This is the hardest post I have ever had to write, yes, even harder than the one about my mom passing. It sounds odd, but I was at least prepared (for years really) for my mom's passing. This was just so unexpected. Jim and I are absolutely heart broken. At about 10:30 this morning, our sweet, loving, beautiful Australian Shepherd, Duke, registered name Slick Silver Duke, got hit by a car right in front of our house. I was out in the rain attempting to move the car seat from my car to our truck. I don't know why I didn't let Duke in the car with me as I was unbuckling the seat, or why I didn't just leave him in the house for a few minutes. I ALWAYS know where he is and NEVER let him anywhere near the road! All I know is that I let my guard down, turned my back for what seemed like 2 seconds, then I heard him barking as a car was slowly driving by. It was this old man that ALWAYS drives slowly. The speed limit on our road is 55 mph, but he always drives really slow. Duke usually never paid attention to the cars driving by but he did to this one because I am sure he thought he was coming to "visit" so Duke must have gone to "greet" him. I didn't see what happened, but I did see immediately after he got hit, actually it took me a minute to realize he HAD been hit. He was jumping around, barking deeper than normal and I thought he was just excited about the car, but I was too late. He had already gotten too close. He ran up to me and then just collapsed by the sidewalk.
I immediately called Jim at work and he was on his way home. Then I called the vet and told them they were coming. Jim got home, put Duke in the truck and took off as I waited for my friend Angie to come and get Jimmy so I could then follow Jim. After Angie left with the baby I took off to the vet, which is about 20 minutes away. I was about halfway there when Jim called and said Duke was gone. He was about the leave the vet to bring him home to bury him so I went on home myself. I got home, Angie brought Jimmy back from their errands, and finally Jim returned with our sweet, forever sleeping pup. We cried (I probably shouldn't say that Jim cried, but he did, he will be so embarrassed if he reads this, Love you honey!) for a long time.
You see, we picked up Duke together when he was a puppy, brought him home to my house and he was like our kid. When I had to move out of my dad's into an apartment not allowing dogs, Duke went to live on Jim's grandpa's farm where Jim was living after college. They did everything together, he was pretty much Jim's dog after that. Once we got married and moved into our house, we were a family and I got my doggie back but he and Jim still had this awesome unbreakable bond. Jim always looked forward to cuddling with Duke when we went to bed. Sometimes Duke would even be under the covers with his little head sticking out at the top, too cute! I admit I was a bit jealous, but it was very sweet (again, he will prolly be embarrassed I am telling you this, he is quite the manly man!).
Duke was an amazing Aussie, he was so smart! He could turn the light off, shut the door, bring you stuff, put laundry in the dryer, throw trash away, he never chewed anything that wasn't his, he never dug up the yard or my flower beds, he would lay down and go to sleep when you told him it was bedtime, if he was licking himself he would stop if you told him to, he knew all kinds of tricks, he loved to catch the frisbee and fetch the ball and the big rubber horse ball, he loved chasing the 4-wheeler and playing in the creek, he stood still when it was time for his heartworm & flea medicine, he jumped in the bathtub when it was time for a bath, he stood still when hosed off, he shook his fur to dry off on command, he was the BEST watchdog and he loved all the farm animals. He was great with the cats and they all loved him. He was wonderful with Jimmy, letting him pull on him, brush him, pet him and even sit on him occasionally.
We loved our dog so very much and wish so so much that we had finally put up the fence across the front yard so we didn't have to worry about this very thing. We just hadn't gotten to it yet. The whole rest of the yard is fenced so it would not have taken much to do the front and install a gate at the driveway. I am so sorry I let my guard down this one time and let my sweet bubba doo (this pet name came from "puppy dog" I know, we are weird, but we loved our boy!) get hit. It only takes one time. I wish with all my heart he had just gotten hurt and we had time to "learn our lesson" and put the fence up. Please, if you have something you have been putting off that could save your sweet pet's (or child's even) life, please put it off no longer! I read a very sad story about a horse that had to be put down at Laughing Orca Ranch, the neighbor had a very short fence the horses could pretty much just step right over and they got out, one got hurt and had to be put down. You would think that after reading that and crying over that horse, I would have insisted that Jim put our fence up NOW, but I didn't. Ohhh how I wish I had! Our Duke would be right here with us, wandering around, panting, wanting to play ball, just wanting to be loved on. We miss you so much bubbas! That'll do bubs, that'll do!
Here is a video I took of Duke when he first learned how to close a door. I think this is from 2005, maybe early 2006. Please excuse my dirty room lol =)
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