Stories of my beloved Lab Duke(rdawg)
Many of you special people have helped a lot with the healing process of having to say goodbye to my yellow lab Duke. We had many happy times together and although the stories that follow are all true they nowhere get close to my special love and bond with my best friend...but maybe it will get you a glimpse of how special he was to me and his unique personality. Thanks for listening and reading if you have the time to get through all of these tales (tails!).
As I think back on our time together I remember some special times we shared.
As a puppy I enrolled him in obedience class. He was made the 'example' of every behavior that was inappropriate. We had an exercise where we were teaching our dogs how to heal. Duke wasn't cooperating. The instructor looked over at us and Duke just fell/leaned against my leg as if to say 'my daddy' and the instructor couldn't help but laugh.
One time I had a couple of buddies over watching a hockey game in the garage. Duker was pestering my buddy Mike. Mike wrote something on a piece of paper..I couldn't see what it said..and put in right in front of Duke's face. Duke immediately dropped to the ground in a laying position. Mike had an amazed expression on his face...he showed us what he wrote and showed to Duke....it said: LAY DOWN. Apparently Duke could read. Had to be a co-ink-ee-dink of course but it was funny.
I don't know if Duke saved our lives exactly but something was very strange. I rented a rustic cabin in the Upper Penisula of Michigan sight unseen. By the way...never do that. Anyway, it did have a very strange vibe about it. I can't remember if it was the first or second night we were there...must have been the second because it was a long drive up there and it was hard to find. About 3am in the morning I heard voice on the lake. Men were talking from what must have been a rowboat...I'm not sure because there was fog and mist and it was very dark of course. Well, Duke was in a fit of some type. He was only about a year old or so...but he was whimpering...turning in circles...whimpering...turning in circles....for the longest time....and I knew there was something very wrong. It was so serious (or we thought) that we packed up in the middle of the night...jumped in the truck and drove straight home...about 7 hours on the road. As soon as the vet opened I got him in. The vet examined him and his words were: "There is nothing wrong with this dog". I think that if Duker didn't put on that 'act' that something terrible would have happened to us. Robbed, raped...murdered...I don't know...but he had an intuition and it forced us to leave that remote cabin in the middle of the night.
He was a special dog and I will always have great memories of him. One time we drove to Mississipi to visit my wifes' folks who were living on a houseboat. We took Duke with us and we were walking along an area where there was a clubhouse with a man-made cement pond....it was about a 12 foot drop into the pond from the walkway. We were just walking along and you know how labs love water...well he couldn't help himself he just jumped right in ...a 12 foot drop! I about had a heart attack...but he was okay other than drinking some water from the scummy pond and throwing up. Another time we took him to a lake to swim. Well, he loved water and started swimming...I swear he was almost halfway across the lake with me shouting "Duke...cooooooooombaccccccck....come baaaaaaaaackkk". Thank God he did...crazy dog.
He loved opening Christmas presents..because there was a toy or treat inside. Well of course he started to think every present was his...and would try to open them all! He had his head stuck in one box my MIL was opening and knocked her over in the rocking chair...now I thought it was funny...but he got banished to the other room after that.
Every time I would buy him a new toy it got a name. He immediately knew the name of every one of his toys. There could be 20 in his toybox and I would say...get your football...get your ringy-dingy...get your fuzzy ball...etc. etc. and he would bring that exact toy to me.
He also loved pizza. I would order and as soon as I hung up the phone he was at the front window looking towards the road where the driver would be coming from. I always said "Duke, it take them a few minutes to make it and drive here so it isn't that fast! LOL".
I hope I'm not boring you all too much with these stories. They help with the healing process and thank you again for your kind comments...they mean more to me than you could ever realize. Bless all of you.