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Nova As a Puppy – 2004

Posted by: | January 19, 2010 | 7 Comments |
As I said in the last post, Mom and I are going to be doing several posts over the next several days with pictures of me through the years.    And we are also going to tell you my story, up until the time that you all got to know me in November 2008 as a Tripawd.

I was not Mom’s first Great Dane.  Mom had many dogs over her lifetime, but she always wanted a Great Dane ever since she was a little girl. Everyone thinks we are a lot of work (because we are so big) but few people realize that we are generally pretty low-maintenance.  Of course, if we get sick it’s a different story because the vet charges by the pound for surgeries and such!  Anyway… Mom had various mutts, a Cocker Spaniel, white Lab, Dalmatian (actually her first Tripawd… Milhouse had a rear leg amp from Osteosarcoma 7 years ago… no chemo… survived 4 months after amp) but really wanted a Dane, especially a BROWN (which we call “fawn”) Great Dane.  She began shopping for a Great Dane puppy back in 2003. 

During the course of her “shopping” she came across an ad in the paper for a 2-year-old adult Dane for sale.  She responded to the ad and found out that the lady was a hoarder, she had over a dozen Danes living in her home.  The Dane for sale had her first litter when she was just over 1 year old.  Mom really wanted to save her from that place, so she decided to go visit her.  Goldie (Mom renamed her Zira) was the gentlest sweetheart of a dog that Mom ever met.  But the poor sweetie lived in a cramped, trailer-like house with all sorts of Danes and it smelled horrible.  But Zira was so sweet, when she met Mom she kept bringing her her Beanie Babies, that she kept with her all the time and tended to like they were her babies.  Mom wrote a check on the spot and got Zira out of there, and took her home to her new life.

Zira was enormous for a female Dane.  She was over 160 lbs., even bigger boned and taller than me!  Mom took her to the vet for a checkup and found out that Zira had heartworm.  She was bummed, but didn’t think for a minute to return her to the lady and demand a refund.  It really sucked that those people had all those dogs but weren’t willing to get heartworm preventative.  Mom wanted to get Zira spayed, but that would have to wait until she went through the grueling heartworm treatment.

Even though Mom had to pay a lot of money to care for Zira, she fell in love with the Great Dane.  Mom says Zira was very sweet, polite, and obedient, the best dog you could ask for.  She loved stuffed animals (just like me!) and treated them like her babies.  My brothers thought she was the greatest dog ever, and all the neighbors flocked to their house to see their “gentle giant”.  Zira was famous! After the heartworm treatment was complete, Mom scheduled Zira for spay surgery.  But there was a problem with the surgery.  Zira was bleeding internally uncontrollably, and a few days after her surgery she died.  The vet said she had Von Willebrand’s disease, which is some sort of blood clotting disorder.  They tried everything to save her, numerous blood transfusions, but Zira died in Mom’s arms at the vet, right in front of my brothers, who were all there to try to cheer her up with her favorite stuffed Pokemon “Pikachu” and her favorite raspberry oatbran muffins.  Mom was devastated.

When Mom went home that night she checked her email and found a message from a lady who was responding to her request for a Great Dane puppy that Mom had sent months before.  Mom did not feel ready for a puppy so soon, but the picture tore at her heart.  It was my big sister Emmy, a Blue Great Dane.  A few weeks later Mom brought home Emmy.  Emmy’s presence in the house helped ease the pain from Zira’s passing, although Zira’s passing left a big hole in Mom’s heart, especially since she was with her for such a short time (3 months).  After 6 months with Emmy, Mom thought it would be nice for Emmy to have a sister.  She was in a pet store one day and met a man with a beautiful fawn Dane, and asked him where he got her.  The Dane reminded her of her sweet Zira, very big-boned and gentle. He gave Mom a business card for Blue Diamond Danes, in Charlotte, MI.  Mom called the breeder and found out that there was a litter due soon.

I was born on January 26, 2004 in the kennels of Blue Diamond Danes in Charlotte, MI.  I had 7 brothers and sisters.  My (dog) Mom was named Morgan.  She was a very gentle, sweet fawn Dane, and about 140 lbs.  My Dad’s name was Juno.  He was a Brindle Dane (they are brown with black tiger pattern) and very big and strong (180 lbs.).  Mom emailed Tamra (the breeder) for a few weeks to decide which puppy to choose.  She decided on me, which Tamra described at the “verbal drama queen”.  Mom came to visit me when I was a baby to hold me and tell me she was going to be my new Mommy.  Mom decided to name me Zira’s Champagne Supernova.  First, since I resembled Zira, she wanted her name as part of my official AKC name, to honor her.  She had come up with the name Nova because she liked the way it sounded, and on the way to meet me she kept hearing the song “Champagne Supernova” on the radio (I guess it was played all the time then).  It just kind of clicked to her that I was a Champagne color, and of course I was “super”, and I was already “Nova” so the official AKC name was decided!

Suddenly Shy

 When Mom first met me I was really, really shy.  I knew I was the mouthy dog with all my brothers and sisters, but I was a little scared when Mom first came to visit me.  I hid behind my dogmom’s feet at first.

Baby Nova

My dogmom told me it was ok, that this lady was going to be my new Mommy and that she was going to take excellent care of me when it was time for me to go home.  That’s my birthmother on the left, Morgan, and on the right, that is the breeder, Tamra, holding me.

Dinner Time

Here is my birthmother feeding me dinner.  I know it’s hard to see me, I am so small!  If you notice, my dogmom had cropped ears, which my Mom decided she did not want for me.  My Mom believed that it was cruel to crop my ears just to meet a breed standard, and decided that she wanted my ears to stay natural, like a European Dane.  So that was cool I did not have to go through that surgery.

 This is my birthfather, Juno.  He was HUGE, his head was almost as thick as a Mastiff head, Mom says.

The Ride Home

Several weeks later it was time for me to go to my new home.  This was me in the car on the ride home from Charlotte, which was a couple of hours from the house.  I was a little nervous to leave my dogmom, but I had a towel in the car with me with her smell on it, so it helped me to not miss her so much.

Getting to Know My Brothers

As we started to drive I started to get more comfortable with my new humans.  My brothers sat on each side of me, comforting me on the ride home.

Loosening Up

I was starting to like my new brothers, so I started to relax and snuggle with them.

My Den

When I got to my new home I had a lot of room to explore.  What was really cool was that I had my own private den where i could hang out with the towel that smelled like my dogmom.  It really helped me to adjust to my new surroundings and I was really starting to like it.

Pretty Puppy

It didn’t take me long to find the best spot in the house, which was on the nice leather couch!  When Mom saw me up there she thought I looked so pretty she didn’t have to heart to tell me to get off.  So from then on, I was a couch potato!

This Is The Life

After a few days I did not miss my dogmom so much and was starting to really love my new life of luxury.

Snuggling with My Brother

It didn’t take long for me to feel like one of the family!

Ok…. now Mom and I are going to gather up pictures of my first year.  I think you are going to be reeeeeaaaallllllyyy surprised how fast Great Danes grow that first year.  Check back in a day or two!

Love, Licks and Leans,


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  1. By: Tazzie on January 19, 2010 at 8:47 pm      

    She is BeauTiFuL! I can understand why you fell in love with Danes – or at least this one. How on earth can they be THAT small at the start and end up THAT big? I guess we have to stay tuned to find that out.

  2. By: GerrysMom on January 19, 2010 at 8:50 pm      

    How could she have ever been so small? That cute, sure, cause she still is, but that small?!

    Great story about all your Danes. Thanks for sharing and looking forward to more puppy pictures.

  3. By: Dane Mom Sue on January 19, 2010 at 8:55 pm      

    Can you believe she was 14 lbs when we brought her home on that car ride? She is now over 10 times that. I really think that has something to do with why Danes have such short life spans (6-10 year) and are so prone to illness. I fed Nova a premium diet since Day 1, felt like I did everything right, yet she STILL got cancer. Yet, if you ask me if I would ever get another Dane I would say YES, in a heartbeat. The joy they bring outweighs the pain of losing them so soon.

  4. By: krun15 on January 19, 2010 at 10:09 pm      

    She is beautiful. My pug Maggie was 4.5 pounds when I brought her home!!!
    I can’t wait for the next installment!

    And now I need to work on Maggie’s story.

    Karen and the pug girls

  5. By: cairasue on January 19, 2010 at 10:50 pm      

    This is a wonderful post. I missed Zira as I was reading it, and I didn’t even meet her! You must have a big ole great dane heart for all you went through with her.
    I love love love these pictures. Who thought Nova could be so small as to hide behind ANYone’s legs?!? I bet your boys have loved her from the start.

  6. By: cemil on January 20, 2010 at 1:12 pm      

    I love this post too! What a sweet face! Also love the big feet and the too-big skin (must be a big-dog thing).
    I agree–the giants steal a piece of your heart and you always have to have one, even with the by-the-pound vet charges.
    Zira’s Champagne Supernova, you’re the best. Wish we could meet some day…

  7. By: jakesmom on January 20, 2010 at 7:20 pm      

    I loved reading about how you got Nova… She looks absolutely adorable as a puppy!!! I was so sad to read about how you lost Zira, though… 🙁 How devastated you must have been… but because of what happened, you got to have Nova… Maybe something to do with fate?!!

    Angel Jake’s Mom

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