Sunday, December 30, 2007

White Christmas

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New Shoes :(

I recently ordered Savage fleece-lined dog booties online from You're probably wondering why I haven't posted a picture of him looking handsome and warm in his new shoes. What happened was that as soon as I put them on him and we walked outside he slipped and fell. And then fell again. And then ran right into the side of my parked truck because he couldn't stop. The bottoms of the booties are made of slick leather, and are so slippery on packed snow (pretty much everywhere we go) as to make it impossible for my great dane to walk without falling down, which is no fun for him, and potentially injury-inducing. I can easily imagine him crashing into something or falling and breaking a leg while wearing his new booties.
The whole experience was disappointing to me and confusing to Savvy, though the boots themselves were well-made, fit perfectly (XXL), felt really warm, and looked super cute. However, the fact remains that I spent over $30.00 on something I can't use unless I find a way to modify the soles. Maybe there is something I can add to the leather or cover it with that will supply some traction. While the weather lately has been above zero degrees I know it will soon change again. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions on fixing my Muttluks, or know of dog booties that keep feet protected and have traction, please leave me a comment below.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Snowy Savvy

After a few very cold and windy days we finally got more snow, and lots of it: about 18 inches as of this morning. After being cooped up in the house during the really low temperatures, Savvy was ecstatic to take a walk with me today during the 20 degree "heat wave". He adores deep snow, and we both wallowed around in it like puppies.
I've decided to buy him a set of dog booties because the past below zero days have been rough on him. He can only spend about 10 minutes in these temps before he starts holding up his poor freezing feet. Therefore we can't exercise properly and end up driving eachother crazy indoors. Last November I tried to solve this problem by buying a huge treadmill for him to run on, but that idea didn't take into account my puppy's eccentricities, namely the fact that he's become scared to death of the thing. We're both just going to have to put on more clothes and brave the cold...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Two Years Old

Name: Savage
Age: 2 years
Weight: 160 lbs.
Height: 36" at shoulder
Girth: 42"
Length: 33" from base of neck to tail
Neck: 24"

Saturday, November 17, 2007

We didn't do anything out of the ordinary for Savvy's birthday, but I couldn't resist making him wear a silly hat. Which he absolutely hated, and suffered through only with the help of a couple chunks of prime rib. Even in the pictures he looks completely depressed. Hee hee.
At 2 years old my handsome boy is really filling out and putting on weight. He's still in good shape, but I really need to monitor what he eats closely or he would be 200 lbs in no time. Of course, prime rib doesn't help, but you try to keep a reluctant great dane still when he's got a paper hat on his head! As I type this, Savage is happily chewing his birthday hat into shreds all over the carpet.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Snow Chase

We just started getting snow here in Northeastern Minnesota a few days ago, and of course the Great Danes are really excited about it. Here Nala and Savage are doing what they do best - chasing eachother around in circles.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Meet Mason! He is a small, sweet-tempered and obediant pit bull (or possibly pit bull mix). He is about 6 years old, neutered, with no health problems. This boy gets along well with most other dogs (he has been living with a male Brittany Spaniel for the last two years), and children, but should probably not be in a home with cats or small animals or very aggressive adult male dogs. He and my Savage are good friends and we play together often, but his owners no longer have enough time for him and can't give him the attention he deserves.
Mason is the kind of dog that people immediately fall in love with. He loves to cuddle and sleep in the bed with his people. He's a good watchdog and is very loyal. After having had a few different caretakers throughout his life, he has become very adaptable, and will fit in in most any household. He doesn't require a lot of exercise, but does need an owner willing to spend time with him, as he tends to have some seperation anxiety if left home alone for over 6 hours or so. Mason is a really clever guy, and could benefit greatly from a little more training, but all in all, is a very low-maintenance dog. He does well on or off leash, and responds well to basic obedience commands, but he's most content relaxing at home with his family.
Most dog owners I know already have their hands full, but almost every one has said "If I wasn't so busy with my other dog(s) I would take Mason in a second". This dog really does deserve a stable, loving, forever home, with an owner that will make a life-long commitment to him. If any of the visitors to The Story Of Savage blog can help Mason find that home, please email me (Paula) at or leave a comment for me below this post. Let's help this truly good dog.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Truckful O' Danes

Every day we make time to hang out with Savage's friends, and usually we go walking at a few of our favorite spots around the area. Here Nala and Savvy are crammed in the back of my truck waiting patiently (?) to head over to Lace Lake to run wild in the grass.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Tough Guy

Savvy is aquiring quite the collar collection. This is his new "tough guy" collar, which is 1" black leather with alternating spikes and studs. Again, I got this one (and another for our doggie friend Nala) from Morrco, and feel I was pretty lucky in getting all the collars the right sizes.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Huntin' Dog

Savage's new blaze orange collar is designed for hunting dogs, but I just want him to be visible to hunters who could mistake him for a deer during the upcoming hunting season. This nylon SunGlo collar is 2" wide and coated with polyurethane to resist dirt and odor. It's also water repellent, though Savvy doesn't spend much time in the water this time of year. I spent only $9.99 on it through Morrco Pet Supply, which is one of my new favorite shopping sites.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sleepy Boy

To everyone who wished Savage well after his neuter surgery; thank you very much. It was quite an emotional experience for me, though my puppy still doesn't seem to realize anything is different. I've talked to dog owners who said their neutered dogs spent a lot of time licking the area and worrying over it, but Savvy never seemed to even notice. I took the stitches out about 10 days after the operation, and since then his swollen scrotum has been shrinking up. The only side effect he had was the loss of appetite and general lethargy from the medications, as explained in the "Neutered!" post previously. After those first two days, he returned to normal and has been his happy dane self ever since.
As the summer season winds down we are getting to spend a lot more time together, though we haven't been grouse hunting this year like we did last September. Instead, we go out walking in the woods and playing with our other doggie friends. Last winter my friends and I often took all the dogs out on the frozen lake and let them run wild in the snow, and I hope that we can do that again this winter. However, everyone seems to have either matured or grown an attitude since then, and there are a few males in our group that no longer get along as well. Savvy himself is still pretty patient and friendly, but he is less likely now to submit to other male dogs that try to push him around. He has gotten in a few scraps with a couple of the dogs we hang out with all the time (always a fight over shared food), and I find myself missing the times when he was truly a puppy and simply turned the other cheek. As always, though, he remains the big gentle boy with his family, and treats strangers like friends. We will all just need to commit time to more calm socialization between all the dogs this fall.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Two Best Friends

Thursday, September 06, 2007


On Tuesday, September 4th I took my boy (22 months old) to the vet's office for his neuter surgery. This is the first time we've been to this particular vet, but I was referred to him many times by family and friends. Dr. Hanson was very knowledgeable and reassuring, since I was really anxious about the operation. We also talked about my pup's panosteitis, which has returned and is affecting his other leg, though not severely. I left Savage there at about 10:00am and called at 12:00pm, at which point he was out of surgery and recovering.
When I finally got back to the clinic around 2:30 my puppy was awake and aware, so they released him and I loaded him into the truck for the ride home. I was advised that aftercare would be minimal, and I should limit his exercise for a week or so, and not let him go swimming. He was not given any pain medication or antibiotics. I will be able to remove the stitches myself after healing. Since I had not given him anything to eat after 8:00pm on Monday, I offered him a slice of ham on the 2 1/2 hour ride home, but he wasn't interested, which was very strange for my dog. That afternoon Savvy was still kind of "spacy" and tired, not at all interested in food, or the other dogs in the waiting room, or walking around outside. That night he threw up three times in the house, mostly bile and the grass he had been eating at any opportunity. I'm guessing that the vomiting may be related to the medication used for anesthesia, xylazine hydrocloride, administered along with the drug ketamine. But it really worried me, of course. He was also drinking quite a lot of water, and sleeping all the time.
On Wednesday I only let him out in the yard in the morning to pee, and he was more interested in getting back to sleep on the couch. That afternoon I walked him outside in the clearing beyond our house. He seemed almost normal, sniffing around and peeing on everything, but after only 5 minutes or so, he got tired and laid down in the grass to rest. I took him home and put him back to sleep. Randy and I offered him his regular meal (chicken backs and eggs), as well as irresistable treats like cooked hamburger and lunch meat (and even a spoonful of honey), but Savage refused them all. Last night I couldn't wait to call his vet with my concerns, but this morning he finally accepted a hot dog from Randy, and then when I offered him a chicken meal he ate the whole thing.
My beautiful guy is now resting on the couch (still!) and taking it easy. We've limited his exercise to short walks and he's been getting all sorts of hugs and affection from his family. Things are looking up. The first photo above was taken a day before Sava's surgery. Kind of a "farewell" to his testicles. LOL.
On a side note, I am now working on a new computer and new operating system, and it's been a bit difficult to get used to, which accounts for the big gap between website updates. I will hopefully be posting more often now that I'm getting used to this Mac stuff.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Silly Puppy

Look at my silly puppy! He's searching for a stick that sunk after I threw it for him to fetch.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Health Concerns

Lately we've been dealing with a couple of health issues, which thankfully don't seem too serious, but they bear mentioning.
First of all, soon after Savvy's fall in the boat (see previous posts) he began holding his tail in a strange position, arched up and then tucked back under at the end. This concerned me, but I rationalized it by assuming he was still a bit scared. Then about a 4 days later, a spot in the middle of the tail began swelling up noticeably. Turns out that while he didn't actually break it, Savage's tail had just received a nasty bruise, and my vet said that the swelling would gradually subside, which it has been doing.
At the same vet appointment she addressed my main concern, which was limping affecting Savvy's right back leg. This had been going on for a few weeks, with one episode where he wouldn't put any weight on the leg at all. It was possible for me to gently feel along his leg, hip, and joints, with no pain or discomfort for him. However, as his vet palpated the long bone in his lower leg (shin area) his pain was obvious to both of us. Savvy was diagnosed with panosteitis and given a cycle of anti-inflammatory pills called Deramaxx.
Panosteitis is an inflammation of the long bones in growing pups, and doesn't normally occur in dogs as old as Savvy. The good news is that it will eventually go away on it's own. Because he is no longer limping and doesn't seem to be in any pain at all, I decided not to give him the pain pills. I generally don't like to put any medication into my doggie's body that is not absolutely necessary. I've been limiting his exercise a bit, and keeping his diet the same. Savage is now acting completely normal and I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Randy, Savvy, and I recently took a trip down to southern Minnesota to pick up our new boat. Having finally got it on the water last weekend, we introduced Savage to it. He was a little wary of it, since the only boats he's been on so far have been 14' or 16', while the new one is 26' long. He explored the cabin, and seemed frustrated that moving around down below is a little difficult for a great dane. Most of his time was spent standing on the raised motor box, gazing out at the lake. At one point he put his feet up on the side of the boat to look over the gunnels and his front paws slipped off. Randy had to grab him by the collar and pull him back to the center of the boat, and poor boy fell onto the edge of the motor box. A little scary for puppy, but no harm appears to be done.
Our new boat is designed to be a cabin cruiser, but of course we will turn it into a fishing boat for Lake Superior. Because we spend most of our big lake fishing near Isle Royale, Michigan, I don't anticipate taking Savvy on the boat very often. The laws governing Isle Royale prohibit bringing dogs within 3 miles of the island, due to the risk of parvovirus infecting the native wolf population. So my doggie's boating time may be limited to cruising around outside the harbor. In any case, he has loved being on the water since he was a puppy, so he'll have fun even if he can't join me on every fishing trip.
The month of July has been very hot for those of us used to northeastern Minnesota weather, and that means Sava and I haven't been as active lately. He gets his walks every other day, but most of his exercise is limited to playing with the other dogs near the lakeshore. My boy still doesn't really love to swim, but I've been making him do it just to cool off. If I paddle around the bay in a canoe he can't help but dive in to follow me, so he's in the lake almost every day. Now when I start to launch the canoe he wades right in and starts swimming, which makes me think he's getting more accepting of it. He no longer stands on the shore and cries.
I'm still searching for a satisfactory vet to do Savage's neuter. I continue to be paranoid and worried about possible complications of the surgery, and I confess that I may be procrastinating making an appointment. Meanwhile, Savvy continues to exhibit some annoying "male" behaviors, and I know I have to commit to getting him fixed as soon as possible. He's getting too much of an attitude for me to control with simple voice commands. But he's still just a big baby...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Gentle Giant

This is my 20-month-old dane watching over Randy's daughter's 3-month-old baby girl. This is Savvy's first real experience being around a baby, and while he generally ignores her, it's still very sweet to see them together. Little Eva seems very amused by him.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Hard At Work (!?)

This is what happens when my boss goes on vacation: the bar goes straight to the dogs! Savvy has been playing pool since last October, though his strategy has changed, and his partners have gotten more furry...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Rep. John Lesch, DFL-St. Paul, has announced that he plans to introduce legislation next year that will ban five breeds in Minnesota. Under the proposed law, anyone owning, housing, training, or breeding Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Chow Chows, Akitas, or wolf hybrids (or any mixed breed with any of the above traits) would be committing a crime subject to fines and jail time.
Apparently, Rep. Lesch has bought into the notion that specific breeds are inherently vicious and banning them would drastically cut down on dog attacks on humans. "You never hear stories about roving packs of golden retrievers attacking children in our streets," Lesch has said, "But you do hear about the pit bulls." It is my understanding that Minnesota dog attacks have been on a decline in the past few years, but Lesch has chosen to focus on a couple high-profile cases just recently in St. Paul that happened to involve pit bulls.
Here's the main problem with this proposed law: Any dog can become dangerous when bred and/or trained to be aggressive. It's ridiculous to think that restricting ownership of five breeds will stop or even cut down on dog bites, because the former owners of individual dogs who were bred or trained to be aggressive will simply acquire another breed of dog and train it in the same way. If they choose golden retrievers instead of pit bulls, and those dogs become aggressive, which breed do you think breed-specific legislation (BSL) proponents will target next?
Another problem with any BSL is that a lot of people can't positively identify dog breeds, and "pit bull", for example, is used by citizens as well as police and lawmakers to include a wide range of different breeds. I seriously doubt that John Lesch could tell you the difference between an American pit bull and an American Staffordshire Terrier, or the difference between an Akita and a Siberian Husky, for that matter.
I believe our state representative is just buying into the propoganda, perhaps even thinking his actions are noble. But how many of his family and friends own dogs, ANY breed of dogs? My understanding is that Minnesota law prohibits cities from enacting their own breed bans, and this is good. As far as statewide BSL, this proposal has many, many opponents; responsible dog owners who refuse to be punished and lose their best friends because of the irresponsibility of a few. Just because you may be (like me) the proud owner of a goofy, loveable, and extremely gentle dog, don't kid yourself. Great Danes can, and do, bite, and these few incidences speak volumes more about the breed from a lawmaker's standpoint than the thousands of sweet and well-behaved Danes in homes all across the nation.
Please take a few minutes to contact Rep. John Lesch, and in your own words, urge him to reconsider his stand on dog breed bans. Ask him to instead consider better enforcement of dog laws already in effect, including leash laws. There are laws regarding "dangerous dogs", and enforcement of these could prevent dog bites more effectively than breed bans. When Lesch announced his proposal at the Capitol on Friday, with him was a 5-year-old St.Paul girl who had been attacked by a "pit bull" last month. As Lesch called for support for his breed ban, the fact that that individual dog had previously been declared "potentially dangerous" by city inspectors seemed to get lost in the shuffle.
Following are a few links regarding breed-specific legislation. Not surprisingly, pit bull organizations are leading this fight. The Real Pit Bull site explains BSL thoroughly and gives alternatives to breed bans, as well as a petition to stop John Lesch's proposed legislation.
As always, Trail Center's website has pages of information for dog owners, and Sarah's views on BSL (as a Rottweiler owner).
An important, and truly eye-opening, exercise is the Find The Pit Bull test from Pit Bulls On The Web. I encourage everyone to take this short test and then visit this site's BSL page. There are also quite a few great articles under "Related Links".
The dogs pictured in this post are friends and acquaintances of Savage, and with the exception of the Brittany Spaniel, all dogs that would be illegal to own under the new breed ban. In descending order, the puppies are Savage and Mason, Wally, Roger, Mason, Elvis, Jones, and Savage, Willy, and Mason again. And yes, we do love our rotties!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Bed Of His Own

Whenever Savvy and I need to rent a motel room I always get one with two double beds so he has his own to sleep on. I particularly like Days Inns because many don't charge extra for pets, and there is no weight limit on dogs.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Savage's hospital visit went well, and the doctor gave him a prescription for 20mg prednisone in case he got into any more hornet or bee situations. Her directions to me were to give him a dose of Benadryl as soon as he got stung and then the prednisone if symptoms presented themselves. So now we are well prepared. Also at the vet's office, he received his rabies booster, and seems to be doing fine; no vaccine reactions at all. The whole visit cost only $69.66.
I talked to his vet about getting him neutered soon, and she printed me out an estimate. The procedure itself will cost only $125.15 (I believe this figure is based on his weight), but the heart monitor, IVs, drugs, etc. altogether raise the price to $381.06! Which is a LOT of money for me to be spending at this time.
But it has to be done. Even though my puppy is the sweetest, mellowest boy with an excellent temperament, I've noticed him getting a little more of an "attitude" with other male dogs. Lately he's not as likely to back down when another dog growls at him, and even though this is completely normal, I don't ever want to see him involved in a full-blown dog fight. As far as neutering to curb roaming tendencies, Savvy has never strayed and still stays very close to wherever I am, so that's not an issue at all. Another clue that he's maturing is that just a month or so ago he began actually lifting his leg to pee, instead of squatting, especially when other male dogs are near. My little (!?) puppy is becoming an adult!
It's strange to feel this way about a dog, as opposed to a child, I guess, but I almost don't want him to grow up because it forces me to face the fact that someday I will lose him. Hopefully that's many, many years in the future, but whenever that happens will be too soon. Of course, I'm also very proud of him; all the things he's learned in the last year and a half, how well he's now responding to training (especially how attentive he's becoming), what a truly "good dog" he's growing into. He's really turning out to be an amazing boy. And the really cool thing is that he and I still have so many new experiences to go through together. It gives us both so much to look forward to.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

How Big?

Here are Savage's specifications, for anyone interested:
Age: 18 months
Weight: 149 lbs.
Height: 36" at shoulder
Girth: 39 1/2"
Length: 33" from base of neck to tail
Neck: 24"
This is why I'm finding it so hard to buy clothes for him. Most so-called "great dane" sizes fall short of his measurements, and custom sized clothes are way too expensive to even consider. Looks like I may have to dust off the old sewing machine (ugh).

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Allergic Reaction?

Savage is happy and healthy again, after a scary hornet-sting episode a couple days ago. After giving it a lot of thought and retracing our activities I think I've established exactly what happened.
Saturday around noon I was outside talking on the phone when I spotted a hornet just resting on Savvy's leg, so I brushed it off without thinking much more about it. Saturday night I worked at the bar and Randy and Savvy came over to visit for a couple hours. That night my puppy threw up in the backseat of the truck, but I didn't discover it until next morning. Early morning Sunday I woke up to the sounds of Savage puking on the carpet, twice, and when I let him outside he browsed on grass and went to the bathroom. Later on I noticed him swiping at his muzzle with his paws a few times. His cheeks were a little swollen and when I checked inside his big lips, I found what I thought was a cut or pimple where his lip meets his gums. Again, not very concerned, thinking it was a puncture from a stick he chewed on. Other than being a little lazy, his behavior seemed pretty normal.
Randy and I took him with us when we drove over to our cabin on McFarland Lake to pick up some stuff, and at the cabin he was running around, happy like he always is when we're there. On the drive home, however, he became sick in the truck again, and we had to let him out to throw up. Almost immediately when he got back in the vehicle I noticed his fur looked very messy, which I found was caused by small bumps on his skin; legs, haunches, shoulders, neck, and face. Randy assured me that it was probably an allergic reaction to something. I worried the whole way home.
Sunday night I stayed up late with Savvy, watching over my boy. His bumps slowly disappeared, but he trembled a little as he fell asleep. Around 3:00am he woke me up so I'd let him outside, where he threw up another time. When he came in he was shivering and I wrapped him in a blanket and stayed with him until I was sufficiently reassured that he was safe. Throughout the whole episode his respiration didn't seem to change much, if at all.
After talking to my cousin (vet tech, dog owner) on the phone, and checking out Savage, we determined that he must be reacting to the hornet sting, which of course, the "cut" inside his lip turned out to be after further examination. In fact, I also found a sting under his chin, and because the hair on the rest of his body is longer he might have gotten more.
So, Savvy will go to his vet next Tuesday (the earliest appointment) for a check-up, and hopefully more advice and information about his allergic reaction. I'm hoping that there is some kind of doggie "bee-sting kit" that we can carry with us, with epinephrine or adrenaline to prevent anaphylactic shock in case of an emergency. Also, this reminds me that I really should have a thermometer on hand so I can take puppy's temperature. This is quite early for hornets to be nesting up here, and we have a long summer ahead of us.
Note: The pictures interspersed in this post are some taken during May, but that I haven't got to publish yet. Due to our evacuation from our home due to a forest fire in the area, I haven't had internet access until a few days ago. Thankfully, our home, lodge, and cabins are safe, though some of our friends and neighbors weren't so lucky. The "Ham Lake Fire" seems to be dying down, but fire crews remain, mopping up hotspots and maintaining sprinkler systems. Savvy, Randy, and I are safe at home and hoping for more rain.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bayshek Memorial

Bayshek 10/13/98 - 5/3/07

This post is a tribute to Bayshek, my twin sister's German Shepherd. My sister, Laura, has always been in love with the GSD breed, just as I have with Great Danes. Bayshek arrived as a Christmas gift from her husband in 1998 as a tiny, fuzzy 8 1/2 week old puppy, and has been a big part of our family's life from that moment on. Laura chose the name "Bayshek", which translates as "number one" in the Ojibwe language, because that was the name of one of our family's favorite lead sled dogs back when that was their primary winter transportation.
Bayshek became equally important to my whole family, not as a working dog, but as a loved family member. At our resort he was the first one to greet guests and customers, and many of those people fell in love with him as well. At family gatherings Bayshek was always there sharing good times. He was an intelligent, gentle dog, and with my sister's guidance he grew up to be extremely well behaved. You rarely see a dog/human relationship as close as that of Laura and Bayshek. Together with her, he was intuitive and able to anticipate her actions, and was the perfect picture of an obediant, well-mannered dog. He truly did live to please others.
Bayshek died at 8:53pm on May 3rd of this year.
After a terrible seizure episode his health was deteriorating and my sister made the toughest decision of her life to put her boy to sleep. He is now buried next to our family's other pets on a hillside at our resort, and an etched stone marks his resting place. Bayshek was, and remains, my sister's best friend.
We miss you, Gingersnap, and we will never forget you. Rest in peace, big puppy.
To learn more about Bayshek you may visit his Dogster page or his memorial on Laura's website.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Savvy And Nala

Here's 18 month old Savage and 11 month old Nala enjoying a day at Poplar Lake. They are very good friends that love exploring the outdoors with their humans.
By the way, you can get a cute, dorky collar like Nala's at Dork Clothing Company, which is owned by her mom, Sarah.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Zappy Collar #2

I brought Savage's Petsafe wireless fence system along on vacation to Texas with us, planning to use it around our campsite. What I didn't plan on was having to search for replacement batteries because I left the receiver collar turned on, so we never got to try it out while we were gone. In any case, on the way back home, both the collar and the transmitter unit got stolen right out of the back of my truck.
Contrary to what I expected, Savage began pushing his boundaries right away when we got back to the house, and I ended up having to order another wireless fence system ($270). Today I set up the system and put up the tiny boundary flags around the perimeter. (I spray-painted the flags bright orange because they are so small and easy to miss.) When I took Savvy out to introduce him to his new boundaries I lured him around near the "forbidden zone" with pieces of hot dogs, but once he heard the beep of the collar, he retreated back to the porch, and refused to follow me anywhere in the yard.
When we got the first wireless fence it took my boy some time to get used to where he was and was not allowed to go, so I know I just have to be patient and let him figure it out. But it still makes me sad to see him frightened. I hope it doesn't take him too long...

Monday, April 30, 2007

Summer's Coming!

This time of year gives me a whole new reason to worry about my dog. As the weather gets warmer and the snow melts, the ice over the lakes gets thin and begins breaking up. My Savage, who doesn't think twice about wandering out on the winter ice, has to be watched extra carefully in late March and April when we are near the lake. Thankfully, the ice on Poplar Lake has disappeared completely as of yesterday, and we enjoyed splashing around on the shoreline today, though the water is much too cold for Savvy to attempt to wade in further than his knees. I'm hoping that this is the year that my boy finally decides he likes to swim.
We're now walking on the Old Gunflint Trail again, every morning. Sav starts whining and moaning in the truck, every single time I turn onto the road. His arch-nemesis, The Evil Bicycle, is back, and he's determined to bark it into submission again. Lately we've been taking a friend of Savvy's, Bubba the black lab, along with us. We're seeing more wildlife on the trails. A few days ago we saw a woodchuck while driving. When I hopped out of the truck to get a closer look at it, the miserable little 'chuck stood his ground and hissed at me, and Savage went crazy barking. What a brave boy.
We're both looking forward to this, Savvy's second summer; hiking, swimming, boating, biking, exploring, and just laying on the deck soaking up sun.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Playgirl Nova

I created this graphic as a joke for a friend on a great dane online discussion forum. After seeing the picture Tiffany posted on the forum, with Nova in such a cute pose, I had to do it. It got lots of laughs from the forum members, and Nova is enjoying being a cover girl.
(By the way, the picture quality didn't turn out as well when I resized the photo. The original is much clearer.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Lap Dog

For anyone who doesn't actually own a great dane: yes, they DO think they are lap dogs, and they don't care much about YOUR comfort at all. Savage doesn't seem to be aware of how big and heavy he is, or how bony his elbows are. He sees anyone sitting on the couch as an open invitation to crawl all over them. This is my 17-month-old, 145lb puppy sleeping on my boyfriend's lap. When I get home from my bartending job at night they are usually relaxing just like this, and more often than not, I have to wake both of them up in order to claim my own spot on the couch. Sometimes I wonder why I spent so much money on Savage's huge crate, and big, comfy dog bed. At the new house we're building I am already planning to buy another couch just for him.
Postscript to Randy: I just know you'll be understanding about me posting a picture of you in your underwear on the internet for the whole world to see ; ) !

Saturday, April 21, 2007

"Fat" Albert

Introducing Albert! This sweet boy is an older natural-eared brindle dane, rescued from an animal shelter by my friend Sarah (owner of the late Teddy, who has been featured in this blog before). Not much is known about Albert, except that he came from a family with children, and was very good with them. His original owners told the shelter he was 8 years old, but his age was estimated at 5-7 years by a vet. Lately he has had an infected tooth removed, which may have contributed to his low weight (103lbs). His skinny appearance is quite shocking, earning him the fond nickname "Fat Albert" and hopes for weight gain. The shelter had him neutered, and he is recovering from the operation, but his overall health remains suspect. Along with his near-emaciation, he continues to have a persistant cough, and his legs are very weak. His inner eyelids are blocking much of his sight, which could be corrected surgically, but his other problems take precedent at this point.
In spite of all this, Albert is true to the dane breed, being very friendly and sweet, with no hesitation in meeting new friends. I took him for a short walk so I could get to know him, and he proved obediant and attentive. His color is fascinating: a very light fawn with black and blue brindle stripes. His black mask is peppered with grey (making him look very old and wise, in my opinion), while his ears are completely black. Albert is curious about his new surroundings, and gets along with Sarah's other dogs and her cat. He will go to the vet to get checked out on Monday, and because his problems are unknown, and he is still weak, he will not be meeting my big, overwhelming Savage for awhile. I look forward to when I can take them both out walking together this summer.
Albert is a foster dog, and Sarah will be caring for and watching over him until he gets better and becomes adoptable. This boy needs lots of love and attention, and above all, stability. Sarah will be posting updates on the new dane on Albert's Blog, so check it out to see how he's doing. Hopefully we can help Albert recover and find him his forever home.

Monday, April 09, 2007


Dogster: the site for dog lovers
Well, I finally went and established a Dogster account for Savi. Almost every dog I know is registered, and it seems to be a cool place to meet other dogs online. I regularly search for my favorite breeds in Minnesota. If you want to visit Baby Sava at his other online home CLICK HERE. As always, more pictures will be added as soon as I get the time.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Homeward Bound

On the way back to Minnesota, Randy, Savvy, and I spent a few days in Missouri at a friend's house. He lent us his boat so we could go crappie fishing on a lake near Appleton City, and Savage was ecstatic to see freshwater again. He went absolutely wild charging around in the water and was soaking wet by the time he got in the boat, as usual. Randy and I caught a bunch of crappies and sunfish, and Baby Dog kept an eye on the turtles sunning themselves on the shore.