Saturday, December 11, 2010

I'm A Pseudo Aunt

About 5 weeks ago, in a superb Wisconsin location, a substantial litter of puppies were born.  Not just any puppies, Great Dane puppies.

The loss of Storm still haunts me at times.  His presence in our home is definitely missed as are his other traits and while I am still putting together his YouTube video (not a tribute to utter morosity), I'm also enjoying life and loving the vantage point of Auntie watching these beautiful babies grow.

Newborn - minutes old

1 week old

2 weeks old

4 weeks old - thinking about how mischievous dane pups are supposed to behave

because why behave when you can...

almost 5 weeks and finding white stuff on paws is ...

These dane pups are not what you find in your local paper.  They are not $350 for an AKC puppy whereby the breeder proclaims that being AKC actually "means" something (it doesn't really - sorry if you believe it does... no, scratch that, I'm not sorry, if you believe that, you're sadly very misinformed).  They are not a "pick a dam and pick a sire and breed to your heart's content and then SELL SELL SELL" puppies.  They are not "hope the legs are good on the breeding pair" or "hope there will be no wobblers - well what is wobblers anyway" type bred puppies.

These puppies, or in this case this pup from a litter of 13, came from a well thought out, well planned breeding of AKC CHAMPIONSHIP dogs where ALL available health tests are performed on the breeding pair to ensure the best possible genetics and health is going into the puppies.  Likewise, they are also NOT $350.  What difference does the CHAMPIONSHIP title mean?  Doesn't AKC mean the same thing?

A lot.  and No.

AKC judges are only able to judge after passing tests and having "been in the ring" for many years.  They are REQUIRED to judge the dogs in the show ring to a set, written standard.  Any dog deviating from that standard is not seen as upholding why the breed was bred in the first place.

Kind of like a standard for medical doctors.  Think of it like the USMLE or COMLEX - if you can do well against the standard of those tests, the inference is that you are well equipped educationally to be a doc.

Only those dogs getting enough types of wins are given the title Champion.  It takes many long hours of training the dogs and many more hours of traveling to shows to get judging completed. In some cases, it can take years to "finish" a dog (aka: get the CH on front of name).

Again, like a medical doctor has to pass several different types of tests (more if specialty): USMLE Steps 1-2-3.

With dogs, the AKC on the papers is just stating that according to records the dog has a pedigree that is recognized for 5 generations as all pairs being of the same breed, in this case, Great Danes.

AKC is similar to medical schools.  For the most part, it does not overly matter which medical school you attend, in the end, you have M.D. at the end of your name, tests you've passed and at that point, MOST patients don't care what school you went to.

Is your training better if you go to a higher tier med school - yes, more than likely - but ultimately, it is the USMLE scores that get you your residency and your first spot as a full fledged doc.

In dogs, it is the CH on the front end and tests (heart, CERF, legs, etc) that help create the quality pup.

The one pictured is in a litter I was supposed to visit today (16" of snow and white out conditions stopped that trek).  I don't know if she will eventually be my pup or not, but she is gorgeous, she is well bred, she is in her early stages of possibly becoming the dog equivalent of an M.D.

Titled.  Cherished.  Tested.  Loved.


Anonymous said...

A good friend of mine as a 3-year old blue Great Dane that recently had to have spinal surgery to correct a problem that was causing some serious ataxia. He's recovering, albeit slowly - the vet thinks he may have had a post-operative spinal stroke, but he's walking around a bit better now and his condition seems to be improving.

I've considered getting a great dane or a greyhound - really appreciate the disposition of both animals. Suggestions?

A Doc 2 Be said...

Great question!

I have had 4 greyhouds (and one racetrack dog named after me - Stylish Julie):

Rosie, Makita, Majic, and Thor (haha)

In addition, I have had 10 great danes, and fostered two others.

Each of those breeds are awesome!

Here's what I think:


awesome inside pets, quiet, don't shed a lot, if right off-track, they will learn to play; not much of a running companion; loving; and frail.

Because greyhounds done have much, if any body fat, I worried about ours being out in the cold or the heat for very long.

Great Danes:

awesome inside pets; contrary to assumption, they are really lazy dogs that do not need mansion in which to live; my first lived with me in a studio apt; quiet other than when notifying of strangers; noble breed; can shed depending on lineage but with their short coat it really is not much of a problem; shorter than greyhound lifespan.

My primary breed of choice will always be great danes. There is something almost mystical about them as they stand in noble position at an owner's side all the while seemingly thinking about their next mischievous act!

How can an owner overcome the relative short life span of a dane?

Buy a puppy from a show breeder where the lineage has a decent life span average - lots of dogs living to be 9 or 10.

If I had the room at some point, and time, I would have one of each. Both are simply magnificent breeds!

Penelope said...

Puppies! I love puppies!

I had to laugh when I saw the "2 week old" picture. That's the same size my Boston Terrier was at 5 months old :) My little guy is bred from two champions, but we would love him no matter what. He's got an allergy problem, so he's a bit of a lemon. Loveable lemon ;-)

Thanks for the smile.

ps - I think you might enjoy checking out the tomatometer on "The Tourist"...

A Doc 2 Be said...

Ohhh, sullying my post with Skankalina talk? haha - must go look!

A Doc 2 Be said...

I have loved all my dogs, and those strays that were abandoned in high-kill shelters, only to be transported to my domain for rehab and rehoming.

I loved everyone of them.

What I hate is bad breeders (ala, if you are breeding your dog in the backyard, or in your kitchen, or in your bedroom to the guy down the street who happens to have a papered "pick your favorite" breed, or you are buying and/or breeding designer dogs, I think you suck and are stupid and are a major contributing reason for the over population of unwanted pets who are subsequently killed in shelters)...

/off box :)

Old MD Girl said...