We’ve always had dogs – all types of dogs from really big guard dogs to dainty toy poodles. Our dogs attract some attention because they are well trained in obedience and in guard work. In these difficult times a good guard dog is as essential as burglar guards on the windows – or burglar alarms.
We’ve had Border Collies, German Shepherds, Cairn Terriers, and Poodles. But our most impressive and glamorous dog is undoubtedly our huge harlequin Great Dane. A harlequin is a black and white dog that looks something like a Friesland cow. And he’s almost as big!
Our Great Dane is tall, well-built and dignified and he weighs in at about 180 pounds. When he barks the ground reverberates. When he stands up on his hind legs and rests his paws on the front gate he reaches a height of almost 7 feet. He reminds me of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale of the dog with eyes as big as saucers!
His size alone is enough to put anyone off. When he is on guard and feeling frisky, he jumps up and down, barking with excitement. He would only have to bump into someone to bring him to the ground – or break a leg.
Despite his huge size and booming voice, he’s a very gentle, family dog and he’s particularly good with babies who love to climb over him as he lies on the carpet.
The only problem is that you can’t push him around. If you want him to go outside into the garden you have to ask very politely. “Please, Brutus. Would you mind going outside?” Then he’ll get to his feet slowly, look at you with those great, big saucer eyes and deign to move into the garden.
You have to treat a dog like that with respect!