DaDane of DaWeek

 Created: 01/06/03


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All that live must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.

                                  — Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act I, Scene II

January 6, 2003 – On December 31, 2002, a remarkable Great Dane named Hamlet (Onarok's Prince of Denmark) was laid to rest. He was nine and a half years old. Hamlet was well-known to members of the Dane community – and wildly popular. Some might even say he was famous. One thing is for certain, Hamlet knew how to wow the crowds at the Great Dane National where, over the years, he performed many memorable moves in the Parade ring. Hamlet's "Bye-Bye Wave" will always be a favorite moment, never forgotten. In fact, it was the inspiration for a wonderful bronze sculpture by Louise Peterson, titled High Four.

Hamlet's Titles
Hamlet had a great pedigree, but he could not be exhibited in AKC breed conformation because his coat pattern – mantle/boston – was not allowed in the American breed ring until 1999. Undeterred, his dedicated owners, Walt and Maria Perkins, pursued obedience training with Hamlet.
Related Links:

Hamlet's Web Site

Hamlet's Photos

About AKC, CKC Titles

High Four Sculpture
He achieved his first AKC title as a Companion Dog (CD) and a bit later, Companion Dog Excellent (CDX). Hamlet acquired his Canadian CD as well.

Although he could not compete in AKC conformation, the mantle coat was permitted in Canada, so with a little extra traveling from his home in Massachusetts, Hamlet was able to pursue a CKC conformation title. He won his Canadian Championship in 1996. Three years later the mantle coat was finally accepted in the United States. By then Hamlet was 6 years old and by definition a "veteran dog," but he began working on his AKC Championship anyway. As the crowd cheered him on, Hamlet won his class at the GDCA National in 2001. It was a special moment.

Hamlet's Legacy
HamletAs Hamlet matured from puppy to adult, his reputation and popularity increased. He became a highly regarded ambassador for the breed – and a notable entertainer. His engaging personality and dapper appearance sold many people on the mantle coat pattern at a time when it was not often seen in or around the show ring. Hamlet also helped raise awareness about the rewards of participating in Obedience training. He was a remarkable creature. I believe some dogs are born to be stars, but I also believe that no dog can achieve greatness without a Special Human to help him realize his full potential. Hamlet's Special Human was Walt Perkins. The two of them had a very unique relationship and Hamlet utterly adored Walt. I am sure everything Hamlet did, he did for Walt.

Walt himself has what one might call "stage presence," so when you put Hamlet and Walt together in the ring, they commanded attention. This was especially true at the annual GDCA National Parades. Both Walt and Hamlet would step into the ring decked out in black and white. (Hamlet had an advantage there. No costume required.) Walt and Hamlet would work the crowd, and by the time Hamlet waved goodbye to Walt from across the ring, the audience was stamping its feet, clapping its hands, and calling for more.

Hamlet's Last Performance
When Hamlet died on New Year's Eve, he took leave of a family who loved him dearly and he left behind a community of fans who will always remember him. We can picture Hamlet turning to Walt one last time – just before he crossed the Bridge – to wave his final farewell.

Goodbye, Hammie. We wish you could give us an encore.

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