Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Training: I’ve taught bird care / training techniques
Posted August 13, 2014
Danny arrived into our lives when I was just 7 years old, we got her from a friend who had been looking after her. His previous job was training police dogs, so she was well-behaved if not a bit serious. Before she came to our family friend, she had been rescued from an abusive household. This abuse showed in her behavior, she was skittish around loud noise (cars, ironing boards, washing machines etc.), she was also incredibly wary of older men, and could be hostile towards men she could smell alcohol on.
She was 4 years old and incredibly stubborn, she had her basic house training and would sit, beg, lie down and go to bed on command, but she could be impossible to walk at times. Danny knew where she wanted to go and she was going there. At first we thought she wasn't a playful dog, she wouldn't play fetch or tug of war or anything like that, but we soon found out that her favorite game was chase. All you had to do was stomp your foot and she would giddily run away, she hated to be caught, and she didn't like chasing you back much.
Danny was excellent with children, she used to mother me and my two brothers. She would become distressed at hearing a child cry and would pace if she couldn't find the source. There was more than one occasion where Danny would growl at our parents when they scolded us. Although she wasn't fond of most dog toys, she would often steal our stuffed toys take take into the garden, where she would clean them like she would a puppy. I am of the firm belief that given the chance Danny would have been a excellent mother, she had been neutered before she came to us and to our knowledge had never had a litter of puppies.
When it came to other pets, Danny was perfectly happy with cats, she would mother them as well and share her basket with them. Other dogs however she was less fond of. It was only when she was as old as 14, was she calm enough for us to have another dog live with her, it was also a small dog which may have helped. On two previous occasions we had to re-home dogs because of how badly Danny treated them, despite this she was friendly with visiting dogs (until she was older, then she was hostile towards any other dog, bar the one she lived with).
Cleaning Danny was relatively easy, being a short haired dog she required minimal grooming. She could get quite smelly, it didn't help that she loved to roll around in the mud. Although she wasn't a large fan of bathing (she needed to be carried into the bath) she did love getting out of the bath! Even at 18 years old she would run around enthusiastically just after a bath.
Her health was never really bad, she did live to 18 after all! She had a few problems with one of her eyes later on in life, it would get gooey and required routine cleaning. She had eczema which would irritate her most in the summer, she would sometimes scratch herself to the point of bleeding. After the age of 12 years old, she began developing lumps, which grew to quite some size at the point of her death. We were informed by the vet that these were non-cancerous fatty lumps, which caused Danny no pain, and didn't restrict her movement or comfort. Removing them could have caused her to pass away during the surgery due to her age. In the end she was put to sleep, after she couldn't get out of bed one day due to her old age.
Positives: One of the best family dogs we have had, a fantastic guard dog, dopey, funny, quite clean and easy to clean, good health, long life, good with cats, very friendly.
Negatives: Was wary of males, especially drunk males, would occasionally urinate if not kept in the kitchen on a night, incredibly stubborn, was not good with other dogs sharing her space.