My beautiful boy Spook just turned 3, and I've had him for a little over a year now.
Spook is my service dog, and has been making my world a better place, from the day he came to be with me. When my first service dog, (also a dane) began to have some genetic problems, I realized that she would be retiring much sooner than I expected, so I started doing research. It took months, but I just could not imagine having anything but a dane as my constant companion, so I learned as much as I could about the genetic issues facing Great Danes. What I found out was that the European lines have fewer issues than American lines, and the odds of my next dog living a long, healthy life were better if I could get a dane of such heritage.
I found very few breeders in the Seattle area who specialized in Europeans, and one of them was Libby.
I sent out letters to those few breeders, and was told by one that Danes would not make a good service dog, I did not get a response from the second, and Libby replied that she would keep me in mind if a dog needed a new home.
A few weeks before my service passed away, Libby sent an email saying that a family needed to find a new home for their young male dog. She put me in touch with the owners directly, and after talking and emailing for several days, I told her I would make a decision very quickly. Moo, my retired service dog, took a turn for the worse, and I finally let her go peacefully. The very next day, I couldn't stand the pain of losing her, so I took a two hour drive to go meet Spook. It took a couple meetings, but he finally decided that my Rottweiler would be allowed to live, and a week later I brought him home. We both needed time to adjust, he had lost his family, I had lost my best friend. Once we finally started to bond, he easily got the hang of helping me, a little at a time. We've been training and working together for a little over a year now, and he's perfect for the job.
His attitude while working is completely different from his "silly puppy" persona when he's at home/play. One thing that never changes though, is the compliments on both his appearance and behavior. He gathers crowds around us, wherever we go. People stop me to ask if they can take pictures of him. The vet says he's a very healthy dog, with great looking joints and movement, and that his heart is steady and strong.
After losing Moo, I can't begin to describe the good feeling I get, each time Spook curls up on my feet, and I can feel his heart beat strong. If you're looking for a Great Dane, do your research, make sure you're really ready, then get on the waiting list for a Cornerstone Dane. I sincerely hope that my next dane will be one as well.