He was certainly a gentle giant.
Giant George, the Guinness World Record holder of “World’s Biggest Dog,” died last week, one month before his eighth birthday.
Not only the world's biggest but also the world’s tallest dog, at 43 inches from foot to shoulder and standing at 7 feet 3 inches on his hind legs, George passed away at his Tuscon, Ariz., home, where he lived with his owner, Dave Nasser.
Nasser said his Great Dane, who was named "World’s Tallest Dog" and "World’s Biggest Dog" by Guinness in 2010, died on Oct. 17.
“'It is with a heavy heart that we announce Giant George died last night. George passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones, one month before his eighth birthday,” Nasser wrote on his official Facebook page. “We appreciate the love and support you have given Giant George over the last several years. We look forward to honoring his spirit by continuing his charitable works.”
A cause of death was not released by the Nasser family.
Last year, Nasser penned a book, “Giant George: Life with the World’s Biggest Dog,” after George was named the biggest dog ever recorded by Guinness. In the book, Nasser details what it’s like to live with Giant George, who eats more than 180 pounds of food a month and has to sleep on a queen-sized mattress. For a meal, Nasser said, George typically ate two cups of rice, one cup of dog food, three quarters of a cup of chicken, and four or five tablespoons of yogurt.
However, Nasser said despite weighing 100-plus pounds more than an average Great Dane, George is quite normal otherwise, enjoying regular canine activities like barking at the mailman.
Nasser reflected on the day he and his wife, Christine, adopted George, one of a litter of 13 puppies, when he was just 7 weeks old.
“Twelve were entangled with one another, but our eyes were drawn to one pup standing apart from the rest. He was clearly the runt, endearing him to Christie immediately,” Nasser said.
But George was no runt.
“At five months he still acted like a puppy, chasing his tail and playing games of fetch and tug-of-war with his favorite bit of rope. But he was already the size of a fully-grown Labrador,” Nasser said, noting he outgrew his twin-sized mattress.
When George turned two-years-old, and weighed 252 pounds, a friend suggested that Nasser contact Guinness to see if his dog was the largest in the world. It turns out, he was named both the largest and the tallest.
After earning his titles from Guinness, George and the Nassers appeared on talk shows like “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “Live! With Regis And Kelly,” where he had to take up an entire row of five seats on the airplane to get to New York City.