Your soul is a chosen landscape
Where charming masqueraders and bergamaskers go
Playing the lute and dancing and almost
Sad beneath their fanciful disguises.

All sing in a minor key
Of victorious love and the opportune life,
They do not seem to believe in their happiness
And their song mingles with the moonlight,

With the still moonlight, sad and beautiful,
That sets the birds dreaming in the trees
And the fountains sobbing in ecstasy, 
The tall slender fountains among marble statues.

Clair de Lune, 1863, Paul Verlaine
(Translated from French to English)

Style Smile

Marike Sarah van de Drentsegrond – “STYLE”

born December 13, 2022 – died February 6, 2008

Michelangelo-B x Dusty van de Drentsegrond

On December 23, 2003, the NDDC Opvang (Rescue) called me. Back then my command of the Dutch language was not so good, so I ran next door to get my neighbor to help me communicate with the Rescue coordinator. There was a 12-month old blue female Great Dane sitting in Rescue who urgently needed a home. I had my neighbor explain to the coordinator that my husband would not be home from the ship until December 28 and asked if we could possibly come to see this dog on December 29.

December 29, 2003 rolled around, and Eric and I drove to the Rescue Center to see this dog. The Rescue worker went into the building and brought out this jumping, giant Great Dane. I remember thinking to myself, “This is a big dog!” Her name was Marike Sarah, and her previous owner had called her SARAH. 

The Rescue worker told us to take the dog around the block for a walk and then we could make up our mind. I had purchased a brand-new leather collar and leash just for the occasion thinking that we would take this dog no matter what. We returned from the walk around the block and told the Rescue worker that we wanted her. We signed some papers and paid a small adoption fee, and we loaded this bouncing, blue female Great Dane into our car. As we were driving home with the radio on, a song came on the radio by Cold Play “God gave you style and gave you grace. God put a smile upon your face.” And I looked at Eric and said, “Let’s call her STYLE.” STYLE was my first Great Dane, the song in my heart, the love of my life. 


Simply Sunday van Rosherta – “SUNDAY”

born July 12, 2004 – died June 9, 2014

Wenco von der Schlehhecke x Vatherine Vorticia van Rosherta

In July 2004, Margreet de Rooy of van Rosherta in Holland had called me to let me know that she had a black litter of puppies on the ground. Eric and I went to visit the S-Litter. The mother dog looked so sweet, and the puppies were just two weeks old crawling around in their pen. At the time Eric said to me, “We don’t need another dog. We have STYLE.” I went home from our visit feeling miffed that we couldn’t have another Great Dane. 

In late November 2004 while Eric was on ship, I called Margreet and asked her if there were still any puppies left from the S-Litter. She told me that she had one black female puppy left whom she had not found a home for. I asked Margreet if she could bring this puppy to my house, and she said ‘okay.’  

It was Sinterklaas Day on December 5, 2004, when Margreet brought the puppy SUSIE to my house.  She was just one week shy of becoming five months old. Margreet had her ears taped down underneath her chin to train her ears to lay flat against her face.  She was just the most beautiful puppy I had ever seen, and I fell in love with her instantly. STYLE liked her too. That morning while I was watching MTV Europe, a song came on by Maroon 5 called Sunday Morning. This is when I decided that we would call our new little black princess, simply SUNDAY.
I always said that if SUNDAY had been a person, she would have been wearing high heels, a short skirt, and red lipstick. It’s the kind of dog SUNDAY was — very girly. SUNDAY was the softest and sweetest dog I knew in character. SUNDAY was just a typical Great Dane sweetheart, very calm, very sweet, and very nurturing to our two girls, VENUS and VOCE VERVE. SUNDAY liked to groom VENUS and play Mommy, carefully licking and cleaning her. SUNDAY would have made a wonderful Mommy because she had that good-natured character. SUNDAY was much loved, and she was a very important part of our family pack. 

SUNDAY was a world traveller, flying from Amsterdam to San Francisco in March 2009, travelling by car from San Francisco to Tucson, travelling by car from Tucson to upstate New York in June 2009, and travelling by car from upstate New York to the Pacific Northwest in January 2013. 

We called her our puptart, my piglet (from Winnie the Pooh). This little black girl meant everything to me and my husband. I’m going to kiss you … I’m going to miss you. 

We can never say thank you enough to Margreet de Rooy at van Rosherta for entrusting this wonderful little black girl to us.


Venus della Baia Azzurra – “VENUS”

born October 30, 2007 – died November 28, 2015

Un Gitano-B della Baia Azzurra x Rumba-N della Baia Azzurra

Shortly after STYLE died, I realized that SUNDAY was just plain miserable without STYLE. I started calling around to see if there might be a puppy available that we could bring into our house to bring some much needed companionship for SUNDAY. 

I wrote to a breeder in Italy, della Baia Azzurra. I told them about how we had lost STYLE and how miserable our black girl SUNDAY was. The Donatis (della Baia Azzurra) told me that they had a three month old black female available, and that they were planning to come to Holland for the NDDC Clubmatch Dog Show in early March 2008. We made arrangements to meet the Donatis at the dog show, and they said they would bring VENUS with them. 

VENUS came to us at 4 months old. Patrizio and Ksenija brought her from Italy to the dog show in Holland, where we met VENUS for the first time and brought her directly home with us.  I couldn’t believe how big her feet were. Her feet were much bigger than SUNDAY’s feet, and SUNDAY was an adult.  

It was a very busy day at the Clubmatch with lots of people and dogs walking around. I saw a couple standing in the corner with some very large Great Danes, dogs much larger than I had ever seen before. I walked up to them and asked, “Are you the Donatis?” I met Dr. Patrizio Donati and his wife Ksenija with their big, beautiful dogs. They pointed to the back and there was this very large black puppy lying down on a blanket and they said, “This is our little black girl VENUS.” We spent the day at the dog show with the Donatis, and we drove home with our baby VENUS. 

VENUS was our big, boisterous clown. If VENUS was a person, she would haven been wearing Osh Kosh overalls, a t-shirt, and a baseball cap turned backwards. VENUS was our Tom girl and VENUS was incredibly fun and funny. VENUS had that same special spark that STYLE had, call it “Joie de Vivre” (joy for life).  VENUS would do the most wonderful thing when she was feeling happy, she would lay down on her side and start moving her front paws as though she was swimming while making the greatest of Great Dane noises.  VENUS was a very big girl – as big as any American male Great Dane.  VENUS was incredibly loving and sweet, and she was my Velcro dog who followed me around the house wherever I went.  VENUS was a big part of our family. 

VENUS was filled with exuberance, and she had such a golden character. She was always compliant and did everything I asked of her. VENUS filled our hearts with hope and joy after losing our blue girl STYLE, and she brought so much happiness into our home.

VENUS was gentle as a lamb; she loved our Maine Coon cats and thought she was a cat herself.

“Hey Vezie Vous, Moose, Goose, Juice. Are you a kitty cat?” 

We are grateful for every moment spent and every memory made with our beloved VENUS. 

Thank you Patrizio and Ksenija for entrusting this lovely black girl with us. Our lives have forever been enriched and touched by the gentle, great and powerful “Vay-noos.”


Voce Verve van het Buitengebeuren – “VOCE”

born April 23, 2008 – died May 18, 2017

Striker van het Buitengebeuren x Raffles van het Buitengebeuren

We had our hearts set on taking a blue Great Dane after STYLE died.   

I had made contact with Linda van der Vijver of van het Buitengebeuren in Holland, back in 2006 after we had made the decision not to breed with STYLE, telling her that if she ever decided to breed her blue girl RAFFLES that we would be very interested in a puppy from RAFFLES. 

In early March 2008, Linda gave me a call to inform me that she had just bred RAFFLES to her black male STRIKER and that puppies were due sometime in April 2008. I told Linda that we definitely would like to take a blue female from this planned V-Litter. I immediately started to think about a name for this unborn puppy. 

There is a beautiful Brazilian song called “So Tinha de Ser Come Voce”, and VOCE’s name is inspired from this song.  The meaning of VOCE VERVE’s name:  
Voce means voice in Italian – and it also means you in Portuguese.
Verve means energy and enthusiasm expressed in ideas.
(Your voice expressed in ideas with energy and enthusiasm) 

VOCE was our little sweetheart. She was such a nice dog in character, extremely gentle and soft. VOCE was also our smarty pants dog that could and did outsmart our other dogs. VOCE was always thinking ahead, an opportunist kind of dog.  When VOCE would run freely in our fenced backyard, it was like watching poetry in motion, quite like the way STYLE used to run, with grace, elegance, and fluidity.  VOCE was no shrinking violet. She would stand up to her sister VENUS and tease her. VOCE was also a big, substantial girl like her sister VENUS was.  We adored our little blue girl who grew up right before our very eyes. 

We lost VOCE suddenly and tragically … a blood clot traveled to her spine and she became completely paralyzed. We did the right thing by letting VOCE go humanely – with dignity and grace.

We want to thank Linda and Dik van der Vijver of Kennel van het Buitengebeuren in Holland for entrusting this special blue girl into our home and hearts.


van SundayStyle’s Choo Choo Charlie Brown – “CHARLIE”

born October 5, 2018 – died November 25, 2018

Bighearted Boz x van SundayStyle’s Basia

He was born with a white number #1 on his chest, and he was the first born. My strong and brave, 7-week-old boy, Charlie, who wrapped himself around my heart and never let go, is now in doggie heaven.

Like the shadows of the morning,
Climb up to the August afternoon.
Charlie has a way,
Of picking up the day,
Just by walking slowly in a room.
Maybe it’s a kind of magic
That only little boys can do.
But seeing Charlie smile,
Can make you stop awhile,
And get you feelin’ glad you’re you.
He’s only a boy named Charlie,
A Boy Named Charlie Brown.
He is just the kid next door,
Perhaps a little more,
He’s every kid in every town.
Well the world is full of lots of people,

Here and there and all around.
But people after all,
Start out as being small,
We’re all A Boy Named Charlie Brown.
Now the shadows of the morning
Have gone beyond the August afternoon,
And Charlie’s had his day,
His very special day,
His Morning and his Evening and his Noon.
The World is full of lots of people,
Here and there and all around,
But people after all,
Start out as being small,
And we’re all a boy named Charlie Brown.

— lyrics by Rod McKuen and music by Vince Guaraldi


van SundayStyle’s Cindy Lou Who – “CINDY”

born October 5, 2018 – died January 21, 2019

Bighearted Boz x van SundayStyle’s Basia

The hardest thing I have ever had to do … to gently let my little 15-week-old girl go humanely.

A little song I wrote and would sing to Cindy every day.

Cindy Lou Who. How do you do?

You know it’s true. Happy and blue. What do you do?

Happy and gay. Have a nice day.

You know it’s true. Happy and blue. What do you do?

Going my way? Have it your way.

Cindy is a girl, and she is blue. Cindy is a girl for me and you.

Happy and blue. Sassy and who? Cindy Lou Who!


van SundayStyle’s Bighearted Boz – “BOZ”

born June 14, 2015 – died October 2, 2019

Victory’s Magic in the Moonlight x van SundayStyle’s Annika

Boz was a boy, who wrapped his heart around everyone who met him – and he never let go. Boz was placed in his new home at 8 weeks old. Boz was returned to me in April 2016 by his owners at 11 months old. Boz stayed with me for the remainder of his life. Boz taught me many lessons about patience and enduring love.


van SundayStyle’s Arabella – “ARABELLA”

born July 23, July 2013 – died December 6, 2019

Bluestones Gunpowder & Lead x Voce Verve van het Buitengebeuren

The tiniest puppy born from the Aristocrats Litter. Dr. Cheryl Lopate put a red collar on ARABELLA at the time of her birth.  She had trouble latching onto her mother’s teat, so I would supervise and put her back on the teat every time she dropped off. ARABELLA grabbed my heart from the get-go. I had a special feeling for her.  She was a soft-natured, sweet, and quiet girl. ARABELLA was the epitome of her mother VOCE in character and temperament — laid-back, and introspective. ARABELLA was the grand ambassador in character, temperament, and personality for the Great Dane breed.


van SundayStyle’s Annika – “ANNI”

born July 23, 2013 – died October 19, 2022

Bluestones Gunpowder & Lead x Voce Verve van het Buitengebeuren

ANNIKA was our purple collar girl from the Aristocrat Litter. When her eyes started to open, she became very vocal. I nicknamed her the screamer. As time grew, I noticed she had an exuberant personality, some might call her a drama queen. She would vocalize in her sleep when dreaming. ANNI was a happy, outgoing girl. ANNI was truly ever wonderful.  ANNI was our high-energy girl, filled with vim and vigor. ANNI was especially sweet and kind. ANNI was the dam of our BRILLIANCE and DELPHINIUM DREAMS Litters.


van SundayStyle’s Aurora Nova – “RORY”

born July 23, 2023 – died August 1, 2023

Bluestones Gunpowder & Lead x Voce Verve van het Buitengebeuren

Rory was my blue collared girl from my very first litter. She was the biggest neonate Dr. Lopate had ever seen, weighing 2 lbs and 3 oz at birth. Rory was placed in her new home at 9 weeks old and was well cared for and loved. Her owners returned her to me, through no fault of the dog, in October 2021. Rory lived with me for 22 months until she was humanely put to sleep at 10 years 9 days old.

“Hop along Rory, hi ho, hi ho, hi ho. Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to school you go. And you’re hopping along and you’re singing a song, hi ho, hi ho, hi ho.” – I love you Rory with all my heart.

Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) by Billy Joel