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I can’t believe it has been eight years since we put a $300 deposit down on a Great Dane puppy we lovingly named Bacon. He was a gorgeous Blue Merle and I couldn’t wait to get him. Aaaand then Kyle decided it wasn’t the right time, and that Bacon wasn’t the dog he had been envisioning. Our breeder was kind enough to hold onto our deposit and said that when the time was right, we could apply it to our puppy.
I was absolutely crushed, and of course I thought it was the end of my dreams of ever having a Great Dane. A year later we bought a house with a big back yard and I kept hoping he’d find the pup he had been looking for. We looked at every litter she had and despite the fact that I was in love with EVERY puppy born, Kyle couldn’t find the pup he wanted. We eventually moved to North Carolina and into a townhouse in what was effectively a retirement community, so of COURSE that would be where we lived when Kyle found the pup of his dreams.
The time just wasn’t right, so we closed our web browser and went on with our life. And then this thing happened where all the pups in the litter were adopted away, and our pup wasn’t. She just kept getting passed on, even after her siblings – all ten of them – were adopted. When she was 12 weeks old, we couldn’t wait any longer and we claimed our pup. She was a 12 hour drive from us, so we made plans to go pick her up a week later.
She was enormous for her age and had huge paws. She weighed 4lbs more than a pup who was 2 weeks older than her. We just knew she was going to be HUUUUGE as an adult which really excited us, because why have a Great Dane if it’s not going to be great, right?
We got Pearl home and were shocked to find that Great Danes love to chew everything in site. She became a carpet muncher, she ate baseboards, no less than ten pairs of my shoes – JUST MINE – including my favorite silver snakeskin peep toe pumps. She peed and pooped all over the place. She ate beloved toys including an American Girl doll, she escaped her metal crate, ate three of the vintage books my late Mamom gave me (including a first edition Winnie the Pooh book), and ripped up two sets of our sheets.
And yet we loved her more every, single day.
Pearl quit growing around the time she hit 14 months, which is really soon for a Great Dane to stop growing. She maxed out at 94lbs, and is quite petite for a Dane. She has a big, big personality, though. She’s not your normal lazy Dane, our girl is quite active for a Dane (which isn’t saying much) with her big bursts of energy a couple times a day.
I am adamant about feeding our Pearl girl the very best dog food I can get my hands on. I want to know I’m feeding her a good, nutritious, balanced diet much like the one I feed my kids – yeah, the same ones who lick countertops and eat their boogers. I like Purina® Pro Plan® Savor for outstanding nutrition that Pearl loves to eat. I’m assuming that means it tastes amazing, but I’ve never tasted it.
Purina® ProPlan® Savor Shredded Blend Formulas are made with real poultry, meat, or fish as the #1 ingredient in all dry formulas, so I know my pup is getting a great mix of protein and crunchy kibble with tender shredded pieces for a taste and texture explosion. It is available in wet and dry foods, plus snacks and meal enhancements for even the pickiest dogs – like my mom’s high maintenance pooches. Savor® boasts optimal levels of protein and fat for your dog’s stage of life which helps them maintain an ideal body condition, and is probably why Pearl’s milkshake brings all the boys to the dog park. No, seriously. We can’t go to that place without me singing “Do the humpty hump” at least three times.
TMI? Sorry, not sorry. She’s got it going on.
Great Danes don’t live nearly as long as other dogs so every moment is one to savor with her, and I know feeding her Purina® Pro Plan® Savor will help her savor mealtime, which is served at the same time we eat our meals. It is backed by a team of 400 scientists including pet nutritionists, veterinarians and behaviorists.
Take advantage of this great money saving in store offer at PetSmart:
SPEND $15 on any Purina® Pro Plan® product, 5/31–7/5. SAVE $15 on your next purchase of 10.5-lbs. or larger Purina® Pro Plan® Dry Cat or Dog Food or Litter by 7/31.
All that to say we were really excited to celebrate Pearl’s birthday on May 9th. She turned 3 years old! I can’t believe we’ve had our sweet Pearl Girl for almost three years already, it’s crazy to think about!
We’ve never been much for doggie birthdays, but this year was special. We’ve had a bit of a nutty year and Pearl has been given a little less attention than she used to receive because we inherited my grandfather’s Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who came with a litany of health problems. The two dogs are great friends, but Sarge requires a lot more attention than Pearl does simply because of his health issues. We lovingly refer to him as The Diabeetus Dogge.
Pearl is our special baby so we wanted to show her a little extra love on her birthday without going so far out into left field that we missed the mark. She IS a dog, after all, and while we want special moments with her, we aren’t going to be throwing any Sweet-16-type birthday parties for her any time soon.
Instead, we got her some Purina Pro Plan food at PetSmart that I let her eat out of a special dish, the littles made her some birthday crowns (printable crown can be found here – print two for a larger dog and one for a smaller dog), we got her a new lovey (Great Danes love their lovies).
Dogs don’t really get the whole concept of blowing out candles, but I wanted some good pictures of this momentous birthday, so I made an adorable bunting that matches her custom dog food bowl stand. We sang to her, gave her lots of loves, and gave her a special, frosted treat for her birthday.
Throwing Pearl a birthday party was super simple and we had a great time – I hope she feels as loved as she is.
Burlap Bunting & How-To Get Great Birthday Pictures of your Pet for Cheap
Take a piece of burlap, fabric, or card stock and use this bunting template to trace onto your desired medium.
Using fabric- or hot glue, glue the bunting pennants onto a piece of thick ribbon about 4″ apart.
When glue is dry, hang from the wall behind the area your dog’s picture will be taken.
- Make sure your dog is well fed and has been outside for a walk or run to expend some energy
- Entice your dog to lie or sit down where you want them with a piece of their favorite food – Purina® Pro Plan® perhaps?
- Have your camera at the ready, but don’t wait for the perfect shot. The best picture of a pet isn’t always the one with them looking directly into the camera.
- Give your pet lots of love, attention, and pets between shots. Sometimes the flash can scare your pet, so let them know you’re there and you love them so that they don’t get up and haul tail the next time the flash goes off.
- Make it a short session and don’t get frustrated with your pooch, they can feel your tension, so make it as relaxed as possible and don’t try TOO hard to get “that perfect shot”. As long as your pet is well fed and has been exercised, you’re guaranteed at least one money shot.
VOILA! Gorgeous pictures of your pooch you’ll never forget.