April 17th 2008 8:09 am
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I was absolutely stunned when I checked my email first thing this morning and there it was. Duke made Diary of the Day again! Thank you!!!
I was going to wait until Saturday to do an update but I figured why not today instead. Firstly I had to contact my Grandmother about Duke's passing. She really cared for him as well and even took care of him from time to time when we had to travel. I told her that we are finally going to be able to use the beautiful frames she gave us for Christmas. She and I share a passion for cats. She always sends me cat jigsaw puzzles and I send her funny cat videos.
We got a rainbow bridge card in the mail yesterday from my parents and my sister and her boyfriend. I'm going to put it up on the table next to Duke's picture.
Here is what it says:
On the other side
of the bridge to forever,
our animal friends
wait for us.
Good-bye hurts so much
But someday you will think
of your animal friend
with smiles instead of tears.
And it will feel as if this little soul
left a rainbow in your heart.
It certainly seems like it will be a long time before I can think of him with smiles instead of tears. I couldn't type all that out without crying. It is beautiful.
Luckily with the new up on the way I have some distraction. I've been preparing all week for him. We have everything he needs now and I think I'm about as ready as I can be. It's a good thing I've recently had to raise a puppy so I know what all is in store for me. I got an email from the farmer today saying that we can pick him up any time on Saturday just call first to let them know that we are on our way.
I really hope that I get to see Duke (Great Pyrenees) again. This time if I can I'll try to get some pictures and I'll post them up on Kael's page. Speaking of which I'm going over to create his page right now. I'll have to just take a guess on his birthdate for now. But I at least have one good picture of him that I can put up.
April 12th 2008 11:12 am
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First of all I want to thank all of the wonderful Catsters who have sent us pawmails and left gifts. It has really warmed our hearts to see how much everyone cares. Duke was so special to us no one will ever replace him and we would never try to replace him. I'm so glad to know that there are others out there who understand how we feel about him and share in our grief over his loss.
My husband took some great photos of Duke on his last morning. Even though he was deteriorating badly on the inside he still looked good on the outside. While he sat at his favorite window we took advantage of the moment and took quite a few pictures. My parents have special photo paper and a really awesome printer (Dad's worked for Xerox for over 30 years now) so we are going over there to print out photos that we will frame and put around our house. We have no pictures anywhere in our house, we never had anything really important to put up, but now we do. We don't even have our wedding photos out. Duke deserves that special place in our home.
In Duke's previous diary entry I actually omitted a few things. I was keeping it short and to the point. Since I've gotten so many responses about it I thought I'd add more here. There is even more significance with Duke the Great Pyrenees.
We spent about an hour at the farm. When we first got there and were taken into the barn the first thing to greet us was Duke. Of course at the time I didn't know his name. A 4 foot fence separated us from him and the goats that were standing around him. I stood back in awe. Magnificent just doesn't do him justice. As a matter of fact I don't think there is a word out there that could describe him properly.
My husband immediately approached him and reached out and patted his head. He lowered his head a little bit but seemed to appreciate the attention. So I decided to give him a pat as well. As soon as I got up close to the fence he all of a sudden jumped up and reached out for me. He actually tried to give me a hug! But I stepped backwards and he missed so his paws came down on the top of the fence. He stood there looking down at me (he was about 6 1/2 to 7 feet tall) wagging his tail. The farmer seemed a bit surprised. I stepped forward again and reached out for his head. He immediately shoved his mussel into my hand and began licking me and rubbing his head against my hand and arm. I couldn't help but feel some sort of connection. I really felt like he was trying to comfort me. I know dogs are very perseptive to people's feelings so at the time I figured that he could probably sense my pain.
I never did share the story of Duke's reputation in our neighborhood on here. I didn't even know about it until a few months ago. One of our neighbors got a job at a local pizza place and one night we ordered some pizza and he ended up delivering it to us. When I answered the door Duke was walking up behind me. He always had to check out who was coming into the house. As soon as our neighbor saw him he said "Hey I know you! Your the guard kitty." I laughed and asked what he was talking about. He said that he and a few other neighbors always joked about seeing Duke move around from window to window in our house always patroling the area.
Now I can't help but notice the similarities between these two Dukes. Could Duke (the Great Pyrenees) have sensed my own guardian Duke?
Regardless of all this I really feel that our new pup is a gift from both Dukes. His name is General Kael and I can't help but feel that he's going to be our new guardian. I'll be adding him to our family in the next week.
I just want to end this post by saying thank you Duke. I love you so much.
April 11th 2008 3:45 pm
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Throughout the past 12+ years Duke has given me countless gifts and I'm not just talking about the hairball variety here, lol. When I talk about gifts I'm referring to emotional things as well. He always knew when I felt bad and would be there for me. No matter how bad things were he would always make me feel better. Is it any surprise that on the day of his passing when I think that I can't feel any worse something astounding happens to make me feel better?
For months now I have been looking for a new fur member to add to our family, a dog or puppy to be specific. Duke loved dogs. His first fur friend was a black lab named Dutchess, they used to sun bathe together. When she passed away he was so upset he refused to eat for a week. I had set my mind on two specific breeds of dogs, Anatolian Shepherds and Great Pyrenees. Anatolians are very difficult dogs to come by (especially in shelters) so I decided that a Pyrenees was the most likely choice.
I've been watching the shelters for a while now and nothing has come even close to matching what I want. I'm not being that picky, I would take a Pyrenees mix in a heart beat. But the ones that did come up were either not good with other dogs or cats or required a 6' tall fence. I had pretty much given up.
What makes anyone feel better than looking at puppy and kitten pics? I did as much last night when I stumbled upon them. A litter of 7 beautiful puppies who need homes. Their breed you ask? They are Great Pyrenees Anatolian Shepherd mixes. My jaw litterally hit the floor. I immediately sent them an email. They responded in less than an hour and filled me in on all the details. It was an accidental breeding at a local farm. Both parents come fom a long line of working dogs specifically bread to guard and protect goats. All they are asking for is a fee to ensure a good home and cover their first shots and worming. They, of course, also wanted a vet reference from me.
By this morning they were excited about having us take one of their pups especially since we already have an Anatolian mix ourselves. Not to mention that our vet only has great things to say about us. So we arranged an appointment to go out there and see them. The pups are too young to leave and won't be ready until next Saturday (4/19) but they said that we were more than welcome to come out and see them now if we wanted to. So that's what we did.
This afternoon we set out on the hours drive and finally arrived 2 hours later. Yeah, we got lost. The owner of the farm came out and took us to the barn where the pups as well as their Mother, Father and all their goats were being kept. The father was magnificent and very hard at work guarding his flock. He was being kept in a separate area of the barn where he stayed with the goats and could leave and return to the barn with them. We were informed that this accident would not be happening again and to ensure it the father would be leaving to a new home with a friend who desperately needs a guard dog for his goats right now. The mother will be staying at the farm along with her daughter born last year (planned breeding) who was the pick of the litter.
As we talked with the farmer I slowly started picking up puppies and holding them in my arms. Suddenly my husband looked at me and said "It looks like you've made your choice." I looked down at the little white furbaby in my arms and sure enough he was fast asleep. The farmer looked at me and said "I think he made his choice." I almost wanted to cry. He was so precious.
The farmer marked him with a special type of crayon that is used to mark goats and sheep so they know which ones have gotten their shots. So now he is mine. I just can't believe it, I've been searching for so long and now I get both of my favorite breeds in one. Even my husband couldn't contain his excitement.
When we left I spotted their father again out in the field. He was diligently protecting his area from another dog that had just wandered close by. I looked at him and asked "What is his name?"
See all diary entries for Duke ~*RIP*~|