The first snow of the season is always a magical time when children catch snowflakes on their tongues and retired folks reconsider moving to Florida. Kids aren’t the only ones who appreciate that first snow, however. Multitudes of animals were born in the warm season, kicking their heels up in the sunshine, and never knowing that there’s a new and wilder fun yet to come. People who have raised puppies are quite familiar with this phenomenon, when pups, like kids, go crazy over every new thing. Which is pretty entertaining, considering that just about everything is new to them.
Donovan is an 11-month-old Great Dane puppy who is in training as a service dog. Service dogs lead disciplined lives of helping others which serves as an example to all of us. But it’s fun to see them get to kick back and take a break from their job once in a while, too. Donovan lives with Amanda Gonchar in New Jersey and is learning his job to provide dependable support for some person who is waiting for the dog that will offer them new opportunities. In the meantime, Donovan has somehow made it almost a year without seeing snow. Perhaps he’s spent part of his life elsewhere, or perhaps the weather was particularly mild for his first few months. Whatever the reason, he’s perfectly primed as a pet who has never seen snow. Amanda notices that it’s snowing, and she knows Donovan always needs exposure to new experiences as a service dog. Besides, it’ll be fun! I wonder if Amanda imagined Donovan had this much excitement pent up in him, just waiting for those first magical flakes to fall.
Amanda’s video shows how Donovan reacted to the experience. Did he cringe back inside the house, crawl under a blanket, and swear off the world (like I might)? No! He ran and leaped and slid around in the snow in an ecstasy of winter excitement. His long legs bounding about in the yard, Donovan simply wants to burn off this first-snow magic like it was an energy drink. Think about that the next time you have to scrape the ice off your windshield!
Donovan is a Great Dane pup, which means he makes a very big puppy. He’s also a Harlequin, an unusual coloration where the spots of a Dalmatian grow to fit a Great Dane’s body. He certainly fits in with the colors of the wintry season! Great Danes take at least two years to grow into their full adult form. Chihuahuas don’t have to deal with this, of course.
Donovan’s enthusiasm will serve him well for learning the many tasks that a service dog needs to know. Not only does he have to learn great discipline and unusual tasks, but his training will be specialized further to meet the situation of his new owner when the time comes. Let’s hope that wherever his new owner awaits him, they’ll have snow to enjoy together!
Amanda says that Donovan is a “goofball”. This is pretty typical of Great Dane puppies. We’re glad to have had the chance to see Donovan being a goofball with so much energy and-er-finesse. Check out the video whenever you need to feel energized.
Way to go, Donovan!