STYLE'S LEGACY —
by Andrea A. Delaplane
I am an American
citizen living in the Netherlands since August 2002. I waited 31 years to get
my first Great Dane. I adopted a blue female Great Dane from Rescue through the
Netherlands Duitse Dog Club (NDDC) in Holland at the end of December 2003.
was 12-months old when we brought her home, and we called her STYLE. STYLE brought
so much joy and happiness into our lives; she became the heartbeat of our family.
In 2005-2006, I took STYLE to dog shows in Holland. STYLE was a natural in
the dog show ring. She had a special pizzazz, joy-for-life, charm and grace,
like poetry and music put together. STYLE won the prestigious Amsterdam Winner
2005 Title, Best Blue Female.
Brought Down by DCM
was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy, severe stage, on September 26, 2007,
my world came tumbling down. It was a kick in the stomach, a stab in the heart;
I was devastated.
We immediately started
STYLE on a plethora of heart medication: Vetmedin, Fortekor, Spironolactone,
Furosemide and Digoxine. I tried to remain strong and positive for the sake of
I watched in utter horror as DCM brought my beloved blue girl down at lightening
On February 6, 2008, STYLE went into complete heart failure. I had no other
choice, but to have STYLE gently and humanely euthanized. STYLE was five years
one month and three weeks old when she died.
The dog of my dreams,
the song in my heart, STYLE was gone — and my life
would be forever changed.
"DCM Great Danes" on Yahoo
I had created a webpage on Yahoo Groups back in mid-November 2007 while STYLE
was still with us thinking that some day, since having gone through this heart-wrenching,
traumatic experience, that I could help other dog owners, specifically Great
Danes who were facing this Devastating Caustic Menacing disease.
Four days after STYLE's death,
I publicly announced this newly-formed group, DCM
Great Danes, on several different
forum groups on Yahoo. I didn't
think there would be much interest, but I wanted to be available to help and
emotionally support Great Danes and their owners.
Within one week's
time of the announcement, to my surprise, I had 63 members join DCM Great Danes
on Yahoo, DCM dog owners, Great Dane breeders, Canine DCM researchers, cardiologists,
and veterinarians from around the world, Germany, Holland, Australia, Canada,
and the USA.
What started as a small
idea had blossomed into something I could never have imagined in a million years ... dog
owners and Great Dane breeders sharing their stories, posting photos and pedigrees
of their dogs, brainstorming about possible modes of inheritance, giving first-hand
knowledge and advice to others about how to care for a DCM dog, talking openly
and honestly about DCM and sharing information.
My heart sings with joy
because STYLE's death was not in vain. Through
STYLE's death from Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), we can come together
as one. We can stop finger-pointing and gossip-mongering. Our motto is: "NO
Shame, NO Blame. Helping Others, Helps All of Us."
You Can Help
Please help in the fight
against Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy. We are now selling DCM
Great Dane t-shirts on-line through Café Press. The proceeds (profits)
go directly into an account for Dr. Stephanie Herbst at the Texas Heart
Institute specifically for canine DCM research into the Great Dane. Each t-shirt
design features the face of a DCM Great Dane enclosed in the DCM heart logo
with his or her call name.
Help in the Fight Against Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)
DCM Great Danes on Yahoo
It's a Matter of the HEART
Andrea A. Delaplane
dreams my Princess STYLE, I love you with all my Heart