Dodi is a harlequin Great Dane who has epilepsy, and came to Home for Life when only a year and a half old; she is now nearly age 10!. She was surrendered to an animal control facility as a six-month old puppy. When the Great Dane breed rescue learned of Dodi's predicament, they took her in. Her puppy charms and striking looks quickly landed her in an adoptive home. Dodi's new owners were dedicated caregivers. They had other Great Danes and thought they could manage Dodi's condition, even though they both worked outside the home. However, the young dog proved a challenge in their household.
When Dodi was 18 months old, the new owner elected to give Dodi to her pet sitter, who claimed to have the knowledge and ability to handle a large dog with a seizure disorder. Questions still remain about what happened to Dodi in that home. Reportedly, she was having uncontrollable seizures despite receiving proper medication. Dodi ran away from home at any opportunity and was difficult to catch. She seemed afraid of the man in the household. Crated for periods during the day, Dodi went to bathroom in her kennel and would spin, creating a terrible mess.
When the second owner brought Dodi's situation to our attention at Home for Life®, she was presented as an unmanageable dog who must either come to Home for Life® or face euthanasia. We were frankly apprehensive about taking in such a large "unmanageable" dog and braced ourselves for the worst.
Now that we know Dodi, we find it hard to believe that she could be "unmanageable" in any environment where she was receiving proper medication. She has not had even one seizure under our care. She has been easy to manage from day one, despite her strength and the fact that she's the size of a small pony. (In order to provide Dodi with a coat for the cold Wisconsin winters, we had to modify a coat made for horse foals!) The only time Dodi ever got into trouble was when she discovered it was fun to slam herself into our Afghan hound, Sabra. It happened the first time by accident, but Dodi enjoyed it so much that she began repeating the incident. In response, we simply moved Dodi to a townhouse with more confident and sturdy roommates, who are doing a great job of keeping Dodi engaged and in line.
When at home in her townhouse, Dodi enjoys lounging on the couch, but she is always happy to gallop in the meadows. She loves running, but shows no interest in running away. Dodi has proven an excellent companion to all sorts of people, as well. She participated in our Renaissance Program and performed admirably with her handler, a young man from Boys Totem Town School in St. Paul, MN. Dodi is also a perennial favorite at our social events, where she has become accustomed to posing for photos with children, adults, and even the Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders! It's hard to imagine that this kind and gentle "star of the show" was once considered too difficult to handle. To read more about Dodi's adventures participating in outreach programs, check out her blog post here.
If you would like to sponsor Dodi, please click here.