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 Created: 02/23/04


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CH Trike's Why You Little...

February 23, 2004 – This week's DaDane features a 7-year-old Great Dane named Bart. You met his niece, Noel, just last week. ( See Noel's story. ) Photographing the two of them proved interesting. Noel was very photogenic and quite receptive to the camera. Bart, on the other hand, was not very excited about having his picture taken. It was over 85° outside, and when it came time to shoot, Bart was hot and a little bored or tired, or maybe both. If he could talk, he'd probably tell us he'd had a long week on the road and he was wanting to go home to his favorite couch. Being a cooperative sort of fellow, though, Bart didn't protest having his picture taken, but he communicated his disinterest in a manner we humans could all understand. Bart refused to put his ears up. Mind you, this is not an uncommon problem. Anybody who has tried to photograph a cropped Dane knows how frustrating it can be when the subject's ears are in a relaxed position. This won't do. We want our subject to appear animated and alert. To achieve such a look, the ears need to be at attention. In Bart's case, we tried the usual things to perk him up – bait (of course), followed by squeaky toys, squeaky people, and various items tossed into the air. Bart wanted none of it.

Parental Discretion Advised
Now, what I am about to tell you is perfectly "clean," but I want to warn anybody with young children that it might be a good time to usher them out of the room for milk and cookies. I don't want you sending me any nasty notes about this, okay? You've been warned, so if you have a problem with what follows, it is YOUR problem and not mine.

All-righty... now we can continue. We made a real effort to get Bart's ears to stand, but nothing seemed to work. Bystanders watched our efforts with obvious amusement. (I suspect most of them had 'been there, done that.' ) Finally a gentleman stepped forward with an irresistible offer. "I have a young bitch in season back in my room. Would you like me to bring her out here?" Needless-to-say, he did not have to ask twice. He soon reappeared with a lovely little fawn named Morgan. Bart thought she was quite lovely, too. Up went his ears as he tried to impress her with his attentive good looks (among other things), and I was finally able to get some good shots of Bart. But as I continued shooting, Bart ears drifted downward. He was starting to lose interest. His mom, Tracy Higgins, explained, "He's figured out we're not going to give her to him, so why bother? " At that point, Morgan's owner looked down at her, tilted his head, and said in a falsetto voice, "Daddy, I ain't no Ho!" Well, it took me a a couple seconds to put that one together. We all had a good laugh as Morgan trotted off to her room without so much as a backward glance at Bart.

Will the 'Real Bart' (and not his ears) please stand up?
On a daily basis, Bart probably gives very little thought as to whether or not his his ears are standing. No doubt he would object to being characterized as "the Dane with the laid-back ears." How undignified! He is, after all, a show champion. Tracy and Mike Higgins are very proud of Bart, and they have reason to be. Tracy tells us:

Bart was born in March of 1996, right next to my desk at work. I was lucky enough to work at a vet clinic were I could take my dogs to work, and Bart was able to come to work with me every day until just two years ago, when I switched jobs.

We were so excited when he was born. Bart was out of our first two Danes, Jason and Gigi. He is our first owner-bred Champion. He finished his championship with three majors – a 5-point major and two 4-point majors – all awarded under breeder judges.

The highlight for us came when he won his 5-point major at the Illini Great Dane Specialty with his handler Jeff Lawrence. It was Bart's second show! He finished his championship in 15 shows.

After finishing at age three, Bart retired to couch life. He was brought out again in 2001, at the age of five, to be shown at the GDCA Nationals by handler John Gerzewski. He made it to the final cut at the Great Dane Club of Lehigh Valley Specialty, which immediately proceeded the event. We showed him in a few shows to "practice up" and Bart took a couple breeds. He was shown in the 2003 Nationals down in Orlando where he took 2nd in his Veterans class. It was the first time he'd been out since 2001.

Bart's other hobbies include sleeping on his couch, running away from cats, and dressing up for Halloween. His favorite costume was Elwood Blues, accompanied by his half-sister,Troi, and his good friend Carrie Storrs playing Sister Mary Stigmata. (He thought he looked very cool in the hat and the glasses.) He also likes to visit a nearby grammar school for show-and-tell. Although his mission is supposedly to educate the children on dog-care, we think he goes more for the petting!

– Tracy Higgins,

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