Lean On Me

Last week there was an animated discussion among members of the Great Dane Mail List about a well-known Great Dane quirk – The Lean. How often have you interrupted your evening walk to chat with an inquisitive passerby or neighbor and found yourself planting your feet firmly on the sidewalk in the classic counter-lean stance, hoping that nobody will notice you are struggling to keep your legs under you as your 150 lb. Dane leans against your body with steadily increasing pressure? As one list member observed, "Most Dane owners seem to be in a constant state of tipping over."

The mail list discussion about leaning actually began when one distraught Dane owner wrote, "I've recently noticed that Frankie has what might have a serious problem. He is two years old now and he DOESN'T LEAN! I've examined him closely and I'm quite sure that he is a Great Dane. His papers say that he is, the breeder insists that he is, but yet he does not lean. Maybe my expectations for him are too severe. I want him to look like AND ACT like a Great Dane."

Oh my goodness! Nobody on the list had ever encountered a non-leaning Dane, not ever. Everyone agreed that Frankie has an unusual problem. Some people declared him the victim of a serious "Leaning Disability." What to do? Various remedies were suggested. The most creative idea came from Frankie's owner. "Perhaps Frankie could learn to lean if he wore specially designed uneven elevator shoes to keep him off balance. Of course that would mean he could only lean in one direction, but hey, you have to start somewhere." In the end, though, it was decided that since Frankie is happy and healthy he should be accepted just the way he is.

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