We had to say goodbye to our family dog Duke this past weekend. He was 13, and we were hoping to make it to his 14th birthday in May, or even better, the 14th anniversary of his adoption on July 3rd. But it wasn't meant to be.
He had developed hip problems over the last 2-3 years but he powered through them like a champ. His health really started to decline in late October, as he developed a growth on his back and went blind in his right eye. He was also yelping in pain from time to time, a very uncharacteristic trait. My mom took him to the vet, but the vet just wanted money for X-rays and other unnecessary junk. Around Thanksgiving the growth got bigger, and infected, so my mom took him to a different vet who immediately cut the growth out and confirmed it was cancerous. She gave us some pain pills and Duke was able to have one last Christmas and New Years celebration with the whole family, plus had a gnarly scar to show off. But over the last week he started getting even worse, wandering around, bumping into furniture, unable to be alone. More growths were popping up. Saturday morning he went out in the backyard and collapsed, and my parents made the call to put him to sleep. It was hard to see him those last 3 months, but he powered through it like a trooper, and his pain is finally gone.
He lived a damn good life for a dog... my mom walked him every single morning for about a decade, until he couldn't handle long walks anymore. Plus I walked him every afternoon in high school and when I was home from college, and when I would house sit later on. He had my grandpa's farm to run around on, with a tank to swim in. Plenty of squirrels and rabbits to chase, and he always got the leftover rib bones when we had BBQ.Here
are some pics
of Duke on his 13th adoption anniversary last July, and my favorite pic of the two of us circa 2008
, the only picture I was able to ever get of him looking directly into the camera.
I like to think he's found some of the other pets from this thread in Doggie Heaven and they're having discussions on their owners' Star Wars collections.