Initiative: Rescued Bestie Feature, in collaboration with The 13 Project
Featured Canines: Storm (left) & King (right), 4 y/o Great Danes
Rescue Facilitator: Great Danes Around New England & Big Fluffy Dog Rescue
King and Storm, a steely-blue Great Dane brother and sister pair, first appeared on my radar when I spied them in an urgent post on facebook from the Big Fluffy Dog Rescue (a network of locations from states in the South all the way thru New England). In a photo, the two stood shoulder to shoulder on a beach, and they were... MAGNIFICENT. Danes often have a grand nobility about them (when they're not goofing about like Marmaduke, of course) - these two might as well have been wearing crowns. They were just the type of dogs I internet-stalk late at night (a perverse kind of window-shopping for animals I can't take in that leaves me wishing I had 100 acres and unlimited resources with which to adopt them all...).
The most proactive thing I could do to help these particular beauties was to forward the posting to a few friends and cross my fingers that the two would be able to find a home - together. It breaks my heart a little to see adult animals end up in shelters who arrive already bonded to a sibling, relative, or best friend. Rescues know enough to advertise for a home that can absorb the influx of more than one adoptee at a time - to eliminate the additional stress of separation - but these homes are not nearly as common, and the larger the dogs, the lower the chances of finding one. With that in mind, there must have been a Dane-loving spirit watching over this team of heavy-weights, because within 48 hours of their initial facebook posting, Storm and King, together, had found a new forever home. By chance, the couple who took them in were friends of a studio mate, and a week later we were discussing an opportunity to meet up.
It turns out, Kathryn and Doug had been searching for a Dane to add to the family for years. Breeder searches didn't seem to be the answer, so Kathryn made a habit of regularly scanning rescue sites, with hopes that a local beast of their preferred temperament would surface. When King and Storm caught her attention - on the same Friday afternoon that I spied them on facebook - she made an immediate inquiry. The rescue responded right back, with urgency. Apparently, this wasn't the first time the two dogs were surrendered for adoption, and as striking as they were, their reappearance in the system set off a chain of alerts through Great Dane Rescues around New England.
Expecting the process to take days, even weeks - if they were even selected as adopters - Doug jumped in the car that weekend and headed over to take a look at the siblings, to make a quick assessment before they invested too much effort in the chase... And in case you didn't see it coming, he didn't just give them a star of approval, he drove home with a car unexpectedly full of Great Dane.
Despite the intensely hurried adoption process, King and Storm could not possibly have landed themselves in a more wonderful environment. Kathryn and Doug have done more right in their preparations, rearranging of living quarters, and coordinating professional training consult, than I see most new puppy owners do. Whether it's the physical scale of the situation (the dogs combined weigh roughly 300lbs!), or just a powerful sense of responsibility for these two, sweet animal souls (on their 3rd home in 4 years) the couple wasted no time making the successful integration and well-being of their new family members top priority. Never mind that two massive dog crates now dominate the far end of their tidy living room; excuse the fact that a mattress-sized double dog bed now obscures most of their pretty, patterned area rug; and try not to mistake the tasteful raised feeder under the window sill for a coffee table - Kathryn maintains a lovely home - but what truly ties the interior of this house together is the pair of great, snoozing, grey giants curled into soft boulders on the floor. And having witnessed firsthand the structure and firm but loving guidance that is already shaping a beautiful new human-canine relationship (squared!), my money is on this "forever home" lasting.