It is with a heavy heart I tell you our beloved Duke passed away last night. I never thought much of the word "beloved", it seemed too mushy and phony to me. But I cannot come up with a better word to describe our Duke. He was loved by all who met him - because of his "Eyore" like disposition and those velvety soft ears. We were fortunate to have nearly 7 1/2 years with Duke, and that was only because someone at a kill shelter recognized him as a beautiful Black and Tan Coonhound. God must have been directing my husband to the B and T Coonhound Rescue website, where a great B and T foster Mom had posted Duke's picture. Duke - what a regal name. My children were in elementary school then, and Thomas the Tank Engine stories were among my son's favorites. One of the stories was about a old train named Duke, who wanted everything "just so". Duke the train was loyal, dependable, wise and kind, much like our own Duke. He was the perfect choice for us.

He was diagnosed with Spindle Cell Sarcoma; Duke never deserved to leave this earth that way. But I suppose many others would say the same about their own beloved pets who suffered a similar fate. Our hearts have broken over the loss of Duke, our only consulation is that he is no longer in pain. He was a great dog, a great companion, and even at nearly 12 years old, he died much too soon. (My joke is that I told him he was not allowed to die - ever. He must have been looking for food, he didn't hear me.) ; )

Our beloved Duke, may he rest in peace.
July 30, 2001 - May 6, 2013

Ann Schoening

Duke's Happy Ending Page

4 July 2013