I love my puppies. They are big (well they are great danes after all), smelly, have turned my garden to mud, fart in the car (and the house, and at the cafe, when stretching and pretty much every where, they are fart machines), stain the carpet and persist in rubbing mud, drool and miscellaneous goop over every surface in the house, but they are bliss. As you can see from the picture above, Thor has made himself comfortable and Freyja, well she is just a camera tart. When she hears the camera start up she sits straight in front of you to have her picture taken. They are my permanent shadows. It's like having toddlers again. Even as I sit here typing I have a giant smelly dog head in my face just looking at me. There is nothing quite so disconcerting as having two dogs sit and watch you on the loo. Or having a cold wet nose on your arse when you are doing your teeth in the morning. Unfortunately they can generally open the sliding door to the en suite and on the days they can't, they sit with their paws touching the door till I come out.
Thor, our almost 17 mth old fawn, was a rescue. When we first brought him home he didn't play, he didn't make any sound and didn't really know how to interact. It was like the lights were on but no one was home. He was underweight. His tail didn't work and had no feeling. His stomach was covered in scars. It broke our hearts. When I first saw him at his rescue mum's house I knew he was meant to be with us and there was no way I was leaving him there. All the other dogs were running around with the regular unbridled puppy enthusiasm and he was just sitting in his own sad little word. To see him now you wouldn't know he was the same dog. He is happy and loving. Every time he sees us it's pure love and excitement. He still gets confused, is anxious, his back legs don't work that well and I don't think he'll ever get the feeling back in his tail, but he's happy. He goes everywhere with us and loves meeting people. He's been to my physio class and has been photographed by numerous Japanese tourists at the local cafe. He is an absolute tart for a pat and will go to anyone whilst he's out and about. He still thinks he is a lap dog even though he is over 80 kgs and when he stands the top of his head is boob height. He just wants to be close. Why he persists in sitting on the BBQ I'll never know. His little sister is now learning this trick.
I think Thor and I found each other at the right time. I had to give up work in the February and was stuck at home ill. Life was not a bed of roses. David finally gave in to the idea of getting a dog again (we had lost our beloved Bacchus 2 yrs earlier) in the October. I started looking straight away. I went through all the rescue sites and there was this blurb about a beautiful pup with huge paws who needed a forever couch. No picture, but somehow I just knew, there was something in the description that made me determined to meet him and it was love at first site.
This year David finally agreed to get Thor a friend. Given his size and his inability to control his huge paws, so many bruises from puppy love, we knew we'd have to get a big robust dog. We looked and looked and just didn't find the "right" one. So many dogs need homes and in reality I could take them all, but with Thor's "issues" we needed a special dog. Then on my birthday David gave me a birthday card with a picture of a beautiful little female merle great dane puppy, with a message saying that she couldn't wait to come to live with us. Thus the gorgeous, slightly insane, Freyja, became part of our life. Seeing her overwhelming puppy enthusiasm it shows just how withdrawn Thor was when we got him. She is pure excitement, complete with excited puppy weeing. Does that ever stop? She is 6mths old now. She has the full body wiggle going on and her tail is a lethal weapon. She is joy.
When we drove up to the breeders property there was this huge pile of great dane puppies running and playing in the front yard. Is there anything as blissful and joyous as a pile of puppies? I don't think so. And adult danes happily roaming around. We took Thor to meet her and it was a bit overwhelming for him, luckily they are very easy going dogs. It was the first time that he had been around so many dogs of equal size. He was so excited. From the start she has loved her brother and he has loved her. They are inseparable and become hysterical if you try and part them. She has to touch him constantly and sits on him at every opportunity. Freyja has shown Thor how to be a puppy, and it is like all his inner puppy has been unleashed. Now puppy stage is hard with 40 kg of Freyja, try puppy behaviour in 80kg of dog. But it is so lovely to see him so happy. His tail even moves now (which is like being hit with a shovel handle if you're not quick). It gives me that little warm feeling inside when I see them playing together. She is such a rough nut. They zoom around the yard and pound each other into the ground then get up and do it all over again. Amazingly they are both scared of our geriatric, incontinent, 4 kg cat, Monty. She just has to look at them and they get scared. She has them completely bluffed!
They are both the best medicine for Bob. They take my mind off being sick. They love me no matter what. When I am so sick and I can't get off the couch they come and put their head on my lap or just sit at my feet. They seem to know when you need that little extra bit of love. Though having two big hairy heads sitting next to my shoulder when I'm bent over the loo is not exactly the kind of support I'm after.
Because I love my puppies so much I do cook special doggy treat bicies for them. Sad I know, I have become one of those weird dog people. I know I am not alone in my puppy love so I have decided to put my treat recipe on here. These are better than a Shmacko any day. My dogs now know the sound of the treat jar opening and will do absolutely anything for a crunchy bone shaped treat.
Puppy "Crack" Biscuits:
Makes about 24-30 biscuits depending on your cookie cutter. I use a bone shaped cutter (of course) which is about 3 inches long.
- 2-3 cups fresh parsley chopped.
- 1/2 cup finely grated carrot.
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella.
- 1-2 tbsp peanut butter (this is like china white to dogs).
- 2 tbsp olive oil.
- 2 2/3 cup wholemeal flour.
- 2 tbsp baking powder.
- 1/2 - 1 cup water.
- Heat oven to 180 C.
- Line a large tray with baking paper.
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl till just combined.
- Knead mixture for about 1 min to combine well.
- Roll out to about 1 cm thick.
- Cut out shapes and put on tray.
- Cook for about 30 mins or golden.
- Turn off oven and leave biscuits in the oven to dry out biscuits.
- When cool and crisp store in an airtight container on the highest shelf. My dogs can smell these a mile off and the jar often has dog nose prints all over it.