A Great (Dane) Intro to Dogdom

I remember as a toddler waddling into my cousin’s house, toy in hand, and the largest creature I’ve ever seen was looming over me. It was a male Great Dane, peering down at me sniffing my yellow raincoat. I slowly backed up to the door, but there was no escape. The dog was big enough to surround me with its entire body. After what felt a full day at pre-school, the 100-pound male backed off, tongue out and tail wagging. Everyone was encouraging me to relax, telling me that he was friendly and to give him a hug, but I resisted. I still remember today the sandlot montage of me running for my life playing in my head. Then I looked into his eyes and noticed that swiveling tail. I then reached out and gave him a timid hug. My mom got the picture that she so desperately wanted for our family album, and I gained a wonderful experience.

This is when I learned that dogs are not just animals but can actually function as a support system. Ever since I was in elementary school, my family has had a dog. First a tiny Shih Tzu named Sisco, who was an absolute menace. I cannot remember a time where our house was silent with Sisco there. While very territorial, she was a co-dependent dog at heart, always coming around to lay on mom’s lap when she was tired. Next was Boomer, a Cockapoo who could care less about anything beyond sleeping and being near mom. He was an old soul, rarely playing but commonly enjoying the fireplace, seemingly always muttering something under his breath. The newest to the family is Nash, also a Cockapoo, and the one dad could not ignore, as he is the friendliest, most playful dog I’ve ever seen. He genuinely looks like a stuffed animal, which helps him get away with his devious food snatching. Each of them felt unique to me in their own way, as if I had extra siblings. Sisco was around during my menacing elementary school days aiding me in wreaking havoc on our home. Most memorable was the time I covered the house in baby powder, much to my parents’ dismay. Boomer was the best to watch movies and nap with, and Nash always managed to cheer me up with his never-ending vengeance toward his plush bear toy that he brings over every time he sees me.

When I think back about my dogs who passed (both Boomer and Sisco), I remember them through interactions we had. The moments that truly bonded us beyond animal and owner. I remember laughing after finding a million pieces of torn toilet paper on the ground, or even being proud when Sisco finally stopped barking and rolled over, if only for the cheese stick in my hand. In each case, we are sharing a special moment in time. We laugh at a dog’s primal instinct to tear apart toys and jump over an obstacle. They obey our stupid commands because they love our approval. It is those feats, missteps, and mischief with dogs that help us find meaning and companionship.

I couldn’t help but recall those special days when I watched The National Dog Show Presented by Purina this past Thanksgiving Day. NBC’s two-hour broadcast showcases the highest level of trust, skill, and companionship as dogs and their handlers show off and compete in the prominent, adrenaline-filled event. Whether it’s a graceful walk or the timing of a well-executed command, every moment serves as a testament to the bond between dog and human.

Beyond celebrating the breeds and their uniqueness, The National Dog Show is also a celebration of the kinds of relationships that every dog owner can relate to. It is fun to consider far we have come as compassionate owners, taking part in a fantastical display of athleticism and evolution in both strength and smarts as displayed by our canine partners. While immersing ourselves in the show, we not only get reminded of our moments with our dogs like both Boomer and Sisco, but the moments we could create with our future and current companions like Nash. The spectacle serves as a reminder that us dog lovers are in a community that appreciates artistry, form and function, but above all, the way in which dogs make us and the world better.



Awesome article! Dogs definitely teach us life lessons and can reflect parts of our own personality for sure


this is so true. although i am not a dog lover, i can appreciate what the author is saying and what dogs do for us humans

Allison Grosick

I don’t know what I would do without my dogs. They have comforted me through from hard times. It’s just a gift that we get to have dogs!!


What a wonderful article! I could not agree more with the writer. The National Dog Show is an amazing display of how unique each breed is and their interaction with their handler. Those involved train canines to respond to specific commands, but there is no doubt their relationship is founded from trust, respect, and a commitment to one another. The writer is correct dogs are part of our community, lives, and to many family. We may teach them certain behaviors but don’t underestimate what they teach us. They definitely make this world a better place

Jackson Meating

I love every dog I meet!!


Great story! Absolutely can relate to this. Thank you for sharing!


Leave a Reply

Comments are moderated and require approval by a moderator before being published.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *