Success Stories

Since our founding in January 2009, Great Dane Friends of Ruff Love has had a lot of great success with rescues. To date, we've saved nearly 600 dogs!  We owe it all to our tireless volunteers and wonderful adopters. Thank you!   "I think Baron is a great success story. We have fallen in love with this breed because of him. When we first contacted GDFRL, we only knew we loved big dogs. We had a black lab and a black german shepherd/lab mix. Both were from our local shelter. While both very different in personality and temperament, they were both extremely lovable and fun. We had never had a Dane. We chose Baron from your website. He just looked perfect. We got a chance to meet him at his foster mom's house when he was 3 months old. Yep, perfect. When I picked him up that day, he never hesitated. Baron marched right out to my car and jumped in the back. It was almost like he knew I was going to be his forever Mommy. He didn't doubt me. Now, a year and a half later, Baron is the center of attention. He gives the greatest kisses, and we love the lean! He is such a happy boy. Baron is just plain sweet. He naps on the couch with a pillow. I guess he is a little bit spoiled too. We really don't know what we would do without him. He is the first one at the door when I come home from work! We go to the dog park almost everyday so he can run and play. We have since lost our oldest shepherd/lab and adopted another little shepherd puppy. Baron taught her the ropes!!! We feel very fortunate also to have met these awesome people at GDFRL. What a wonderful group. We just can't way enough about their kindness. They really care about each dog and the families they go to. They educated us about Danes, their habits and needs. They have kept in touch with us ever since Baron came home. We visit as often as we can. Attached are a pup picture from his rescue and his picture now. Thank you to all at GDFRL for giving us our boy!" ~Melissa and John     "My husband and I adopted Dudley in January of 2012 as we wanted a companion for our Dane-mix, Ivy. Weighing in at 155 lbs, Dudley is a big boy who immediately became overprotective of me, but I want to share how worthwhile it is to work through any difficulties. We have previously had several rescues so I felt well-equipped to adopt, but Dudley proved to be very challenging. Difficulties included Dudley guarding me from my husband, barking at anyone who came near our yard, home, or car, and even putting his mouth around the arm of a woman who shook my hand. I cannot say enough about how Cinnamon (GDFRL's director) helped us work through these issues with Dudley. We have since been through two obedience classes and worked with our vet who also helped us with behavioral suggestions and medication. We are thrilled to say that with the support from Cinnamon, obedience classes, and the assistance from our vet, Dudley has been the most wonderful addition to our household. We continue to be proactive by putting Dudley in situations where he will be successful, walking him with a pronged collar, and using a low dose of medication. Dudley now loves to sit on our porch and watch the passersby without barking. He loves being petted by the neighbors and has several doggie friends he enjoys visiting with. With these aforementioned modifications, Dudley is the most wonderful dog who brings us, as well as Ivy, joy, love, and laughter. Thank you Great Dane Friends!"   ~Susan       "My boyfriend and I wanted to adopt a dog and I have always loved Great Danes. I found GDFRL and checked their website almost daily to see all the Danes. Then I started following them on Facebook and seeing all the dogs getting adopted to their forever homes! We knew we wanted a rescue Dane so we went ahead and put in our application and luckily were approved! We saw Annie on the website and wanted to meet her ASAP! Turns out, her foster parents live less than a mile from our house! Is that fate or what? So we scheduled a visit, met her and immediately were attached. That evening I emailed Cinnamon (GDFRL director) and told her we wanted to bring Annie home as soon as we could! We had to wait about a month before we could bring her home because when Annie came to the rescue she was full of worms and very emaciated. Her foster mom, Ashly, did such a great job of getting her better so she could be healthy enough to be spayed and then come home with us! That month of waiting was the longest month ever but Ashly was so thoughtful and sent us photos all the time and updates on Annie’s progress. Also, since we live so close she let us come over and play with Annie anytime! Annie is the sweetest and cutest dog in the whole world! She always gets lots of compliments when we are out and about. It is so rewarding to see the progress she is making now that she finally has the stable and happy home she deserves! She has the funniest quirks, she really enjoys sunbathing, she loves to sleep on her back with her paws in the air and she dreams all the time that she is running, we’ve got a few videos to show it! My favorite thing is when she gets excited her teeth chatter and then she buries her head into me so I’ll give her some love! Annie has never met a stranger, dog or human! She’s even become best friends with Ashly’s current foster dog, Harriet. They hang out a lot and go to Club K9 together! Annie loves to go for car rides, to the dog park, the Dog Bar and Club K9. My experience with GDFRL was so terrific, especially with Annie’s foster mom Ashly! Ashly was so great while we were waiting to bring Annie home and we’ve become such good friends! She helps us out with Annie if we need a dog sitter, and she’s really inspired me to get involved with fostering one day soon! It’s also fun to have another dog lover right in the neighborhood especially one that loves Annie as much as I do!"   "This past February brought my husband and I to one of the most difficult and dreaded pet owner decisions...we had to put our beloved Dane of 12 years down, and we were absolutely devastated. Losing her was unbearable, but we knew we wanted to open our home to another dog and decided to start looking at rescues. Before finding GDFRL, we were becoming frustrated with the daunting process of looking for dogs, filling out applications, only to find the dog had been adopted and we had to start the process over again. We finally found GDFRL on petfinder and saw Vader. I was skeptical that we would be approved but decided to go ahead and fill out the application. Unlike our previous experiences, we heard back right away and were promptly scheduled a home visit, and then found out that we were approved! We  were so excited and relieved! Because Vader was so young, we ended up having to wait 5 weeks to bring him home, but he was absolutely worth it! GDFRL and his foster mom would send us pictures regularly along with updates. We were so excited to finally bring him home. He has been the best dog! It was hard to imagine ever loving another dog as much as our old girl, but he has filled our hearts with such happiness that I cannot even explain! He provides us with daily comic relief and is the absolute sweetest animal we could ever imagine. And, we were lucky enough to get a puppy that was already housetrained (another advantage to waiting those 5 weeks 🙂 Everywhere Vader goes he stops traffic, and gets tons of compliments on what a beautiful and sweet dog he is and everyone wants to know what breeder he came from. We just laugh and explain that he came from a rescue. We are so lucky to have him in our lives. We cannot say enough good things about our  experience with GDFRL. They give such detailed and accurate descriptions of their dogs, because they want to make sure they are placed appropriately. I have to be careful looking at their site, because it would be way to easy to want to bring another one home with us." ~Adrianne   "My daughter and I decided we were ready for a family addition summer 2009. We knew we wanted a BIG dog but weren't sure what breed, and we kind of felt like we would just "know" when we found the dog for us. I grew up with great danes, but she had never had a dog due to apartment living, so we began searching danes on We read many stories and, of course, fell in love with many of them. Lola's sweet little face caught my attention most of all. The adoption process was straightforward, quick, and thorough. I filled out the application online and was approved within a few days. A meeting was scheduled for a home visit and "Lola meeting" at the same time! When she walked in, we just fell in love with her. She was still little and kinda skinny, but those big floppy ears and giant feet made her the sweetest girl I had ever seen. We were approved to adopt Lola in the following week, and we picked her up the next weekend!

Lola the lapdog

Lola has been the best dog I have ever had and a perfect first dog for my daughter. She bonded to both of us very quickly. She has all of the hysterical dane qualitites... sitting on the couch (front feet on floor), the lean, the illusion she's a lapdog... we laugh at her all the time! She has learned numerous tricks: sit, gimme five, spin, take a bow, roll over, sit up, touch, back-up... so she's a smart girl too! She LOVES to go to the dog park and play with the other dogs. She has never met a person, child, or dog that she didn't like. She sleeps in the bed, she loves to go to her Nana and Papa's house, and even goes to school with me on occasion to visit with my middle school class! I keep in touch with members of Great Dane Rescue through Facebook so they can see Lola pics and I can keep up with events and new adoptees. I would love to get a bigger place so I can foster soon. I think Lola would make a perfect foster sister. I can't even imagine life without my sweet girl. BIGGEST thanks to GDFRL, Abbie, and Cinnamon for helping us find each other."  ~Lisa   "The beginning of 2011 marked the beginning of my search for a rescue Dane. I knew I wanted a Great Dane, but I was not sure how I would find the RIGHT Great Dane for me. I went through the process for adoption approval and spoke with different foster families to learn about available dogs. But my search ended the day I met Frodo (then named Maverick). From the moment I saw him, I knew he was the right one I had been waiting for. I signed the adoption papers and brought Frodo home 5 weeks ago. The 6 hour ride home both was exciting and scary- not knowing what to expect or what he would really be like in our home. But from the moment we walked in the door with him- he has been a dream come true. Every day since then has been made more joyful and meaningful by his presence in our lives. His personality and demeanor were a perfect fit for our home. He loves to lounge around the house and he is totally laid back. He is the sweetest dog I’ve ever had- periodically he will get up and walk around to say hi to everyone and solicit a pet or a hug. He is so gentle and loving. Over time, as we’ve gotten to know his quirks, he has become even more loveable: He snores loudly, and often! He also likes to place his paw up over his ear when he sleeps, which has been the subject of countless photos. But the real treasure is his unique tail wag… he has a long tail that he wags in a CIRCULAR motion, like a propeller! The first time we saw it we were laughing for hours ☺ Frodo has become a celebrity in our building and has won the hearts of everyone at his dog daycare. He has been the easiest dog to train and has bonded with the family with such ease. This adoption experience could not have gone any better, and I already can’t imagine life without my big baby boy Frodo!"  ~Kristen     "We adopted Rex after having our beloved Baily (also adopted from GDFRL) for only a year. Both experiences have been wonderful not only in dealing with Great Dane Friends but with having big dogs. Rex is our most recent adoption. I drove to SC one rainy morning to get him with Tiffany. He needed to be rescued quickly and I was going to just foster him. We were/are still hearbroken over losing Baily. Well, by the time we got him in Tiffany’s car I was already hooked. He wasn’t going anywhere but home with me and Alexis and Mr. Checkers. So now about Rex, not knowing much about him we had to take it slow and let him lead us. It took no time for him to adapt to his new environment. He is an absolute sweetheart, and I can’t imagine our lives without him. He is extremely playful, shy (except when it comes to his backyard) he loves his treats and messing with Mr. Checkers (11yr Lhasa Apso). He also loves playing with the water hose and going bye-bye with Alexis. He is very protective of her so much to the point he will actually sit on her to keep someone away from her. Of course he thinks he is a lap dog and will get in our laps if we are sitting just relaxing. He owns the couch and loves to counter surf. He has learned to sit and do howdy and will also drop something from his mouth when told. He is very gentle with Mr. Checkers when playing tug of war with their toys and loves to cuddle, he can’t get close enough to you. Oh yea one more thing he loves to dance but you have to lead!" ~Diana   "My husband and I found GDFRL on Facebook, and would watch all of the dogs that would pass through the rescue and in to forever homes, and finally after about four months we saw a post of a sweet boy, Houdini and I emailed to ask – was there any chance in heck they would adopt out to Ohio??? Tiffany got back to us within a day and reached out to Cinnamon and Amy S.; we filled out an application; they arranged for a home visit. They performed the vet background checks, and we were APPROVED! Amy fostered him with her three danes, catahoula and a maltese (that thinks he’s a mastiff) in to the fine young dane he is today! She was so diligent about posting pictures to FB, emailing pictures or quick flip videos to us directly and welcomed phone calls just to ask how the little man was doing! She very much made us feel like we were part of his growing up when we couldn’t be there directly to see it. When we had to delay our trip to pick him up by a week, she was incredibly understanding and worked with us on the following weekend, even though it was Easter weekend! When we got there to pick him up, she welcomed us in to her home and had invited all of the GDFRL family over to meet us and vice versa! It was a great get together and was fantastic to meet all of the names we saw on the GDFRL site and their babies: Star, Jackson ,Vinnie, Piper, Zelda, Ruby, Brisco and Nico. These folks do not just care deeply about great danes, they are passionate in caring for dogs that may not be the most easy to place, they are diligent in their background checks and screenings, they are stringent in their adherence to their contracts and will remove a dog that’s not taken care of as promised, and they are the warmest, nicest, most supportive rescue I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with! We are all so happy with our “new addition” and look forward to continuing our relationship with the rescue and our new friends!! My sincerest “Thanks” to Tiffany for not deleting the out of state email; to Cinnamon, who was having a very difficult time with the loss of one of her danes, but took the time to still forward on our name for consideration; and to Amy S. for making it such an enjoyable process. I never had to wonder how he was doing or what was going on – you always made me feel like his momma through the whole process! And… to Jamie S for not protesting TOO much when Amy fostered Houdini even though she was supposed to take a break three dogs back! “Hootie” says he misses you!" ~Tina