Kim has had the ambition to own a Dane for many years but we never had the funds or the space to offer one of these impressive dogs a home. I must admit that I had major doubts over whether we could manage such a large hound but as Kim had promised that she would be responsible for walking him together I agreed we could give it a try.
I must admit that our Great Dane, Rufus, has been far less trouble than I thought, in fact, taking his enormous size into account, he is a very easy dog to manage, even though Kim's broken arm problems prevented her from helping as much as she would have liked at first. He is very affectionate, loves to be made a fuss of, and is devoted to Kim. We acquired an old sofa-bed for him to lie on but he prefers to be nearer us, preferably in between us on our sofa, where he curls up small to fit in. He doesn't chase the cats, gets on well with Laika, doesn't stray if walked off lead, in fact is far less trouble than Laika! People meeting him for the first time are naturally apprehensive of him, but ten minutes with him converts even persons nervous of dogs,he's just so aimiable.
There are differences between Danes and ordinary dogs however. We were warned by the Dane Rescue association where we found him, that Danes are subject to 'bloat', their digestion is so slow that they mustn't be allowed to bolt their food .
Rufus has a special feed bowl with sort of nubbins incorporated, which force him to eat slowly. The bowl has to be at chest night, we have converted an old metal chair frame for this. He must wait an hour or so after eating before exercising, too. We have done all this and have not had any problems. He is also infected with Leichmaniosis(don't know how to spell this!) as are many dogs from the south, it's a disease spread by sand flies. He takes a pill prescribed for humans for gout and shows no symptoms.
He does have another habit which I have never known in a dog-- he purrs! It`s true, when he is in his favourite spot on the sofa, curled up between us, he purrs like an enormous cat! His purring is not quite like a cat`s, he makes a sort of low moaning or sighing of contentment that expresses the same emotion as a cat on a lap.So sweet!
Bye for now, going to sit with our dog.