Introducing Aspen Calla Lilly Schvartz!

[slideshow id=3]

Lilly joined our family yesterday.  She’s spent the past couple of years cohabiting with other white Danes having visual and hearing challenges.  You see, white isn’t really a coat color but rather the absence of color.  When white dogs, like Harlequin Great Danes, are bred to other white dogs with the same gene, it isn’t uncommon to end up with deaf and/or blind puppies.

Keleigh had a fabulous blue-eyed dalmatian for 15 years who was born deaf and so, when the time came to find a buddy for Perdita, and Keith was unyielding that it should be a Female Dane, it shouldn’t have surprised either to happen across a Deaf Dane Rescue online.  Kandace and Marc at Deaf Dane Rescue are doing an amazing job with a lot of dogs with special needs.    The hard part for Keleigh was taking only ONE dog home (Keith was adamant about that :-] ).

Perdi was comfortable with Aspen right away but really enjoyed playing with Penny once they were properly acquainted.  Keleigh fell in love with Stevie.  And Aspen. And Penny.  And Caliber.  Keleigh would like to house a Dane rescue someday.  Keith was thoughtful.  He couldn’t decide;  he really liked Penny’s energy but was concerned it was too much for Perdi.  He was concerned about Aspen’s age; at 6 years old, she’s not a youngster for a giant breed dog. At the same time, he had a heart filled with compassion for her having spent so much of that time in a rescue and he wanted to give her a forever home where she could be spoiled like the elegant lady she clearly is on the inside.  Aspen came home with us.

As it turns out, she chose Keith.  She’s been like a piece of velcro, stuck to his back side ever since leaving Oakridge and nearly inconsolable in his absence.  As Keith is wanton to do, he added to her name on the drive home.  She’s now Aspen Calla Lilly Schvartz.  She’s strong and lean like an Aspen but elegant and feminine as a Calla Lilly.  There’s a nice thing about a deaf dog;  we can call her Lilly and she won’t really notice the change.

Today was a big day for our new charge.  She absolutely loved all the comings and goings of people in the office.  We have two cats spending their days with us temporarily and Lilly found Snuffy & Chloe QUITE interesting.  She kept her manners intact…for the most part.  Like most royalty, she has a stubborn streak and turns away if she doesn’t want to ‘listen’, and she’s not used to our house rules about greeting guests just yet, but heck, it’s only day one.  Don’t be intimidated by her size; she’s a very gentle lady!

Click for a closer look.

Another great benefit of this past weekend’s adventure in meeting Lilly was staying at Tired Dog Ranch in Oakridge.  We enjoyed the heck out of our time walking in the woods and otherwise around the grounds, meeting chickens and ducks and horses and dogs and a LOT of kitties!  We had a truly relaxing afternoon listening to rain on our yurt as we read, played cards and just hung out.  Proprietors Amy Jo and Sally made us feel completely at home and gave us tons of space, a balance not often found in such wonderful places.  I can’t remember the last time we enjoyed accommodations so much.  If you ever want a getaway about 40 minutes out of Springfield, Oregon, give them a call.  Seriously.

Update 03/26/09:
The girls are settling in quickly.  Perdi is starting to follow Lilly’s lead in all subjects other than personal comfort.  Perdita remains the alpha queen on that topic :-).  Lilly loves greeting guests at the office and is ‘listening’ to staff and family much better now that she’s tested everyone out and found we’re all just as stubborn as she is.    We’ve also found that she’s not completely deaf; Keleigh has come down with a nasty head cold and whenever she gives a hard sneeze, Lilly runs to the front door and barks.  Perdita follows, of course.  Then they come back with quizzical looks on their faces as nobody was at the door.

Rescue a Dane.  You won’t regret it!