What’s in a Name?
November 29, 2012
Dear Tommy
January 18, 2013
What’s in a Name?
November 29, 2012
Dear Tommy
January 18, 2013

Size Does Matter

stblog13My New Year’s resolve is to Live Large. I’m talking BIG.  Super Size. Double or nothing.

I’m not referring to Hollywood-bling-private-jet enormity. What I mean involves basic bulk. In other words, wherever I go, there is substantially more of me. Twice as much and then some. And I’m not apologizing for it. In fact, I’m learning to delight in it.

The truth is, living with SIr Thomas has introduced me to new experiences.  Many I could plan for. The one nuance I couldn’t have predicted – no matter how many books I read on Great Danes or neurologists I talked to about my PD symptoms – relates to size.tommycloseup

Of course Tommy tips the scales at more poundage than I; heft is part of his service qualifications. Because he takes up substantial space alongside me, I can lean on him – quite literally.

I knew it was big, this introduction of a new dog. So, before this gentle giant entered his new home with me, I prepared in a number of ways:
-Huge dog bed: check. Make that two.
-Extra large bowls, leads, bags of dog food: check.
-Sunday Times-sized plastic bags (the slim daily news bags don’t cut it): check.
-Winter coat for him (purchased at a horse supply outlet): check.

The moment this mass of four-legged fur  stepped through my door, his size became my size. We were not one plus one; we became a plus-size one. We travel together as one unit on errands, out for lunch, to my son’s basketball games.

What I didn’t expect was this shift in weight, and my reaction to it. Having been thin, even underweight my entire life, I’m more used to relinquishing the airplane armrests to those beside me than I am to a circumference greater than my arm’s reach, to part of me entering a room before the rest of me gets there.

This unfamiliarity had me oops’ing and excuse me’ing down grocery store aisles, hesitating before entering a crowded cafe. Holy cow – or, holy Dane, I’m taking up significant space. I’m living large.

2013 is the year I become familiar with that.

For, to live is to be – to exist. Add the definition of large, which is a capacity greater than ordinary, then Live Large holds a delightful meaning: Exist Beyond the Familiar.

That’s big.


  1. I spotted you in the local drug store yesterday and admired your new friend tremendously! Was rushing so couldn’t stop to say hello. I’ve had Great Danes twice in my life, and they are simply amazing dogs. I hope that Sir Thomas does indeed allow you to live expansively.

    Looking forward to your gallery launch on Sunday!

  2. Deborah says:

    Sir Thomas is an amazingly big and beautiful boy. I am so happy for you that he is there to make your life BIGGER and better. Danes are dogs who don’t know they are dogs. You two get out and live life to the fullest.

    • Renee says:

      How very kind! Thank you. Yes, this gentle giant is combination goofball and dignitary – not a bad mix to take into each day.

  3. Sue says:

    As a fellow Parkie and a former owner of St. Bernards, I can say that I truly loved my gentle giants. Have you been able to keep him separated as a service dog and not a pet? That’s my big fear about getting a service dog.t

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