DaDane of DaWeek

 Created: 01/19/04


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– Daneridge's Penelope Steele –

January 19, 2004 – The prettiest Merle I've ever seen in my life is named Penelope. I first met Penelope several years ago at the Great Dane National Specialty in California and I produced a portrait of her, titled The Magical Merle, which appeared on DaDane of DaWeek way back in 1999. Penelope is now 7 years old, and she hasn't lost any of her good looks. She is the quintessential "California girl" – attractive, athletic and very outgoing. Suzzane Kelleher-Duckett, Penelope's owner, is her biggest fan:

– By Suzzane Kelleher-Duckett –

Penelope is an outgoing, energetic, extremely intelligent, "I MUST be the center of attention" kind of girl. She will be 8-years-young on July 19, 2004, and not much has changed about her over the years, except for her more distinguished, graying eyebrows.

It doesn't matter what you're doing, or where you’re going – Penelope just wants to be there with you. The list of activities Penelope enjoys is long, but here are a few of her favorites:

Penelope LOVES to trick-or-treat on Halloween. First of all, she ADORES children, so Halloween is a perfect holiday for Penelope; and second, she loves wearing costumes. Penelope is one of the only dogs I know that will wear a costume all night long without so much as blinking an eye. I am convinced she knows that hanging out with kids and wearing a costume is a sure way to become the center of attention. She poses for pictures, gets invited inside homes, gets special doggie treats and sports a black cat candy bucket full of candy around her neck. All while she's keeping a watchful eye over the kids, making sure they’re all together before moving on to the next house. It has always amazed me how she could tell one "monster" from the next, but she can!

Penelope LOVES a good trail ride and she is a wonderful horse dog. She loves being at the barn and she's always excited to hit the trails. Penelope has a strong love for horses, but not all horses know what to think when they're approached and licked on the nose by a Great Dane. She really does not see the difference between herself and the more common Jack Russell barn-dog.

For Penelope, no trail ride is complete without at least one race. Her favorite part of the ride is getting to race the horse at least once before going home. She definitely lets you know when she wants to race. She has a way of jumping around, sort of taunting the horse, and even licking him on the nose as if to say “come on let's go!” And if that doesn't get the message across, she'll grab you by your pant leg until you let them run – and trust me, she wants to RUN!!!

Penelope LOVES meeting new people. More than anything else, I think Penelope enjoys being a GREAT breed ambassador. This last December, Penelope and I had the pleasure of working the "Meet the Breeds" booth at the AKC / Eukanuba Invitational dog show in Long Beach, California. Each breed booth was well-decorated and offered the public tons of educational information regarding that individual breed, its history, and its characteristics. Each breed booth was also staffed by a person to answer questions, and a dog of that breed to meet and greet the public.

Our Great Dane booth was decorated in a Hollywood theme, which was perfect for "The Divine Miss Penelope," our very own Hollywood Starlet! She was certainly in her element. The more people, cameras, attention and commotion, THE BETTER!

Penelope waved to the crowds, shook hands, barked when asked, high-fived and posed for tons of pictures with young and old alike. She was a HIT – a real media magnet! So much so, that she made the front page of the California Section of the Los Angeles Times (in color), the AKC web site, the AKC Gazette and she was photographed/filmed by Animal Planet, which I hope will air when they air the coverage of the Agility Nationals. Penelope's photograph was taken literally all day long, so who knows where we'll see her next! She was a perfect breed ambassador, graciously doing her tricks over and over again without hesitation.

I am just so darn proud of Penelope!!! She is everything anyone could ever hope for in a Great Dane: Healthy, Sound, Beautiful, Intelligent, Athletic, Lovable, and so much more. Her description – like our love for her – is beyond words, but those who know Penelope know exactly what we mean when we say she’s truly MAGICAL.

Watch for Penelope as she begins her Agility career, yes, at almost 8 years old!!!

– Suzzane Kelleher-Duckett,

Penelope has missed the last few Nationals, but Suzzane assures us her "Magical Merle" will be present at the 2004 GDCA National Specialty in Ft. Worth, Texas, where she will proudly compete in Agility. You can see more of Penelope at

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