|Thank you for bringing to light the more difficult issues of rescue, Ginnie. Unless one is directly involved with rescue, it is easy to believe that it is a "feel good" avocation that results in everyone living happily ever after. That is simply not the case - there are a lot of really difficult, heart wrenching decisions that have to be made, and it is never easy. Sometimes, the money issues are the easiest ones to deal with. Kudos to you for sharing "the rest of the story".
I am looking forward to the advice from the rescue expert. I hope this person will have some solutions for this problem. We rescued a beautiful brindled dane a little over a year ago. She was definitely abused, and seems to be exhibiting the same attitude as Luna. Not all the time, but definitely with certain people. I hope to get some good advice.
Unfortunately, Luna's problems aren't unique to Danes. The cruelty some people visit upon their dogs before abandoning them sometimes comes back to haunt those who adopt. Happily, MOST adoptions don't turn out like this, but those of us who work in rescue know that it's always a possibility and work hard at minimizing the risk. It's amazing to me how many abused dogs DON'T seem to carry such destructive baggage or are able to work through it with a loving new owner. They can be surprisingly resilient.
4 months ago we welcomed a neglected and elderly dane into our home from our area dane rescue. I have experienced first hand a new level of compassion that I didn't know existed within me until Neely came to us. He has taught us that there is always hope worth fighting for, despite the obstacles. I hope that the upcoming articles will open up doors for all danes in need of better lives. If dogs could speak words I have no doubt that Luna, Duke and the countless others like them would thank their caregivers for returning dignity to their lives.
My very first Dane was a "rescue" of sorts from an abusive owner. She was very loving, healthy until her death at age 10+ years. I thought all Danes were like that. How little I knew what a treasure I had. God Bless Luna, Jackie and all of those rescuers who are willing to take a chance on what others so easily abuse and discard.
Five years ago we heard about 2 danes at our local shelter. At that time we already had 3 danes. When we went to the shelter and saw the condition of these two dogs it was horrible. They weighed 60 pounds, had heartworms and were very sick. They were going to put them to sleep that afternoon if we hadn't gotten there in time. Today they are healthy and the sweetest dogs you would ever know. Their previous owner and just dumped them off the highway to fend for themselves. It's a crime that people can be so cruel to dogs. In the past year we lost the last of the original danes we had so we feel fortunate to have found Charlie and Chloe.
Thanks for your support of rescue. I've had two rescues - one, a male, broke my heart when he started biting kids. I had no choice but to put him down. I know that the folks at rescue did all they could for him but his unpredicability became a problem. I've been luckier with my second rescue. Like Luna, Lucy had been starved and was 70 lbs and had a respiratory infection when she came into rescue. When I took Lucy home with me, she was up to 109 lbs - and I'm pleased to report that she's up to 120 lbs. today. She's a lovely, lovely dog with a wonderful, quirky personality and I can't thank the folks at Great Dane Rescue Inc. enough for all they did for her.
Ginnie, thank you so very much for bringing us the final chapter in Luna & Jackie's story. Althought I have cried over Jackie's loss of Luna, I am also sure that her last year was the best one she ever had. You have given the word "rescue" a whole new meaning. These once dying dogs change our lives, I know that Luna & Duke have changed many lives also. Thank you for the joy you bring us every week. Even the stories that end like Luna's make me happy to know that she passed with dignity and in the arms of a loving family.
Thank you Ginnie & of course to you my friend Jackie. Please stay in touch, much love, Andrea
I feel for Jackie's loss of Luna. My heart goes out to her. I also rescued a dane. The breeder misled us telling us he was a bit nervous. Give him "time". He was also abused and acted almost exactly as Luna. We were very afraid he would eventually bite someone, so we put him down. It broke our hearts because he was so happy with us. But we knew it was the right thing to do. We miss him dearly. Ginnie, please inform us more about rescue danes.
Thank you for both updates. I agree bringing Dukes plight to your readers was the best thing. i received a nice note back from the clinic where i sent my donation. every dog deserves a chance to live. luna's story is very sad. my own story is kind of similar. moses was not treated well by his owners. i got him as a puppy and now 6 years later he still has issues but is much much better around strangers. i was lucky to get him as a pup so i could help him through and i love him more each day. thank you Ginnie
While Duke and Luna's stories are heartbreaking and we have had our fair share with Great Dane Rescue of North Texas, I do want to emphasise that not all rescued Danes have emotional or physical problems. We have over 50 Dane right now ( in addition to 9 we are pulling this week and 7 newborn pups) and many of them were simply not wanted anymore and are perfectly healthy, well-adjusted, beautiful Danes. The heartbreakers are what bring awareness (and much needed funds!) to rescue, but please remember that in rescue 90% of the time, the pups just need some love and a forever family to help them.
All 3 of my danes have come from Great Dane Rescue and they are all healthy, well adjusted and beautiful dogs. All my future Danes will be rescue Danes also. God Bless the Jackies of the world and the rescue workers that take on the hard cases and have the strength to do the right thing for the Danes that do not make it back. I would also encourage them to check out their local rescue and see if there is another friend waiting for them.
I'll be very interested in this year's series on Dane ..or breed .. rescue. As a veteran animal shelter volunteer (retired after 15+ years, had enough) and Dane owner, I've always appreciated breed rescue organizations, but also had an internal conflict with considering one dog more special (for rescue) because it is a particular breed .. and especially with the money spent on individual animals that are very ill or injured and may have lasting emotional problems .. I have always found that hard to justify when so many animals are in need of so much help. Your words on the subject, though, made sense .. sometimes that one is "sacrificed to suffer" and the money spent on it is sacrificed as well to draw needed attention to a problem that's so much larger than most people imagine. It's a topic worth discussing in a thoughtful, non-emotional forum such as yours, which has earned the respect of so many dog lovers. I applaud your courage.
(Of the eight Danes that have shared my life over the last 32 years, four were rescues, two were backyard breeder pups and two were from breeder-show homes .. I couldn't tell you which was "best" by origin .. they all are special, and all have a lasting place in my heart.
I thank you for your heart Jackie. I have had three rescues - my first was a Dane whose owners chained him to the couch when not home. He was the best. My present girl was from a puppy mill - I bought both of the twin girls - even though I later placed Sky with Barb Northcutt of Oregon Dane Rescue. Sky lives very happily in Washington and still is so spookily like my Star (one placenta mirror twins). They are the finest loves in my life. I now have a new baby from Oregon and he is my heart. He looks almost exactly like Luna. Take care.
I'd like to respond to Jan's conflict regarding breed rescue placing greater value on specific breeds. I have similar feelings.
The bottom line is that breed rescue works, and many more homeless dogs are placed through these groups than would be placed otherwise. Some points in favor:
1. We in Great Dane rescue know the problems that are specific to our breed. Different breeds have different potential physical problems or emotional quirks. I wouldn't have a clue regarding the problems of terrier breeds.
2. People looking for dogs often research breeds on the Internet or have personal experience with particular breeds. They know what breed they want and go looking for the appropriate group.
3. Rescue groups in general put a lot more effort into evaluating and training their foster dogs than any municipal shelter ever could.
On the other hand, I have worked with several other breed rescue groups when they've asked for help, including Mixed Breed Rescue. I do NOT consider a Dane's life more valuable than any other breed or even a mixed breed. I'm just applying my meager knowledge where it can best be used.
Remember, those mixed breed pups down at the local shelter do not suffer any less than a purebred Great Dane.