BISS Ch Equus Diamonds Are Forever, CGC


Sire: Ch Danemark's Trace of Tiger, CD Dam: Can Ch Equus Midsummers Titania TT

Conner was owner handled to his US Championship taking his last major at the Great Dane Club of Northern California Specialty show in August 1997. He was shown in Canada on a limited basis. His first weekend in Canada he won 3 consecutive All Breed shows and Reserve Winners Dog at the Great Dane Club of Canada National Specialty show. The following year he returned to Canada to win the Western Regional Specialty.

Conner was a healthy dog. He came from a line of healthy dogs with a lot of longevity. He had a cardiac ultrasound done in April of 2006 and received a OFA Cardiac clearance at the age of 11 1/2. He had a full mouth and correct scissors bite. His hips were OFA excellent and elbows normal.

The one problem that Conner had was with his anal glands. He had problems with expressing them normally and had 3 infections in 3 years, so I had the anal glands removed when he was 3. He has a son that had some problems with expressing his anal glands, but appears to have improved with a change in diet. Conner was also prone to "skin-tag-like" warts, a condition I see in the son and daughter I have from him. Other than that, I have seen no hereditary issues I can link to this dog in any of his 19 puppies and 13 grandpuppies.

This line did not have heart issues. His thyroid tested normal throughout his youth, but I did not know about TgAA that long ago, so he was not tested for that. When he was about 8, he went low thyroid. I don not know if this was idiopathic or hereditary, but none of his children or grandchildren have come up with definitive thyroid issues. One son has an equivocal thyroid result. After repeated testing, it was still inconclusive.

Somewhere around the age of 9, Conner started having episodes of fecal incontinence. I'd find a little &nugget& every now and then. As he advanced in age, the episodes became more frequent and the amount increased in volume. I started a regimine of stimulating him to defecate on a regular basis so that the incidents in the house were less frequent.

At 10 1/2, Conner had an episode of bloat, but it turned out to be due to a cauliflower sized growth on one lobe of his liver. The growth was removed and he had a gastropexy. Fortunately, it turned out to be benign and he recovered from the surgery amazingly well for a dog of his age. About that same time, he developed a chronic case of folliculitis. His thyroid was tested and it was determined that his medication was at the right level. He was put on a low dose of antibiotics to keep it under control. Various holistic methods were tried, but none worked.

When he was about 11, he developed food allergies. After trying several different diets, I found he did well on venison and rice.

His body was getting so old and arthritic, I was concerned about how he would fare the coming winter of 2006. In October, he started to show signs of urinary incontinence. It went from a few dribbles to complete loss of bladder control in a few days. There was no infection or anything else wrong that we could treat. I made the decision to give him his dignity.

He left me with a wonderful memory of him chowing down on biscuits ­ food he'd been forbidden to have for a year. First he had a couple and was looking for more. So we gave him a handful and he chowed those down and still wanted more. We brought in a full basket of biscuits and let him stuff himself. There he was going crazy on this basket of biscuits. Slobber was flying everywhere and you could see how happy he was to be able to eat with reckless abandon. It was a time of sadness, but we all were smiling to see him enjoying himself so much. He got to the point where he just could not eat anymore, but everytime we went to put the basket down, he would look after it. He could not eat another biscuit, but he did not want them to go away either. So we set them down on the bed and he went to sleep with the precious biscuits beside him. After he was gone, we tucked a couple of those biscuits between his paws for his journey. As much as I miss him, I think back on that day and I can't help but smile.