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  • a.k.a. Deutsche dogge. From Simon & Schuster's Guide to Dogs, 1980: "Incised on some Greek money dating back to 36 B.C. is the image of a dog very similar to the Great Dane of today. If you are of the opinion that its origin is Greek, therefore, you understand why the Great Dane is known as the "Apollo of dogs." However, we have more precise, incontrovertible information regarding this breed from a period several centuries later. In 407 A.D. German Gaul and part of Italy and Spain were invaded by an Asiatic people--the Alans--who brought with them powerful mastifflike dogs. In Germany especially, where these magnificent animals, capable of overcoming bears and wild boars, were much admired, a process of selective breeding was begun. The dogs were crossed with Irish greyhounds, and the issue was the beautiful, large, thin, agile dog known today as the Great Dane. Despite the fact that they are called Danes in English, these dogs have nothing to do with Denmark." Wow. I wish someone had provided Simon & Schuster with an EDITOR.

    February 21, 2007