Talk about exceeding expectations: A former runt of the litter has grown up to be the tallest dog in the world.
Guinness World Records declared Freddy, a 4-year-old Great Dane in Leigh-on-Sea, U.K., the world's tallest living dog in December.
Claire Stoneman, his proud owner, announced the news on Dec. 20.
He comes close to the measurements of Zeus, a Great Dane from Otsego, Michigan, currently recognized by Guinness as the tallest dog to ever live. Zeus, who died in 2011 at the age of 5, measured in at 44 inches tall and 7 feet, 4 inches on his hind legs.
Freddy's honor is especially amazing considering how tenuous his first weeks of life were, Stoneman said.
"I got him a couple of weeks earlier than I should have done because he wasn't feeding off mum, so he was pretty poorly" she told IBT. "He was half the size of [his sister] Fleur when he was tiny so I had no idea he was going to be this big at all."
As you might expect, Freddy has a big appetite.
Stoneman figures she spends about $123 a week on food, mostly whole roast chickens and peanut butter on toast, according to UPI.com.
Naturally, Freddy attracts a big crowd whenever he is out in public.
"If we go out in the daytime we get interrupted every five seconds," she told the BBC. "Cars brake and stop to look at him."