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"People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?" The four-year-old continued, "Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."
IN MEMORY OF HAPLY (11 months), HOPE (22 months), HERO (6 years) and HADIA (10 years)

Super Hero, Guardian of my Heart, Gunner

PhotobucketHere he is! Gunner! Born 3/23/2010. He is all boy and has already taught Lovey some naughty things she didn't know she could do - like chewing on everything! He is quite interesting looking- having silver merle, blue merle, blue, black and white coloring. And just look into those eyes, Hero's eyes. Lovey is thrilled and they play and play and crash. More about him as he grows.

Gunner aka 'The Devil' and Lovey aka 'The Angel' here in a photo art at 10 weeks and almost 6 months. I haven't written much about Gunner as I spend my days chasing him around and pulling things out of his mouth, breaking up their fights, (he knows his name and 'Time Out'), cleaning up his dribbles, helping him onto the bed, over and over and over (he has me trained) So far I don't think he really likes me much, mostly just tolerates my petting. Hates to be kissed and heaven forbid If I try to snuggle. He can put up quite a fight not to be held. So Im backing off and giving him his space. We've got lots of work to do to change this bad boy behavior before he weighs 150lbs or more.

PhotobucketWell Gunner has filled up my days with frustration and laughter. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Now, suddenly, he is 5 months old. Where do I begin. He wakes me at 6am sharp for his first meal. Stands with long strands of drool and chattering teeth in anticipation. Each meal is the same with the same reminder, whining, right on time, and with the same response. He consumes it in lightening speed, then he has a rest period in the kennel. Then he usually tries to get into the bath before I do, find something unexceptable to chew on, is caught digging in the back yard, destroying a roll of toilet paper or torturing Lovey. For the later, I yell, 'Time Out' and listen to his incessant piercing howling bark. He responds to 'Time Out' like a boxer is pulled from a fight, (if looks could kill). I usually have to get out of my bath at least once to see what he is up to. He's socked me in my adams apple twice, cut my lip, scratched my face and neck and slimmed me dozens of times with his kisses. I've pulled rocks, sticks, a mole, pine-cones, and a number of items from his mouth. I thought I had taught him to 'Leave It' but what I actually taught him was to pick up something, look at me and and trade it for a treat. He is so stubborn and will fight me to get his way. And if he weren't so darn cute, well, so yes, he is spoiled. He's built like a ton of bricks and I think he is beautiful! Gorgeous blocky head, big shoulders and solid as a rock. He had a bad case of puppy-pimples that lasted 3 weeks. He went on antibiotics and several baths, (which he didn't mind) and it cleared up pretty well. My main concern was his heart. He had been diagnosed with a slight heart murmur, then level 3, then no heart murmur. So thats where we are now at 5m.
We took our first trip to the dog park and it turned out badly. Someone had food and one of the dogs went to guard it and tackled Gunner. He was terrified there after and I thought he would never be able to get over it. He would not play with other dogs, and stood aside just observing. Then he'd go off and find a stick or something else to do, alone. We even had some great dane puppies over for a puppy play date, and he still wouldn't play. But we kept going to the dog park. Gunner stood under the picnic table while Lovey became the official greeter, a perfect job for such a sweet and friendly girl. After a month of running and squealing if a dog chased him, he found a boxer dog that played nicely and he started to overcome his fear. Little by little, he learned how to play with other dogs besides Lovey. At a PDXDanes event around 4 months old, he met Moose. Moose is Hero's size. Moose was so gentle and played with him nicely, and Gunner was on his way to trusting other dogs: Moose and Little Gunner.
Gunner is a big hit wherever we go. I have actually had people say to me more than once, "that is the most beautiful dog I have ever seen!" (Pretty cool to hear after the danes Ive had and comments like, "Are you sure he is a purebred great dane?") Gunner's color is called a Harly-Merle. He has 5 colors in his coat, black, white, blue, blue merle and silver merle -all the colors of all the great danes I have owned, (Heidi, Hannah, Haply, Hero, Hope, Hadia) Also pretty cool! His conformation and European head are just perfect. He is 1/2 Italian. In fact, 7 years ago, I was looking on line for danes I liked, and I saved his grandsire's photo, Tuvock Del Castell Del Rocche, as the Perfect dane. I feel so fortunate after losing 4 danes in 6 years, to have these two. I hope to have several happy years with them. We've been to the beach twice and Gunner loves the water, Lovey hates it. I hope to get him swimming soon. He is the total opposite of Hero and if anyone had told me I could love another dane like Hero, I wouldn't have believed it. Hero was one of a kind. Gunner is one of kind too. See other videos of Gunner at: Great Dane Gunner & Friends