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Happy Tail: Great Dane plays lots of family roles


The Great Dane was a sad case. She came to Doberman & Rottweiler Rescue in Paris, IL, with such a bad case of mange that walking across carpeting made the pads on her feet crack and bleed. She was so malnourished that, though she was about a year old, she was about the size of a 7-month-old. She also had an immune disorder that required expensive medication.

Lucy's favorite sleeping place is cuddled up with Thalia, 5.

Lucy likes to sleep cuddled up with Thalia, 5.

Her rescuers had to have wondered who would take on such a dog as they posted her for adoption on Petfinder.

“Two sisters from the South Side of Chicago, that’s who,” says Danielle, one of the two. “When I graduated from college in 2004, I was living with my sister.” That’s when they adopted Lucy Lu.

Since then, the other sister, Tamara, has adopted two daughters. The younger one, Thalia, came to America just before her third birthday. “At the time, Thalia could not hear anything,” Danielle says. The big dog and Thalia took to one another right away, and “Lucy became her window to the outside world.” After several procedures, Thalia learned to talk and “now will talk your ear off, in both sign and verbally, but Lucy is still her constant companion.”

Danielle, married now, also has two children and lives in a condo just down the street. Lucy stayed with Tamara, because as Danielle says, “Even if Lucy Lu is a huge couch potato, living in a condo is just not fair to her.”

The princess makes her royal entrance.

Princess Lucy Lu makes her royal entrance.

Lucy loves the children in the families. “She has been the best pet imaginable — a nanny, a guard dog, a friend — watching all of them grow for the past eight years. She has never been keen on other dogs because of past baggage, but she has never once snipped or growled at the children, even when she was used for a step stool.”

Perhaps her best role is playing princess with the kids because she is just that, a princess, to her extended family.

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