DaDane of DaWeek

 Created: 09/22/03


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– Rosha Bellatrix Gamma Orionis (Bella)

September 22, 2003 – This week's DaDane features Louise Peterson's Bella. The portrait is based on a photograph I took at last year's GDCA National when Bella was five months old. As one would expect, she has grown quite a bit since then. Louise, an accomplished sculptor (see last week's story), has been using Bella as a muse and model for her most recent work. Here is Bella's story, as told by Louise:

"My husband, Chris, and I decided to add another Great Dane to our family after my diabetic cat, Michael, passed away. We had been left with a 9-year-old Dane, Nandi, and a 10-year-old cat, Cinder. We felt we needed to rejuvenate the pack. I really wanted to rescue a Dane, but Chris wanted a puppy – plus I needed a good example of the breed for my model. While displaying my sculptures at the Great Dane Club of California specialties in June 2002, I spread the word that I was looking for a new Fawn model. Sharon and Roger Rendall (Rosha Danes) met all my requirements as responsible breeders, and even though Bella had a long list of possible homes, Sharon told me that she would be honored if I would take her as my model.

When I saw Bella with her litter mates, I knew that she would be a challenge. While the other puppies were sleeping, Bella was still going, and when they were playing, she was right on top of them. She has not slowed down since. Besides being a devoted and highly energetic pet and companion, Bella has been earning her keep as my model. In her 14 months with me she has inspired seven new sculptures! Nandi, my now 10-year-old Blue and first model, has always been a very goofy Dane with not a regal bone in her body. By contrast, Bella is an elegant Dane with the most gorgeous arch to her neck. Since I am inspired by what I see, my sculptures are taking on a much more elegant style.

But Bella is not only a wonderful model. With her boundless energy and enthusiasm, she is keeping Nandi young and spry. She is also showing a natural talent for Agility. If I can take enough time away from my sculpting passion, I hope to compete with Bella in some Agility Trials.

Bella is my third Dane and the most affectionate one so far. She wants to be next to me or on top of me whenever possible. In the morning when the sun starts to come up, she climbs up on the bed between Chris and me, lies down length-wise like a person, and rests her head on my chest, her nose to my nose. That is my idea of heaven."

Bella and the Bug
Louise has just completed a large and impressive bronze sculpture titled "Bella and the Bug." A display version of this life-size work (68" long by 24" high) will accompany Louise to the GDCA National in Florida next month. You will be able to see it – along with many other works by Louise – at her show booth. The final bronze version of "Bella and the Bug" will be available in January, 2004. This is a truly wonderful sculpture that will prove to be, in my opinion, one of Louise Peterson's most important works. Here's how it came about:

"Bella and the Bug" was originally inspired on my way to the Nationals 2002, in the motel room where we were spending the night. Bella was laying very elegantly on the bed, watching a fly crawl across the bedspread. (I don't know who should have been most concerned – Bella or the bug!) Her level of disturbed concentration was the impetus for this sculpture.

I finished the half-life-size sculpture in July, 2003. After selling five pieces before the first one was even cast, I went to work on the life-size version. Although Bella inspired the sculpture, it is not a portrait of her. This piece, as with all my sculptures, is more my idealized version of what I like in a Dane, and I take favorite features from many different dogs.

My goal is to see the life-size version installed in one or more public settings. I think it shows the Great Dane as an elegant, regal creature with a presence that commands attention. Her facial expression shows the side of the Great Dane that we all know, the Big Wuss.

— Louise Peterson

The National Specialty
The Great Dane Club of America's National Specialty will be held next month in Orlando, Florida. Show dates are October 19-24, 2003. The event is open to the public. Ms. Peterson is a Platinum Sponsor. She will be exhibiting her work at her show booth near the main ring. If you'd like to preview her work , you can visit her web site at

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