Wednesday, March 9, 2011


When we left Canada to go to Bible College in TN we had to leave our dog behind with my mom and dad. We loved Lacey Jean and it was hard to leave her and doubly hard when she passed away a year later. Our kids wanted another dog but we weren't allowed to have dogs in the apartment complex we lived in. So we told them that when we moved back to Canada we would get a dog.

We moved into our first parsonage one week before Christmas and in January I sent my husband out to the SPCA to find us a 'small' dog. I told him that the kids didn't know he was going so if he didn't find something 'small' then he could always go back another day and they wouldn't be disappointed because they weren't aware of his going anyway.

A short time later I heard our car pull into the driveway so I opened the back door and took one look at the creature before me and involuntarily blurted out 'what is that?!' The poor dog looked like one of the dogs that I had seen for sale at the meat market in London England many years ago. He was emaciated and skeletal and he was much bigger than 'small'. Brad explained that he was the smallest of the dogs there and that he had fallen in love with him when he bounded out of his cage and quickly devoured all the food in the cat food dishes. So Dukie became ours.

We spent the first three days constantly filling up the food dish for him. I kept thinking we were asking for trouble and that he would throw it up but he never did. On the third day he finally walked away from his food dish and knew that he wouldn't be hungry again, that we would always keep it filled. He eventually lost his skeletal look and filled out, probably too much, but he became beautiful to us.

Dukie was wild. He had been found wandering the highway and it's hard to know how long he had been scavaging for food. Food became something to be seized whenever it was left unattended. He had been known to use his long 'arms' to pull things off the counter. He was found in the center of the table on more than one occassion. If a glass of milk was left next to the owner, he soon had his long muzzle in it straight to the bottom of the glass. He was wild and he was a hound.

After the first three years that we had Dukie he did become less wild and more civilized but his love of food never left him except on one special occasion. One day Alannah decided to have a tea party with Dukie. Now you may be thinking, this is not a good idea. But Dukie rose to the occasion and was the perfect gentleman. She set her tiny plates out into two place settings, one for her and one for him. She put a cracker on each plate and then poured water into each cup sitting on its saucer. She told Dukie to wait and he did. She prayed a blessing on their food and then she told him to take little bites. This hound dog which ate the side off a turkey once and who licked out a peanut butter jar, took tiny bites of this cracker and gently lapped at the water in the cup!

We had Dukie until he was nine or so and then he developed tumors and was in pain so we had to let him go. He was a blessing and I often tease that he was my ugly duckling that became a swan. He was a dear friend, faults and all and his memories are precious to us.

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