DaDane of DaWeek

 Created: 07/11/05


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HECTOR, A Follow-up – 

July 11, 2005 – I wasn't planning to do a follow-up to Hector's story from last week, however, I couldn't resist after receiving this note from Judy Smith:

I belong to an Arkansas rescue list, AllPawsArkansas, where someone posted a Dane Train transport request. They needed volunteers to help fill legs to get Hector from TX to SC. At the same time, our MinPin rescue had a pregnant MinPin near Dallas that had just been pulled from a shelter. Someone had previously adopted her and then returned her when they realized they had let her get pregnant. Somehow, she was also literally just skin and bone and a bag of puppies! All of our foster homes in TX were at or near capacity and the volunteer who had pulled her from the shelter was due to move to a new house in 2 weeks and Roxie was due to have her puppies in 1 week! Major upheaval. I agreed to take Roxie, as I only had one other foster dog at the time.

I contacted Lynn, the Dane Train transport coordinator, to see if we could work a deal. We would take the Arkadelphia to Little Rock leg if the MinPin could hitch a ride along from Dallas. Emails flew … will you take a MinPin? …is there space? … will she be crated? …she's pregnant … when's she due? … until finally all arrangements were made. At the last minute 'Little Rock to Brinkley' backed out and I agreed to drive a little farther.

My daughter and I were set to drive to Arkadelphia Saturday morning. Marc Sayer called after the transport had started to tell us that Hector was having some difficulty getting in and out of vehicles. Now my daughter and I are not petite people, but I didn't think there was any way we'd be able to boost Hector in and out of my Ford Expedition. My husband was outside building a screened-in back porch so I asked him if we could rig together some kind of car ramp for Hector using some scrap 2x4's and plywood. Soon we had a functional, if very ugly, ramp for Hector.

The transport came off without a hitch and we turned Hector over to Sylvia Cox in her Honda Civic. Given Hector's size and the size of the Honda's back seat, I had my doubts he could fit. Sylvia pushed the front seat forward and Hector climbed in like it was his very own chariot.

My daughter and I then headed home with a very pregnant Roxie who gave birth to 6 beautiful puppies one week later. That was 9 weeks ago and the puppies are ready to be adopted. Roxie is back to a good weight, will be spayed this week and up for adoption soon.

I can't say enough good things about Dane Train and the difference these volunteers are making in the lives of Danes and honorary Danes.

I started laughing when I read Judy's note. Why? Well, it was the part about Hector having trouble getting in and out of vehicles. Hector's difficulty made me think about the one and only "behavior problem" the Warrens encountered after they adopted Hector.

Let me explain...

By the time Hector arrived at the Nori and Will's, they had been warned that although he was otherwise healthy, there was some question about the status of his hips. Nori, a practicing veterinarian, observed him closely. Despite the concerns, his hips appeared sound.

Newly adopted, it wasn't long before Hector made himself at home. Making himself at home included laying claim to the bed in the master bedroom, a four-poster queen size bed with a mattress that sits THREE FEET above the floor. (That's quite a jump, wouldn't you say?) Well, ol' Hector quickly learned that he was not allowed up on that bed, so he politely stayed off it – but only when Will and Nori were at home. Whenever either of them would return to the house after being out, they would hear a loud "THUNK" at the other end of the house as their key turned in the lock and the door opened. Then Hector would come ambling out of the bedroom, greeting them with a big smile, the picture of innocence. Of course, their bedspread was always warm and rumpled.

After trial and error, the Warrens were finally able to put an end to Hector's mischief. Every morning before leaving for work, Will hoisted a large heavy bench onto the bed. With a massive bench monopolizing the bed, there was no more room for Hector. He learned to stay on the floor, where he had more than enough oversize dog beds to keep him comfortable. That bench is now a thing of the past.

In conclusion, I suspect Hector was perfectly capable of getting in and out of those vehicles, he just didn't want to! This would be similar to Merlin's "problem" with the Merlin-Mobile.

Condolences to Mark and Kelly Whipple who recently lost their beloved "Caesar" at age ten and a half. His death was very unexpected. Caesar was one of the early "talents" on DaDane of DaWeek. He appeared eight years ago in It's HOWL-oween, The Real Rudolph and New Year's Eve. He resurfaced several years later in Unexpected Side Effect, which to this day is one of my favorite pieces.

Sandy Suarez, of Great Dane Rescue Inc., recently lost her beautiful "Bay" to auto-immune hemolytic anemia. She was eleven and a half years old. Bay was Sandy's first deaf Dane and she got the ball rolling on adopting deaf Danes. Condolences to Sandy. Life in her household will never be the same without Bay.

In June, Laurence Frabotta and wife Colleen lost six-year-old "Hildie," their English Mastiff, after a month-long battle with liver cancer. Laurence points out that the loss of any giant breed dog is especially difficult, not just that of Great Danes. No doubt he's right.

I don't normally post this type of announcement, but I'm a softie when it comes to mantles. Cathy Pflueger is looking for a new home for her three-year-old mantle, Bronson. He has some "issues" with other dogs and cats, so he would probably do best as an only pet.

Congratulations to Wendi and Richard Newman who recently added an illustrious "french fry" named Sherman to their happy household. Sherman has happily taken on the role as little brother to Elmer, a former star of DaDane of DaWeek.

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