12 Saves of Christmas: Duke (save #5)

Duke the hound arrived at the ARLGP in June. We quickly learned that Duke was incredibly smart and active. At just 2-years-old, Duke was still very puppy-like with his play and energy. He was your typical hound, nose to the ground on every walk and adventure. And boy, did he love to adventure! This guy would stay outside as long as he could; playing, romping, fetching- he thrived on getting his paws dirty.

He was also very treat-motivated, and our canine team members knew Duke was a terrific candidate for some advanced obedience training. Using a clicker and lots of positive rewards, Duke learned many commands during his stay at the ARLGP (and was very proud of it!). He picked up on new things almost immediately; the yummier the treat the more quickly he would learn. He mastered sit, stay, down and “look at me” with a breeze. We knew finding a home that could continue to work with Duke on his training and provide him with lots of space to run and play would be key to ensuring this guy had a happy and healthy life.

When Peggy, an ARLGP volunteer, told her daughter Karen about Duke she immediately went on our website to see him. Karen owns a large farm, and as soon as she read Duke’s story she knew she could provide him with everything he needed! Karen recently told us all about Duke’s fun life on the farm and how she knew it was meant to be:

“We had heard about Duke and his story from my mom who volunteers there so we looked him up on the ARLGP page. When we saw his picture, we knew.  We fell in love as soon as we saw him.  He gently took food out of our hand while he was in his kennel with his tail wagging the whole time. We got to play with him in the yard and knew he needed to come home with us.  He was such a big goofball.  He was just what we were looking for.

relaxing

He has such a great personality, very loving and happy.  It is so nice to be greeted when you come in the door with a big wet sloppy kiss.  He greets everyone with the same tail wagging.  He loves to play tug of war.  For the past few years, we have only had 2 little dogs. We forgot how much fun a big dog can be.  He likes to be a lap dog like the other two, although he is about 60 lbs. heavier.  Although, the 6 lb. Chihuahua keeps him in line.  He has added so much joy and love to our home.  Vacuuming has become quite entertaining.  The machine doesn’t even have to be on for him to try to chase it and play with it.

Duke is doing well with the farm life.  His first experience with the goats was a head butting session.  He makes the rounds daily to check on the goats, pigs, turkey and chickens.  He has adapted to a home with lots of other pets as well.  He watches the hamsters play and is fascinated by the fish in their tanks. He sleeps on the floor by our bed every night.

Last Christmas, we had our two small grandchildren with us and it was such a joy.  We knew this year would be tough without them.  Then came Duke.  He is like having a small child at Christmas.  His eyes lit right up when he saw the lights on the tree.  He seemed a bit confused with the first snowfall.  He stepped gingerly outside, looking at the ground before barking at it. Now, he really loves to play out in the snow, sniffing and rolling all about.   It is hard to walk by pet items in the store without thinking, I’ll bet Dukie would like that for Christmas.

We’re so happy Duke has the life (and yard!) he’s always wanted.

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