TORONTO – On Duke’s last day on earth, the beloved dog had a breakfast of hamburgers, a walk in the park and farewell cuddles from his family and friends.
A Texas photographer’s images of the family pet on the day he had to be euthanized have pulled on the heart-strings of animal-lovers’ on social media.
Robyn Arouty, an animal rescuer and advocate, said she was glad to be a friend’s moral support on that day.
“I was just there on Monday for moral support & brought my camera along,” said Arouty, who is also an animal rescuer and advocate, in her blog post. “When I walked in and saw the hamburgers on the counter I knew some special things were about to happen.”
After uploading the photos to a blog post titled ‘I died today’ on her website, the reception she received to the images was overwhelming.
Following the worldwide interest from strangers, Jordan Roberts, the dog’s owner and Arouty’s friend, was asked to share his story.
“Dukey joined our family when we were expecting our first child. Shortly after our daughter’s first birthday, Duke was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. He quickly underwent surgery, to remove his leg, and chemotherapy. By this time, we were pregnant with baby number two.
Duke’s treatment was successful.
Just after baby number two, Duke had a swollen shoulder, right at his amputation site. This diagnosis was hemangiosarcoma. His tumor was growing rapidly and we were out of options. He would rally during the day, but his nights were increasingly uncomfortable as his tumor started to separate his ribs. We struggled with the decision to let Dukey go, but ultimately did everything in our power to protect him from further pain. With the help from our friends, Dukey had a beautiful day filled with love and happiness. We should all be so lucky.”
To date, over 100,000 people from around the globe have viewed the blog post.
“He has affected many lives in the most profound ways,” she wrote.