DaDane of DaWeek

 Created: 04/30/02


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– Teacup Dane –

April 29, 2002 – Due to an unusually busy schedule, this week's DaDane is a rerun from three years back. The original story read like this:

September 27, 1999 – Ever since I read about Teacup Poodles, which weigh only 3 pounds, I wondered what it would be like to have a Teacup Great Dane. Since they don't really exist, I decided to create one of my own. Meet Bili. Instead of sitting on the couch all day like most Danes, Bili likes to park her fanny in a nice comfortable teacup.

Bili, of course, was not nearly so small as her portrayal here. Rest assured she was a full-size Great Dane. Her breeder/owner was Patty Jo Hoff, lives in Guam. Bili passed away last June at the age of 10, leaving many happy memories behind.

This past weekend Patty Jo sent me a note describing a strong earthquake that had just shaken Guam. Bili was not there in person to share the excitement with her family – but perhaps she was there in spirit. Patty wrote:

"On Saturday, April 27, at 2:06 in the morning, we were rudely awakened by a 7.2 earthquake. The noise was horrific. I have been crate training Lyric and I was sleeping downstairs with her. She's just a youngster and this was her first big quake. She didn't like it one bit. Her expression said "Get me out of here!!" Jani-lin (a cousin to Bili) was sleeping in the library where it is air-conditioned. She has a big double futon to give her comfort from her arthritic problems. I went in to check on her. She was standing there with a bewildered look on her face, wondering why all the books had been thrown at her. I picked them up and told her to go back to bed. "Okay, Mom, whatever you say."

About that time, my husband Clay came down from upstairs where he and Aria were sleeping. By then the power had gone out and we managed to find flashlights. After making sure the house was okay, Clay went back up to bed. Aria refused to join him. ("No way am I going back up there where all that noise is!") After everybody had settled down we all finally made it back to sleep – that is, until a 5.6 aftershock again shook the house!

Saturday morning we awoke bleery-eyed and hurried to our farm where we had peacock, duck and chicken eggs in an incubator, which we knew would no longer be running. The farm still had water at that point so were able to feed and water all the animals. We got back home and put all the eggs in the oven. The pilot light would keep them warm, but who knows if they will still hatch. We'll see. We quickly took a shower because it was obvious the water was going off. We were scheduled to go to a Memorial party later in the day and we were supposed bring a casserole. Since I had eggs in the oven and no power for the microwave, I had to ask my neighbor to cook.

That night we were sitting upstairs on the patio watching the stars come out. It was pleasant with no lights anywhere to spoil our view and it was cool with the trade winds blowing. Then a big full moon came over the mountains while over the ocean there was a large area of rain. Suddenly there was a bright arc in front of the rain where a moon rainbow appeared. We said it had to be a lucky sign. Ten minutes later the power came on.

It's Sunday now. Still no water. It was Merizo Fiesta here in Guam... all those people going to parties with no water. We went to two parties. One party had around 200 people, the other had lots more. As I write this, the larger party is still going on. Just a few minutes ago we started getting a trickle of water so I would imagine there will be water for a shower tonight.

I find it hard to believe we get such awful quakes and nothing serious happens. We did have one school damaged and lots of water pipes broken. Our house just had lots of things fall off of shelves and one picture fell off the wall. Lucky us."

I've known Patty Jo and Clay for several years now – long enough to hear many stories about the earthquakes, typhoons and brown snakes that plague the island of Guam. Patty and Clay, originally from the US mainland, have been living on Guam for over 30 years. They love it there. I guess for them, earthquakes are just part of the "background noise" that accompanies the symphony of their special island life.

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