Thanks for the note! We miss him, too. He was the best.
I found Charlie on squishfacedogs and oh my goodness, he really does look a lot like Duke.
Amy and I think about Duke every day. We made a 2012 calendar using photos of him so his photos are always there in our kitchen.
When we lost him, we had this big hole in our hearts. Every day for the least two years, we put all this love into taking care of him, and when he was gone, that love had nowhere to go. We couldn’t channel it into anything. It hurt.
Then, in January, Amy found a orangish brown Pekingese on Petfinder. Apparently he’d been sealed into a cardboard box and thrown into a dumpster in the dead of winter. Someone heard him rustling around in there and took him to a nearby vet, who took excellent care of him, and now they were trying to find him a home. As soon as he was healthy again, we went to visit him and within hours we were taking him home. We named him Barnabas, or “Barney” for short.
But Barney was young, and we figured he might want company during the day. So, in April, Amy found a fluffy white Pekingese on Petfinder. His name was Jay, and his owner had given him up because she had to go back to school while working. We met him at a PetSmart adoption event. I hesitated at first, because it’d been so long since I’d had a small white Pekingese on my lap. (You ever break down in a PetSmart? It’s… awkward.) But in the end, we took Jay home, and now he’s ours.
And that’s how it works, I guess. I wasn’t a dog person before Duke, and then I grew to love him, and now I’m a dog person. Then when he left, I was still a dog person, I just didn’t have a dog. That love had to go somewhere, so we found Barney and Jay, and now they receive all the care and attention that Duke taught us to have.
Duke may be gone, but his memory lives on as we take the love he taught us and pay it forward.
Some of you have expressed interest in making a donation in Duke’s honor. Amy and I thought about which dog charities would make the most sense, and these are the two we settled on:
Duke knew the importance of giving dogs a second shot (or, in Duke’s case, third or fourth shot) at a great life. Duke came from Midwest Small Breed Rescue, a rescue that knows how much value and love senior dogs can bring to our lives. You can support Midwest Small Breed Rescue at: http://members.petfinder.com/~MI559/donations.html.
Duke also came to know and love Chicago. A wonderful organization in Duke’s adopted “hometown” called New Leash on Life in Chicago also gives dogs a second chance by finding loving homes for shelter dogs who might otherwise be euthanized. You can support New Leash on Life here: https://newleash.ipower.com/chicago/donationform.asp.
Thanks again for your kind words. I’ve still got a ton of photos I want to share, and even though he’s gone, I hope they’ll bring you joy.
Duke’s foster mom, Marsha, sent us a very sweet message about the time we took Duke to visit her and the other foster pups after we’d had him for a year:
Duke will always be very special to us. We remember the day we went to pick him up from the lady that had adopted him the year before you did. We pulled into her driveway and got out of the car and the lady opened the door and Duke came flying out to meet us. He wanted to get in the car and go. He was so different when he went to you. Last year when you came to visit on Thanksgiving we knew he had the very best and the right people for him. He left our house and didn’t look back.
This means the world to me. Amy and I like to think we gave him a good home, and that he knew he was loved. We miss him so much.
We’d like to thank everyone who’s offered us kind words of support here, on Duke’s Facebook page, and via text and email. We miss him so much, and all the nice things you’ve shared with us have helped us in our time of mourning.
We’ll continue to post old photos we find, or other things that help us remember what a fun, sweet dog Duke was. Just because he’s gone doesn’t mean we’ll want to stop sharing all the memories we made with him.
I’m sorry to report that Duke passed away tonight. He stuck with us through kidney and heart failure. He was a sweetheart, and a loyal companion. He was my best friend.
Over the last couple weeks his appetite dwindled, and Amy and I gave him his food and pills via feeding syringe. He still wanted to go on walks, and smell leaves, and sit with us. Then, in the last couple days his health got worse. He cried when we fed him, and he didn’t want to go on walks anymore. We could tell it was his time.
He left us peacefully, at the vet’s office, surrounded by Amy, myself, the vet tech who took care of him whenever we went out of town, and the veterinarian who took such good care of him.
We’ve enjoyed getting so many messages from all of you about how much you’ve enjoyed following Duke’s adventures, and we’ve loved sharing them with all of you.
We still have so many pictures and memories of our favorite little guy to share, so this blog will continue to be what it always was: a loving tribute to Duke.
Rest in peace, little buddy. We miss you.