Giant George: A New Book About Life With the World’s Largest Dog
Most of us know well the trials and tribulations of Clifford the Big Red Dog, who got into all sorts of goofy trouble because of his rather unusual size.
Of course, Clifford is fictional, but Dave Nasser has experienced the real-life equivalent: His Great Dane, George, is the Guinness World Records’ Tallest Living Dog and the World’s Tallest Dog Ever Recorded.
Anxious to share his story, the proud owner of this large dog recently published a memoir, Giant George: Life With the World’s Biggest Dog, about his oversize pup adventures. Nasser also gave Vetstreet some added inside scoop on life with a large dog breed.
Q. What motivated you to write this book?
A. Nasser: “Giant George’s story and message is ‘It is OK to be different.’ Believe it or not, George was picked on as a puppy, [who] was too big to be in the ‘puppy’ area of the dog park. As he grew, he was continually made fun of by humans, thrown out of hotels and unfairly stereotyped as dangerous. We want to send the message, especially to children, that you may feel different or look different, but everyone has the potential to be the biggest or the best at what they choose to do.”
Q. When did you first realize that George could be the tallest dog on record?
A. “It was when the previous record holder, Gibson, died and the news hit the papers. A 36-inch-tall Newfie from North Dakota was claiming to be the new tallest dog. I contacted Guinness because I knew that George was at least as tall as the previous record holder, who was 42 inches. Giant George is 43 inches tall.”
Q. Why George?
A. “It was a name that I felt I could call out at the local dog park and not feel embarrassed.”
Q. Is it expensive to feed him?
A. “It sure is — he eats between 110 and 130 pounds of food per month, which is mostly roasted chicken mixed with dry dog food.”
Q. Does Giant George have any peculiar habits?
A. “He is a water snob and will only drink water if it is from a bottle. Weird, huh?”
Q. What is his personality like?
A. “George is a huge cuddle monster. He loves human contact. I have two small children, and he allows them to lay on him, pull his tail and his ears — and he pulls them around the house as they hold onto his tail. He totally understands how big he is.”
Q. What are the difficulties and benefits of having such a huge dog?
A. “Difficulties [include] traveling with him. He takes up the entire back bench seat of my truck. The benefits are numerous. He is a huge part of our family, and I cannot imagine life without him.”
Q. Rumor has it that he sleeps on his own queen-size bed.
A. “His queen-size bed is at the foot of our king-size bed. It’s a pretty funny sight to see.”
Q. George was even on Oprah. What was that like?
A. “When we were waiting in the greenroom, I had to use the restroom down the hall, and George escaped and meandered into an empty room, where he devoured a tray of pastries, which upset his stomach. As Oprah was introducing us, George passed gas — really loudly.”