Sunday, March 9, 2014

My Dukie

This is an instance in which taking a week off from talking 'athlete' is totally necessary.

I am devastated because I lost my greatest dog friend this week. Dukie has been my pal for years. I have so much to say about him, but the most important thing about him is he reminded me to love myself. He came to live with me at a particularly difficult time in my life. I was depressed for God knows why, and he woke me up. I remember when I first brought him to live with me in Columbus, my boss told me my life was about to change forever. She told me that having a dog was like having a child and my routine was going to drastically change. 

All of that was true, but it wasn't just my routine that changed. I changed... I woke up every morning for all the years he lived with me to a slobbery wet lick across the face. I came home and wacked him with the door, because he would lay behind it so he would know when I got home. He would lay on the couch with me, dance with me (no seriously, we would have dance party when I would clean my house), he would eat the ice cubes, hang out between my body and the cabinets whenever I cooked, he would follow me around the house. All those things were his loyalties at play... But the more important things is he would put his head on my shoulder when I would cry, and lick the tears away; his final gesture to me while I was laying on the floor with him at the vet was just that. He didn't like it when I was sad, and I didn't like it when he was sad. It gives me great comfort to know he isn't in any kind of pain anymore, but gives me great sadness to know he isn't here to cuddle anymore.

What did Dukie teach me about life? Well number one is he taught me that things are just that, things. He taught me to stop and look around and take pleasure in the little things, like naps in front of the fire place after a long run! He taught me how to be loyal even when you don't always get what you want. He taught me selflesness, basically to give up something that I may want because he needed something more. He taught me 100% unconditional love. I would scold him for getting in the garbage but he would never stay mad at me. He also taught me that it is important to take care of myself. Case in point he wouldn't let me leave the kitchen in the morning or evening until we BOTH took our medicine. He literally took care of me every day. 

And here I sit missing his wet nose on my face, his halitosis wafting up to my nose because he wants to be pet, and his clicking through the house trying to find the last little crumb of food that was dropped by me. I also sit thinking about the joy he brought me all those years, and will honor him by remembering to experience the joy of life every day.

Dukie, I love you and will remember you always!!!

Scroll down for The Power of the Dog Poem.

The Power of the Dog

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie--
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find--it's your own affair--'ve given your heart for a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!);
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone--wherever it goes--for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart for the dog to tear.

We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long--
So why in Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear? 


  1. What a beautiful tribute to Dukie. I only knew him a short time but the love you two shared was like no other. So sorry for your loss.

  2. Very sweet tribute, Sarah. I never met dukie, but I can see how much joy he brought to your life! I loved the Christmas card pix of him, too. I'm sorry to hear he's gone & wish you all the best.