When the doorbell rings the silence in our house is deafening. No more bark that would scare a delivery man out of his boots, but when you met him you would shower him with affection and the famous “Morgan Lean”.
You were 6 when you blessed us with your majestic presence as a UMGDR foster, and our love for your silver “mouse face” grew into a forever home. You rescued us from several hard times with your perceptive love. You know when to back up and sit on an empty lap, when to jump on the bed and cuddle up.
Our hearts ache from the paw print on our hearts, yet gone too soon was not your story. Nearly 13 years old, you were amazing! We know you were holding on because of love and we cherished every day as a gift! Thank you for the gift Morgan Mouse! Please take care of Nola – no mean face!
In honor of you, mom and dad promise to rescue again in your name and loving memory. We know you would want us to continue to share your home with a Dane like you – Morgan Mouse, Mean Face, Big Girls!
? – 11/27/6016
The Great Danes memorialized on this page once were fosters with UMGDR. Do you know of a UMGDR Dane you would like to memorialize, find out how.
Odin’s pet humans were Tina, Gabe, Cayenne and Harry. All the neighborhood dogs and humans adored gentle giant Odin!
Brewzer was a foster failure. Wonderful, silly boy who would nip the back of my arms and run off to get me to play with him when we were in the backyard. Everyone who met Brewzer loved him.
He was taken way too early at the age of 6 due to aggressive osteosarcoma. He was vision impaired yet that never slowed him down. He was the sweetest, gentlest boy who really did not have any comprehension of his size. I love him dearly and miss him terribly. Hope he knows how much I loved him and how much my life is empty without him!
Duke – January 2013
Duke was a beautiful 4 year old boy that we could not save but respectfully and lovingly released him over the Rainbow Bridge on January 25, 2013. Duke taught us a lot within the short time that we fostered him. We gave him all of our love and he gave us back what love he could while dealing with a tremendous amount of physical pain due to a spine and front leg injury. He was a goofy puppy with large, drooly jawls. Despite his pain we made progress in small areas of training. He loved to have the top of his head rubbed and we spent hours just rubbing his head. It is unfortunate that this potentially sweet boy was dealt such a rough hand in his short life. The pain won its battle and Duke was put to rest. We are extremely grateful that we were able to spend time with him. Even though his time was cut short his memory will always live with us. Big D you will be missed. Your foster parents – Lorelei, Ian and Harley Noire
Gwapo – January 2013
Gwapo entered our lives in August of 2009 as our foster. He was a giant sized handsome young dane with significant and challenging separation anxiety. He was (then and always) a unique character. We soon chose to adopt him ourselves. Gwapo was a loved family member for over 3 years. He charmed everyone he met and participated in many rescue events. We struggled through some behavior challenges, bloat and at the end some painful bone issues and bone cancer. On November 14, 2012 it was heartbreaking to let him go. We now cherish photos and many crazy memories of our big goofy Gwapo.
Gertie – December 2012
In memory of Gertie, our foster who passed away from complications from her spay surgery in 2010. – The Noble Family
Butler – August 2012
We adopted Butler in January 2009. Butler was just two months shy of his fourth birthday. Over the course of the previous four months, his owner had died, he had then lived for a few months with one of his owner’s friends, then he went to UMGDR’s foster care, and then he came to us; he was understandably very insecure and didn’t know where he belonged. When we took him out for walks, he wanted to walk up the front walk to each house and see who lived inside. He was extremely curious about every person we met along the walking path near our house. I mentioned Butler’s behavior to our vet and told him that I was worried that Butler wasn’t bonding with us, and the vet said he imagined Butler was searching; he had been through so many homes lately, and he was searching for his owners. However, Butler was also very clingy to me inside our house. He walked so closely behind me that he often stepped on the back of my slippers. If I was doing laundry, he was right there in the tiny laundry room with me. If I was making dinner, he was lying in the floor directly in front of the refrigerator. For the first few months, he was more of a stalker than a companion. Gradually, Butler grew more confident and secure. He stopped following my every step. He was nearby, but he didn’t need to be glued to my side; he knew we were his people.
We have had dogs our entire lives, and Butler was sweetest of them all. The first week we had him, I was working in my home office, and he was, of course, standing right beside me with his head practically on my keyboard. I impulsively kissed his snout, and then I thought, “That was so stupid! I don’t know this dog yet! He could have bitten my face off!” But I need not have worried. Butler was so incredibly gentle. At the neighborhood park, he would lie down so the toddlers could pet him. He was the gentlest and sweetest boy we have ever known. He was also the quietest. He didn’t bark for at least a couple of weeks after we got him. When he finally did, we praised him for finding his voice. He often gave us his I-want-attention grumble when he wanted to eat or be petted, but a bark from Butler continued to be a rarity.
We had three and a half wonderful years with Butler.
In mid-August, 2012, Butler developed a cough, and we took him to our vet, thinking that he just had a bit of grass or something stuck in his throat. We then took Butler to the University of Minnesota to see a cardiologist. Butler was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and multiform ventricular arrhythmia. We worked with a wonderful cardiologist who tried so hard to help Butler. By the end of August, Butler had developed atrial fibrillation; his heart disease was progressing stunningly fast. No part of his big, soft, gentle heart was working properly. We tried more medications and gave him so much love and care, but unfortunately that just wasn’t enough. Butler passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 12. If love and effort and good wishes from friends could cure heart failure, Butler would be perfect by now. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. Our house is so empty without him. But our hearts are full because that is where he still lives. Our hearts are his forever home.
The Hughes Family
Lady – February 2012
In memory of Lady by Jane Galbraith
Lucy – October 2010
Lucy was a rescue dog that was in desperate need of some TLC. My brother and his wife adopted Lucy and from that moment on, Lucy flourished. She was at one time a starved and abused dog but once adopted she quickly became a much loved member of the family. She was always protective of her “people” and she took that job seriously. She had a couple medical setbacks but she always got through them because she had two people that she loved and her brother dog who she kinda loved too.
Lucy died at her home on Oct. 10, 2010, she was 4 years old.
Lady – June 2010
Lady was almost 9 when she was turned into rescue. Although, I had her for a very short period of time, she was so very loved by everyone that came to meet her.
Lady always acted like she knew the people who came over and that they were her best friend. She was so kind, gentle, loved following me where ever I was and loved following the other dogs, helping them to find the chipmunks in my yard.
Unfortunately, we knew she had a old leg injury when rescue took her in that she could not have surgery due to her age and the risk of anesthesia. The goal was to keep her painfree or as best as possible. Unfortunately, over time she stopped walking on her leg and nothing seemed to be giving her good control. The medicines were also causing her to pass blood. As time went on she began moaning, crying and having muscle tremors. We knew that the best choice for Lady was to ultimately relieve her pain and give her the dignity she deserved.
She passed very quickly, peacefully as if she didn’t have the fight in her anymore.
I will miss her sweet face, her wagging tail and her laying by my bed at night. I am comforted to know that she is no longer suffering and it is my hope that some of my past pets were waitng to greet her when she crossed the rainbow bridge. May she be running, playing and waiting to greet me when my time comes.
Maxx – March 2010
Maxx was adopted from UMGDR in December 2008. Read his adoptive families thoughts on Maxx.
Max – March 2010
“Doing intake for a rescue gives you the chance to see dogs from all different places in their lives. On March 15, 2010 I spoke with a family who needed to surrender their Dane who had been urinating blood that they had had for 5 months and were unable to care for. Something inside me told me he couldn’t wait the traditional amount of time to move to a foster home so with the help of another wonderful volunteer Max was picked up and transported to an Emergency vet hospital. Knowing the outcome might not be good we decided to hop in the car and meet Max and other volunteer there. Max walked, tail wagging from the car into the hospital. For a 10 year old man he got around amazingly well and was such a great guy. Upon being examined it was determined Max had a great deal of problem on top of the urinating blood. It as decided that an xray would be done to make sure what the vet was feeling was indeed there. The xray did not show anything positive for Max. He had a bladder three times its normal size, and revealed two masses. All the money in the world would not have saved Max and putting a senior gentleman through such surgeries would not have been fair either. We decided that it was time to let Max go to the bridge and be free of pain. Laying on a pile of soft blankets, eating tons of treats, and surrounded by 3 UMGDR volunteers and one amazing vet Max left the world that he had to have thought was a horrible place. This beautiful creature was never treated the way a dog should be treated. He was never given the vet care he so desperately needed and when his health diminished he was not set free of his pain but instead left to suffer.
Preliminary autopsy results showed Max had cysts on prostate, a mass in his bladder, a mass on his spleen most likely metastasis from the mass in the right oracle of his heart. On top of the possible 2 types of cancer (which will be verified in a few weeks) Max had heart worm for who knows how long. While the decision to let max go was a terrible one to make and not one made without some serious thought it is evident it was he best thing for Max.
While we only knew Max for 3 or so hours he touched our lives. He was a strong dog who never showed he was hurting. He wagged his tail and showed us he was thankful to us for trying to help him and when there was nothing we could do he had to have been thankful we could make the unselfish choice to let him go. If the love in that room surrounding Max could have saved him he would have lived forever. Rescue is not always a fun or easy thing to do but it is always about the dogs and what is best for them. I pray Max knows he was loved even if it was for such a short time. He is now healthy, free of pain, and enjoying life at the bridge. Max’s remains will join those of all the dogs that have gone before him and a memorial stone will be placed in our flower garden to honor him. Below is a poem I found that I believe depicts Max’s life. While sad, I do help the final verse is what he felt about us.
No more lonely cold nights or hearing that I’m bad
No more growling belly from the meals I never had
No more scorching sunshine with a water bowl that’s dry
No more complaining neighbors about the noise when I cry.
No more hearing “shut up”, “get down” or “get out of here”!
No more feeling disliked, only peace is in the air.
Euthanasia is a blessing, though some still can’t see
why I was ever born If I weren’t meant to be.
My last day of living was the best I ever had.
Someone held me very close, I could see she was very sad.
I kissed the lady’s face, and she hugged me as she cried.
I wagged my tail to thank her, then I closed my eyes and died.
Godspeed Max – we will never forget you
Athena – March 2010
It breaks my heart to have to tell you that my sweet Athena had to be put to sleep last night. I held her, stroking her and telling her how much I loved her as she went peacefully. It was important to me that I be with her and she not be alone, even though it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. My vet was also near tears…she was dearly loved by everyone in the short time we had with her. I so wanted her to have a long happy life in a loving home. I am so sad that she did not get to see spring arrive and go on the long walks we planned. I’m sure everyone feels this way, but I cannot imagine there could be a sweeter, gentler and better behaved dog than she was.
According to my vet, she appeared to be suffering from decreased nerve impulses to her jaw and tongue, which then appeared to be spreading, most likely the trigeminal cranial nerve. He spent a day putting her through diagnostic tests and consulting with a neurologist. We were unable to keep her hydrated and her ability to eat also began to deteriorate. They believe reasons could be immune mediated disease, degenerative disease, or neoplasia (cancer), but because the prognosis was not good, did not want to put her through a CT scan at the U of M.
I appreciate all that you did to help me spend the special time I was allowed with her, and all that you all do for these wonderful dogs. Thank you again so much.
Angel – August 2009
“Angel truly is an Angel now.” People keep telling me that once they hear the news about her death. What they don’t know is that she was an Angel before she passed. She touched so many lives in the short time that she was with us that it is difficult not to think of her as an Angel. My favorite part about Angel was that she took everything in stride. Pain, neglect, cruelty and illness never kept her from living her life, she rolled with the punches. She was the sweetest dog and she had every reason not to be.
I don’t regret a single moment or decision when it comes to Angel. There were people at the beginning telling us to put her down, there was no saving her, or that it was too much money to spend on a foster. Those people clearly never met Angel, otherwise they would have thought differently. In the end they were right, we couldn’t save her. But our combined efforts allowed her to have the best 4 months of her life and what dog doesn’t deserve to know what it’s like to be fed everyday, allowed access to water, a kind hand to pet them or a couch to lay on? I will never forget the first time that she ran full speed in our backyard after about a month of recovery. I was so happy to see her so happy that it brought tears to my eyes, how could anyone deny such a wonderful thing to such a compassionate dog?
The biggest lesson that Angel taught us is that yes, you can’t save them all, but it is worth it to try.