Making a big impact

Craig Findlay feeds Shadow, a Great Dane, at the annual Christmas in the Bark held at Forrester Park, Dunedin, yesterday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Craig Findlay feeds Shadow, a Great Dane, at the annual Christmas in the Bark held at Forrester Park, Dunedin, yesterday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
His name is Shadow, and the shadow he casts is greater than most.

The purebred Great Dane was the undisputed star of Christmas in the Bark, an annual event held for canines and their owners at Forrester Park yesterday.

Slideshow: Christmas in the Bark

Standing a lofty 187cm tall on his hind legs and weighing in at a hefty 60kg, 2-year-old Shadow was still not fully grown, owners Ann and Craig Findlay said.

And his large size comes with a jumbo-sized appetite.

Every three weeks Shadow chews through a $130 bag of dog biscuits, his diet supplemented weekly by $15 of mutton flaps, dog roll and even home-cooked meals.

But even a giant needs his sleep, and in this case the pampered pooch has his own single bed, as it was cheaper than buying a jumbo-sized kennel.

Mr Findlay said Great Danes were gentle, lovable dogs and "fantastic" pets, but were also an ideal deterrent to would-be burglars.

The Findlays also managed to adapt a man-sized Santa Claus costume to allow Shadow to get into the Christmas theme.

The event attracted hundreds of dogs and their owners, many of whom posed for photos with Santa and go on a mass "walkies" to nearby Bethunes Gully.

 

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