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Tag: big dogs

World’s tallest dog dies of “old age” — at 5

zeus

Zeus, the world’s tallest dog, is dead.

The Great Dane passed away earlier this month — two months shy of his sixth birthday — from “symptoms of old age,” according to his owner.

Great Danes have shorter life spans than most dogs — most likely the result of breeders intent on making the breed larger yet, and the strain that size puts on their organs — which only makes the death of Zeus doubly sad.

“We’ll really miss him,” said Zeus’ owner, Kevin Doorlag, of Otsego, Michigan.

Doorlag and his wife, Denise say Zeus was a “wonderful dog” — famous both for Guinness World Record-setting size, and for his work as a therapy dog in their hometown.

He stood 44 inches at the shoulder — 7 feet, 4 inches on his hind legs. He claimed the Guinness World Record in 2012, and still held the title in the 2013 and 2014 editions.

The previous World’s Tallest Dog was Giant George, a Tuscon, Arizona, Great Dane. He died at age 7.

Kevin Doorlag said one of the things he will miss most is seeing the joy Zeus brought to others.

The death of Zeus is, first and foremost, a time to remember and celebrate Zeus.

But if it makes us question why, in the name of seeking extremes, we accept purebred breeding practices that lead to ill health and short lives, that’s fine, too. They’re in need of questioning.

What there’s less need for — whether it’s in pursuit of ribbons, world records, or sales — is making fluffy dogs fluffier, long and skinny dogs longer and skinnier, short snouted dogs even more shortly snouted.

We don’t need (sorry, Marmaduke) cartoonish dogs, or dogs that, through breeding them with close relatives, become exaggerated caricatures of their breed.

Healthy dogs will do just fine.

(Photo: Kalamazoo Gazette)

The soon-to-be world’s tallest dog?

***EXCLUSIVE***  SOUTHEND-ON-SEA, UNITED KINGDOM - UNDATED: Britain's biggest dog, 18 month old great Dane, Freddy seen realxing on the sofa with it's owner Claire Stoneman at their home in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England.  Canine colossus Freddy is believed to be Britain's biggest dog. The Great Dane has been measured at 7ft 4in (2.24m) on his hind legs by owner Claire Stoneman. Although no official measurement has yet been made, that would make Freddy as tall as world-record holder Zeus, and significantly larger than Britain's current biggest dog Samson, who is 6ft 6in (1.98m). The gigantic dog began life as the runt of the litter, but experienced an astonishing growth spurt to reach his current size. Claire, a 38-year-old taxi driver from Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, who drives a Barbie-pink cab, lives with Freddy and his sister Fleur.   PHOTOGRAPH BY Matt Writtle / Barcroft Media  UK Office, London. T +44 845 370 2233 W www.barcroftmedia.com  USA Office, New York City. T +1 212 796 2458 W www.barcroftusa.com  Indian Office, Delhi. T +91 11 4053 2429 W www.barcroftindia.com

Freddy, an 18-month-old Great Dane from Great Britain, already stands 7-foot-4 on his hind legs, and he appears headed to taking the world’s tallest dog title away from a Great Dane in Michigan.

***EXCLUSIVE***  SOUTHEND-ON-SEA, UNITED KINGDOM - UNDATED: Britain's biggest dog, 18 month old great Dane, Freddy stands on its hind legs as owner Claire Stoneman feeds him outside her home in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England.  Canine colossus Freddy is believed to be Britain's biggest dog. The Great Dane has been measured at 7ft 4in (2.24m) on his hind legs by owner Claire Stoneman. Although no official measurement has yet been made, that would make Freddy as tall as world-record holder Zeus, and significantly larger than Britain's current biggest dog Samson, who is 6ft 6in (1.98m). The gigantic dog began life as the runt of the litter, but experienced an astonishing growth spurt to reach his current size. Claire, a 38-year-old taxi driver from Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, who drives a Barbie-pink cab, lives with Freddy and his sister Fleur.   PHOTOGRAPH BY Matt Writtle / Barcroft Media  UK Office, London. T +44 845 370 2233 W www.barcroftmedia.com  USA Office, New York City. T +1 212 796 2458 W www.barcroftusa.com  Indian Office, Delhi. T +91 11 4053 2429 W www.barcroftindia.comHe’s outgrown Britain’s previous tallest dog, and has long since surpassed, in terms of height, his owner, Claire Stoneman, who stands 5 feet 4 inches.

Stoneman said Freddy was the runt of the litter, but he has grown quickly on a diet of regular dog food ($100 worth a week), peanut butter on toast, and sofas, of which he has destroyed — but not consumed — 14.

Stoneman said it took a while for Freddy, who now weighs 154 pounds, to get used to her small home in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

Stoneman said she and Freddy get up early for walks so they won’t encounter other dogs.

“If he wants to run after a dog, I wouldn’t be able to stop him,” she said.

The current world’s tallest dog is Zeus, a Great Dane from Otsego, Mich., who was 7-foot-4 (standing on his hind legs) when he was recognized by Guinness World Record in 2012.

You can find more photos of Freddy at the New York Post (click the link for the full slide show).

Freddy now measures 41 inches from foot to shoulder blade, compared with Zeus’ 44 inches.

(Photos: Bancroft Media via New York Post)

Sunny goes down — because he got too big

Sunny’s first offense was growing.

Being a Rottweiller-mastiff mix, he — as  you’d expect — quickly surpassed the 100-pound mark, well over the weight limit imposed at the Florida apartment complex where his owner, Denise Wilkinson, lived.

She started searching for a new home for him, but, unable to find one by the landlord’s deadline, dropped him off at Pinellas County Animal Services, with plans to pick him back up when she found one.

On its website, the county said dogs are kept seven days there. In person, they told her 48 hours. In reality, they euthanized him before a day had passed.

When Wilkinson, a day after dropping him off, went to pick up her dog, she found out Sunny had been euthanized — within hours of being dropped off.

“He wasn’t sick; he wasn’t old. He still had a long life ahead of him,” Wilkinson told Tampa Bay Online.

Senior Animal Control Officer John Hohenstern said Sunny was aggressive and caused concerns about the safety of shelter workers. “It was determined that because of the aggression in the dog it was not an adoption candidate,” he said. “We couldn’t do anything with the dog.”

Hohenstern  said that, despite the wording on the website, Wilkinson had initialed a paper stating she understood that the surrender was is unconditional: “Pinellas County Animal Services makes no promise, actual or implied, regarding holding time, treatment, adoption or disposition of this animal.” Hohenstern said the document initialed by Wilkinson superseded the website.

The county, Tampa Bay Online reports, has since changed the language on the website.

Hohenstern said with more animals being surrendered, possibly because of the economy, the animal control office encourages people to consider other options before dropping a dog there. “We try to … let them know this is kind of their last resort,” Hohenstern said. “They don’t want to do this.”

More help for the big dogs of St. Bernard

It has been more than a month since our extended road trip took us through Louisiana’s St. Bernard Parish, where we reported on how cash-strapped fishing families were finding it hard to continue caring for their pets since the oil spill ruined their industry.

Now, we’re happy to report, more help has arrived, which could help stem the tide of people surrendering their dogs because they can no longer afford them.

Twenty tons of Kibbles ‘n Bits (for large dogs) – donated by Del Monte Foods and transported by Best Friends — was dropped off earlier this month.

Large dogs, you’ll recall, are numerous in the parish southeast of New Orleans because many residents used them to guard their properties while rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.

“The people who are coming in have big dogs,” says Beth Brewster, director of the St. Bernard Parish Animal Shelter. “They can’t afford to feed them.”

Brewster told Best Friends that many families picking up free dog food bring photos of their dogs with them, and share their dog’s story. “They have tears in their eyes. They’re very, very thankful,” she says. “It’s one less thing they have to worry about.”

The Louisiana SPCA has collaborated with Brewster and Best Friends, as a part of Best Friends’ First Home Forever Home campaign, and is setting up distribution sites, in St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Orleans and Jefferson parishes.

To get the food, residents fill out an application, present a commercial fishing license or proof that they work as charter boat operators or in another field affected by the spill.

“These families have not only lost their livelihoods, but also their way of life practically overnight. They shouldn’t have to face losing members of their families, too. It’s just too much to expect anybody to bear,” said Ellen Gilmore, campaign specialist for Best Friends’ First Home Forever Home.

Dog park designates small dog hours

basset

 
Locust Point Dog Park has announced designated hours for small, elderly or otherwise fragile dogs — 9 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 4 p.m. daily.

The new policy — now posted in signs at the park — will be self-policing, meaning that little dog people will have to ask the big dog people to leave in the event they are not following the rules.

The dog park committee also announced that Saturday’s “Pet Pictures with Santa” fundraiser — with City Councilman Ed Reisinger as Santa — raised $550 to help support the maintenance of the dog park. Baltimore City, though it helped build the park, does not pay for its maintenance. Clean-ups at the park take place on the second Saturday of each month, with the next one scheduled for Dec. 12 from 10:30 to noon. The dog park is closed during clean-ups, and volunteers are invited to pitch in.

If you missed getting your pet’s photo taken with Santa, there are more opportunities on the horizon. Canton Dog Park will be holding a similar fund-raising event on Saturday, Nov. 21, from 10 to noon.

Two more pet photos with Santa events are being held to raise money for BARCS Franky Fund for sick and injured animals. On Saturday, Nov. 21, from 10 to noon at Federal Hill Park, and on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 10 to noon at Riverside Park.

Big dog makeovers on Today Show

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In case you missed it on the Today show this week, here’s a look at their “Big Dog Makeovers.”

Today went to Animal Care and Control of New York City to find four candidates — all more in need of a loving home than an actual makeover.

While the makeovers aren’t that impressive, they do at least allow homeless dogs to get some air time, and find homes. (All the dogs featured in the segment up to now have been adopted.)

This week, they tackled Sonya, a flat-haired retriever mix, Phoebe, an Australian cattle dog , Marcus, a German shepherd, and Jack, a Jack Russell they decided deserved to be i the mix because of his big personality.

Next Monday, as if dogs and makeovers weren’t enough, the Today Show will be throwing a third element into the mix: the ambush.

On Monday, July 6th TODAY will be “ambushing” three lucky dogs on Rockefeller Plaza with a doggie makeover, according to the Today Show blog.

“If you are in the New York area and think that your pup needs some pizzazz, stop by the plaza and your dog may get a new ‘do. Experts will be roaming the crowd starting at 6:45 a.m., so be there early to get a good spot!”

Big dogs at play

Here’s an accidentally artsy photo I took at the park recently. It’s Ace (the brown blur) wrestling with Soju (the grey blur). Soju is a Great Dane, and one of Ace’s favorite wrestling partners.

You can see Soju — he’s named after the distilled beverage, native to Korea — elsewhere on this page, as he, along with his owner, is featured in one of our advertisements.

I could tell you what my camera settings were, and attempt to sound like a skilled photographer, but it was just on automatic, and the sun was going down. So the slow shutter speed, I think, accounts for ghostly streaks in the image –  not unlike how things might look if you had too much soju.