DaDane of DaWeek

 Created: 05/23/05


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May 23, 2005 – I want to thank everyone who sent condolences, publicly and privately, regarding the death of Merlin last week. I am touched and humbled by the outpouring. I almost feel as if we held a funeral for Merlin, and EVERYBODY came. I realize, of course, that this phenomenon was not a simple mourning over the passing of Merlin; rather, it was a collective mourning over the passing of so many Danes who have come and gone from our lives. Despite the inevitable loss, I would rather live with, love, and finally lose a Great Dane, than to have never known one. I suppose that's why we all keep coming back to the breed. Thank you again for all your sympathy. It truly was, and continues to be, a great comfort.

Introducing Hector
This week's DaDane features six-year-old Hector. I first heard about Hector back in January when I received this message from Jerry Dunham:

Hi, Ginnie. I was contacted a couple of days ago by a woman in Texas. She'd like to find a new home for her Great Dane, Hector, before the end of the month. Otherwise, she will have him put down. Hector was rescued from a city shelter in Corpus Christi four years ago when he was around two. That would mean he is around six now.

This is not an easy case. Hector was her husband's best friend, but her husband died two years ago and finances are now very limited. Hector has Addison's Disease, so he requires a monthly shot which costs $175. There is a much cheaper treatment available that runs $35 to $40 per month, but the protocol requires daily pills. Hector's owner says that although the pills are within her budget, she travels too much for that to work. His next shot is due the first of February and she can't afford to pay for it. She has made up her mind that this is the end of the road for Hector if no home is found. He's been boarded all week at her vet, with instructions to put Hector down if a home can't be found in five more days, when his next shot is due. She's already said her goodbyes.

Marc Sayer
No adopter could be found in Hector's area of Texas and all the rescue groups were full to capacity. Word went out to a couple of news groups, but an older Dane with Addison's Disease stands almost no chance of finding an adoptive home. It looked like Hector's days were numbered.

Then Marc Sayer heard about Hector. Marc rescues deaf Great Danes through his non-profit corporation, Deaf Dane Rescue. Whenever I talk with Marc, he usually has 15 to 20 Great Danes living in his house. Currently he has 26. Four of them are permanent residents, the rest are up for adoption. Although Marc concentrates his efforts on taking care of deaf Danes, he owns an Addison's Dane named Tank, and he is a strong advocate for Addisonian Danes and their owners. Even though Marc was over 2,000 miles away in Oregon, he was determined to save Hector. He called the Texas clinic and told them he would make sure they were paid for Hector's next shot. Then he set about looking for somebody willing to foster Hector immediately until other arrangements could be made.

Becca Roberts
Marc hit gold when contacted a gal in Texas named Becca Roberts. Becca already had five Danes, one of whom came from Marc. Two of Becca's Danes were deaf and blind, one was blind, one was "normal," and the last was a foster dog with behavioral issues. Becca could not accommodate another Dane, but she knew Hector's situation was desperate. She loaded her only "normal" Dane into her car and drove him up to her parents house in Oklahoma. They agreed to keep him for awhile so Becca could foster Hector. Becca would take care of Hector and evaluate him for Marc – and with luck, eventually an adoptive home could be found.

Dr. Nori Warren
Meanwhile, I told my veterinarian, Nori Warren, about Hector. Nori and her husband, Will, had recently lost two of their three dogs to old age. Their remaining dog, an aging chocolate lab named Belle, was lonely. I knew Will had always wanted a Dane, even more so after keeping Merlin all summer. Nori and Will had made it clear that they wanted a rescue, but not just any rescue. As Nori put it, "We love the old crunches," meaning those older dogs who are more difficult to place due to age or health issues. As soon as Nori heard about Hector, she called Will at his office. Will's response was 'classic' Will: "His name is Hector? How could anybody put a dog named Hector to sleep?!" They agreed to talk more about Hector after they got home from work.

That evening, Nori and Will together reviewed all the available information on Hector. When they were finished, Will looked at Nori and said, "Nori, we need that dog. We need Hector."

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