I titled this site after Jewel and not one of my other pets because I waited so long for her. She was not an impulse buy, but the result of months of research into the breed ~ that after the years I've wished for a Great Dane. I was not going to be one of those people who discards a Dane because "it got too big." We debated the merits of adding a young puppy versus an older one, and decided that the timing was not right for an eight-week old pup. Jewel was six months old when she joined us, raised by a vet-tech in downtown Norfolk. We left the name she had been given; the irony is one of our daughters had asked if we got a girl-dog, could we name her Jewel?

This is not to say that I loved Jewel more than her canine and feline brothers. Anyone that knows me realizes I am not a breed-specific snob. Each of our pets have been deeply loved for their individuality.

Jewel, Seeing Eye trainee Precious, and  Dane foster Taz sleep on a dog bed


Written by me January 5, 1998

Her devotion Is love
In its purest form.
Her kisses
Soft nuzzles
Balm for my soul.
Her stares
Touch me
With their complexity.
Her movements
Beauty incarnate
Contradiction to size.
Harlequin Dane
Mine briefly
But cherished forever.

Jim and Jewel snooze on the couchThe Story of the Greatest Dane

written 8/6/07 for the MAGDRL newsletter featuring Senior Danes.

Jewel will be 11 on October 24, 2007. She has shared her life with us for the past 10 years and four months. She has been all I could ever have wished for in a Dane, and more.

Her greatest accomplishments have been teaching people about Great Danes, and teaching animals about themselves. Jewel has charmed everyone she has met and has been a true ambassador of the breed. Her gentleness, her loyalty, her devotion have touched me deeply. She is a true friend.

Countless fosters thrived beside her. She taught some how to play, some how to respect, and others just how to be a dog. Most she enjoyed; a few left her staring at me with wounded eyes. When the Seeing Eye puppies came, she played and disciplined like a pro.Matt watches TV as Paige lays with her head across Jewel's back

In May my girl was diagnosed with Degenerative Spinal Disease and a possible brain tumor. Her health is now a rollercoaster ride, and even after three months I cannot think of when she is not here to nuzzle against me. The warmth that flows from her to me is the best Reiki I’ve ever experienced, transferred by that Dane lean.

In June MAGDRL gifted us with the adoption of a Dane puppy. Jewel’s greatest gift to me was reacting to Paige as if she were a gift instead of a curse. Watching my girl, who could barely walk, play-bow to the pup then gallop away is a vision I will treasure. Jewel, you have truly been my gem.


Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

It's funny, the things you think of when you drive home after having your beloved dog euthanized. In the rain, Christmas carols from the speakers, your mind roams over the oddest territory. Mine kept going up to our Christmas tree, where Jewel's presents from her Secret Santa sit unopened. I should have let her have her gifts. She was 11, and not in the best health. Why did I wait? The rain matched my tears as they fell, and all I could think about was that box of Secret Santa gifts. A small decision, an inconsequential one at most, but it makes me cry even harder. Can I have her back for just one more day, one more hour? Let me see her stick her head into that box, watch her tail wag with pleasure at the smells she inhales. Please? She deserved to get her treats. She earned every single one, and many more. I'm sorry, Jewel ...

Jewel bloated. It was not the basket-ball in the belly that I had thought would happen, which lead me to believe that her spine was bothering her. She sought relief in her crate, curling up and refusing to come out again. Her color seemed OK, so I let her stay where she wanted to be: Jewel's shifting around to get comfortable could be the norm. I pulled a dog bed over and curled up on the floor next to her, my fingers caressing her toes. Gator laid as close to me as he could. One a.m., two a.m.; I'd open my eyes when Jewel moved and whisper that she was a good girl. She'd look at me, I'd whisper to her some more, and the time inched by. Three a.m. she started to drool and cough. It seemed like hours passed before I could get her to come out of her Black and white photo of Jewel on a blanketcrate. I got her to lay down on a blanket while I ran for my husband. I called the emergency vet as Jim dressed, then together we slung Jewel on the blanket down the stairs and out into my waiting car. The drizzling rain was appropriate, the fog even more so.

My girl is gone. My Jewel, my gem, my blue Harlequin baby. Every day with you has been a gift, especially since May when you were first went downhill so fast. Thank you for all the time you shared with us. I've missed the walks we used to take; I know you're in a place where you can go for miles now. Run with Chevy, curl up with Oreo, and keep my Dad company. I love you.


If the dog be well remembered. If sometimes she leaps through your dreams....actual as life.... Eyes kindling, questing, asking, laughing, begging.... It matters not at all where that dog sleeps....at long and at last

On a hill where the wind is unrebuked, and the trees are roaring, Or beside a stream she knew in puppyhood, Or somewhere in the flatness of a pasture land, Where most exhilarating cattle graze, It is all one to the dog, and one to you.... And nothing is gained and nothing lost....if memory lives

But there is one place to bury a dog, One place that is best of all

If you bury her in this spot, the secret of which you must already have. She will come to you when you call.... Come to you over the grim, dim frontiers of death And down the well-remembered path, And to your side again....

And though you call a dozen living dogs to heel, they shall not growl at her, nor resent her coming.... For she is yours and she belongs there....with you.

People may scoff at you, People who see no lightest blade of grass bent by her footfall, Who hear no whimper pitched too fine for mere audition, People who may never had had, or known a dog.

Smile at them.... For you shall know something that is hidden from them, And which is well worth the knowing....

The one best place to bury a dog is in the heart of its master....

(Originally read on the Mike Douglas Show-author unknown)