Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dog Dossier: Duke

Aliases: Dukey, Duker, Big Boy, Gray Dog, Grumpy, Old Man, Handsome Boy, Pig Nose

Back Story: Duke is the first of the 2 brothers I adopted when my ex abandoned her dogs and left them with me. He actually came to live with me first, a few months before his brother. See, I don't know much about Duke's first 6 years in the world but I do know that he got hit by a car and beaten by my ex's ex so bad that he couldn't walk for a few days and now that he is older had been suffering from some pretty bad hip problems. He's used to be in pain every once and a while but now that he's approaching 12 he is in daily pain. The vet thinks it's some pretty heavy duty arthritis and he's on a daily NSAID to help manage pain. Understandably Duke is very, very sensitive about his hind quarters and doesn't like anyone getting near them, much less touching them.

Shortly after I moved into my house, but before my ex had moved in, she was living in a duplex with one of her friends in one half and her friend's sister who had like 5 kids. They had a big backyard and because of the plethora of kids her friend's sister had there were always a crap ton of neighborhood kids around. Well apparently there was one little girl who just loved to bother Duke. She wasn't necessarily mean, but she was always touching, poking, messing with him, even after repeated warnings to just leave him alone. Well one day, no one is quite sure what happened, they heard a scream in the backyard and came out and realized that Duke had snapped at the little girl and caught her just hard enough to break the skin on her butt. She ended up getting 2 stiches, and the parent's weren't really mad but my ex thought it would be a good idea to get him out of the situation. We were already moving in the direction of probably moving in together so she asked if Duke could come live with me and Daisy. I loved Duke already and knew that he'd just been given a raw deal in life so I said yes. He's never bitten anyone before this incident and never has since living with me. I think that the kid just messed with him too many times and he was over it. But also, being a good dog owner, I have never left Duke alone with a small child (or any visitor really) because I want to make sure that both his and any potential child's safety and security are assured.

So my ex came and went and decided that when she left she couldn't take her dogs. Which frankly, was fine by me. They had already been living with me for 4 years and I knew that she could barely take care of herself much less these two dogs. They'd been through enough in their lives and I knew that my house was home to them and that they had a big backyard that they could roam around and lots of dog beds inside to rest their big bodies and I knew that I would have a much better capacity to care for their needs (vet wise as well as TLC) as their ages progressed and their health waned.

Although Duke has a rough exterior...he tends to growl and gripe a's just a front. He's actually one of the most sensitive and loving dogs I've ever met. He hates when people yell, he gets upset very easily, he's actually scared of just about everything, and he just wants to snuggle in bed with you and be babied. He'll always be my grumpy little boy that I just love to pieces!

Likes: To be left alone, to be brushed, treats, sleeping on dog beds, sleeping on mommy's bed when she isn't looking, barking loud in people's faces

Dislikes: Flies, grills, vacuums, most other dogs, strangers, cats, birds, having anyone in his personal space, being touched anywhere near his hind quarters, leaving the house, baths, being wet in general, when people yell, when someone looks like they are going to hurt me

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