Here he is. My big handsome fella.
After Kent and I got Murphy, we thought he could use a friend. Kent loves Murphy, but with his super active lifestyle, Murph can't always keep up. We thought next time we would go for a big dog. My dad has a super awesome German Shepherd named Jett, and we love him so much that we thought we would try to find a German Shepherd.
Since Shepherds can have so many health problems (and because I didn't want to support any potential puppy mills on the island), I decided to contact my old boss at the kennel, who also breeds German Shepherds. He said he didn't have any puppies available, but he had a great 3 year old who had been returned when his owner passed away. Duke had been owned by an elderly man who had a big farm. It broke my heart to think about what the poor dog was going through. One minute he was riding in the back of a truck feeling the wind in his face with his favorite person, and the next his owner was no longer there, the family didn't want him, and he found himself in a kennel waiting on a new home. We immediately said we would take him.
It was then that we had to begin the months long process of getting a dog to Hawaii. Because the island is rabies free, they have a crazy long procedure for importing animals-- shots and blood tests with a specific time-line. Instead of having Duke come out and stay in quarantine here (the quarantine place is not where you want your dogs to be), we had him stay with my family through the process. He got to stay with his half brother Jett, a Blue Heeler named Lacey, a chihuahua named ChaChi, and a little mix named Shelby. I'm pretty sure he loved it.
Here's a photo of Duke and his half brother Jett
Kent and I finally got to meet Duke face to face in December when we went home for Christmas. We instantly fell in love with our new 80 lb lap dog!
(This isn't the greatest pic because it's from a phone, but you get the idea.)
In January, after one delay because of a snow storm, Duke finally flew out to Hawaii. We were so excited and so happy to have him meet his little fur brother. Duke was exhausted after his flight, but was really sweet with Murphy.
Now that a couple months have gone by, Duke is nice and settled in. I feel so good knowing he is here with me when Kent is away. Murphy might be good company, but as far as a guard dog, he's no use. He would welcome any intruder with one of his happy smiles and lead the way to the "good stuff." Duke, on the other hand, barks at an unusual noise, and always lets me know when someone comes up. Not to mention he is a tiny bit intimidating to look at. (And he does all of that while being a great big cuddle buddy to me. I couldn't ask for more.)
And that's pretty much the story of my big handsome Mr. Duke.
On another note entirely, I've been working on a new painting of a beagle named Nelly. I'm about halfway finished, so look for a new post with her picture very soon.