Greetings from Highwave! We hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well.
We’re working hard to find balance in these wild times and as a small family owned
business, your support is so appreciated. This month’s Good Dog comes from our
neighboring city of Ojai. Brody and his best friend met when they were both still
growing into their legs. Read on to find out how a gentle giant, stole a boy’s heart.
Hi Brody, and thanks for speaking with us today.
Where did you go to adopt your dog, and how long have you known one another?
We adopted Emma for my 13th birthday at the Ventura County Humane Society in
my hometown of Ojai, CA. Since then, she has been my best friend and loyal
compatriot. Sadly, I have since moved away to go to school a couple of hours north, and I only get to see her on school breaks.
Oh, it’s so tough being away from her. What made you choose Emma over the other animals you met?
My mom came home one day saying, “Brody you have to see this puppy at the
Humane Society, she is just the cutest!” A few days later we went to visit her, walked her around and we instantly fell in love. She had the sweetest heart, the goofiest demeanor, and the cutest face. At that point she was nine months old, so she still had some puppy left in her despite her massive size. Because of this, she was one of the most uncoordinated things on this planet.
So cute! What breed is she?
She is a Great Dane, with a dark gray and almost purple coloring.
Tell us about her name, why Emma?
We adopted her with the name Emma. So we didn’t get to choose that one, but it is
very fitting to her, and I can’t think of any other name I would have named her
instead. My dad, however, started calling her Emma Lou, or just Lou. I am not entirely sure where that came from, and that nickname stuck.
Her nickname suits her too! How were her first few days home? Any surprises?
Her first days home had their ups and downs. She was already taller than our other
dogs, and when she wanted to play, they were intimidated. However, after a couple
loud growls or barks, she was put in her place, and they got used to her playful
attitude. Another disaster happened when she encountered our pool. She had never seen one before, and didn’t know how to swim. As she exited the doors and into the pool yard, she went to walk straight over it. Instead of walking on water, she fell in, and sank, straight to bottom. Luckily, she came back up, and we were able to call her over to the steps, but she hasn’t gone near the pool since that fateful day.
Gosh, that must have been scary for her AND you! Are there any special
challenges in owning a large breed dog?
Despite the obvious extra costs of more food and larger dog beds, there are a couple others that I wasn’t expecting. She is an intimidating figure, despite her teddy-bear attitude. She scares other people, dogs and cats (even though she’s afraid of those). Be ready to be the one to step to the side of the trail, with your large dog right next to you. If people give you scared looks, or are intrigued, calmly tell them that your dog is very friendly (if that is the case) and have a relaxed attitude. If you seem stressed about the situation, your dog, their dog, and the other people will sense that and react stressed or scared as well. Fortunately, she hasn’t had too many vet- necessary incidents. Most large dog breeds struggle with health issues, but Emma has been a strong lady for the past eight years. She does have a bit of hip-dysplasia and arthritis, but she is still able to move about and play with our other dogs, though we don’t let her play too hard. Another thing that you should be ready for if you want a Great Dane, is that they are the queens of the household, and will claim any furniture you own. No matter how many times you scold them for being on your leather couch, you will find them back on it the next time you leave the room. Accept the dog hair that will end up on your bed. I mean, what’s a little dog hair between best friends?
How do you two like to spend your time together?
Emma is queen of the household, and because of her arthritis, she doesn’t leave very often. We used to go on walks all throughout my high school years, but as she got older, it got harder and harder for her to go on long walks or hikes. Nowadays, we’ll cuddle on the couch, or she will lean against my leg while I am standing.
I hear it’s good to be queen! Does she know any tricks?
Emma? My Emma? No! Are you kidding? Emma doesn’t do tricks. She does,
however, do an amazing job of raising puppies. She has never had a litter or her
own, but as she has aged, we have gotten two younger dogs. The first was Red, a
cattle dog. From the moment his paws hit our living room floor she has been his
mother and best friend. When he was little she would lay down and would play with
him while he was standing and jumping around her. The same thing happened a few years later with Poly, the Jack Russel. Now that they are all fully grown, they play on all four legs, but she was the perfect playmate while the pups were younger.
So sweet. What makes Emma so special to you?
Emma has the kindest heart, and the dorkiest demeanor. Though she will bark at
you while you are walking up to our house, the minute you get close to her all she
wants are pets. Despite her large size, she will never not try and sit in your lap on
the couch, and never fails to bring a smile to my face. She has been the perfect
mentor and playmate for our other pups, and it’s hard to imagine my life would be
the same if we hadn’t adopted her. And if one of my roommates was not allergic to
dogs, I am sure I would have her up at school with me.
She sounds like the perfect lap dog to me! Any advice for someone looking to
adopt a pet?
I say know what you’re getting into. Luckily for me, Emma had four other dogs to
play with at my parents’ house, so my responsibility came down to feeding, washing and grooming her. I didn’t have to pay for anything, and she got all her energy out playing with our other pups around their big yard. Despite this, I now know how much work goes into having a dog. If you don’t have a lot of space for your dog to roam, make sure they are getting plenty of exercise, it will be healthy for the both of you. Furthermore, if you have an 8-5 job like the rest of us, make sure you get a dog that can handle being alone. Ask questions to current owners of your desired breed, or to dog owners in general. It is so worth it in the end, but just make sure all your bases are covered before you get yourself into a 10+ year commitment! But most of all don’t be picky about breed. I would more focus on the attitude of the specific dog you are looking for. Of course, breed is important because if you live in an apartment, a super hyper collie might not be the best fit for you. However, I wouldn’t go around looking for a specific breed when there are plenty of amazing dogs of all breeds down at the local Humane Society or Pound!
Last thing, how would you finish the equation in the title of this
Brody + Emma = A tall and dynamic duo