I posted a pic of Daisy last week; this week you’re getting a puppy who was in our lives in 2006, a little girl named Clara.
Now, first, the short story on Clara. She was part of the rainbow litter that we had here a few years ago. Her mom carried fawn and her dad carried blue, so we ended up with blacks, blues, fawns, and blue fawns. It’s not what you’re supposed to get in Danes, and it was certainly somewhat shocking, but I loved the pedigree and I would have, without a doubt, kept going with it if I had kept ANYTHING in Danes.
When Clara was six weeks old (and had already been sold), she did something mysterious and injured one hind leg badly. X-rays were unhelpful (which is pretty normal at 6 weeks; there’s very little actual bone in the bones and most fractures are invisible) but a break in the growth plate was our worst-case scenario. So her owners were refunded their deposit and we put her on strict cage rest for four weeks. During that time she became, as you can imagine, quite the lovebug. When she was totally healed and we found a new home for her (at about 14 weeks) it was hard to see her go. The above picture was part of her “glamour shots” that we took before she left.
Now, teh cool: This was the original picture.
Pretty big difference. This is why I puffy-heart photoshop. Clara’s picture was lightened, sharpened, her mask was saturated, and the whole thing got a nice little burned edge. The difference is not enough to make the photo inaccurate–except arguably that her eyes got a little too light–but it makes it a picture you want to look at.
It is often very difficult for me to look at my Dane pictures; every time I look at them I go through a process of grieving. We decided not to continue with Danes for good reasons, but it happened at a time that was tremendously difficult in my life, a time when we were going through enormous transitions and the changes were not easy. Losing the Danes was, and continues to be, a very painful process. When I look at Clara I can remember exactly how she smelled, what her bark sounded like, what she felt like under my hand. She is a dog we would, under other circumstances, considered keeping for our breeding program, so she makes me feel the loss of that as well.
Like I said, we made the decisions we made for reasons that are still valid, and I think we made the right choices. And I do absolutely adore the Cardigans. But there is something rather toward the mythic and magical end of the dog ownership spectrum about Danes; they are larger than life in more than just the literal way. I miss Clara, and miss them all, very much.