Meet Hemmy, a big sweetie with a giant heart:
Hi, My name is Hemmy. I am a Great Dane. I am so excited to have been chosen for January’s pet of the month at East Atlanta Animal Clinic. Here is a little about me and my story:
I was born in September 2011. A young couple picked me out from my breeder and took me home. After living with them for the first 8 months of my life they found out they had to move and because of my giant size I was not able to go with them. They chose to put me up on a Great Dane rescue website hoping the perfect family would find me…and they did! I drove from my home in the country right into city life…and boy was I amazed on that ride! My new family said the only thing we needed to make sure of was I got along with their senior black lab. His name is Walter and he is my best friend…I even give him the title as the “big dog” of the house.
What I Love
I know many Great Danes are known for being a bit on the lazy side… NOT ME. I have no lack of energy whatsoever. I kind of shocked my family because I love to run and play with a ball. In fact, I love to play with any and all toys. I even find them when I am at the park in my neighborhood and bring them home. The bigger the ball the better. I love to play with full size basketballs, footballs and hula hoops. I know people always point and stare at me but I would prefer my family to walk me when I carry something in my mouth… it is comforting. I don’t do it to show off… in fact, I’m a bit bashful. My favorite thing to carry on my walks is my stuffed animal. I have two… I found them from my human sisters room, and now she let me have them. I love more than anything to ride in the car. My mom takes me everywhere, especially in the cooler weather. I can’t handle heat real well. I go to her office and drive around the city, so I have met a lot of friends. The ladies at the bank love me. When I stick my head out of the window I seem to be quite popular. I see people taking lots of pictures of me. My mom is really picky about the food I eat but I am allowed a couple of treats a day. They are from Trader Joe’s and are peanut butter flavored… and delicious! I become quite demanding if I think she has forgotten to give them to me. I will bang on the pantry door or flip the light switches on the wall to get her attention. I may even nudge her with my big nose and try to talk… I am quite vocal. My biggest love of all is my family. I want to be with them all the time. I will follow them everywhere just to make sure they don’t forget me.
I am a pretty large Great Dane but yet a gentle giant. I weigh around 170 pounds (I have a fear of getting on the scale at the doctors office). Even though I am large, I am extremely sensitive and get my feelings hurt very easily. People ask my family the same questions over and over. Does your dog wear a saddle? How much food does he eat? Who walks who? And even asks about my poop! Can you believe that?! Although I know I am a bigger dog I feel like I am a lapdog. I sit on the couch with my family with my legs on the floor just like they do, I can drink out of the sink (which I like so much better then a bowl) and I can rest my head on the counter when I get tired…I consider myself very lucky to be this size. I am very clumsy though and run into everything all the time. My tail can be a bit dangerous. I am cold a lot and love to be covered with a blanket. In fact, I sleep with my parents in their bed…right in the middle of them under the covers! Since I grow so fast and need to be healthy because of my genetics, my family feeds me special food. I am allergic to many meats so I stick with lamb and brown rice. I eat 10 cups a day!
I have always been very anxious. The first time my parents left me in my house alone I did a lot of damage in a short period of time. I ate the arm of a new leather chair and chewed the stair rails… I was a wreck! Since that day my mom bought me a huge crate (I can stand up in it) and I stay there when they leave. I love my crate. It is a very safe place for me and comfortable. Sometimes I see my human sister and her friends playing in it too:) Not too long ago, my anxiety got the best of me. I became really sick quickly and my body started shutting down. I was raced to East Atlanta Animal Clinic and met with Dr. Ringstom. They ran a ton of tests and found out from my symptoms that I had Addison’s Disease, basically an adrenal insufficiency. It is a very hard disease to diagnose but by hearing my symptoms and running many tests, they knew right away and I am every so thankful for them. We are still in the process of regulating my medicine but my parents have everything under control. I get a shot of Percorten every month and have to take a very low dose of prednisone every day and will have to for the rest of my life.
Thank you again to all my friends at East Atlanta Animal Clinic. I love you for keeping me healthy and happy.
— Hemmy (as told to his mom, Lauren)