Goodbye Duke – RIP

Very sad news for client Catherine, who is training SDIT Baron in Virginia with Shannon. Catherine had a dog named Duke for two years whom she loved very much. He was a rescue – Shepherd mix. Duke was Catherine’s best friend, and they had two wonderful years together. However, Catherine called me a couple of months ago to let me know that out of the blue, Duke was starting to show aggressive tendencies – with no pattern of instigation. He would be the loving, gentle Duke one minute, and then turn on her or her SDIT Baron or people walking down the street in an instant. She asked Shannon if she should take Duke to an animal behaviorist to figure out why this was happening, but based upon what I heard of Duke’s history and the sudden changes with no pattern, I knew it must be something medical going on – I suspected a cancer of some sort causing him pain or a neurological issue, including the possibility of a brain tumor. Catherine took Duke in to the veterinarian as I advised immediately, and, sadly, the veterinarian confirmed that Duke had a brain tumor.

Catherine knew that Duke’s quality of life was extremely deteriorated. Each time he would turn aggressive and try to bite or actually bite her, he would suddenly snap out of it and lick her wounds with a look on his face as if he were saying, “Mom, what have I done?” Catherine did not want to put Duke through chemotherapy and radiation.  So, she took a day and just spent it with Duke, giving him wonderful things like steaks, hot dogs, plays in the park, lots of love, long walks, and a lot of snuggling. She wanted his last day to be happy and filled with wonderful memories.

Catherine humanely had Duke, 2 years old, euthanized the next day. Please give a moment of silence for dear Catherine and wonderful Duke. Please also be very aware of odd changes in your dog’s behavior. They may not be behavioral at the root – there may be something medical going on.

Rest in blessed peace, dear Duke. Thank you for loving Catherine for the time you were here on earth.

Catherine wrote:

This bond between us
Can’t be broken
I will be here
Don’t you cry

‘Cause you’ll be in my heart
Yes, you’ll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more