Duke

by Tricia Vissers
(Kaukauna, WI)

There are so many things I will miss about you, so many memories....

You were a gift to me from Dad when Dad and I got married. We rescued you from living in a Chicken Coop when you were 4 months old. When we brought you home, our van stunk for days because of where you were living. You were the cutest one of the litter and the one who wanted to stay by us the most.

When Dad and I brought you out on the boat when you were 9 months old in May, you waited till our backs were turned and jumped over the side to be in the freezing cold water of Lake Winnebago.

You always had to sleep at the foot of our bed on the floor at night and was the first one to stand in front of the kids to protect them if you thought they were in danger.

You were a pillow for kids while they laid on the floor and watched TV, and a horsie for them when they were little.

You were a big brother for Packer, Dewey and Bella. When we first brought your brother Packer home, you had to show him who was boss by sitting on his head. Several times! When we brought home Dewey and Bella, you treated them like they were your babies.

You were always there to greet us with unconditional love, your tail wagging.

When we went for walks, you were the one walking us most of the time.

When Nick was little, he would put his roller blades on and you would pull him everywhere. And when he would play fetch with you, you loved playing with him. When he would play ball in the backyard with his friends, you would always steal the ball from them!

When Alissa was learning to crawl, you let her crawl all over you. When she couldn't crawl, you were there laying right by her, making sure she was ok.

When Brittany was born and we brought her home, you smothered her with kisses. And, in tradition, you let Brittany crawl all over you.

When the kids were babies, you let them pull on your ears, your tail and your fur...and you never complained. You loved every minute of it.

You loved to have wrestling matches with Dad. You and Dad would have so much fun rolling around together on the ground "fighting," Dad showing you who was boss by pinning your head on the ground and then you coming back for more!

I taught you how to sit and leave it. Dad taught you how to do a high five when you wanted a treat.

When we moved into the new house, we couldn't keep you out of the pond. If we couldn't find you, we knew where to look, down by the water. And there you were, watching the fish swimming in between your legs. You could be in there for hours. And if the kids were swimming in the pond, you were in there with them having just as much fun as they were.

You knew the UPS man just by the sound of the truck coming down the road because you knew there were treats coming!

You were also the biggest pain in the ass, stubborn dog I have ever had. Nothing pleased you more that digging up the grass or my flowers, or running out of the yard, or barking, barking, barking, or getting into garbage out in the garage and tearing it up EVERYWHERE! We tried everything to get you to walk by our side, but the husky in you wouldn't let you do that. I love you, but I will NEVER get another dog that has Husky in it! Stubborn, stubborn, stubborn!!

Your time came yesterday, and we knew it was time. You couldn't get up on your own without assistance, you couldn't eat standing up without falling down, you didn't want to go down to the pond anymore because you were too weak, you were shivering in pain. As your last treat from me as your mom, I went to McDonalds and bought you 2 cheeseburgers, which you devoured.

Your last trip to the vet was the hardest that Dad and I ever had to do. It was one of the hardest things we have ever had to do, but we just couldn't see you suffer anymore. Your body was giving up on you. It was time.

Dad and I brought home your collar and leash, and soon, we will bring you home too. That will be another hard moment for me. Your ashes will be put in the place you loved the most, by the pond where you always wanted to be.

Even though we have children, Duke, you are one of our children too, a part of our family that can never be replaced.

Grandma Rere always loved you and always said she would take you home in a second. Now, you get to go stay with her in heaven until one day we are reunited. Say hi to her for us, jump on her and give her lots of kisses from her grandchildren.

Now you can swim, dig and run like when you were young. We love you buddy.

Love,

Mom, Dad, Nick, Alissa, Brittany, Packer, Dewey and Bella

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