On December 6, 2014 we adopted our new best friend, Duke. He was given up by his family at eight years old. He greeted us with a beautiful big smile and dropped to show us his belly. We instantly knew that he would be coming home with us. Duke jumped straight in the back seat of the car and spent the drive home resting his head on our shoulders and sharing our lunch.
We spent the weekends at the beach, going for walks and having fun with friends. Duke never spent another night of his life without being surrounded by people who loved him and cared for him.
In May 2015, Duke developed a limp so we took him to the vet. After a number of consultations we were given the heartbreaking news that Duke had bone cancer with only weeks to live. We decided to get a second opinion so made an appointment to see Dr Rod Straw at Brisbane Veterinary Specialist Centre (BVSC).
Duke was diagnosed with Histiocytic Sarcoma (HS) in his right front leg and had an amputation the next day. Amputation was his best chance for a cure and it also relieved him of the tumour pain. He adjusted so well to tripod life and he was running by day seven. The smile never left his face.
So many people fell in love with Duke, so I decided to start a facebook page to keep everyone up to date with his progress. He soon had over 1000 followers and some were even from the other side of the world! www.facebook.com/dukeysfight
Duke handled chemotherapy well and just continued on loving life. However in February 2016, after routine scans, our world came crashing down. A mass had appeared in his abdomen and a biopsy confirmed that HS was back and with a vengeance.
Duke had shown no signs of the cancer progressing and continued to have fun each day. We started a protocol straight away, but unfortunately nothing was stopping this monster from growing. We tried everything, but this cancer is just too aggressive.
Late March, Duke started to show signs of declining. When it was Duke’s time to go, we wanted it to be at home, surrounded by people who loved him. On the 31st of March 2016 after a cooked breakfast and a relaxation treatment, we took him for his last drive to the waterfront and he went for his last ‘walk’ in his wheelchair.
He had the biggest smile on his face. We then took him home, where he got to eat the cat’s food for the last time and was peacefully sent over the rainbow bridge. Duke was surrounded by love, cuddles, tears, kisses and best of all, was now cancer free.
Dukey’s Cause will raise awareness and funds to help find a cure for cancer.