We have had our girl Siggy since April 2020, she turned two on March 25, 2021. Our life and hers have changed immensely.
We met Siggy at the Pensacola Fairgrounds in Pensacola, Florida where she was surrendered to the Northwest Florida Great Dane Rescue three months earlier. When we first saw Siggy she was laying on a huge dog bed. Cheryl, my wife, who has never had a Great Dane, instantly fell in love with her jowls and sat down next to her. Without hesitation, Siggy leaned over and laid her head on her shoulder. As I got closer I could see Cheryl’s eyes were starting to tear up. This obviously was meant to be!
I walked up and sat down on the other side of Siggy and scratched her ears, not knowing her past. Siggy came from an abusive situation and does not do well with guys, more on this later. She was going to be my third Great Dane and we got along right away.
Siggy and I got along well, which is surprising. Because of her past, she did not get along with guys at all.
Siggy came from a backyard breeder. At 8 weeks old she was purchased by a normal family with a mother, father and small kids. As a puppy she loved everyone. The story should have had a happy ending, but like most rescued pets it did not! As we later found out, Siggy was brought into the family in hopes that she would keep them together, not a good reason to get any pet, much less a Great Dane! First the husband and wife were arguing, then yelling and as you can imagine things turned violent. Siggy would get between the husband and wife & children to protect them this led her to have things thrown at her, getting kicked and slapped, etc. Siggy was 8 months old when the husband, though court order, finally moved out of the house. He petitioned the courts for custody of Siggy so he could put her down. She stayed with the mother and children for a month, as all of us know a Great Dane is expensive, she could not afford both the children and Great Dane. After financially struggling she called the Northwest Florida Great Dane Rescue and they took her in. Three months later she went home with us.
Adopting any pet from a rescue usually comes with challenges (with a Great Dane those challenges are much bigger, in more ways than one), but the reward you receive in love and loyalty can’t be described you must experience it. Those who have rescued any pet know this feeling and understand, there are no words to describe it.
Tuesday, March 16 was the one year anniversary of Siggy coming into our lives.
Siggy came into our home very timid and unsure of herself, when one of us reached to pet her, she would flinch and withdraw. Unlike most Great Danes, Siggy did not show affection and wanted to be by herself. We would take her out to be around other people, to socialize her in public. When she met a male she would either growl and bark defensively at them or would recoil down with her tail between her legs and shake. She was sheepish around children and females but they could pet her. Siggy would stare at the children and women with a bewildered look in her eyes, like she did not know what to expect.
As the days turned to weeks and weeks into months, very slowly, little by little, Siggy was coming out of her shell and into her own comfort level. We take her to every public outing that we can get to. Siggy loves kids and women, both can walk over to her and pet her, she loves to play. She is getting better with males, some are okay, others still get the growl, at 120 lbs she can be very intimidating!
She comes to work with us four out of five days a week and has her own fan club. Our entire office complex loves her, they take her on walks, bring her all types of food, snacks, bones and toys. She is getting more comfortable with males, she warmed up to our landscaper, our Culligan water guy and a few others, they can all pet her, not up to playing yet, but getting better day by day. Our UPS guy brings her a bone every day & wants to pet her so bad, she stills growls at him, but at least she has not gone after him again.
Remember, rescuing a Great Dane is a slow process and takes patience...to be continued.