About Me

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I am a Merlequin Great Dane and I live in Redlands, CA with my mom and dad. You can also follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GreatDaneMonte

Saturday, September 28, 2013

How Do I Hear Thee?

Mom thinks she may have confused some of our friends about my hearing. So hear (yes, pun intended) is what we know...

When Mom and Dad were told about me from my foster mom, they were told that I was "partially" deaf. That is all the foster mom was told too, so what "partially" deaf meant was not really known. After my foster mom picked me up, the fur doctor said I had an ear infection, and maybe that had to do with my deafness. Mom doesn't think that is the case, as it seems I was very well taken care of by my first parents. 

Mom did a little bit of research as they were waiting for me to be ready for them, and this is what she learned from the Great Dane Club of America:
When breeding any two merle-bearing Danes (Harlequins, Merles, Whites), some of the offspring can be expected to receive two copies of the merle gene and thus be defined as white Danes. Danes predominately white are typically deaf and may have various eye anomalies. Such dogs can occur from breeding Harlequins to merles or whites (or merles or whites to each other). When breeding Mantle or Black Danes to Harlequins, these merle whites cannot be produced, so mating Harlequins to Blacks or Mantles significantly reduces the risk of producing Danes with the sensory defects associated with the merle gene.

it goes on to say...
 White Great Danes frequently have little or no pigment in the middle ear thus  causing deafness. A change in the number of mature melanocytes located in  the hair follicles or the composition of pigment-loaded melanosomes will  affect the color in the growing hair shaft. Within the middle ear sound waves  are translated into nerve impulses, which the brain in turn interprets as  sound. This is done by sound waves at the eardrum causing movement in the  fluid within the middle ear. Small hairs, which sit in a bed of pigment, detect  this movement. As the hairs move they move the pigment, which in turn, is  detected by the nerves. The effects of the merle gene can also result in a  variety of eye abnormalities, including congenital cataracts associated with  microphthalmia, enophthalmia, medial canthal syndrome, colombomata,  tapetal hypoplasia, and heterochromia iridis/hypochromia iridis.

Since the merle gene has an unusual characteristic called somatic cell mutation, where some cells have reverted to the normal recessive form of the gene, homozygous merle dogs can therefore produce some pigment. So it is common to see some spotting on the heads and rumps of white Great Danes and this is the result of this somatic cell mutation. When this occurs within the middle ear, it can restore some hearing and provide for normal eyesight and eye structure in some white Great Danes. Not all white Great Danes will be noticeably deaf or necessarily have sight issues, but the majority of white Danes will be affected.

All that mumbo-jumbo to say, since I am a "Merlequin," Mom thinks that it was genetic that I have deafness. Also, my beautiful blue eyes come from my genetics too, fortunately I can see fine.

So, how do I hear all these stories and things that Mom tells me? I listen to her heart! Yes, I am perceptive like that. One day I came home from walking with dad, and mom had some leaking from her eyes. She said she had just watched a sweet dog video, so I licked her eyes. See, I can hear her heart. 

But I do admit, there are some times that I get confused. Like when she is not relaxed, I cannot hear her heart and I sometimes do the wrong thing, or don't do the right thing. But she says that is not too often. The hardest thing for me is when both mom and dad are gone and out of my sight for a long time. Because I can't see them, I get a bit scared. I try to nap the time away, but a young pup like me has a lot of energy. So sometimes, I have to let it out a bit...
"I just wanted to read the paper and it just exploded!"

"Mom, your hair looks just fine down. You don't need any hair accessories"

"He needed emergency surgery"
How much I can really hear is still unknown. I don't even flinch when an emergency vehicle passes us on our walk. Sometimes I notice a motorcycle, but usually not until it is next to me and I can sleep through all kinds of noise (even Mom and Dad sneaking out the door- hmmpph!) But once in a while, when there is a middle pitched sound, I respond and look around. An admirer once commented that I may be pitch or tone deaf.  But for now, Mom and Dad just speak to me with their hearts and hands. They still talk out loud and get mommy and daddy voices, and then they laugh at themselves realizing it is only for their own enjoyment. But deep down, they want to believe I can hear those voices too.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Work & Play Time

Mom has many different jobs. Besides helping older hoomans, she also helps all hoomans move boxes around. I got to go with her to my friend Tiger, the Boxer, house. She helped Tiger's mom move boxes from one stack to another, then move them again. While she did that, Tigers mom got excited about what she found in the boxes. Mom said she has forgotten what was in them, which slowed down the box moving project. 

While they moved boxes, Tiger and me got to play in the yard. We ran and ran. But sometimes I would get worried cause I couldn't see mom, so I would go check to make sure she was ok, and didn't get lost under all the boxes. 
"Mom, are you ok?"
I like to run, but Tiger only runs if a toy a thrown away from him. So when he runs, I run after him. I still don't know what to do with the toy, but it sure is fun to chase him, when he is chasing his toy. Our moms said we played very well today. Tiger is an older pup at 9 years, but he played with me all day. He is going to come stay with us next week at our house when his mom goes on a little trip.

Mom has almost as much energy as me when it comes to moving boxes. She said it is as fun for her as being chased by other doggies is for me. The moms loaded Tiger's mobile three times and took it away with stuff. 
"Mom, be careful you don't get lost in all those boxes!"

 While our moms were working, another friend showed up with a little black dog. She was very pretty and excited. We got to play with her for a little while, then they left. I wanted to go run with her, but mom said I had to stay behind. 
"Oh, Where are you little black girl? I miss you already!"

The Count!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Busy Mom Day

Mom has been busy. So here is all we can get to today...
The Count!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Mr Chewy is Yummy!

Shortly after I arrived at my forever home, the man that comes to our porch everyday left something in the box for ME! Yes siree, I knew right away it was a box for THE COUNT from someone called Mr Chewy.
 I have never received my own box, so I wasn't sure what to do. Since it was in dad's hands, I was trying to be obedient and not take it from him, so he had to open it for me. 
 I cant read, but it looked like something that was going to be a treat for me, as both mom and dad got excited.
 Mom let me try a few at first, then put away. Right after that, Gramma sent me a bunch of treats as a Welcome to My New home. So mom was giving me those. But since I have been starting to show some of my naughty side, Mom says it is time to pull out the Big Guns to start reminding me of rules and boundaries. 

After sneaking a french fry off her plate once, and then later taking a piece of bread, she says our first rule is "Leave It!" She looked up how to teach a deaf doggie and has been practicing with me. I really like these treats cause they smell so good. Mom says she likes them, because they are all natural and grain-free, which mom hopes will help with my skin itchies (more about that on another post).

 See how fast I am learning? Mom got this idea from Tucker. I was very interested in this treat on my paw, but mom gave the sign to leave it, so I waited patiently. I haven't learned the "OK" sign yet, so mom has to take it off my paw and hand to me. 
 I can even leave the whole bag alone with all that goodness so close to my nose. 

Mom tried it from different spots and I was still just as patient waiting for it. 
By the way, did you note those sweet eyes I gave her? She usually melts with those, but didn't work as quickly this time. She keeps doing something funny with her paws, then gives it to me. I wonder if that means something?

Then mom got a little crazy. She confused me and I did not know what she wanted. Kept putting it near my nose, and it smelled so good, I wanted it, but she kept pulling away. Then she put it on top of my head. What the heck?

Orijen Alberta Wild Boar Singles Freeze-Dried Dog Treats

Three things every pup knows: wild boar is delicious, wild boar is nutritious, and it's best not to chase one down on your own. Orijen Alberta Wild Boar Singles Freeze-Dried Dog Treats takes the danger out of delicious dining with single-serving snacks that are perfect for pups on the go. Each treat is made with 100% pure wild boar and only contains seven calories. The freeze-drying process locks in flavor and nutrition without using any preservatives.
Key Benefits
  • Grain-free treats
  • Single ingredient snacks are great for dogs with tummy trouble
  • Full of protein
  • Resealable bag keeps treats fresh


Note from Mom: We have ordered and tried Mr Chewy often and love how quick their shipping is and the goodness of their foods. The customer service and communication is above a normal online site, and quite impressive. After being offered the treats to review on our post, I was excited to discover it was grain-free as we did not realize at the time, that Monte has sensitive skin and the vet recommends gluten-free foods for him. As we finish up the original snacks we received, he will be switching to treats like this one. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Find Monte...

Can you find me?

Mom thought this was a cool jungle shot. Actually I am five minutes from home, exploring an area on campus.

Now you can see me.
Like how I put up my front paw? Don't I look like quite the hunting dog?