Recently over the weekend a fundraiser was held called “WOOFA ROO”. It was an amazing event full of information, fun, entertainment and excitement. The money raised went to animal charities such as The Windsor Essex County Humane Society.
I was honoured that I was asked to be part of this event and excited to be able to meet Zeus. For those of you who don’t know, I am a full time working Registered Veterinary Technician. So to be photographing, at an event geared towards animals, well that’s just like a big chocolate cake and tall glass of milk- awesome!
Zeus’ family is from Michigan, about 3 hours away from Windsor. The event co-ordinator contacted them and asked if they would like to be part of this event and help raise money for the charities. They accepted and on their way to Windsor they came. The idea was that attendees could pay to have their photo taken with Zeus with 100% of the money going directly to the Humane Society (meaning neither I, nor the family received any portion of this money or any monies at all). This was 100% donated services and time. Before I met the family, I was already told how awesome they were. However, that still didn’t “prepare” me for just how amazing they were. Mother, Father, Daughter & Son came along with Zeus. And I fell in love instantly.
Now, like I said, I am a Registered Vet Tech (RVT) and I have been working at my clinic for 11 years. Nothing in my 11 years prepared me for what I was going to see when I saw Zeus- when I say he is the Worlds Tallest Dog, he truly is (really, he’s in the Guinness Book!) And you think you’ve seen big dogs, until you’ve seen Zeus! There were so many other Great Dane’s in attendance, even some Irish Wolfhounds and they all looked huge. Until Zeus walked up.
So of course I need to address something that became an issue when Zeus was “crowned” (World’s Tallest Dog last year) by those around who took it upon themselves to make ignorant comments based upon zero knowledge and credentials. His size. He is huge. But he is lean. And in a world’ where obesity is an epidemic, not only among humans but animals too, we have become all too comfortable with seeing overweight pets. In fact, when a dog that is considered a great body condition score, they are looked upon as “too skinny” or “malnourished”, when in fact, they are perfect. It pains me when I hear about people “bragging” about how fat their dog or cat is or when the “fattest cat” is highlighted on a news report. All dogs, but especially giant breeds should be kept at a normal body condition and weight for their health. Giant breeds, such as Great Danes are at a higher risk of joint, spine and hip issues as they get older and any extra weight will only serve to exacerbate this problem.
Zeus is incredibly lucky to be part of this family. He has the best veterinary care and is on an a very high quality diet (which I was very happy and impressed to hear). Aside from his wonderful veterinary care and nutrition, he is the utmost loving family.
Zeus’ photoshoots were 1 hour each, twice each day (for a total of 4 hours). When he needed a break, he took one. When he needed a drink, he took one. And in between he slept like a baby. Our number one concern was that Zeus remained comfortable and happy throughout the entire day. And we completely succeeded. My other concern was that I might have to turn lots of people away due to time constraints for the photos. I am so pleased to say that this did not need to happen! I shot just over 200 families/portraits during that 4 hours. (which is just over 1 minute on average per photo) And we raised over $2000 for the Humane Society!!! How amazing is that!?!?
My parents, my father is also 6’4″!!!!!