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R.I.P. Gibson, the world's tallest dog

August 13, 2009 |  3:07 pm

First it was Gidget the Taco Bell dog -- now this. It is with great sadness that we report the death of Gibson, the world's tallest dog. Gibson, a harlequin Great Dane, was euthanized late last week after a battle with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that strikes dogs and cats as well as humans.

A tumor was found in Gibson's right front paw in April, but his entire leg was amputated in an attempt to keep the cancer from spreading. He also underwent chemotherapy. At first the treatment seemed to have been successful, and Gibson's owner, Grass Valley, Calif., resident Sandy Hall, planned to continue his work as a therapy dog. (Even after losing his leg, Hall maintained that Gibson retained his full height of 42.2 inches and remained the world's largest dog.)

But last week, it became apparent that the cancer had spread to Gibson's lungs and spine, and Hall made that awful decision -- every pet owner who's made it carries the memory like a scar -- to have the dog put down. Gibson was 7 years old.

Hall "made the very difficult decision based on her concern and love for Gibson to have him humanely euthanized," said Gibson's veterinarian, Dr. Peter Walsh, adding that the giant dog "died peacefully in the loving arms of Ms. Hall." 

Gibson performed the role of spokesdog for an artificial turf company, Forever Lawn, which announced in a statement that it had tapped Gibson's son, Brewster, to be his successor. Forever Lawn also plans to sponsor a canine cancer awareness tour featuring Hall and Brewster. 

But Pet Connection notes that raising awareness for canine cancer is rather an odd mission for Brewster to undertake, given Great Danes' predisposition to the form of cancer that brought about his father's death. With that in mind, Pet Connection blogger Gina Spadafori continues, "I hope his owner will consider more than world records in determining Brewster’s future as a dad. Maybe breeding more giant-giant Danes is not such a good idea."

RELATED:
Gibson, world's tallest dog, loses leg to cancer
Teacup dogs vie for 'World's Smallest Dog' title

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: kcratv via YouTube

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