, we were out for a walk, the great big speckled idiot and I, and we saw a lake.

Great, says I, I can rest in the shade of that there tree.

Suddenly, a duck appears on the opposite side of the lake.
Shanty's ears go up, her head snaps up, and she starts whining deep in her throat.

Uh-oh, says I.
Looks like Ducky better fly away fast!

Nope. Ducky starts paddling towards us {like, seriously, what kind of dumb-@ss duck DOES that?!} and Shanty backs up a few steps, then gives a heave, yanks the lead out of my hands and takes off at a lolloping gallop straight at the lakeshore.
When she gets to the edge, which is about half a metre above the waterline, going still full-pace, she crunches down into a ball, then launches herself towards the lake.

Duck: "Dogs can't swim. I'm safe"
Shanty: *singing* "I believe I can fly...."

Yep, she leaped straight into the damned lake.

You know how you see footage of skydivers from above, where their arms and legs are stretched out? That's what she did. Ears and jowls flapping in the wind, mouth open, tail streaming out behind.

And sploosh!

Straight in, over her head.
She resurfaced a second later, blew water out her mouth, then made a beeline for the duck, checking over her shoulder to make sure I wasn't following.

What she hadn't figured on was a owner who was raised on a horse farm, and used to swim in dams that were infested in pinching yabbies, and regulary used to have to rescue foals from the depths of the murky black water.

So with a yell of assorted cursewords and flailing limbs, I launched myself into the lake, got Shanty into a strangehold and started hauling her back to shore.

Halfway there, she decides that it's all every exciting and she's very glad to see me, so she turns around, links her paws around my neck and starts kissing me, with me batting her snout away and yelling "Stop it, you bloody great wuffer! I'll drown you, I swear to god!", which seems to directly translate in her head as "Good girl, Shanty! More! More!"

So I get up and out onto a rock, and begin heaving her out of the lake, first by the collar, then by the chest, then the hind legs {which is very difficult because she now knows she's in trouble, so she keeps trying to get back in the lake} until she's standing on the rock with me, and shakes. IN MY FACE.
Then turns around, and wags her wet tail. IN MY FACE.

So with the force of that blow, I fall backwards off the rock onto a bed of grass clippings, covering my wet clothing in hay.
Shanty of course thinks she's forgiven and that I'm starting a wrestling match, so she launches off the rock onto me.

By the time I get up, I'm sopping wet, covered in hay, my non-waterproof makeup is smeared down my face, I have muddy pawprints on my chest and face and my carefully washed hair is like a blackbird's nest.

I start brushing myself off, which Shanty sees as: "come here!", so she runs at me, tries to stop, loses traction on the wet hay, skids, and crashes into my knees from behind.

Down I go like a sack of bricks, straight into....

the lake.

Shanty: "Gee golly! It must be playtime AGAIN!"

By the time we're out *again*, clean and calmed down *again*, I notice a man standing on the opposite pavement, holding a Jack Russel in his arms, looking like he expects us to lunge at him any second.
He's obviously witnessed the whole thing and thinks we're as mad as hatters.

So, whoever didn't smile while imagining this, you have no sense of humour.

General Board for Big Dogs with Big Paws / PICS OF MY NEW DANE!!
« on: November 14, 2008, 04:31:19 pm »
Finally, pics of Shanty, the two year old rescued merle Great Dane.
That's my angelic *ahem* 3 year old, posing to give an idea of the size difference. Also, the table in the background of the outdoors photo is at my hip height, and you can see Shanty is taller than that.

Check out the doggy smile AND the snazzy new red leather studded collar!

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