Open Thread: Meet Baby

It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours. A friend of a friend found this Great Dane wandering around her neighborhood yesterday afternoon. It’s been in the minus degrees for the past two nights. He’s completely emaciated, with lots of sores on his legs and hips.  I doubt he would have made it another night if she hadn’t found him.

A mad scramble to see if he was chipped and to find him a foster home instead of the shelter and he ended up with me.

He’ll be here until he’s healed up and put on some weight.  I’m going to tell you, whoever had him, had him in a crate that was too small and he was in the crate for too long.  I have put the more disturbing photos below the fold. 

He’ll have a complete vet workup next week. Someone has kindly offered to pay his vet bills, which might be quite a bit, depending on his condition. And Scout’s breeder is evaluating adoption applications. He has a good team on his side.

Meanwhile, he’s being spoiled with rice, chicken, salmon, eggs and lots of love from Bixby and Scout. I’m calling him Baby, figuring that’s an easy switch over when he’s adopted to a new home. He has some cat issues, so we’ll see if we can work on that – but that may be for his forever home. As far as I can tell, he’s had no training at all, so we are working on basics, like come and sit.

Despite his condition, he is the sweetest, outgoing, kindest puppy. No fear, no reflexive pulling away. When he went after Zander, I yelled stop and no, total reflex, not thinking I’d startle him. He was completely fine. Looked at me like, what?

Right now, he’s sleeping soundly in the kitchen after eating two small meals and doing his business. A few more meals tonight and I’ll feel better. He’ll have to have a bath later tonight and with his cat issues, he’ll probably have to sleep in the bathroom.

But he seems relaxed and feels safe. A good start.

Send some love his way…

Open thread

69 replies
  1. 1

    And before you ask. No, he’s not staying. I wouldn’t do that to Bixby. He’s the man of the house and he deserves to stay that way. Though he’s nothing but sweet to this guy. Besides, Baby would have to live in the attic. The house is not that big. LOL

  2. 2
    zhena gogolia says:

    Sweetie. I hope things work out well for him. You’re good people!

  3. 3
    John Cole says:


  4. 4
  5. 5
    John Cole says:


  6. 6
    Amir Khalid says:

    @TaMara (HFG):
    The company of Bixby and Scout must be a great help in socialising Baby. How is that coming along?

  7. 7
    Elizabelle says:

    I’m so glad you have him. And Bixby and Scout can teach him how well-behaved non-caged Danes behave, and comfort him.

    That spinal column. This puppy is like Walter. His best days are ahead.

  8. 8

    @Amir Khalid: It’s helpful. He figured out what door to ask to go out and do his business by watching them. And I think he’s completely relaxed because they welcomed him like he was a long lost friend. Bixby is outstanding with foster pups. It’s his magical power.

  9. 9
    Starfish says:

    That poor dog. It has been so cold out. I hope you find him a good forever home.

  10. 10

    @Elizabelle: Walter was one of my first thoughts when i saw his photos. And not to really upset people. but he looks so much worse in person than he does in the photos. He looks so fragile…but he’s strong as an ox, almost pulled me off my feet twice.

  11. 11
    Amir Khalid says:

    @TaMara (HFG):
    Any idea yet how old Baby is?

  12. 12

    Oh my god, that poor animal. Good on y’all for helping out.

  13. 13
    jacy says:

    Poor kiddo! But lucky to have found you. I’m sure your crew will take good care of him till he’s ready for his forever home.

  14. 14

    @Amir Khalid: I want to say three or four, but then I look in his eyes, and they still have that puppy clearness to them. So, I guess we’ll let the vet decide. I haven’t looked at his teeth yet.

  15. 15
    MagdaInBlack says:

    This just warms my cranky old heart. You are a warm and wonderful woman and I’m so glad he “found” you.

  16. 16

    Poor Baby. I’m so glad he’s found you.

  17. 17

    I have to be honest. When I impulsively said I’d foster him last night, the next thought in my brain what, WTF, like I don’t have enough on my plate. LOL

  18. 18
    Elizabelle says:

    I hope he will not have lifelong aftereffects of the lack of nutrition at a crucial time. Maybe you all caught him early enough.

    It’s great he’s in a 2-Dane foster home. He will feel so amidst his “peeps.”

  19. 19
    Barbara says:

    Sweet baby. I hope he finds a great forever home.

  20. 20
    debbie says:

    I don’t know how people who do these things to their pets live with themselves.

  21. 21
    WaterGirl says:

    It’s like Walter all over again. What the fuck is wrong with these people?

    Baby’s luck has certainly turned a corner. You are such a good person TaMara, I can’t imagine at better crew to help him recover in all ways physical, mental, social.

  22. 22
    debit says:

    That poor sweet boy. God, what sort of monster could do that?

    Please let us know if we can help in any way. And I look forward to seeing him blossom.

  23. 23
    WaterGirl says:

    @TaMara (HFG): Oddly enough, all the work and care and love that Baby will need might be the perfect respite for you to take your thoughts out of all the horrible things that are going on around us.

    You can’t save everyone, but you can save Baby, and sometimes that has to be enough.

  24. 24
    WaterGirl says:

    @debit: This must be especially hard for you to see because of Walter.

  25. 25
    Culture of Truth says:

    “Cat Issues” we haz them

    good luck!

  26. 26
    debit says:

    @WaterGirl: John did an amazing job getting Walter’s weight up before he came to me, so I never saw him super skinny in person. But yes, while it’s hard to see any animal that’s been deliberately starved, when it’s a large black dog my heart sort of clenches and I feel sick.

  27. 27
    Yarrow says:

    @TaMara (HFG): I’m so old I remember when the ducks weren’t staying.

    Poor Baby. Looks like he’s had a rough time but he’s sure ended up in doggie heaven on earth now. He’s a lucky pup. Thank you for caring for him.

  28. 28
    Sab says:

    He reminds me of a puppy my stepson found in a snowbank in NE Ohio in February 2002. We could see every rib and every vertebrae. She grew up into lovely lab mix, and lived to the ripe old age of 15.

  29. 29
    eemom says:

    God bless you and the friend of a friend for helping him.

  30. 30
    CaseyL says:

    TaMara, you and your pup-rescuing friend are magnificent good people. I hope Baby is young enough for much love, good food, and regular doctor visits to make him grow into the man he was meant to be. Sending lots of love his way!

    Bixby might want a brother, though. Just sayin’ :)

  31. 31
    Sab says:

    TaMara: In the second photo is that gray blur just above Bixby’s back end a shadow, or his tail wagging?

  32. 32
    Mary G says:

    Oh, I too got the flashbacks to Walter. That poor knobby spine. The bald spots and sores. He looks pitiful in that second picture next to Bixby and Scout with their lovely smooth shiny coats, whispering in his ear that he has hit the Great Dane lottery and his life is going to totally change. You are an angel to take him in; and I’m happy that the other two are so accepting.

    If the vet bills are higher than the donor can pay, or you need help buying food for yet another giant dog, please don’t hesitate to ask. Are the ducks laying eggs? I know you were giving them to Bixby and Scout, but I have no idea if that’s true in winter weather.

  33. 33
    WaterGirl says:

    @debit: Totally understandable. :: hugs ::

  34. 34
    Laura Too says:

    I’m so glad he has you! Please put up a post if you need anything, I’ll kick in what I can to make sure he gets a good start.

  35. 35
    Yarrow says:

    @Laura Too: Hey there. How’s your family doing? Been thinking of you all.

  36. 36
    J R in WV says:


    Exactly what I thought, a Walter escaped, and TaMara has found him, what a lucky puppy!

    Great Danes are so sweet. I was a baby with my next door grandma’s G Dane, Jerry, who allowed me to take the kind of liberties a 2 or 3 or 4 year old boy will take with a giant dog. If I got carried away, he would just get up and walk away. He was swell.

    Best of luck TaMara, taking care of him and finding him a place to be.

  37. 37
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TaMara (HFG):

    Yes, but you knew that he needed Bixby and Scout’s help, and he does. Giving him a safe place to heal and learn how to be a dog is so important even if you can’t be his forever home.

  38. 38
    Martin says:

    You’re the best TaMara.

  39. 39
    Mnemosyne says:


    Most often, they’re repeating the things that were done to them when they themselves were young and helpless, because that’s how they were taught the world works.

    There are fewer of them than there used to be since we have better interventions for child abuse, but still enough to cause a whole lot of suffering, both human and animal.

  40. 40
    geg6 says:

    OMG, poor Baby! Some humans are the worst. I’m so thankful you and your friend could rescue him. This breaks and warms my heart simultaneously. And how wonderful that Bixby and Scout are there to give him doggie wisdom and love. Good for Baby! And now I need to get that dust out of my eyes.

  41. 41
    lurker dean says:

    thank you taking care of that poor baby :o(

  42. 42
    satby says:


    You can’t save everyone, but you can save Baby, and sometimes that has to be enough.

    That right there could be called the rescuers creed.
    Thank FSM he was found by your kind friend and you stepped up to foster. He doesn’t have the reserves that would have helped him survive another night in the cold.

  43. 43
    MazeDancer says:

    How wonderful of you to give Baby what he needs. Truly fabulous.

    Maybe it’s okay he has cat issues. Because otherwise you’d likely become a 3-dog house.

  44. 44

    Okay, he had his bath. We had some dinner issues, my fault for not separating them before dinner, I feed everyone separately anyway. but I didn’t think to separate them while I was getting things ready. They were getting along so well, I got sloppy.
    So Baby is in the bathroom on his bed having some quiet time. He felt so much better after his bath.

  45. 45
  46. 46

    All kidding aside, this guy is going to take a lot of work and he deserves a house without someone pulled in a dozen directions each day, who can focus on his and his training.

  47. 47
    Suzanne says:

    Hello, gorgeous Baby!
    You’re a mensch, TaMara.

  48. 48
    MoxieM says:

    Baby is so lucky he ended up with you! (Poor kiddo… It kills me when people do that. grrrrr all that. I had friends who broke down and bought a Leonberger from a pet store because the poor lil guy couldn’t stand up and turn around in the cage any more. They couldn’t stand it.)

    If you need any silver kicked in to the bucket, I’m good for some.

  49. 49
    Amir Khalid says:

    From TaMara’s description, it appears that this can be dealt with in Baby’s domestic training.

  50. 50
    stinger says:

    Dog bless you, TaMara, and is there a GoFundBaby?

  51. 51
    SWMBO says:

    @stinger: can we save a few shekels and send the money directly? I thought GoFundMe took a cut.
    Also Dog bless everyone. I hope the cat issues can be resolved peacefully.

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  53. 53
    stinger says:

    Or this blog just needs a generic GoVetMe.

  54. 54
    Belafon says:

    If that dog did have a chip, the cops would be waiting with me when the owner showed up.

  55. 55

    @Belafon: That was actually one of my concerns. But if he was from a good breeder, they always piggyback their info on the chip and they usually want their dogs back to rehome. So that would have been okay, too.

  56. 56
    seaboogie says:

    @TaMara (HFG): So glad that Baby has found the perfect foster in you!

  57. 57
    Kristine says:

    So happy for Baby, that poor thing. Looking forward to the progress reports.

    Gaby was very underweight and starving when I brought her home. I dropped the ball one mealtime, didn’t feed her quickly enough, and she went after KIng’s food. In an instant, King had her on her back–he’s barking, she’s squealing, and I’m panicked and thinking I’ll need to return her/now King hates her.

    Nope. King let her up, ate his dinner, then ignored her for three hours. At one point, they were in the backyard, Gaby sitting in front of King, pawing him, begging him to play as he stared over her head and pretended she wasn’t there. At the three hour mark, he relented, and they played as they had before the food incident. It was the only time they ever mixed it up, and Gaby never touched King’s food again.

    Dogs sort things out.

  58. 58
    TomatoQueen says:

    Baby. All’s well now.

  59. 59
    Seanly says:

    Wow, big heart to heal that big boy! Good luck with the vet visit & putting some weight on him.

  60. 60
    opiejeanne says:

    @MoxieM: this is the second time in two days I’ve heard the name Leonberger. A woman in town had one and I couldn’t quite figure out what it was, so I asked. Beautiful dog.

  61. 61
    Sab says:

    Even his snout looks starved. I am so happy to see this guy got saved. Yes your life is more hectic, but otherwise he would have been dead within a day.

    Somebody in this next couple of months is going to be so happy you saved this guy to be in their life. Great Danes are the world’s best couch potato companions.

  62. 62
    opiejeanne says:

    I’m so glad you have Baby now. He deserves some happiness.

  63. 63
    hedgehog mobile says:

    Sweet Baby. So glad you found him. I’m in for some coin if you need it.

  64. 64
    Pogonip says:

    Poor guy. I’m happy to hear he’ll be getting good care.

  65. 65
    rikyrah says:

    So glad that he was found.
    Baby looks so sweet😊

  66. 66
    Aleta says:

    Such gentle eyes. His look reminds me of this dog (right on the couch here) when he came five years ago this January. Though not in such wounded shape as Baby. It was a brutal winter. He tiptoed around our house, never having been in one we were told “because he couldn’t stand it.” He’d lived his whole life in an outdoor pen. He was as gentle and polite as could be. A complete joy every day since. He’s 12 now. I mean, every single day we talk about how amazing it’s been to watch him learn, how wonderful and funny he is.

    Baby’s family will be so lucky to experience his new life with him.

  67. 67
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Jesus. The one thing I hate about living out here is the dumping of unwanted pets. Percy was almost as thin when he adopted us.

  68. 68
    The Pale Scot says:


    I don’t know how people who do these things to their pets live with themselves.

    This, how does one look at Baby in a tiny crate and think it’s OK?


  69. 69
    Heidi Mom says:

    Very late to this thread, but — happy to contribute to a fund if one is started.

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