Thursday, May 25, 2006

Puppy At The Lake

Last weekend Savage and I went to my family's fishing resort on Lake Saganaga for Canada fishing opener. It was fun for me to visit with all the guests that have known me since I was a little girl and spend time with my sister and parents. But Savage was a nightmare for the first evening. I needed to keep him on a leash initially so he didn't jump up on the guests because he was so excited. Jumping up is not something he does often and I try to make sure he doesn't, but I didn't want to risk it with people who were actually paying to be there and relaxed. We also had a shepard, two brittanys, and my parents' mixed breed husky/springer running around and Sava wanted to join them. So most of the evening was spent desperately clinging to my puppy's leash while he pulled me all over the property. Lately he's been walking really well on a leash, but we normally don't deal with the distractions of other dogs, new locations, and a lot of people. After my parents' dog, Brisco, left, and my sister's shepard Bayshek was put inside (Bayshek is very un-friendly toward the puppy) Sav got to run around with the high-energy Brittanys, Petey and Bailey, who wore him out.That night some guests, friends, and family gathered on the deck of the lodge to tell stories and drink beer. I could hardly carry on an interrupted conversation with anyone because all they wanted to talk about was my great dane!! As he gets bigger people are constantly asking questions and commenting about him. Of course, I am always happy to talk about him, in fact I could do it for hours, but I'm finding that part of the responsibility of owning a great dane involves always being ready to talk about the breed, ear-cropping, color questions (you'll find that people know fawns and harlequins but most have never seen a blue), diet, and about every other question under the sun. Because it really is impossible to tell exactly how big Savage will be I have a hard time with "how big will he get?". I tell them that some danes get to be over 160lbs, and that Sav may grow to 37" tall at the shoulder (He is 31" right now). Even at his "puppy" size, most people we meet are impressed. And that night on the deck he was the main attraction when he crawled up onto my lap when I was sitting on a deck chair and took a nap. All the fishermen were clapping and taking pictures and telling their own dog stories! It was really an eye-opener.It's like now I am only another human and the puppy is a celebrity! Of course I am extremely proud of him. He was so friendly and open with everyone, even people he's never met. The only guy that startled him was a big man in a raincoat, and they made friends with eachother after he took off the offending garment.
He's very comfortable with riding in a boat now, though he does have to move all over and inspect everything the occupants are doing. My family has always trained their dogs to wait patiently before getting in or especially out of boats, because dogs can fall in the lake or hurt themselves landing on the edge of the dock when the boat gets near. Sava did very, very well with this, probably because he thinks things through so long before he does them. My dad took me fishing early the next morning and Savage got to lick the lake trout I caught before I released it. Probably not so healthy for the fish, but puppy had a good time. Dogs practically run my sister and brother-in-law's lives, so Savage got to play and wade in the lake and generally have a blast with the other pups. While we had lunch before we left, my brother-in-law allowed my puppy to crawl up onto the picnic table!
In ear-taping news, the tips of his ears are still being very stubborn, but we are plodding along still, and praying that the end of floppy ears is near...


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