Today my heart is breaking. I lost my amazing dog Duke on Jan 3 at 4:42pm. He died at home, on his own terms: one minute he was barking for dinner, the next he had a massive cardiac event and passed with me holding his paw and Bobbi, Poppy and my dear friend and roommate Libby surrounding him. It was very sudden, and I am still in shock.
A Special Boy
Duke was an amazing pup and lived a full life. On Feb 5 he would have been at least 16 years old and I was lucky to live with him for one month and 2 days shy of 14 years. He had been living with cancer for more than six years using only cannabis to treat it and outlived his breed’s expectancy by quite a few years.
My Heart Dog
Duke was a heart dog. My OG travel companion. He has been published in more than one Lonely Planet travel guide — with a byline and photo and wrote about dog friendly hotels long before his little sister Bobbi stole his scene. He had a Facebook page before Instagram was invented. In 2006 he was pre approved for a credit card.
He criss-crossed the country with me and his dad Aaron Anderson when we were writing up guidebooks full-time. He stayed in five-star hotels before Bobbi was alive (another travel fact he liked to drive home to Bobbs). He was my only pup to meet both of my Grandmothers and my Uncle Bill and pretty much all of my family.
Four Legged Foodie
He also loved to eat, and eat well. God that dog loved food. But only the best food. He was a four legged foodie to the max. One time on a press trip to the The Broadmoor he managed to eat the leftover venison dinners of some dozen journalists without throwing up (unlike his siblings who kept me up all night). And I am so glad he was able to indulge in a $60 hunk of Prime Rib from The Palm for Christmas Dinner thanks to his godfather Russ Hathaway — who also treated him to boxes full of seasonal snacks and cans of food I cannot afford on a writer’s salary is his last months. He really enjoyed that steak, though. He didn’t share with Bobbi or Poppy.
And he was smart. One time I locked myself out of the house when a stick that holds the door shut fell into the well. Using a biscuit and voice commands from the other side of the glass door, I got him to pick up the stick and move it enough that I could open the door.
I’m going to miss my Duke so damn much. Run free sweet boy. Until we meet again. I you forever.