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Chihuahua-friendly Great Dane on hunt for bigger pals

PUBLISHED: 13:42 10 February 2011 | UPDATED: 14:41 10 February 2011

Tonita Smith with her Great Dane dog called Dexter at Gorleston.

Dexter is looking for a suitable playmate.

Tonita Smith with her Great Dane dog called Dexter at Gorleston. Dexter is looking for a suitable playmate.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

HE wanders along the shoreline, huge paws sinking into the damp sand, seemingly content in the company of his mistress – but what Dexter really wants is a pal to play with.

At two years old, Dexter is a Great Dane with bundles of energy who just wants to mess around.

But weighing 11 stones and standing 38 inches – just under a metre – to his shoulders, finding doggy friends to tussle with isn’t so easy.

Tonita Smith and husband Dave, of Bradwell, are hoping to find their pet a companion who is able to give as good as he gets with their sweet-natured hound.

Dave, 57, said: “It doesn’t have to be a Great Dane, just a larger dog or one that can cope playing around with a bigger dog. Dexter doesn’t mind who he plays with.”

A frequent face on the village’s Mill Lane Park, where he is often taken on his twice daily walks, Dexter’s impressive stature attracts attention both good and bad.

“He has Chihuahua friends who absolutely adore him because he is so gentle. He will lie down and they will jump all over him,” said Tonita, 41.

“But though he has lots of little dog friends and he can run with them, he can’t rough and tumble in the way that bigger dogs can when they get together.

“He has also been attacked a few times predominately because of his size. You have this puppy racing up to others but they can only see this huge dog coming towards them so there’ve been some issues. However, he has learned from experience.”

Tonita and Dave, who perform as a singing duo in holiday camps around the region, found Dexter through a website when he was just eight weeks old.

Bought to give their eight-year-old Afghan Hound Stanley some company, they quickly fell in love with him despite his habit of chewing up tennis balls. But just a few months later, similarly sized Stanley contracted liver disease, rendering any canine capers together out of the question.

Now, thanks to the worldwide web, their owners have gained inspiration.

Dave, who added that Dexter was “great” with their two children, said: “We found online that there’s a website for Great Danes, and they’ve organised walks, so we got the idea of organising our own walks around here.

“So as well as getting company for Dexter, it would also be nice to speak to other owners of similar dogs and get something like that going.”

Having sent a letter to The Mercury to help them in their quest, they’re hoping for a good response.

And maybe, just maybe, if that works out Dexter won’t be so lonely that he needs to sleep between the couple on their king size bed at night.

“It’s my husband’s mistake,” laughed Tonita. “He let him sleep on our bed when he was young and that was it, here’s been there ever since.”

l If you have a dog that might want to play with Dexter, email tonita.s@ntlworld.com.


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