Our Gentle Giants

The story of two Floridians and their foster Great Danes

June 15th, 2015

Everyone Say “Hi” to Rocco!

By Tara

Rocco joined our little family on June 6th! He is an 8 year-old boy who unfortunately had to be separated from his lifelong family (same as Bubba). My first reaction was to be mad about it, but honestly, life happens. I’m sure they did everything they could to keep their pet and it just wasn’t in the stars.

Normally, one of the “higher-ups” at the rescue do a 1-2 week evaluation on new dogs, but this time, we took him home the first day and it actually went pretty smoothly.

Picking him up

We picked him up from R, someone at the rescue who had just picked Rocco up from his former owners. We hung out outside and talked about the meeting and observed him. He was pretty calm and didn’t pull on the leash. He was a little twitch-y in the face, which we chalked up to him being stressed about the transition. From what I understand, he had been bouncing from house to the vet’s kennel for a week or two before being dropped off with us which is pretty stressful, if you ask me.

He had a little difficulty getting into the car (a Honda Civic). He was hesitant and once he tried to get in, he had a hard time jumping up. Still to this day, he has a hard time jumping in. More on that later.

He was fine during the ride home. He sat up the whole way, which looked kind of uncomfortable, but as long as he was happy, we were happy.

Introducing him to the pets

We first did a leashed introduction with Roxie outside. They sniffed each other and after a few seconds, she got bored. He continued to sniff her and I felt a vibration through her leash; she was growling. I gently pulled her away and spoke in a soft voice to keep the situation from escalating. A bad first impression is hard to undo.

After that, I took Roxie inside and located Mia. I grabbed her and put her on top of her cat tower so she could observe from a safe distance. Unfortunately, she jumped off immediately.

Christian brought Rocco in and we gave him a leashed tour around the house. Mia observed from the corner of the room. Thankfully, Rocco didn’t notice her so she was able to watch without fearing for her life (too much). She didn’t get along with Bubba, so we desperately wanted this relationship to go a lot smoother. Once he spotted her, he looked at her for a second and then continued sniffing his surroundings. Yes!

The rest of the evening

We had him lay down in the living room and played with him for a bit. Then it was dinner. He didn’t eat all of his dinner, which was understandable. Then it was bedtime. We were told he wasn’t crate trained, but thought it would be easy enough to get him in there. Nope. We tried coaxing him in there but he wouldn’t budge. Eventually, he went in there but wouldn’t sit or lay; he was wildly uncomfortable. We didn’t think late at night his first night was a good time to expose him to being in the Crate From Hell for a long period of time, so we nervously welcomed him to our bedroom. I say “nervously” because he’s a strange dog that could either kill us in our sleep or kill/fight with Roxie in the middle of the night.

Disclaimer: as far as we know, he does not have any history of aggression and to this day, we haven’t seen him give anyone a bad look.  I only said that he could kill us because we didn’t know him personally at the time and he’s ginormous. We had no reason to think he would attack us at all.


But we lived to tell the tale! He slept through the night and seemed comfortable.

He’s been an absolute love so far and I have so many stories to share, but more on that later!

Welcome, Rocco!


  • jan July 7, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Great Danes are fascinating to me, but for my dog family I want a dog I can pick up. It may be my own insecurity.

    • Tara July 7, 2015 at 11:05 am

      I completely understand. I’m the same way, too. Roxie is a terrier and she’s not exactly light or small enough to be a lap dog (she’s 20 pounds), but she can sit on my lap in the car when we are transporting a Dane and she’s definitely easy to pick up when it’s necessary (or I want to force her to cuddle with me lol). Rocco has a difficult time getting into our sedan, and it is so hard to help him in there. I can’t really lift him (he’s 140 pounds) so I kind of push him (while trying to lift) and he eventually decides the discomfort of me pushing him is worse than the discomfort of trying to jump in so he eventually jumps in lol.

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