DaDane of DaWeek
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– Zippity-Doo! –
May 12, 2003 – Last
week we talked about the inherent beauty of Great Danes and
the dedication of those
breeders who are committed to improving the breed. Unfortunately,
for each high-quality breeder we might encounter, many more
are busily cranking out Great Dane litters with little concept
of what they are producing, and little interest in what happens
to the puppies after they've been sold.
This a broad and
complex subject, and we won't attempt to tackle it today – maybe
another time. Instead, I'd like to take a moment to talk
about the wonderful individuals in Rescue who devote their
energy to looking after those unwanted Danes who are, more
often than not, the product of backyard breeders and puppy
millers. In my view, rescue folks are the unsung heroes of
the Dane community. They take in unwanted, abandoned Danes
of all ages, sizes, conditions and backgrounds. They evaluate
their health and temperament. They attempt to rehabilitate
and re-home those that can be salvaged, and they humanely
end the suffering of those that have been too damaged. It
work. The emotional and financial sacrifices are immeasurable.
We should all appreciate and support the efforts of our rescue groups.
|Jill Swedlow, a respected
judge and author of several books on the breed, has
written an informative article on how to recognize
a responsible breeder: Interviewing
week's portrait features Biene Parker's "Zippy." He
is a six-year-old rescue Dane
living in North Carolina. I met him last year at the GDCA
National. This is his story, as told by Biene:
first laid eyes on Zippy on January 25, 1997, when
the call of a local shelter. Zipp arrived at the shelter – along
with 12 other littermates – when he was
just five days old. His dam had stopped producing milk
puppies all had to be bottle fed.
Their breeder didn't have time for it, so the puppies
were dumped. They needed care and they needed it fast.
Suddenly, I found myself with a box full of 5-day-old
starving puppies. I
to do whatever I could to save them.
I had never raised a litter of puppies and I was pretty
nervous. I called upon all the Dane breeders I knew, phoning
them frequently, both day and night, for advice and support.
They told me the puppies needed to be fed every 3 hours.
me 3 hours to feed the whole gang, and then I'd have to start
the process all over again! To identify each puppy and track
which one had been fed and when, I devised names based on
their markings, like Zipper for Zippy, who had
white line over his head.
Looking back, I can now say this was the happiest time
of my 22 years in Dane rescue. It also brought sad times
of the puppies died, and it brought worries when the other
pups didn't 'act right'. Certain happy memories have stayed
with me, like the cheerful pitter-patter from a herd of puppy
paws when I called for chow-time, and their first explorations
outside. My husband observed that I looked like the pied-piper – always
with a string of puppies following.
Early on, I noticed a special
puppy: Zippy. He would distance himself and quietly observe
the others tumbling around. He
was a calm pup. This is the one I would keep! I also chose
the wildest one, a little girl named Lili. Keeping the two
helped me overcome the day when I drove my puppies to be
placed into foster homes with other rescue volunteers.
grew very tall. He loved people and animals, he always
did the right thing and he was cool. He became the public
relations Dane for the North
Carolina rescue. I walked
very proud beside him. At 10 months of age, Zipp was discovered by the Wilmington,
NC film industry and he appeared in the movie 'Bruno' with Shirley MacLaine.
He also shot several TV ads. (I kept some of his earnings as pay-back for my
Coco Chanel handbag he chewed up earlier). Zipp thrived
on filming. He loved the action and
all the people. When he would visit us with his motion picture animal
trainer, he'd briefly say "Hi" and jump right back into her car.
The movie 'Bruno' had many child actors and even today, five
whenever Zipp hears children laughing he makes
a straight beeline to them.
The happy times did not last forever, though. April 1999, when he was just
old, Zippy suddenly became ill. Poisoning was first suspected,
diagnosed with a tick-borne disease by NC State Vet. School, where he
stayed for two days. He was treated with Vitamin K, antibiotics
His platelets were dangerously low. His condition improved over a month's time,
but later on he became lethargic and urinated pure blood. An ultrasound
showed a bladder disorder with thickened bladder walls. He is given extreme
doses of antibiotics for 6 weeks.
December 21, 2000, we faced another crisis when Zipp had gastric
torsion (bloat) during the night. He required emergency
surgery. Two months after the surgery, he had lost 21 lbs. and
his hind legs were shaking involuntarily. He never fully recovered. We
the Tarheel circuit in Raleigh, NC with him, which he enjoyed so much the
year before, but this time he was fearful, tucked
his tail and wanted to go home. He also became fearful
of thunderstorms and 4th of July firecrackers.
veterinarian did not know what to do for him, so I
sought the help of a holistic vet who listened
and mixed up a prescription. This has helped Zipp very
much. But he has no stamina, and that's how you, Ginnie,
him at the Nationals. He does not enjoy the action
legs still tremble, his knees are arthritic, and getting
up and down is very difficult. He is still vomiting
sometimes and lately he has been drinking much too
much water again. He needs
to be reevaluated, especially his thyroid function.
Nowadays Zipp enjoys long naps on our bed, though he has developed an
odd habit... he growls when I touch
him turning in my sleep. He likes an occasional car ride, but prefers to
stay home most of the time where he has plenty of company. He loves other
dogs, and dogs are always plentiful at our home because I am a foster mom
for the MAGDRL. Despite
his disabilities, Zipp and I take short walks, which he still enjoys. And,
just like before, I continue to walk very proud beside him."
Archived comments (10) |
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