Diary of a Great Dane

By Brenda Tadych
Woman Newspapers

My name is Gunner, and I’m a four­-year-­old part-Great Dane and part-Black Labrador Retriever, totally black, not flawed with any cutesy white spots on my chest or tail. I have a sister named Cynamin who is part­ German Shepherd and part-­Akita. Her face looks like a bat. 

A cat lives with us too. He’s a smart aleck, and His Royal Highness won’t eat his food unless it’s served in a freshly­-cleaned bowl. His name is Lucky. 

I knew our Humans were going to leave us when I saw them take bundles and boxes to their car. They do that a couple times a year. (It hurts my feelings a little.) I spied The Sitter through the window, and I met her at the door with my fiercest bark, but she wasn’t afraid. Since Humans hug other Humans when they visit, I decided The Sitter would like it if I gave her a hug. I jumped up to lick her face and she petted my head. She obviously appreciated that I’m part lap dog.

Cynamin and I followed her to the kitchen. I sniffed the things she was putting in the refrigerator and cupboards because, well, it’s what I do. She didn’t give me any of it, though I’m pretty sure I heard the sound of treats in one of the boxes. 

She put the gate up at the top of the stairs, doggone it. Our Humans must tipped her off. That means I can’t get to Lucky’s food bowl or eat any chewy snacks out of his litter box, and I can’t drink the blue water out of the big white bowl. 

Sometimes when our Humans ask, “Wanna go outside?” it doesn’t mean they want to come out with us. I thought The Sitter would be all rules and no play, but she actually likes to go outside with us. I clenched my rope toy between my teeth, proudly showing her my one­inch cuspids. She thought I was going to give my toy to her! She chased me around the yard for a while, but I was too much for her. My toy. Not sharing. 

I wrestled with Cynamin when she tried to steal The Sitter’s attention. Cynamin used her big nose to slide her head under the Sitter’s arm and before I knew it, there's Cynamin, on the floor getting a belly rub! It wasn’t fair. 

I know it's wrong to make fun of my sister, but Cynamin's reaction to thunderstorms is pawsitively hysterical! There was a thunderstorm today and she bolted into the living room, crashing into the wall with all the pictures hanging on it, and BOOYAH, down comes Grandma's picture! It never gets old.

No matter what Humans say, when we fight like cats and dogs, the cat is always the agitator. Like yesterday, I tried to enjoy a nap, but I knew he was stalking me from his favorite perch on the arm of the couch. He pounced on my collar and used my face for speed bag punches so I chased him behind the couch and Cynamin blocked the other end and we kept him trapped. Stupid cat.

We weren’t the only ones who trapped him. The Sitter found my favorite blankie and put it in the downstairs laundry. She didn’t see the cat follow her and after she came back upstairs, she shut the door on him! Priceless! We heard him meowing, but we sat in the corner pretending not to hear. He stayed there like a dork until The Sitter found him. Stupid cat. 

OK, I like cat food. I know I’m not supposed to eat Lucky’s food, but the can sitting on the counter was too tempting. It wasn’t even opened yet, but so what? I snuck it when The Sitter wasn’t looking. She heard me chewing on it and I knew she wanted to take it away, so I growled at her. 

She tried to trick me. She took Cynamin outside but I wouldn’t go because that would have meant leaving my treasure behind. She even fed Milk Bones and pig ears to Cynamin and tried to entice me with an already opened can of roasted chicken flavored cat food, but that was silly ­ the fun is in chewing the can! Then she played dirty and broke out the Pup­Peroni’s! Oh-­my-gaaaawwwwddd! I surrendered. Then I smothered her in Pup-Peroni’s smooches and allowed her to take what was left of the cat food can.

That night, I slept next to The Sitter. I really liked snuggling up against her, but she woke up and tried to make me move! I pretended I was still sleeping. She pushed harder, trying to get the covers out from under me, but I still wouldn’t move. Her meager strength was no match for my 150­-pound frame. But then she moved to the other side of the bed! It hurt my feelings a little, but I just waited until she fell asleep again and resumed my sleep snuggle.

I hope she stays here for a long time. I woof her.