Tag Archives: Schmeichel

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Mar. 18/12)

Sleep tight big fella

Words for both Schmeichel and Lloyd at the end of Monday’s Ches talking to ill Schmeichel sleep tightepisodes: sleep tight big fella. Thank you, Carmel Morgan, for two perfect episodes. Sad and perfect.

The death of Schmeichel was beautifully done. Ches talking to him while waiting for the vet, telling him how frightened he was, how much he needed his help through the next stage of his life, telling him he loved Gary, Kirk and Ches with Schmeichelhim. And earlier, Kirk speaking up for Schmeichel’s right to not suffer, saying “I don’t know all the words for the body parts in Latin or owt, but I know a dog who’s had enough when I see one… If he could talk, he’d say Ches dude, no more operations, thanks but no thanks.”

Gary being there for Ches, listening to him talk about Schmeichel – Katie saying to Ches you think you are doing what is best“not an average Great Dane, the Greatest Dane ever”. Gary helping Ches take Schmeichel home from the vet clinic, not questioning or chiding, just helping, and nodding an apology to the vet. Even Katie came through in the crunch. She came back home and just once reminded him of his responsibilities, lack of money etc. Then she shut up and was as supportive as it seems she could be.

Only two things I would have changed. No one, including the vet, mentioned Schmeichel’s age in regard to the wisdom of any operation. Eight is old for a Great Dane. That alone would be cause for concern with surgery or anaethesia. Other than that, the vet’s advice was spot on. Also, I wish Kirk had been there when poor Schmeichel was euthanized. He meant more to Schmeichel and vice versa than Katie. But maybe her presence was meant to Vet, Katie and Ches after Schmeichel passes awayshow the moving on of Ches’s life with her and not with Schmeichel and Kirk.

The actual death scene was beautifully and sensitively done. At the final shot of Ches’s face, as Schmeichel’s laboured breathing ceased, part of my mind (the part that wasn’t crying) thought where are they going to go now? Commercial break? Can’t go to a noisy or silly scene. Can’t go to a tense dramatic scene either. Got to give time for Schmeichel’s demise to sink in.

Cut to Lloyd

Going to Lloyd, morose in his living room with Steve and a few cans for company, was perfect. Lloyd was emotionally and physically drained, from losing Cheryl and Lloyd grabs Karl in Streetcars officedefending her to Karl.  Earlier in the cab office, Karl had tried to cheer Lloyd up by saying “a free-loading pole dancer with a kid in tow – you’re well shot of her, man.” I’m with Karl on this, but it wasn’t the time for Lloyd to hear it. And he needed to release his frustration, so he attacked Karl then fired him. Steve separated them and sent Lloyd home.

Steve went around (at Tracy’s suggestion) with some beer to keep him company. Lloyd Lloyd and Steve and beer cans in Lloyd's housetalked about anything other than Cheryl. He says he overheard Katie say she liked the name James for a boy – James Brown, and she didn’t even know who the child would share a name with. Lloyd said “my cousin married a woman named Cat Stevens.”  Steve asks “Did she change her name?” “Why, because Cat Stevens did?” “No, because she got married.” “Dunno but she’ll always be Cat Stevens to me. Then again, so will Cat Stevens.”

After Schmeichel’s death scene, when we go back to Lloyd and Steve, Steve suggests Ches telling Schmeichel I love youthey hit some bars.  Lloyd’s up for it. I hope they have a good time and Lloyd sleeps well. He deserves it. And Schmeichel, rest in peace. Sleep tight. You are the Greatest Dane.

See my post about Great Dane health issues. And a bit of Cat Stevens (aka Yusef Islam)  – The First Cut is the Deepest. – for Ches and Schmeichel. Lloyd too.

Schmeichel, the Greatest Dane

Peter Schmeichel 1991 from WikipediaThe name Schmeichel is well-known to two groups of people, soccer fans and Coronation Street fans. Peter Schmeichel is a great Danish goalkeeper who played for Manchester United. It was in his honour that young Chesney Brown named his Great Dane puppy.

Schmeichel the dog has been on Coronation Street since 2003. We watched him grow up. Sometimes we wondered where he was when months would pass without sight of or reference to him. Then he’d reappear – and steal the scene.

Young Schmeichel and ChesThis week, on Corrie’s Canadian airtime, Schmeichel was euthanized. It was the saddest death scene I’ve seen in a long time. He had not been feeling well and liver disease, probably cancer, was the vet’s diagnosis. It was a very sad time for Schmeichel’s fans and fans of Ches and his friend Kirk. They have both been Schmeichel’s lifelong faithful companions.

Liver disease claimed the life of my beloved German Shepherd Jack, so I know how Chesney feels. Here’s information on symptoms and treatments. It’s not a problem associated more with Great Danes than other breeds. There are those too. Addison’s Disease, bloat or gastric torsion, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism and cardiomyopathy are named as particular dangers for the breed.

Great Dane Health Risks

Gastric torsion or bloat is common in all deep-chested dogs. Precautions to take are avoid vigorous exercise right before or after eating, feed more small meals rather than one large one, and put food and water bowls in an elevated stand to lessen chances of gulping air down with the food. (See my easy way to raise bowls.) If your dog has severe stomach discomfort, get him or her to a vet Schmeichel's death scene with Ches and vetimmediately. Gastric torsion (flipping and twisting of organs) can kill very quickly.

Cardiomyopathy is associated with either heart beat irregularity or heart congestion. It claimed the lives of two Doberman friends of mine (here). It can kill quickly or slowly, but either way, it’s not curable.

Hip dysplasia is where the bone doesn’t fit properly in its socket and is a common problem especially in large breeds (but can affect small dogs too). Care taken when they are pups can help. A food that helps their body and bones grow at the same rate so their bones give adequate support for their weight. Keeping your dog from getting Schmeichel with Ches in clinic penoverweight at all ages avoids extra strain being put on bones.

Like other giant breeds, Great Danes don’t have a long life span: 7 to 10 years, so Schmeichel’s on-screen lifetime was accurate. Still, like Ches, I hoped he’d live another ten. Ches went through every emotion and response when faced with the finality of his dog’s illness, but he reluctantly made the right decision. Weigh the probabilities in pain and trauma for the dog against the possible outcomes, and don’t let the dog suffer needlessly so that you feel you did everything you could.

Real Schmeichel retires

Schmeichel 4 on Coronation Street set with trainer, Ozzie and actorsI wish the real Schmeichel all the best in retirement. Also named Schmeichel, he is the 4th dog to play the role, taking it over from his grandfather. He truly will be missed. (He was my scene of the week pick, not surprisingly.)

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Mar. 11/12)

A Boy and His Dog

Rosie reading her story in the GazetteThere were a lot of great scenes this week. The birthday party from hell with Rosie’s press coverage and Sophie and Sian’s hidden engagement rings. Paul telling Eileen about his wife’s illness and the toll it takes. Sally sniping during the prayer at John Stape’s funeral. Lloyd learning the truth about Cheryl and Chris. Powerful scenes in a lot of good storylines.  But the story for me was Schmeichel.

Schmeichel on couch with Ches, Kirk and KatieMy heart started breaking early in the week, when Ches said Schmeichel wasn’t feeling well. At that time, Ches was too busy with Fiz to fully attend to his dog. That, I think, has come back to haunt him. Kirk took Schmeichel to the vet. Ches sees the dog bed out back, and no dog. The vet kept him in overnight, Kirk explains, looks like liver disease, maybe cancer.

Playing grown-up isn’t as easy as Katie and Katie reads eviction noticeChes had thought. Bills are overdue, including rent, an eviction notice is served. Katie is getting big as a house and, naturally, is concerned for the well-being and future of her unborn baby. They might end up with another child as well, if the wheels of justice don’t soon clear Fiz of the murder conviction. Katie and Ches are only 16 and 17.

Ches reluctantly accepts Owen’s offer of a loan for the rent. He even asks if Owen At vet's office Ches arguing with Owenwould also loan the money for Schmeichel’s biopsy. No, Owen says, not for a dog.  Be a man, son, you’ve got a baby coming. Owen is right, of course, but he doesn’t realize what Schmeichel means to Ches. He, Katie and Anna, the other principles in this story, did not know the lonely little boy who was saved by that dog. They know he loves Schmeichel, but I don’t think they can know the depths of reliance he has on him.

Kirk and Ches with his dog Schmeichel in clinicAt the vet clinic, Kirk said to Schmeichel “Daddy’s here” but that doesn’t fully describe the relationship between Ches and Schmeichel. Since Ches was a child, Schmeichel has been his dependent but also his friend and support.

Ches’s mother has come and gone, the man he loved as a father – Les Battersby – has come and gone. Even Fiz has left him, now due to circumstances outside her control but earlier too, when she put John Stape ahead of Ches. Only Schmeichel and Kirk have Kirk comforting Chesbeen steadfast for Ches throughout all his growing up years.

I hoped that Kirk could get through to Ches, that euthanasia for Schmeichel is the best option. Kirk knows that, but can’t get the words out right, and he believes Ches will make the right decision.

Schmeichel after biopsy with Ches and Katie in clinicChes needs someone older and wiser to tell him he’s not doing Schmeichel any favours and sometimes death is kinder for all. Owen, even if he understood all that Schmeichel means to Ches, can’t do it.

Ches has a chip on his shoulder toward Owen. He feels he has to prove himself to Katie’s dad, prove that he’s just as much as man as Owen is. Well, Ches, you’re not. You’re a kid and you’re facing one of Schmeichel with Ches in clinic penthe hardest things in life – the decision to kill your best friend. It never gets easier, you just learn that sometimes it’s the only thing to do and that keeping your beloved animal alive is something you’re doing for yourself, not your pet.

Also see my Schmeichel, The Greatest Dane for more on the actor and on Great Dane health issues.