Hey guys! Hope you all had a Happy National Dog Day and Labor Day weekend! I’m sorry again about the posts being so far apart… but GUESS who was all sorts of busy quitting and getting a new job! This chick. More on that later..
I thought since this whole thing is all about, you know, a Dame and her Dane, I’ll tell y’all a little about my Dane and how she came into my life. Labor Day weekend actually marked two years since I made Dori officially mine so I thought it’d be appropriate time for this post.
My big lazy cow, as she’s come to be known, hasn’t always been ‘my dog’. Nope. She worked her way into that role. Growing up in the countryside of a small town in Northern Illinois, my family always had a lot of pets and always more than one dog. A grand mixture of Great Danes, hound dogs, rotties, and random mutts. So, I always had a lot of family pets, but the first dog that was ever really ‘my dog’, wasn’t Dori, it was my Missy Girl. Or her full title: The Misfit Mutt Among The Big Dogs.
Missy was perfectly unproportioned, with her longer body and short legs, I still can’t believe someone threw her off a tractor and abandoned her. That’s right! Someone threw her off a moving tractor in front of our family friend’s house we were staying at in Arkansas, and thus began the tradition of every time my family goes to Arkansas they bring home a dog. Anyways, after that Missy basically became my copilot and went with me literally everywhere I was allowed to take her as soon as I was old enough to drive.
She held her own with our big dogs, only had to be taken to the emergency vet twice throughout all her years, and she was the only dog ever allowed on the couch at dad’s (only when I was sitting with her, of course). When I went off to college it was really hard to leave her behind. I swore once I was able to move out of the dorms I’d sneak her down to live with me, and we’d live out the happiest life ever in Southern Illinois while I finished school and then we’d be off on the next adventure. Sadly, it didn’t ever work out that way.
Summer 2012: Right in the middle of “hell week” of my sophomore year, I believe.. I had gotten a call from my dad saying Missy had fluid building up around her heart and lungs. You know, no big deal my dog was just dying six hours away while I was cram- studying for finals. It’s always during finals shit like this happens to people.. Anyways, he had taken her to the vet and had it drained but the vet said it would just buy her some time, and that she wouldn’t be around too much longer. I am extremely thankful she was able to hold out until I made it home the next week, though.
When I got home, I basically spent the day crying a lot and hanging with her in the back yard. You could tell she was really suffering again at that point. She was struggling to breath comfortably and she couldn’t even hop onto the couch anymore. I couldn’t bear to let her suffer any longer. So, I took her to the vet the next day and had her put to rest peacefully as I held her in my arms.
At this point in life, Dori was just the new dog my dad happened to score off Craigslist while looking for some lawn mower part or something 6 months earlier. Some lady was moving and couldn’t keep her, so she came free with a bag a dog food and was added to his small zoo while I was at school. (Hell of a Craigslist, deal. Right?) I mean, I loved her like the rest of the family pets, but she was still kind of just the new dog I met when I was home for Christmas break a few months ago, and Missy took up a lot of space in my heart reserved for pets. One of the things I’ve always loved most about Dori, though, is how caring she is. Those first two days I was home, she wouldn’t leave mine or Missy’s side. Just doing her best to try to make whatever was going wrong better. 💙
The night that I put Missy down I was obviously upset, and I was all worried about how weird it would be sleeping on the couch without my dog snuggled up to me. Little did I know, I’d later wake up in the middle of the night with a Great Dane on top of me. Haha Yup, Dori.
She basically made sure from that point on that she was going to do her best to try to fix the hole in my heart and make sure she was going to be my next copilot on this magic carpet ride.
And she definitely succeeded.
Fast forward a few years, to two years ago: I’m out of college, still living and working in Carbondale, and finally am renting a house that allows dogs! I knew Dori deserved better than the life she had living with my dad. I did a quick weekend trip up north and when I came back down, I finally had a dog in my life again. Dori officially became “my dog” September 1st, 2015 and has basically been velcro’d to my side ever since. And boom; that’s basically the story of how this Dame got her Dane.
She’s done quite well for originally being a country dog to adjusting to the town life and learning to socialize in new places, still could use some work, but with her naturally being a good girl, it’s never been too bad taking her anywhere. My roommates and I would take her on all sorts of mini adventures, we’d frequent the dog parks around town, go hiking, and she was no stranger to the local Southern Illinois wineries, brewery, or the local pet supply store.
I’m so glad Dori decided that she was going to be my dog all those years ago. I honestly don’t know what I would do without my big goofy cow. You know, ‘Dori’ was just her name when my dad got her, I looked it up recently and it means, “adored gift.” And I just found that to be so perfectly fitting for her. I know I seem overly obsessed with her sometimes, but she’s literally all I have in my life right now, especially since we moved to Nashville. I can’t wait to start taking her new places around here! With all her extra training we’ve been doing, this Dame and Her Dane will be back out and about on mini adventures exploring the greater Nashville area in no time!