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A couple of weeks ago, there was an e-mail from the Companion Animal Adoption Centres of Quebec saying four Great Danes in that province were needing new homes. Toronto Animal Services South offered to take in two of them and they were transported to the shelter last week.

I spent some time with the two of them on Saturday.

The blue female Dane is purebred. She is approximately two years old, which for a Dane is barely out of adolescence. Her coat is a beautiful blue, almost purple and she has very long legs. She's unfortunately very malnourished. I'd say she's at least twenty pounds underweight. I couldn't keep her outside for more than five minutes before she started trembling from the cold.

Despite the neglect at the hands of her previous owner, she is still a real sweetheart. She is a little shy at first but once she knows you are friendly, she becomes very affectionate. She is not leash trained but doesn't pull too badly. She seems to know her sit and down commands in French.

The day I saw her, she was sneezing and snorting like she had a bit of a head cold. Now I've been updated that she started throwing up and TAS had to send her to a vet clinic to have her tested and monitored. I hope she makes it back okay.

The second Great Dane is a fawn. She is not purebred but she's definitely got a whole lot of Dane in her. She's certainly as tall as a typical Dane. Something about her face makes me think maybe she's got some Lab in her. Also the colouring of her coat reminds me of a Lab's.

She is also approximately two years old but this girl has been used for breeding.

I got the feeling when I was walking her that she may not have been allowed outside much, if at all. She may have been kept in cage for most of her life, as many puppy mill dogs are, as she is reverse house trained in that she pees as soon as she is brought back into her kennel. She's also got some skin irritations which suggests she may have come from a dirty living environment.

When I took her outside, she was extremely curious but somewhat cautious about nearly everything: the snow, vehicles, buildings. She is also somewhat malnourished though that may have something to do with her recent pregnancy.

Regardless of this girl's breeding and history, she's got a Great Dane's gentle disposition. While it seems she hasn't had a lot of contact with people, she wants to meet them, find out what they're about. I hope she's not disappointed.

More on these two here.

For adoption information on these and other dogs (and cats and other animals), please visit Toronto Animal Services.

6 Comments to “Unnamed - Two Great Danes”

  1. Biscuit says:

    Oh, so, so beautiful. Gosh.

  2. Their eyes are so telling. Such gentle souls. I scowl at my dog when she quietly complain, as now, that her life is so tragically boring. "You have no idea how lucky you are" I tell one of them. Her head twists in surprise. She sighs.

    Beautifully photographed, the real tragedy is palpable.

  3. Laura HP says:

    Oh, I saw these two and they just take your breath away. They are gorgeous! And the blue one is so thin, it's horrific. I hope she pulls through.

  4. Biscuit says:

    Any word on the blue girl yet?

  5. Fred says:

    Hi Biscuit, she's doing a lot better. Eating well and spirits up. Hopefully, her weight will come back on quickly.

  6. Barry says:

    a blue mantle! they certainly need some weight and muscle tone. the fawn looks pure bred quebec dane to me. I've met a lot from that area and the backyard breeder danes have a specific look.

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A request

The reason for this blog is to help get specific dogs adopted from TAS but equally important is to try to normalize the idea of shelter dogs being just as good and just as desirable as any other dogs including those which are regularly merchandised by backyard breeders, puppy millers and those few remaining pet store owners who still feel a need to sell live animals. The single greatest stigma shelter animals still face is the belief that shelter animals are substandard animals. Anyone who has had enough experience with shelter animals knows this is untrue but the general public hasn't had the same experiences you've had. They see a nice dog photo in a glossy magazine and too many of them would never think of associating that dog with a dog from a shelter. After all, no one abandons perfectly good dogs, right? Unfortunately, as we all know, perfectly good dogs are abandoned all the time.

The public still too often associates shelter dogs with images of beat up, sick, dirty, severely traumatized animals and while we definitely sometimes see victims such as these, they are certainly not the majority and, regardless, even the most abused animals can very often be saved and made whole again.

Pound Dogs sometimes discusses the sad histories some of the dogs have suffered. For the most part, though, it tries to present the dogs not as victims but as great potential family members. The goal is to raise the profiles of animals in adoption centers so that a potential pet owner sees them as the best choice, not just as the charity choice.

So, here's the favour I'm asking. Whenever you see a dog picture on these pages you think is decent enough, I'd like you to consider sharing it on Facebook or any other social media sites you're using (I know many of you do this already and thank you for that). And when you share it, please mention that the dog in the photo is a shelter dog like so many other shelter dogs waiting for a home. If we can get even five percent of the pet buying public to see shelter dogs differently, to see how beautiful they are and how wonderful they are, and to consider shelter dogs as their first choice for a new family member, we can end the suffering of homeless pets in this country.