Thursday, December 29, 2011

Big Dogs

Great Danes have earned the deserved reputation of being a large breed of dogs. Some people directly refer to them as horses, others are less direct, asking if they come with a saddle, or how much do they eat. For the record: they do not come with saddles, they are not to be ridden, and their appetites are not unreasonable. 

One of the interesting although unintended developments here at the farm is that our Danes are remarkably undersized. When people meet the krewe and marvel at how big they are, we both laugh. I realize that, to many people, a dog that stands five hands tall and weighs in at 130 pounds is a pretty big piece of real estate. Even at five hands, our biggest baby, Emmett, is easily one to two hands smaller than most of the Danes we see come through rescue. 

One of the things we love most about Danes is their size. They stand at a perfect height for petting. From a seated position, you can see eye-to-eye. Even our dogs, who are categorically small for Danes as a matter of height, frame or weight, have these most basic size benefits. They also, conversely, possess some of the less desirable consequences of size: the ability to easily investigate counters and table tops; the ability to destroy a pair of dress pants with a single slobbery mouth-wiping; the ability to bring tears to an unsuspecting person's eyes with the swipe of an enthusiastic tail across the hind end. 

It would stand to reason, then, that there wouldn't be any need for them to rear up onto their hind legs, as Emmett will try to do by way of greeting. Moreover, the ability to see onto nearly all horizontal surfaces in the house would make standing on the coffee table completely unecessary, right? 

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