Every dog deserves their story.

So here’s Duke’s:

He came to live with us September of 2004. He got his name from me. My very first dog as a kid was named Duchess. But this was a boy dog, so Duke it was.


We got him on Friday and by Monday afternoon, he was our outside dog. I really couldn’t juggle getting ready for work, a kindergartner, a toddler and puppy messes every morning.

It’s funny now. Duke prefers the outside to the inside no matter what. He will lay in the grass in the rain over inside with crazy George. Lexi on the other hand she just wants her inside dog bed and she is happy for hours.

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But this is Duke’s story…

He has had so many adventures. And his adventures became our adventures.

In celebration of buying our first house, we planted a tree in our backyard.

It took Duke only a few days to eat the entire tree.

When we were at work and it was getting colder outside during the day, Beau rigged up a heating pad for him to lay on in the kennel. It was quite an elaborate weekend of work. Digging a trench for the cord, insulating it and running it to the kennel. The first day in use we came home and Duke ate it. I mean he dug up the cord and ate it. I still don’t know if those wires shocked him, but if they did, it sure didn’t stop his compulsion for eating wiring.

Because then there was the wiring under the truck. He enjoyed doing a number on those ones as well. Bye, bye brake lights. That one took a lot of hours to repair…

Duke was also an excellent escape artist. He got out of our gates more times than I can count. He was microchipped and collared so most times the neighbors just called and said, “hey we have your dog”. To which we’d respond, “again?”. We didn’t even know he’d gotten out.

But there were two times he really scared us. Once he went exploring all the way into town and made his way to the library where the mayor. Yes, the mayor. Put him in the kennel up there. That was embarrassing; interrupting the city council meeting to get our Duke out of lock up.

The other time he was missing for three days. Three really long, sad days. We looked and looked and made posters and asked everyone, but we couldn’t find him. Finally on the 3rd day, someone mentioned they saw a sign at the post office (the only place we hadn’t looked). Sure enough an elderly lady had found him wandering in town and had picked him up. However, when we called she informed us that just an hour earlier she’d had to call animal control because he just had too much energy for her. So Beau raced to the animal shelter but they didn’t have him. After another hour trying to figure out what was happening, Duke finally arrived at the shelter. They scanned his chip and then informed us we had to pay $100 in bail money to get him out.

Oh Duke.

He was an epic hunter. This is Beau’s bond with him for sure. He loved being out in the field sniffing out and chasing down birds. He didn’t always wait for Beau though. There were too many times where he’d just dive in the water or into a bush and grab them first.

He’s always been stubborn.

And loyal. They always say labs are eager to please. He just loved us so much. Even on his stubborn eating wire and running off days, we loved him right back.

His life has been full of chasing balls and the kids, peeing on everything, howling like a wolf, swimming and sniffing and digging holes and living his best doggy life.

He’s been a constant for nearly 15 years. Our first pet. Our doggy bff. We’ve been his human family. And I’m not sure what life without Duke is going to be like.

I do know this. He doesn’t deserve to suffer. So while I selfishly want to believe that he’s doing just fine, I know we must say goodbye.

It’s been a good run bud.

You will forever be our first and favorite (shhh…don’t tell Lexi or George).

You even taught me not to stress so much about dog hair and messes. Lexi and George owe you a big thank you. I don’t know what they will do without their big brother around.

Thank you for loving us all these years.

Just know this.

We love you.

We miss you.

You brought us so much joy and laughter and stories to tell.

Love always,

Your humans,

Beau, Angie, Emilee and Jaxon.

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4 thoughts on “Duke

  1. Judi Belisle says:

    Angie. My heart hurts for you all and my eyes are leaking. Aren’t we lucky to have had the unconditional love of our hairy family members? A heartfelt tribute to Duke. I miss our Charlie boy everyday. Love and hugs to all of you. Judi B 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Caren Gallanger says:

    My heart is breaking for your tough loss. Dogs just have a way of winning our hearts. I’m sure he is running across the rainbow bridge. Or maybe jumping from it. Thinking of you!


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