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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It's a dog's life: Owner of George, the seven foot Great Dane, lifts the lid on life with the world's largest mutt

By Daily Mail Reporter 'Giant' George the world's largest dog is used to enormous amounts of attention and is all set for more with the release of his new book. Written by his owner, Dave Nasser, 'Giant George: Life with the World's Biggest Dog' charts the gigantic allowances that the 230 pound Great Dane needs daily to get by. Standing almost four-foot-tall at the shoulder and seven-foot three-inches on his hind legs, George consumes 180 pounds of food a month and sleeps on a queen sized mattress. Giant George hanging with dad on the bed after he won the Guinness title Measured by a Guinness World Record official in 2010, it was declared that not only is George currently the planet's largest dog but is also the tallest dog ever recorded. Spending his days at home in Tuscon, Arizona sleeping, barking at the UPS deliveryman and eating his favourite chicken and rice dinners, George is pretty blase about his global celebrity. Weighing almost 100 pounds more than a typical Great Dane, he has recently lost slightly over a stone in weight on doctors orders ready for the latest round of publicity to promote the book. Giant George doing one of his favourite things - sitting with his dad on the couch For six-year-old George, life with Dave Nasser and his wife Christie began as a seven-week-old puppy born into a litter of 13 over 1,000 miles away from Arizona in Oregon. '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,' said Dave about his massive dog. 'As soon as George settled into our home, we discovered our plans to be fair but firm parents were wishful thinking. As a puppy Giant George was enormous and loved to be near his dad and mom '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.' Devouring the same meal - chicken, rice, dog food and yoghurt - everyday, George's diet although impressively large is relatively boring because of Great Dane's sensitive stomachs. Christie standing Giant George on his hind legs as an eight month old puppy '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,' explained Dave. It was about this time that Dave and his wife realised that they may have a record breaker on their hands. '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,' said Dave. Giant George playing with Christie and Dave's daughter Annabel '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.' Hitting 252 pounds by the time he was two years old, a friend suggested that contacting Guinness might be worth a go. Birthday Boy: George enjoying his first birthday 'Christie had applied to the Guinness World Records people on George’s behalf,'explained Dave. 'That February, one of their adjudicators came to watch George being measured in the presence of a vet. He was officially declared not just the world’s tallest living dog (43 inches from paw to shoulder) but the tallest dog ever.' Setting off a chain of publicity, George eventually appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, the ultimate litmus test of worldwide fame. George taking a ride with a Japanese reporter in a golf buggy 'Oprah's staff learned about Giant George thorough FaceBook and YouTube and were were insistant on having him as a feature on this show; regardless of the Guinness World Record,' said Dave. 'As fate would have it, the timing with Guinness World Records and the Oprah Show came together flawlessley. 'When we arrived in Chicago, we were shocked by the number of people who were wating for us in the arrival area at the airport. George on the airplane on the way to the Oprah Winfrey Show - they bought the entire row of five seats for the giant dog 'With flashing cameras and video rolling, more than one-hundred people saw Giant George strike a pose as though he was on a red carpet. Needless to say, they ate it up. 'Everyone on Oprah's staff was so nice, warm and friendly. What a great group of people that work for the Oprah show! 'Finally, it was time for Giant George to go out on stage and have Oprah announce his Guinness World Records for Tallest Dog Ever and Tallest Living Dog. Giant Celebrity: Outside the front of Oprah Winfrey's studios 'Without question, this was one of the most memorable moments for all of us. Oprah was super friendly and the segment was trouble free.' However, even though George is arguably the most famous canine celebrity in the world, life isn't necesarily straight forward for him. His heart according to his owner Dave was broken by a Labrador named Bella and since then, the neutered George has remained resolutely single. George with his mom and dad and the Guinness certificate in February 2010 But that isn't to say there aren't exciting moments each day at home in Tuscon, where Dave renovates and sells property and Christie works in medical equipment sales. The giant Great Dane amuses himself by chasing the local UPS driver who regulalry delivers packages. And even though he is a gentle giant, George still possess a low, rumbling bark that can be intimidating to parcel delivery men. Unaware: George is ambivalent to all the publicity that surrounds him Even though Dave hears the odd light hearted jibe about 'having a saddle for that thing', George seemingly takes all the attention in his stride. 'Our cherished pet may have become a global celebrity — but really, he’s just one of the family,' explained Dave. One man and his giant dog: George and Dave pose with the Guinness certificate source:dailymail


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