Of Dogs and Dukes

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Call it what you want, stupidity or ignorance — why on earth would you chain a dog up just to let it die? Despite having no space at the Shelter and our house being full of cats and dogs, we simply could not leave this poor dog to die. When we arrived, the poor little guy was covered in flies, but within a minute or two, he was responding to me, licking my hand as I went to stroke him and he was soon wagging his tail. Because of the lack of space, we had to put him with another rescue dog Dotje and some of the cats. Click here for a video of Duke arriving at our house and having cuddles from Diane.

Once we had a chance to look at him, we could see that he was a young boy, probably only about 10 months old.

From Shelter Dog to Beloved Family Member: Duke’s Story | Winnipeg Humane Society

When we rescued Khaleesi, her front legs looked quite deformed. With proper nutrition and support from bandages, her legs were straight again within a week or so. Another day and more emails, messages, phone calls and people turning up at the shelter asking us to take dogs. Every pen, every room at the shelter and house is full of dogs and cats. Sometimes it is just too much for us to say NO, sorry we cannot help.

But today was different…. As with many of our rescues, we asked for a supporter to donate 20 euros to name the dog or cat. We are extremely grateful to Jane Hughes Elton for naming this little guy Duke. The next day, we spent a lot of time getting to know Duke and helping him to feel safe and secure in his new home.

He enjoyed wandering about the garden and showed us just how much he craves love and attention. It was important that he should be able to relax because the day after we were planning to take him for a check-up at the vets in Plovdiv which is a 3-hour drive from the Shelter. Duke would need to be used to his crate as he would spend the journey in it each way in the car. We were up very early to take Duke for a full check-up at ProVet. We were keen to know what could be done to help his legs and to make sure that he was otherwise in good health.

Duke’s Dawdle – Dog Walk

The vets, who always take such great care of our cats and dogs, ran blood tests and took X-rays. After his x rays, Duke just wanted a cuddle and to be reassured. He kept pushing up to be close. Despite all the sad cases that we see, we are still deeply affected by the story of all of our rescues, but for some reason, we were particularly upset by this news: that someone had decided to inflict such injuries on a defenceless dog is beyond our ability to comprehend.

So we focus on what we can do to help the many, many other street dogs and cats who need our help like Duke. Duke also had a cough which the vets said was not an infection, but due to damage to his throat from the chain used to attach him to the trailer where we found him. Other tests showed that Duke was also very malnourished.

Now we had to give Duke the best chance of recovering from his injuries so the vet suggested putting splints on his legs for the two weeks to see what effect they would have on the deformity. They are hoping that there will be some improvement before the surgery because some of the deformity has been caused by Duke being forced to walk with his legs in an unusual position in order to get around with broken feet.

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They hoped that the ligaments and tendons might be manipulated back into position with the splints, but we would have to wait and see. And all through the tests, examinations and dressing of his legs, little Duke was as good as gold, waiting patiently for it all to be over.


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The following week, we returned to ProVet for a further check. Duke and Wilma return home after a long day, both tired but happy to be back. Now we will wait for Duke to grow a bit more and keep him happy and well cared for until the next stage in his treatment. If you can help him by making a donation, please visit the donation page of our website.

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What an amazing job you did in helping Duke, he looks like a very happy boy! The world needs more people like you and less of the ones who did this.

There should be much harsher punishment for animal abuse. All the best. I had a good cry reading all of this but it was an overwhelmingly lovely story with a very happy ending. Heart wrenching stories and I am in such gratitude for what you do and are doing. I have just donated Euros Ihope it goes some way to helping your great cause. It makes my heart weep reading these stories and how human beings can be so cruel. Thank god for people like you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the love and kindness you bring to these defencless dogs and cats.

God bless you. Gary — London UK. God bless those who helped rescue and heal this dog. And bless little Duke, of course. The sick people who this dog gave love and loyalty to and who in return horribly abused him — I have no words for them as they make me sick to my stomach. May they get what they surely deserve. Reading this story brought tears to my eyes. I would have adopted him and spoiled him the way he deserves to be.

May Duke live a very long and very happy life, only filled with the most tenderest of love for the rest of his days. I wish I could get a hold of the devil that hurt this little angel. They would wish they were dead when I got through with them. God Bless you good p[eople for saving his life. Thank you.

So sad that that boy had to go through such a horrific beginning in his young life.. I am so happy for Duke. Thank to all those good souls who helped him. Thank you so much for helping Duke and nursing him back to health and for all the wonderful work you do. I would like to get my hands on those heartless creeps who abandoned and abused him and give them a taste of their own medicine.

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Hope and pray they will get what they deserve. I have made a small donation for you great cause.

Hope it helps. DAMN the people who did this to a puppy and then left him to die a slow death of starvation. Their little bellies were completely distended from worms and they were covered in fleas. A little male dog and obviously a female litter mate. Well, you should see them now! Healthy, robust, happy and absolutely two of the smartest and most loving dogs my husband and I have ever had. Thank you for a beautiful story.

I have fallen in love with Duke….


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  8. We are doing a Silent Auction — bid on arrival and the winner will be announced on the day. You can see her work on her website at www. This walk is organised by Jacqui who is a charity volunteer and is covered by Dogs for Good Public Liability Insurance.

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