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WORLD’S BIGGEST DOG


Guinness Book of World Records has picked it’s big dog:  George!

The owner David Nasser wrote a book:  “Giant George.”  He’re’s an excerpt:

The first time we saw George, our beloved Great Dane, he was no more than a tiny, cowering ball of fuzzy fur.

As my wife Christie opened the door of the crate he’d traveled in, he teetered to a standing position and looked out at us, moving his head slowly from side to side, taking in the wonder of it all.

Finally, as if weighing us up and deciding we were acceptable, he tentatively pushed his little nose forward and gave Christie her first lick.

Though it didn’t really register, George’s paws were comically large even then. But all we saw was this cute puppy.

We certainly never dreamed he would one day become the biggest dog in the world, standing nearly 4ft high at the shoulder, 7ft long and weighing nearly 18 stone. Right now, he just looked bewildered.

He came into our lives in January 2006, just a few months after we had married and set up home in Arizona. We both had busy jobs, Christie selling medical equipment while I was a property developer, but she had always planned that, once she had a house of her own, she would also have a dog.

She wanted a Great Dane as they make great family pets, so we tracked down a litter of 13, born 1,000 miles away in Oregon. Their owner emailed us a photo showing a chaotic jumble of paws, snouts and tails.

Twelve were entangled with one another, but our eyes were drawn to one pup standing apart from the rest. He was clearly the runt, endearing him to Christie immediately.

George made the long journey from Oregon to Phoenix by plane and we picked him up from the freight area, tired but unshaken.

As soon as George settled into our home, we discovered our plans to be fair but firm parents were wishful thinking.

All the things that make Great Danes wonderful pets — their lack of aggression and their attachment to humans — make them more emotionally sensitive than other dogs.

They need to be with their ‘pack’ at all times and at night the cute pup with intensely blue eyes turned into a caterwauling banshee whenever we tried to leave him alone in the kitchen.

o matter how much we reminded ourselves that he had every home comfort (warm dog bed, warm blanket, warm kitchen, squeaky bone), each whimper created a picture in our heads of a tragic, abandoned pup, desperate for his mother.

Eventually, we gave in and shunted George’s dog bed into our bedroom. In the coming months, Christie really threw herself into being a mum to George. As well as a photo album, he had a growth chart — we were soon reading it in awe.

At five months he still acted like a puppy, chasing his tail and playing games of fetch and tug-of-war with his favourite bit of rope. But he was already the size of a fully-grown Labrador.

He was putting on more than a pound a day and he bounded around like Bambi, skittering on our wooden floors and hurling himself at everything he fancied, including us humans. His displays of affection could leave you pinned temporarily against a wall or a piece of furniture.

Patches the dog on death row saves his own life by singing Happy Birthday
His size did not go unnoticed in the outside world. Our local park had a section for puppies but we were bullied out of it by other owners, who were scared George would hurt their pups, — but the opposite was true.

The smaller dogs ran around and under him, and he’d be constantly sidestepping them, obviously anxious and jittery. Slowly we realised that our enormous puppy was a big softie. Besides his terror of being left alone, he had a fear of water.

He’d growl anxiously at the side of our swimming pool, alarmed that his ‘pack’ members would so willingly place themselves in danger of drowning.

If the pool was his most-hated place, his favourite was our bedroom. Eventually he outgrew the single mattress we placed there for him and preferred instead the comfort of our king-sized bed — sprawling between us like some over-indulged prince while we spent half the night clinging onto the edges.

In the summer of 2006, we solved this problem by buying him his own queen-sized mattress, which he still sleeps on today at the bottom of our bed.

But soon we encountered another challenge as George reached doggie puberty. Once he had grabbed life by the lapels, now he was grabbing onto legs — table legs, chair legs, human legs, he wasn’t picky — and doing what all male dogs do with the vigour of a canine giant.

He calmed down in the furniture department after we had him neutered, but then he took up a new hobby, eating as if it were an Olympic sport.

A sausage on the barbecue was like a siren to a passing sailor. You couldn’t turn your back for a minute. And he was so tall that he actually had to bend down to pinch food off kitchen counters.

He could reach the high shelves as well, so we had to hide everything away in cupboards. Soon, he was getting through around 100lb of dry dog food every month.

As he approached his first birthday in November 2006, weighing about 14 stone, it was getting physically impossible to make him go anywhere he didn’t want to — including the vet’s surgery. He had not forgotten the time he went there in possession of his manhood — and came out less than whole.

As soon as he recognized the entrance, he refused to move. So I had to take him around to the less familiar back door instead.

For all these troubles, George gave us plenty in return, not least the following year when Christie lost the baby she was carrying.

Evidently tuned in to her grief, George was a constant presence at her side. When she sat, he sat too. When she stood, he stood and padded alongside her to wherever she was going.

His personality grew more delightful the bigger he got. A male Great Dane typically weighs from nine to 11 stone, but by Christmas 2007 George weighed 15 stone — bigger than most men. At this point, he loved being chauffeured around in my golf cart and would sit in it, his haunches on the seat and front legs on the floor.

By Christmas 2008, our canine colossus weighed 18 stone. A friend suggested he might be a contender for the Guinness Book Of Records, but we had other things to think about: Christie had discovered that she was pregnant again.

David Nasser