TWA_OPG – Interview with B.B. and Kim

August 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Practice Group


B.B.’s Bio and Viewpoint


B.B., 3.5 months old, with the Big Guys

This is a photo of  B.B.  taken as a puppy (she’s nearly 2 yrs old now)
lying on top of two of Great Dane family members
who left their bodies a few months ago, Holi and E.Z.

B.B. interacts mostly with the other dogs:

Arnold (Great Dane, dark brindle, male, 6 yrs old)
Buffy (Great Dane, faun, female, 6+ yrs old)
Cassie (Great Dane, black, female, 3 yrs old)
Rayne (Great Dane, brindle, male, 2 yrs old)
Duncan (Border Terrier, male, 7-8 yrs old)

On the farm are also —

Horses:  Sarah, Whisper, Dandy, Dusty, and Winston – all Arabians; and Sally, who is a Mustang and boards on the farm.

House Cats: Sherman and Bently, both Persians; and Molly, who looks like a Maine Coon with a stubby tail.

Barn Cats: Blackie (black long-haired Manx), Moe (tortie medium-haired Manx), and Meow-kitty (DSH – grey – tongue sticks out).

Chickens – 5 – I did not get details on them.

Background information from Kim

All of the Great Danes, including B.B. are home schooled for the show ring. B.B. did puppy show classes first and is now in “open Brindle.” All her classes are conformation classes for Great Danes, and Kim tells me that they are organized by color. B.B. is a bit small to win championships, as she is only 31” at the shoulder. Nevertheless, Kim plans to breed her when she turns 2 years old, assuming that B.B. is interested in having puppies.

B.B. lives with Arnold in the kennel area, which consists of 4 indoor/outdoor runs.  The dogs are paired up so each one has a playmate. 

The daily routine:

  1. Go into crates for breakfast.
  2. Danes are prone to bloat, so rest after eating for about an hour.
  3. All the dogs are crate trained.
  4. Then go back to kennels.
  5. Kim begins a rotation into the paddock to play. They go out at will so that they can play in grass; paddock has 3 wading pools and big trees for shelter, plus toys.
  6. Also rotation into the house at various times during the day to get personal human attention.
  7. One or 2 will sleep in the house at night; this rotates also.

Play Area and Toys:

B.B. playing in the tub.

  1. There are two huge tractor tires that lay down with gravel inside the center so they can dig and play
  2. There are railroad ties – 2 high, tiered – creating an area filled with gravel with dog house on top – under a big tree – they can go inside there to get out of the sun.  As puppies they learn to go up and down stairs using the ties.
  3. There are a wide variety of toys:  rubber squishy balls; hard rubber balls; dead stuffed toys that are now unstuffed; chew bones; big empty plastic cat litter containers that they can pick up and run around and play with; big empty plastic soda bottles to carry around and chomp on; empty gallon water jugs; crunched up aluminum foil in a ball; tug ropes.

Food and Treats:

Kim makes a special diet for all her dogs.  Their meals includes Innova kibble; cooked chicken and rice and vegetables; raw meaty bones; raw chicken backs and necks; raw eggs; raw white knuckle bones to chew.

Special treats include:  Bully sticks (raw, dried bull penises); Barbequed knuckle bones; raw carrots, cucumbers, squash, whatever is in season that they want from the garden.

Shows and Training:

B.B. in the show ring.

On average, B.B. goes to a show 2 weekends per month. She’ll continue to go, even if not being shown. She would travel for socializing. Kim always takes several dogs with her to shows, even once they are retired from the show ring.

The dogs all have “house manners.” They don’t get formal obedience training. They know they can come in and be silly when first come in. Then they need to pick a spot to lie down and chew on a toy and be calm. They all have to learn to walk on a leash for showing purposes and how to stand quietly and “stack up” for the judges. They have to allow the judges to touch them without making any fuss.

Interview With B.B.

I experienced B.B. as a very fast communicator.   The conversation proceeded at warp-speed.  If you had a similar experience talking to her, you might want to go back and see if she can slow herself down a bit.  You can also ask her to repeat herself so you can take in the information more slowly.  I explained to her that some people would ask her to do this, but she wasn’t sure if she knew how to slow herself down.  She did tell me she would try. 

I explained to B.B. about the OPG and that others would be speaking with her if she agreed to do so.  She didn’t seem to understand why anyone had to “practice” anything, so I said,  “When you learn something you have to practice.”

I don’t [have to practice]. I learn right away. Yes, I learn things immediately. I do it once and I’ve got it. (Kim confirmed this and commented, “It’s challenging [to have a dog that learns so fast].”  B.B. remarked, “Not for me.”

Who’s your best friend?


What do you like about him?

He’s fuzzy. He’s warm and loving and patient with me and I can zip around him and doesn’t get dizzy. Literally and figuratively. He let’s me do whatever I want. I can jump on him and he’s OK with it.

I love him. He’s very special. When I go to shows I miss him, but I tell him all about it while I’m there so he can pretend he’s here with me.

What do you like about going to shows?

Everything. All the other dogs and people and the judges. I just want all the attention from everyone. I don’t care about the ribbons. That’s Kim’s department. I know how to behave in the show ring, and I try to be really good, but I also know Kim thinks I should care more, but it’s too exciting for me to just go into the ring like some snobby older dog. I’d rather just play with everyone.

Kim calls her the “social butterfly” – she’s entertaining. Kim told me that the judges says not to bring her within “jumping distance” when she goes down and back for the gaiting portion of the class. That’s because B.B. likes to jump on the judges. B.B. says, “its for kissing.”

What about between the classes? How do you feel about that?

Less interesting. More humdrum. Still, with so many people around I get lots of attention.

Favorite game?

Jumping on Arnold.

Favorite game with Arnold?

I hear B.B. reviewing in her mind all, literally all, the things she and Arnold do together. Finally, she say, “I just love Arnold.”

Who else do you like to play with?

Everyone. I’d like to play with everyone. I’m not allowed to play with everyone, though. I think it would be fun to run with the horses. I’m big enough now to not get hurt, but Kim and Gordon won’t let me.

Kim: When she was a baby, she’d crawl under the fence and get in with the horses. It was real escape act. No one could figure out how she actually did it.

Favorite foods?

Carrots; bones; all food is good. I get as much to eat as I want and I eat a lot. But now I’m big, so I need to eat more.

Do you ever dream?


What do you dream about?

Being a horse. I was a horse in another life? Being a Dane is like being a pony – but more restricted. I like being a Dane, too, especially here with this big family. But horses have bigger pastures and more room to run.

Sounds like you really like to run?

I can run, and run, and run. Favorite thing.

Kim: she runs laps around Arnold.

What’s your life purpose?

Haven’t thought about it. Does it matter?

No, but I thought I’d ask.

I guess it’s to have fun. I have lots of fun. I’m a happy dog. I really have the best life.

I know you used to spend time with E.Z. who died a few months ago unexpectedly.

(She gets really quiet.)

That was sad, wasn’t it.

Yes, very sad. I still miss him. We all miss him. He was funny, like me. We were a great team. (very quiet now).

Do you like to make people laugh?

Yes, E.Z. taught me a lot about that. That was his job. I think I’ve taken over some of his job now. It’s hard for me, because I’m not as good at it as he was.

I don’t know – you had me and Kim laughing here.

(No comment.)

Kim tells me that once you are no longer showing she and Gordon want you to have puppies. How do you feel about that?

She hasn’t thought about it. Still feels like a puppy herself. Not sure how to be a mother and still have fun being silly and playful. Not ready yet to even think about it.

What do you think about the chickens?

They are fun to chase. They make a big fuss and flap their wings and squawk at me. I think it’s hilarious.

Do you chase them often?

No – not supposed to – only when I can get away from Kim or Gordon when they’re distracted. But it’s worth waiting for the opportunity because the chickens are so funny. I won’t really hurt them; I don’t want to bite them or even pick them up. I just like to seem then run with their wings all aflutter and hear them squawk. It’s a weird sound.

Do you have something you would wish for?

E.Z. back.

(Clearly, B.B. is still grieving for E.Z., as are other members of the family.)

B.B. shakes my paw goodbye telepathically.