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Pet profiles: Meet Bethany, a Great Dane with a great personality

Welcome to our Pet Profiles series, where we spotlight exemplary pups and doggos who light up the lives of this web company’s pros. You’ve met Lulu Belle with her ‘round the clock antics and Frosty, the fluffy American Eskimo Dog, but this month’s superstar is just a little bigger.

This time around, we’re getting to know Bethany, a massive Great Dane with love and personality to spare. Let’s get the scoop on this crazy girl from her owner, Digital Trends’ own Gene Mendez:

Gene Mendez/PawTracks

The parent and the pup

Thanks for being a part of the team and this special project, Gene.  What’s your specific role here at Digital Trends Media Group (DTMG)?

Manager IT — As head of the IT [department], I set the strategic direction for all the IT-related activities based on our business drivers. I’m also responsible for ensuring the daily smooth operation of our computing environment.

Thanks for all that you do for DTMG! Now, on to the good stuff — how many pets do you have?

One: Bethany (Queen of Rocky Butte).

I had no clue we were dealing with royalty here! What breed is Her Majesty?

She’s a Great Dane.

What led you to choose Bethany’s breed? 

I’ve had Great Danes for many years. I love their temperament. At home, they are pretty laid back, and they love being fawned over. They are very dramatic when they don’t get what they want.

They truly live up to their reputation as being gentle giants. But give them a wide-open field and they come alive. They are the most beautiful and graceful dogs to see run at an all-out gallop. They’re lots of fun to wrestle with, too. They instinctively know just how big they are, and they know how to be lovingly gentle in their roughhousing.

I’ve never wanted any other breed, ever since my first.

It’s a love story for the ages! How is the Great Dane breed compatible with your lifestyle?

I like to be on the go, and they love to be right there with me. They were originally hunting dogs, so they have this desire to be a part of everything you do. And when at home, I like to enjoy just being home, and the hunting dog in them enjoys that, too.

I typically love having company over. Because they know that it means they get more attention, they love it when company comes over, too. Great Danes fit right in with my lifestyle.

What are some of your favorite unique characteristics or fun facts about Great Danes?

First and foremost, they are gentle, loving, and loyal. They need to know that we have expectations of them. This gives them the opportunity to please us, and they love that. They can also be very dramatic. When they get mad at you, they express it by throwing themselves on their pillow and refusing to look at you — kind of Greta Garbo-ish.

When they’re happy to see you, look out for that tail. It will clear the coffee table.

They love children. They will play with — and take — just about anything the kids will dish out. And when it’s too much for them, they will simply move off and find a safe corner to hide. Yet, they continue to be gentle and patient even when cornered. If an outsider makes the kids sad or anxious, they will get in between and let you know, stopping it.

They are all that and regal too, in one amazing package.

Gene Mendez/PawTracks

All about Bethany

How sweet — what amazing family dogs! What about Bethany? How did she come to be a part of your pack?

I rescued Bethany through Great Dane Rescue of Northern California. My last one, Lola, passed away at the advanced age of 11. It had only been a few weeks since then when a friend told me to look at the Great Dane Rescue of N.Cal site. There was the photo of 9-month-old Bethany [listed as] “not available yet.”

The next thing I found myself doing was writing a long email to them telling them about my experience with Great Danes. Between my partner and I, we’ve had five. Within a few hours, I got an email asking if I could meet them outside of Sacramento the next day. The rest is history. That was almost six years ago.

We love a good Happily Ever After, especially when it includes a sweet pup finding their forever home. Thanks for rescuing! What are some of your favorite things about Bethany as you’ve bonded over the years?

My favorite is that she has become the neighborhood busybody: always glued to the front window watching the world come and go. I still haven’t figured out who or why, but sometimes she will start with a deep growl and grow to an all-out bark, bark, bark at the window, while with most others, she just watches them walk by.

When she wants some loving, there is no ignoring her, especially when I’m trying to work from home. She will stick her snout under my arm while I type, and with a twitch of her nose, my arm is tossed up in the air. It’s her way of saying, “Pet me now!”

For a full-sized dog, she is capable of curling up into the ball on her pillow. It’s how she sleeps unless she is dreaming; then she’s laying on her side on her pillow, all the while paws clunking on the wall.

A big dog with just as big of a personality — she sounds darling! Does she have any special needs?

Yes. This is my first dog that is not food motivated. So enticing her to do things is a different matter. With her, it’s all about the proper tone of voice and keeping her in a happy mood so she will eat. She is mildly allergic to pork and peas. (Just try to find dog food without peas in it.)

What kind of changes have you made to accommodate her special needs?

Maintain a happy tone, and she is good.

Who doesn’t love a happy tone? We’re with Bethany on that one! What about toys — does she have any favorites?

She’s not much on toys, but she does like a good Nylabone. Otherwise, she loves her sweaters and coats because she knows that means we’re going out to hike or walk in the neighborhood. Finding feminine products for a female Great Dane is not easy.

What does Bethany eat?

I feed her limited ingredient foods, or I make them myself for her. She loves chicken.

Yum! Where do you shop for your four-legged friend?

I do a lot of purchasing online —


or other sites. For in-person shopping, [I go to]


for the pillows, or


. I have a very close friend who makes all sorts of high-quality pet products as well, so I also shop a lot at

Puppy Play Spaces


Do you happen to carry pet insurance for Bethany?

No. I’ve considered it, but Great Danes tend to be fairly low maintenance.

Thanks for being a part of this project, Gene! Is there anything else you’d want readers to know?

I can’t rave enough about

Puppy Play Spaces

. They aren’t just for puppies; they have a lot of items for adult full-sized (large breed) dogs, too.

PawTracks would like to extend a huge thank you to Gene Mendez and Queen Bethany of Rocky Butte for letting us share their story. It’s the pups and parents like this who make the dog-lovers community so special, after all.

To read even more stories about the dogs who make our world go ’round, check out some of the previous pet profile features with Chloe, Baxter, and Famous Shamus.

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Gabrielle LaFrank
Gabrielle LaFrank has written for sites such as Psych2Go, Elite Daily, and, currently, PawTracks. When she's not writing, you…
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