Duke was picked up as a stray and left at the shelter before coming in to Old Dog Haven care. He arrived with arthritis and eye issues needing treatment. Lucky for him, his Final Refuge home is an experienced ODH family and once Duke started getting much love, good food, and the right medications, his skin/coat and vision has likewise improved as has his mobility. His person tells us, “When he joined us we had been warned that stairs might be a challenge, but Duke now goes up and down stairs to the second floor bedroom quite easily without need of assistance.” Because he arrived well house-trained and sleeps well at night, his person thinks he must have had a loving home at some point in his past.

Duke’s new pack includes Dave the Cat: “Duke’s introduction to Dave the Cat was simply walking in the front door. Dave was unaware that our pack was adding a new member, but had lived in harmony with another ODH Final Refuge dog so he was familiar with big dogs. Fortunately, Duke turned out to be as calm, gentle and easy to live with as had his predecessor—so all is well!” As Duke becomes more secure he’s become more expressive. If someone forgets his “treats” after the evening eye meds, he reminds them with a bark or two. He’s also developed a cute “hobbyhorse” behavior when a walk is eminent. He jumps up and down with both front feet together as a “happy dance” to signal his joyful anticipation of going for a walk. His person tells us that he’s a wonderful neighborhood ambassador: “I never lose an opportunity to facilitate him meeting new people, especially young people if their caregivers are amenable. They hesitantly approach, and pet him, and start to learn that big dogs are not scary, but actually happy to be loved! Duke is absolutely trustworthy!”

Like many of our seniors, Duke is still in the “Velcro” phase where he moves with his person from room to room, and settles down wherever his is, happy to be close. Dave the Cat is frequently not far away either, and Duke’s person tells us, “As I successfully battle cancer, Duke and Dave the Cat provide indispensable moral support—their contribution is every bit as important as the meds and infusions I receive.  I am planning a return dive trip to Truk Lagoon in Micronesia and when I go back, they will both have earned significant credit towards the achievement of that goal!”

Friends, this is what ODH is all about: “Old Dog Haven not only provided access to a wonderful companion – Duke – but supplies all the meds and doctor visits necessary to maintain Duke’s good health and simple happiness to be alive.  This truly life-saving help would not be possible without the love and support of donors who sponsor him and other ODH dogs, who have won the Doggie LOTTO when Old Dog Haven takes them in!”

Update:  After over three years of wonderful care and love, we finally had to say goodbye to Duke.  He was a great companion and clearly loved his Dad.  Every day was a gift for Duke.  He will be greatly missed.