My favorite person in the whole world is my best buddy Mannanan MacLir.  "Manny" is a six year old Irish wolfhound who came to live with me when he was eleven weeks old.  The first time I saw him, he was a little black ball of fuzz.  (Well, not so little...at five weeks he was as big as a lot of grown dogs.)

 
5 weeks 18 months 11 months
(Click for bigger pics)

If you would like a history of the real Mannanan MacLir,
try these two links.
Folk-lore of the Isle of Man
Story of the Irish Race

For those of you who have never seen an IW, he's the one in the encyclopedia that stands on his back legs with his front paws on the man's shoulders and looks OVER the man's head.  Great Danes are big dogs, and some of them even outweigh IWs, but IWs are longer in the body and tend to run taller at the shoulder.

The only thing more beautiful than a wolfhound at full gallop, is an Arabian horse racing the wind.

 If you are interested in cohabitating with a wolfhound of any kind (Irish or Russian [or Borzoi]), there are some things you should know about the breed.
First and foremost is that these dogs have been around a very long time and their traits are there to stay.

These traits include:
Rug Impersonations - they are ALWAYS in the way in the house, which means you must step OVER them at least 40 times a day.  Houses were simply not designed with the adult wolfhound in mind.

Couch Potato Syndrome - yes, they DO take over the living room couch and spend about 90% of the household's waking time there.  (Then they move to your king-sized bed and push you out.)

Race Horse Fevers - they instinctively remember that they are sprinters when let outside on a cool day and are prone to sudden fits of gallopingitis.  It is nice to watch, but stay out of their direct paths, they don't turn very well.

Seriously though, you should remember a few items about these dogs.