Dukey Broke The Internet

It’s been approximately 3 days, 12 hours, & 41 minutes since we said goodbye to Dukey. What has happened during this time is nothing short of a million miracles.

First, I’d like to say that many people commenting on the blog post believe that Dukey belonged to me. I’m a photographer, animal rescuer & advocate in Houston, TX. Dukey’s Mama is Jordan, a dear friend of mine & rescue partner. I was just there on Monday for moral support & brought my camera along. When I walked in & saw the hamburgers on the counter I knew some special things were about to happen. I just felt it. Funny, Jordan told me yesterday “I don’t even remember you taking pics. All I remember is you holding my hand.” Praise God for realzz cuz that’s the kind of friend I wish to be.

So, I’ve watched Jordan handle Dukey’s death with sparkling grace. And she must have read my blog post from Monday morning & learned quickly from my mistakes (wink) because it’s clear that she let him “go” in a timely manner. Blessings & messages from Dukey started happening so quickly.

To date, over 100,000 people from around the globe have come to my website to read his story. He has affected many lives in the most profound ways. Oh, did I mention, the post crashed my website & it’s server & the fine folks at Folio Websites worked their geeky tails off to get me up & running again with my own shiny new server? Yup, Happiness!

Yesterday I received an email from the editor of a very popular UK page who said, “Been sitting at my desk crying like a baby over this post.” And then he asked if he could share the story. Also wanted to know more about Dukey, how he lost his leg, etc. So, I asked Jordan to do some writing…

Dukey joined our family when we were expecting our first child. Shortly after our daughter’s first birthday, Duke was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. He quickly underwent surgery, to remove his leg, and chemotherapy. By this time, we were pregnant with baby number two.

Duke’s treatment was successful.

Just after baby number two, Duke had a swollen shoulder, right at his amputation site. This diagnosis was hemangiosarcoma. His tumor was growing rapidly and we were out of options. He would rally during the day, but his nights were increasingly uncomfortable as his tumor started to separate his ribs. We struggled with the decision to let Dukey go, but ultimately did everything in our power to protect him from further pain. With the help from our friends, Dukey had a beautiful day filled with love and happiness. We should all be so lucky.

THEN she wrote:

This is so hard to do right now, Robyn. I keep staring at my blinking cursor. I have too much to say about him and our lives together. It feels clinical and cold to just talk about how we got here instead of how he was so patient with Elliott when she’d used Chris’ toothbrush to clean his teeth. You know what I mean? I need help with this. I’m not finding my words still. Xoxo

I grabbed these pics off her facebook page from when it happened a few weeks ago. She posted them with the comment, “Note to Chris: Don’t use this toothbrush anymore.”

The last time I was at Jordan’s house was when she was pregnant with Elliott, Baby E, as we liked to call her. We had a blast doing an Awkward Maternity photoshoot with her hubby Chris & italian greyhounds Baci & Nuni, which you can see a bit of here on an old blog post. Wow, thanks google. LOL.

And how is E handling Dukey’s death?

“She gave him a big hug on Monday. We talked about it before I dropped her off. She still asks where he is. She knows he’s not coming back. She is just asking to see if my answer changes. I told her how much I miss him and am sad and that we can talk about him whenever she wants. She said she wants him back home. I said yeah, me, too.” —Jordan

Somehow I think there will be more…but I’ll say bye for now…



Bringing you these dog stories takes precious time and resources. It's important to me, and I'll do it no matter what. But your small donation — even $1 or $2 — goes a long way toward helping me maintain my website and continue to invest my time and energy into helping give voice to these animals who so desperately need one.

robyn arouty