Our life "in dogs" began with Great Danes in 1994. For years we had several in our household, participated in educating others in our area about the breed, helping with rescue, and eventually, jumping into the show ring with a lovely natural eared bitch named Lila. Somewhere along the line, my husband met a Mastiff, and after more than 15 years with Great Danes, we got our first Mastiff. The rest is, as they say, history.
Now, we live on a simple country acre with our Mastiffs (and one remaining Great Dane). It seems our life revolves around their comforts - and I wouldn't want it any other way. Anyone who says they are "just dogs" hasn't ever experienced the giant love given by these giant dogs.
Our dogs are family. They live in the house with us, have their own couches and beds, pillows, toys... you name it. Yes. They are spoiled. We do not kennel our dogs, although we do crate train them as puppies to assist in housebreaking. They go to obedience class and know basic commands. They also take their turns in the show ring. And those who have energy or drive get to play in performance events such as agility, lure coursing and even barn hunt. We strive to produce well-rounded dogs that will excel in a family environment.
We follow a relatively holistic approach with our Mastiffs. We have fed raw for close to 20 years now - our Great Danes generally lived to be 10-11 years old regularly. We're hoping our Mastiffs can follow suit. We use holistic methods whenever possible - herbs, homeopathy, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic - but never in the place of good solid veterinary care when needed. These dogs are like my children. I would go to the ends of the earth for them if it helped them live healthier lives.