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Best Friends: Rachel Schardt
(Times photo: Marissa Weiher)
Rachel Schardt, a stay-at-home-mom and former member of the Green County Humane Society board of directors, has made a big difference in the lives of all of her best friends. Sam, a 4-year-old German Shepherd, and 5-year-old Great Danes Stella and Athena all are rescue dogs.

Schardt got Stella and Athena after the seizure of Great Danes outside of Albany where 46 dogs were being hoarded.

Schardt was touring the facility at Charlie's Bark Park with the humane society when she met Sam. He was 2 and had been taken from an abusive situation. She hesitated to adopt him at first but gave in to his big sad eyes.

Schardt has another best friend, Sasha, a 4-year-old potcake she adopted from the Turks and Caicos Islands who is extremely camera shy. She wanted to adopt a potcake after seeing them roaming the streets during a trip to the Bahamas.

- Marissa Weiher

Describe your dogs' personalities.

Sam's a clown. He's a very happy-go-lucky clown and quite possibly the dumbest German shepherd that ever lived.

Stella is a moody princess. She is stubborn but she's still like the best dog ever.

Athena is just joyful. She is the happiest, sweetest dog you'll ever meet. We call her weenie, because she's afraid of everything.

Stella and Athena were awful puppies. They had no idea how big they were. This was my first experience with Great Danes because I grew up having boxers. Great Danes are something different than dogs, there's a regalness to them. We will never not have great Danes again.

What are your favorite things to do together?

The Great Danes are at that stage where they like to take naps but they still like to be outside just tearing around in the yard. They love to dig, and I love to watch dogs dig. Our yard is not beautiful. We like to let them indulge in being dogs.

What has been the best part of having them in your life?

It's fun. I can't imagine our house without a dog, or, well, three or four dogs. I like them being around. To me, the bigger the better. The only bad thing about dogs is their life span. They add a lot of personality to this house.