If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. Mark Twain

Friday, January 21, 2011

From Pauper to Duke. (From Sharpei to Duke)

We didn’t think to have another dog, at least not just yet. Rex (almost 5 yr old yellow Labrador) would be the only dog until we return to Australia. That, of course changed when Duke happened.

Duke a.k.a Sharpei
Reading about Duke’s (aka Sharpei) plight on the blog and several correspondences with the volunteers, I had the pleasure of meeting him and Bear when they were at the vet for their health check. I was amazed by his sweet and calm disposition. Truth be told, I wasn’t prepared to meet a dog with such rough experiences to be so well-mannered. Apart from his skinny frame, he is actually a fine-looking, goofy lad.

Things escalated when Duke was attacked by some stray dogs the following day. Seeing the extent of his injuries, Rob and I decided to foster him while he was on the mend. He was mostly very considerate and polite with us, even with Rex. In the beginning, his consideration did not extend beyond our home. Little did I realize, this boy could hold his fight. During our initial walks together, it’s his way or the highway – which meant carrying this injured 23kg boy, wearing this big Elizabethan collar all the way home. Looking back, we would have made quite a sight since I looked as battered as him after each walk.
Duke (Sharpei) attacked by stray dogs (Picture taken from Hp)
This is Rex, my big bro. He used to wish for a Sharpei - his wish came true!

The initial reception from Rex was a little lukewarm. That got us very concerned until we uncovered one of the issues – Duke’s weapons, which is the Collar of Oblivion (having his side vision blinded by the e-collar) and his whipping tail. Rex had his untimely moments when he was at the receiving ends of slaps and accidental “bangs”. They both had their silly and laughable episodes. Needless to say, we were won over, including Rex.

Duke and Rex - best of buddies!

 I'm a pet, not a stray anymore! And I love swimming!

 That's my Daddy and Mommy and my big brother, Rex.
In a short time, Duke had made a difference to us. For Rex, he is a happy and bossy big brother – having Duke following him in almost everything. Even when Duke has no clue why he might be doing it, he is just happy to follow suit. The mornings have been rowdier with two big boys banging and bashing away with their happy tails. For us, they are simply a joy to be awakened to, having 2 happy faces greet us every morning.

Rex is a blood donor for Zeus Communications
Today, Duke has transformed from a lost and sad dog to a happy and affectionate boy. He has found a home where he can sleep soundly every night, without any more fear. My validation is his loud and deep snore most nights. He never has to go hungry again unless Rex finishes his food (not that Rex is a bully but he is an absolute greedy foody!). He now knows where home is and is happy to walk home each time. He loves people, walking up to them each time for some rubs and pats. And he can be very relentless and unabashed about wanting more – that’s why he follows daddy like a bad smell. Most importantly, he wears a beautiful smile that tells us adopting him was a right decision after all.

Living the life he truly deserves
Daddy and his boys
Thank you to Lynda and Fiona for rescuing Duke and making it possible for him to be part of our family.
Photographs and story courtesy of Rob & Stephanie


  1. Thank you so much for sharing the story. I am sooo happy to hear that Duke now has a wonderful family. Can you please tell Duke's mommy and daddy Rob & Stef that I am sending them my warmest love for their kindness and atruism...i will keep them all four of them in my prayers .... and that there will be more kind souls like them to give the stray dogs a second chance in life.


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"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."- Unknown