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The Stories

Sandy's Adoption Experience

I found your website about 6 months ago and only wished I had found it sooner.  I, too, had a horrible experience with Gentle Giants. My story is so similar to those posted, I could have saved myself a lot of grief and A LOT of money!

After months of nagging by my then 12 yr old son, I agreed to get a Great Dane for our family. I did some research on the breed and decided to go for it. I'm a huge dog lover and have had large dogs (lab size) all my life. I applied to Gentle Giants and was excited to be approved to adopt one of their dogs.

On April 28, 2005, my 3 sons and I went to our appointment where we sat in our car for about 2 hours before Tracey came out. After she came out, she had her helpers clean poop for about the next 1/2 hour. Finally, she let us in her gate. The place was stinky and filthy, but that didn't concern me because it seemed like they kept it as clean as could be expected. We met Burt and Tracey who matched their property if you know what I mean, but hey they are working with animals all day.

I explained to Tracey that we were interested in a Great Dane. She proceeded to show me about 7 or 8 dogs. All of them were filthy, obviously sick by the green snot oozing from their ears, eyes, and nose, and the skinniest dogs I've ever seen. I never got to see "the herd."  She finally showed me a couple Danes, 2 were hers, one was so sick it looked like it was about to die and the last one we took home. As much as I just wanted to get the hell out of there, this last dog came to me and put her head in my lap and I couldn't leave her there. Her story was that her elderly owner was dying of cancer and her name was "Sweety." Tracey explained away all the sickness I saw in those animals as stress. I know enough about dogs to know that wasn't stress I was seeing. She couldn't help herself, one lie or story after another. She didn't even fool my kids. I was told to bring $400 cash and I'm sure that when Tracey saw I was interested in this dog, the price tag went up to $700. The whole thing felt wrong, but I felt very pressured and I wanted to get out of there. I signed all her papers, got the microchip, and lied through my teeth when I agreed to purchase her food.

She never answered to Sweetie so I changed her name to Lucy. Even though I've been around dogs all my life, I had never seen a dog with green slim coming from it's eyes and nose (which she didn't have until about two days later.) I had never heard of kennel cough. So, my first of numerous trips to the vet was for kennel cough and shots because I didn't get any records from GG. The course of treatment my vet was using wasn't working and her conditioned worsened. I tried repeatedly to reach Tracey and finally she returned my called and just blurted out the name of some medication that she uses for kennel cough. She said "Didn't I send some home with you?" When I asked my vet for the medicine, she was irritated with me, but agreed only because her course of treatment wasn't working. The kennel cough cleared up right away. That was about a three week ordeal.

Next I took her in for a rash on her leg that I noted earlier, but the vet wanted to take care of the kennel cough first. Lucy licked this rash non-stop every waking moment to the point it was raw, and bloody. The rash spread to both her legs, feet and under her muzzle. She was checked for mites and given more antibiotics, yeast medication, and steroids for the itching. I hate to go on and on about Lucy's rash, but it was so hard for me to watch her miserably licking all the time. I'll try to summarize, 3 vets, 1 animal dermatologist, allergy testing, allergy shots I had to give her, numerous food elimination diets, cooking her food myself, several appts to a very expensive herbal veterinarian and her herbs, and several thousand dollars later, I just decided to live with it and kept her on steroids which reduced the itching but never stopped it. Those were her medical issues, she also had a little aggression.

In July of 2005, she attacked my sister's small dog (another $500 out of my pocket). I saw her do it and was so afraid that could have been a child I decided to take her back even though I was madly in love with her. After three days of uncontrollable crying I decided to go back for her. I couldn't stand the thought of her in that horrible place. I gave Tracey her medicine and her special food when I dropped her off and when I picked her back up, her stuff was still on the plastic chair outside the gate. Tracey charged me for 3 days of boarding, I think it was about $75. Of course, I had to bathe her immediately when I got her home to get that stench off her and it took her a couple of days to snap out of her depression.

I continued to seek medical advice for her rash, searched the Internet and spent another couple hundred dollars on Internet products. She attacked another small dog costing me another $500 in vet bills. I had to let her go on Easter 2007. While on vacation, she got bloat I just couldn't spend another $3,000-$4,000 on her. I think she was about 7 or 8 years old. Although I couldn't trust her around other small dogs, she was very sweet and gentle to our family and all the children in and around my neighborhood. I know she adored us as much as we adored her.

Would I get another Dane? Absolutely! Would I ever get one form Gentle Giants? No Way! I miss her terribly still and although I did everything I could think of for her, it drove me crazy not knowing where she came from and if her previous owner knew how to help her. I always wondered if Tracey had the information I needed so desperately. At the time I got her, Burt told me they had 50 dogs living inside their house. EEK, that can't be a healthy living environment for dogs or people! Maybe they started with good intentions, but they've definitely lost their focus. Those animals need to be rescued from Burt and Tracey.

Thank you for letting me share.

January 10, 2008

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