Respect. It can mean so much to so many.
And it's a simple thing.
When I think of rescued Danes, I think of the respect they deserve. They are adaptable, flexible, most of the time wonderful. They fit right in to the foster homes and their forever homes, as if they had been there all their lives.
And considering circumstances some of them come from, you'd think respect would be an automatic reaction.
But that doesn't always happen. Some people who are used to what the standard of the Dane says it should be may think that the colors they come in, or the shape they are in, or myriad other issues, aren't acceptable. Many of us have been at the receiving end of this problem and it hurts. We love these dogs - the ones that have come into rescue and the ones we have adopted. It's important to remember that "we didn't breed these dogs, we didn't have anything to do with selling these dogs. We didn't impulsively and ignorantly purchase these dogs." (Thanks to Val Maurer for her knowing words). We just brought these dogs into our rescue program, trying to give them a better life than they had before we knew them. That's all. Simple as that. No conspiracy.
The fact that some of them are white and hearing, white and deaf, bear scars, have blue eyes, have brindle or fawn patches, are black and deaf (yep, we've had one of those too), or need more than the average amount of medical care, it doesn't matter to us, you see. We don't have a standard for rescued Danes - most breed rescues don't. Although we do see many beautiful show marked Danes as well. All we're trying to do is help the situation of homeless/unwanted/neglected Danes.
So please, if you see us out somewhere with our charges, fosters or adopted companions, take the time to say something nice - or if that's not possible, please say nothing at all. I'm reminded of a couple incidences at the National/2000. Beautiful, sweet Petunia was there at the hotel. Her wonderful owner had brought her up special so I could meet her. A woman who was showing there came by in the lobby with one of her Danes and uttered some awful remarks. I was astounded. Petunia was white, deaf and very special. She recently died and is sorely missed. Fortunately all the great things about her stand out in the forefront, more than some ugly remarks by an ignorant person. The other incident that I remember involved a show Dane. She was the oldest veteran to appear in the Veteran's parade. Jasmine was 12 and needed some support for her hips so her owner had a special cart made to help support her when she needed it.
I overheard someone saying disapprovingly, "WHY do people do that to their dogs, that's just stupid."
She really didn't know anything about Jasmine, the grandmother and great-grandmother of more show pups. She didn't know that her whole personality changed for the better when she got the cart, that she was able to run with her pups again through the hills at her owner's place. And at some great speed I might add, you really needed to stay out of the way! She was happy and healthy until the day she died.
So, in short, we make the decisions we do based on the facts we have at hand and also, with what's in our hearts. If you agree that's wonderful. If you don't, please respect our choices, but most of all, please respect the dogs.
The GDRI crew