Sex: Male Weight: 51-100 lbs
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Leave a bone for Duke (In Loving Memory)
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Sweet Man, Droolmonster
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April 8th 1994
WALKS. Duke didn't get to move around in his previous home, so walks were heaven for him. And the couch. Being allowed to stretch out was also heaven. Drooling. Drinking water whenever he wanted.
His previous Evil Owner of Doom, anyone being near his food
Duke had forgotten how to play by the time he came to us, but he did so love to chew on pig ears
Poor man had a dysfunctional relationship with food. He didn't want to eat it but he didn't want others near it either.
we did an hour + walk around the neighborhood 2 or 3 times a day.
Staying alive as long as he did.
Duke was a gorgeous dog who belonged to my aunt. She had him from his puppyhood and initially treated him well; even showed him. But after two years she adopted two children and she had no time for him anymore. He got stuck in a dogrun in the backyard, which wasn't terrible, except that the other dog was the family pet and was allowed inside and was adored. When Duke was allowed in he had to stay in a pantry type area. Over the years, he became more and more neglected, til after the other dog died and the family moved to a larger house, Duke's space was downsized. He now lived in a three foot by three foot area of a staircase (this was a BIG dog!) with no water in it. He couldn't even lie down without curling. He was allowed out just about once or twice a day to do his business and eat and drink, and was rarely if ever walked. His muscles atrophied away, and he became finicky about his food as a way to get attention - which failed. When I moved to California I was finally in a place to see what was going on, and I offered to take the dog. Duke came to live with us in our apartment, which although I would ordinarily have said was too small for him, was paradise in his mind. He got walked two or three times a day for a LONG time, and I even got up the energy to run him quite often; he was allowed on the couch (after a 3x3 square, it was... glorious), and he came with me everywhere I went. Unfortunately, as he realized what he had been deprived of, he got very possessive of his food. Never TOO horrible, only some growling, but noteworthy. Then, on a day when my aunt was scheduled to come visit him, my fiancee went to move a pigskin roll that was jamming into Duke's side, and Duke lashed out and savaged his hand. There was no warning growl, nothing, just bit and SHOOK; then as my fiancee was trying to withdraw, he bit the other hand as well. As we were cleaning the wound to see how bad it was (bit into muscle and tore), Duke was not sorry to my fiancee, he was only sorry that I was upset. After a long and painful decision making process, we decided to have him euthanized, as once a dog has bitten like that, particularly an old and traumatized dog, there isn't any going back. And I couldn't live with the idea of putting him in a no kill shelter for the rest of his life, after he'd been stuck in that stairwell for years.
It was remarkable, however, the progress he made in one single month. He was putting on weight and gaining some good-looking muscle; we'd been zealous about getting his nails trimmed (they were so long that he was sitting back on his heels, causing some strain in his already weak legs), his coat has shed out and was coming in so soft and silky and clean. Everytime I start feeling sorry that he had to go, I try to remember that he was having an awesome last go of it.
Duke will always have a special place in my heart. He was my very first dog after moving from my parents' house, and because he was so very, very grateful that he had been given such an opportunity, he was also very attached to me. I've never had such singular devotion from a dog before; the family dogs I grew up with were just that: Family Dogs. I was an angel in Duke's eyes, and he couldn't stand being far from me. It was a profound feeling for me, to be so adored unconditionally.
In some ways, I think Duke was asking for a peaceful release. We know it was not his fault; it was my aunt's for making him this way, and that as he had tasted Kindness and Love again, he could finally go with some grace. He was already an old man, and his life was probably shortened by his living conditions, on top of being a breed that wouldn't have lived much past 12 years or so. I think he was done struggling, and was ready for rest.
Duke, My Good Man... I miss you more every day, but I know you've gone to a wonderful place full of things to chase and room to run. Peace.
Lucy and her elevator are my girlfriend!
I've Been On Dogster Since:
|July 31st 2005
||More than 11 years!
Rosette, Star and Special Gift History
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August 13th 2005 8:31 pm
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Well, I didn't think the Rainbow Bridge could get any better, but I guess it can! Lucy, who can be seen here: http://www.dogster.com/pet_page.php?i=181113&j=t
is my GIRLFRIEND! I only ever had eyes for my mom when I was alive, but now that I've passed to this wonderful place called the Bridge, I've got a chance to look around!
Lucy is a terrific gal who apparently has some mechanical problems with an elevator. I'll see if I can send Maintenance round to work on that...
But it sure makes me a happy Gentleman.
Lots of love and treats to Luci...fer!
August 12th 2005 7:41 pm
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I remember walking with Mom and Dad one day. Dad is a BIG guy, 6'3" and 230 lbs. A pack of human girls walked by, and we overheard them saying "Oh look there's a horse." Mom turned to Dad and said, "Do you suppose they meant the dog or you...?"
Another child asked me if I was a great dane. Sometimes I think my mom would love to have a dane, but I know they don't have room for two at the moment.
Even though I had no muscles at the time, I was still *huge*.
And it was good, because Mommy liked it.
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