August 5, 2002 Abby (left) and Jazz
(right) are two very lucky "rescues" who live with Samantha
and Dave Hill in Florida. They also share their home with Yxma,
a lovely kitten with a purple head. Samantha had little to say about
Yxma's purple head, but plenty to say about her two adopted Danes:
years ago, I was waiting in line at a store and telling
my friend that I really wanted a Great Dane. The lady in
front of us turned around, whipped out a business card,
and told me about her Great Dane rescue group. I knew my
life was about to change...
The very next day I met Atlas, who quickly became the love
of my life. He was an eight-year-old black Dane who had
been severely abused, shot, beaten, neglected – and
finally abandoned. Despite all that, he was simply beautiful.
I couldn't understand how an animal could undergo such cruelty
and still love people so much. Of course, now I understand
it's the Dane "way." I adopted Atlas and took
One month later the phone rang and I was told there was
another Dane rescue that would be perfect for me. Uhhh...
I didn't even know I wanted another Dane, but okay, I figured
it wouldn't hurt to look. So Dave and I went to meet Jazz.
He was two years old. We fell for him right away, and
suddenly we had another Dane!
Soon after Jazz moved in with us, we realized why someone
had dropped his butt off at the rescue. He was a holy terror!
He chewed everything in sight – shoes... underwear...
furniture... even the stucco off of the house. (Really!)
There were many times I considered sending him back to the
rescue, but we held to the hope that one day Jazz would
be more like Atlas – sweet, even-tempered, and
laid back. Well, we were right to hold out. With time, Jazz
became the greatest guy ever. Sadly, a few months after
Dave and I got married, we lost Atlas. He was eleven years
Jazz took the loss much harder than even Dave and I did.
The two had been inseparable. Jazz wouldn't eat, he hardly
slept (unusual for a Great Dane), and he just wasn't as
loving and carefree as before. He was grieving. After awhile
we decided it was time to get another Dane. We started looking
at rescue Web sites. So many dogs needed homes, but it wasn't
hard to choose when I saw HER. Abby had this saucy look
on her face, she knew she was beautiful, and she was working
I wrote to the rescue, filled out all the necessary paperwork,
drove five hours to get her, and five hours back. It was
worth every minute. Abby is the most lovely, sweet, just
all-around likeable dog. Though she's only two years old,
she is a delight and so well-behaved.
I don't think Jazz had any idea what hit him when he met
Abby. He is so entranced by her, he follows her everywhere.
They are IN LOVE! (We call her the "mail order bride.")
Jazz and Abby remind me of that scene in 101 Dalmatians,
you know, the one in the church? They actually sit like
that, gazing into one another's eyes. It makes you feel
all squishy inside.
So, what could make us happier? Nothing we can figure. For
the rest of our lives, there will always be a Dane in our
home, and it will always be from a rescue. I really hope
that somewhere out there our story will reach a few people,
and just like us, they will find a rescue where they can
get the Dane of their dreams.
If you are thinking about adding
a Great Dane to your household, please visit our Great
Dane Links Directory for
a list of Great Dane rescue organizations.
by Ginnie Saunders. All rights are reserved. No part of this web
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