Bringing a Great Dane into your life can be fraught with challenges, but it is an experience that will teach you many ‘great’ life lessons. Other dogs are awesome too, but there is nothing quite like the Great Dane. Here are nine life lessons I learned from owning a Great Dane:
1) You Can Sit Anywhere
While we humans tend to look for an unoccupied chair to sit on, the Great Dane has no such preference. They will sit where they want even if they truly do not fit or the seat is already occupied. Don’t be surprised to find a smaller pet (or a child) buried under your Great Dane. It’s not that they are trying to suffocate the cat, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
2) Sleep Is An Art Form
I have never seen an animal so adept at sleeping. Not only do Great Danes spend an inordinate amount of time napping, but they also do it in some of the most contorted positions you’ll ever see. My Great Dane can sleep with his butt on the couch and his head on the coffee table or with his body folded in half, in a bed three times too small or a couch already occupied by his sister, I’ve even seen him fall over after falling asleep sitting up.
3) Reach For Your Dreams. Nothing Is Out Of Reach.
For the Great Dane, this means food on top of the refrigerator, countertops, in the refrigerator, water from the ice maker, ice from the ice maker, sandwiches from the table, treats from the cupboard, and burgers off the grill. We won’t talk about the time he scared the pizza delivery guy into dropping my pizza on the porch.
4) Begging Is An Art Form
Even without practice the Great Dane’s long, ‘Sea Biscuit-like’ face and sad eyes can make you give up half your sandwich, but over time they become so skilled at begging you might be at risk of starving to death. If you are the type that easily gives in, your Dane will soon be eating all of your food and will never let you leave the house.
5) Togetherness Is Important
Togetherness is important for families and your Great Dane takes this concept to heart. With a Great Dane in the family, you will never truly be alone. You will not sleep alone, eat alone, pee alone, poop alone, or cook alone. You will not go outside alone, watch TV alone, do laundry alone, wash dishes alone, go for walks alone, etc., etc. Just plan on eliminating the word ‘alone’ from your vocabulary.
6) Watch, Listen And Learn
Great Danes are great listeners, if not somewhat selective. Over time they begin to pick up on keywords and phrases like ‘walk’, ‘go’, ‘treat’, ‘bath’, and ‘dinner’. Even when you whisper, they are listening.
Danes are also very observant. Every move you make, your Great Dane is watching, and eventually, they will begin to mimic your behaviors in an effort to get what they want. Don’t be surprised if your Dane suddenly begins opening cupboards, refrigerators, or closet doors. They may even learn through observation how to turn on the sink or retrieve ice from the icemaker.
7) Fear Is Just A Healthy Response To Scary Things
Despite their size, Great Danes are just big babies and are sometimes reminiscent of the often fearful cartoon character Scooby-Doo. My Dane is afraid of most small dogs, plastic bubble wrap, loud noises, plastic garbage bags, lawn art, people in yellow hats, and suspicious-looking rocks. Oh, and yoga balls, don’t forget the yoga balls.
8) There Is No Shame In Farting
While an unexpected fart has been known to scare my Dane as much as a suspicious-looking rock, flatulence has never been a source of embarrassment or shame. He farts when he sleeps, while watching TV, when sitting on your lap, and occasionally while eating. I know he knows they stink because he will sometimes leave the room to escape the paint-peeling odor, but he never seems ashamed of his flatulence.
9) Love Is Boundless
My Great Dane loves me, but he loves everybody (unless you are wearing a yellow hat). He loves the mailman, the UPS guy, the neighbors, the neighbor’s kids, the neighbor’s cat, the girl at PetSmart, all the folks at McDonald’s, and the fine folks at the Home Depot. He loves his feline brother, his Great Dane sister, and even his fluffy stuffed ducky toy. He even loves the veterinarian, how weird is that? With a Great Dane in the family, you will always feel loved.