It’s Good To Be Big: World’s Tallest Dog Gets a Book Deal

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Erin Barnes / Simon & Schuster

Meet man’s best—and biggest—friend.

When Dave and Christie Nasser chose their blue Great Dane pup from a litter of 13, they had no idea the “cowering ball of fuzzy fur” would break a Guinness record. They just knew the breed made for great family pets. When the bewildered puppy appeared at his new Arizona digs, the Nassers did notice that his paws looked large, but “it didn’t really register,” according to Dave. “All we saw was this cute puppy.”

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Five months later, George was already the size of a full-grown Labrador. Five years later, at 7’3″ from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail, he is the Guinness World Record holder for the tallest living dog and tallest dog ever.

George’s growth spurt and significant poundage (245 lbs!) is all chronicled in Giant George, a new memoir penned by Nasser that comes out August 4. According to the book, life wasn’t always easy for the high-reaching pup. Before fame came knocking, George was bullied out of the local park’s puppy section because other owners feared he would harm the other dogs. Turned out, George was the fearful one. “Our enormous puppy was a big softie,” wrote Nasser. “Besides his terror of being left alone, he had a fear of water.” (He’s also afraid of Chihuahuas.)

Today, the Tucson-based George, who has a lustrous grey coat and gentle face, is a canine celebrity. He’s appeared on Oprah and has his own fan club. His Facebook page alone boasts 70,000 fans. George also sleeps alone in a queen size bed, consumes 110 pounds of food each month and sits on a chair like a human.

Hopefully, the book doesn’t sugarcoat the experience of raising an animal that is often mistaken for a pony. George is cute, but he surely comes with colossal poop bags and a heavy paw. You also have to wonder: How did the owner’s newborn fall into the mix? Read this excerpt to find out.

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Kai Ma is a contributor at TIME. Find her on Twitter at @kai_ma or on Google+. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.