Our Gentle Giants

The story of two Floridians and their foster Great Danes

July 31st, 2015

Welcome, Anastasia!

By Tara

If you are following us on Instagram (@ourgentlegiants) or like our Facebook page, you know that we have a new foster: our first girl, Anastasia!

Before I go on, I want to thank Rocco for showing us signs that he was ready to go. Our maximum capacity for fosters is 1 foster and if we didn’t have a vacancy, we wouldn’t be able to help another Great Dane in need.

Now, onto Anastasia!

She’s a 5 year-old, mantle Great Dane who is an absolute sweetheart with no health problems. She was surrendered to the rescue due to no fault of her own. She came from a very loving family. We were the ones to pick her up (two nights ago). It was absolutely heartbreaking, but it was so nice to see that she was very well-loved.


First Night

We picked her up late in the evening, so by the time we got home, it was bedtime. We introduced her to the household like we always do: slowly and methodically. First, we brought Roxie outside to meet Ana. Roxie was intrigued, but Ana didn’t care much. I think it was because there was so much going on (new environment). Then, because Ana had a lot of energy and we didn’t want to overwhelm Mia, we took her around to the backyard and let her explore the yard (without Roxie).

After 5 minutes, we brought her in. Mia quickly found a spot to observe from afar. Ana didn’t notice her at first. We walked her around the house on the leash, with the bedroom and bathroom doors closed. I can’t remember how she ended up meeting Mia at first, but I do remember she was curious. More on their meeting below.

We put her bed from home in the crate. We were told she’s not a big fan of her crate, but we encouraged her to go in and lay down. We stayed with her. Then she came out and we spent some time out of her crate. Then, it was bedtime. We are required to crate-train the fosters as much as we can, so sleeping in a crate is a must. With Rocco, his anxiety was severe, so we made an exception and allowed him to sleep in our room.

I coaxed her in her crate and closed the door. I sat with her quietly for a while as she laid down and closed her eyes. Without saying a word, I got up quietly, turned off the lights, and went into our bedroom. I didn’t make a big deal about saying “good night” not because I didn’t want to wake her (she did wake up), but because I didn’t want to excite her.

She slept through the night and only cried once. She cried when she heard me and Christian laughing at a video in the bedroom, and I think that’s because she knew we were awake and she was missing out on the activity.

Meeting the Cat

After letting her explore the bedroom and bathroom, we brought Mia out and Christian held her close to him and allowed Ana to sniff her. He had his hand on Ana’s collar, pushing her back so that there would be a little bit of distance between the two. Mia was uncomfortable, but didn’t try running off. Ana was straining to get closer, but wasn’t overly active.

After a minute, she decided that was enough and walked away. Since then, Mia has felt comfortable roaming about the house with Ana loose. Ana only shows a particular interest in her when Mia jumps up on something, but I’m guessing that’s because there is sudden movement.

I am thrilled that Mia is becoming more comfortable with big dogs. She was absolutely terrified with Bubba and even after months of him being with us, she still hid away from him.


Since Then

She didn’t eat the first morning, but that was to be expected. At night, we gave her a scoop of peanut butter on top of her food and she gobbled everything up. This morning, she ate her kibble without any peanut butter.

Her poops are solid and she seems to be in good spirits! She does have a quirk though: she hates rain. It has rained once and nearly rained another time, and both times, she started pacing and rubbing her snout on things out of anxiety. She wouldn’t settle. We didn’t do much; basically just let it pass. When it was raining, I sat on the ground with her but it didn’t seem to help much. I tried putting the ThunderShirt on her, but she is very petite and it wouldn’t fit.

Besides all that, she is a very happy-go-lucky girl. Not hyper, just cheerful. She has the sweetest face! She is pretty obedient; if she does something we don’t want her to do, we give her a stern “no” and she immediately backs away. We’re not sure if she’s going to stay in rescue for very long!

Hi, Anastasia!


  • jan July 31, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    What a very sweet face. I love the way you oriented her to the house and other pets. It was just textbook. Hope all goes well.

    • Tara July 31, 2015 at 10:34 pm

      It’s important that everything goes well. We don’t have a lot of available foster homes, so we need to make sure it works out over here :)

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