February 2010 Newsletter
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY EVERYONE!  

February's Special is 10% off any Red or Pink Apparel, Leashes, or Collars for Dogs and Cats.  Check 
out www.reddingo.com for all the choices of leashes and collars that we have, pink is on sale!!

EVENTS:
You can now also find me on FACEBOOK, MYSPACE, & TWITTER.  I use Facebook daily; tips, videos, 
events, and more can be found there.

$5 referral credit goes to those folks who refer friends and family pets for a grooming.  Cash in today.

Go here for Low Cost Vaccinations:  http://www.myfavoritegroomer.com/LowCostVaccinations.html

Just added a Free Groom link to my website, check out the details on www.myfavoritegroomer.com  It 
gives folks that are in a hard spot the opportunity to qualify for the monthly free groom.  I’d like to be 
there for you and your pets even when it’s hard.  Pass that on to someone you know needs pet help.  
Another alternative is the low cost shave only grooms.

Story of the month goes hand in hand with Valentine's Day, a story of a love so dear to me:

Dedicated to my Little Dukester
www.myfavoritegroomer.com/lovingmemoryduke     
videos of Duke can be found on facebook
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ltAGuuru7Q  (This song is dedicated to Duke from his Grandpa)

Kate from Beyond the Rainbow told me that there are three things I’m going to remember really well.  The 
day I got Duke, the day he got old, and the day I had to say goodbye.  I choke up just typing that out to 
you.  

Duke was on his way to being 13 years old on Feb 12, 2010.  He was born in Germany along with his 
brother Sueii in a small town called Prum just a little ways outside the Air Force Base I was stationed at.  I
remember well, the day I adopted Sueii, his brother.  We took Sueii to visit some of our friends and they 
fell in love with him.  So, they insisted we take them out to pick one for themselves.  They picked out 
Duke.  He was the last one left.  We always got together to let Sueii and Duke spend time together.  Duke’
s family had over four cats in their house and they were the biggest cats I’d ever seen.  They towered 
Little Duke.  
I had gone on a deployment when I heard Dukes family was going to split up.  I was married at the time 
and discussed offering to buy Duke from that couple since Sueii and Duke were brothers.  It was a deal.  
So, the day I got home from my deployment to Turkey, I came home to Duke….and Sueii.  Duke was so 
hairy I couldn’t see his eyes. He was confused but Sueii was happy and so Duke was happy too.  Duke 
was leary at first, then realized I was his new mommy.  I’d have to say it took months to grow a real 
connection to Duke.  I think being in a house full of cats gave him a lower pecking order when it came to 
attention.  He just didn’t seem to know what all the hocus pocus was when it came to snuggling.  But, 
here, all I had was the two of them and I always spoiled them with hugs and kisses.  I can’t quite put my 
finger on it.  But, one day, Duke really loved me.  You know that kind of love that is endless and it 
reaches down deep into everything that you are as a being, it was that kind of love.  He wouldn’t let me 
out of his sight.

But, before I go into the years with my Duke, can you believe the day after I got back from my 
deployment, my husband at the time, did something I will never forget.  I awoke from a scream……I ran 
down the stairs and found Duke, screaming at the door way.  He had kicked Duke with his steal toe boot 
shattering his back leg.  After surgery, long days recovering, and a divorce, Duke healed.  

Sueii and Duke were a pair.  They soon found out that when I worked they had each other.  And when I 
wasn’t working, they were a riot.  I was younger back then and had no idea how to raise a dog.  I didn’t 
even own a leash.  I would simply let them out in the cow pasture behind my small duplex.  They loved it. 
They would romp and chase the cows and get lost in the timber.  Herding didn’t really work in their favor.  
They would come back covered in mud and manure.  Who would’ve thought that I would be in the position 
I am now, cause back then, my dogs were out of control playing and having as much fun as you can 
imagine.  Not a worry in the world.
Duke was the one out of them both that smiled all the time.  He was happy no matter what.  He would let 
you experiment on him to do anything.  I remember I did my own creative hair cutting in those days.  I didn’
t know what a pet groomer was never even heard of one.  I made him look like a girl, and he didn’t 
complain.  He was just full of life.  Duke was extremely care free.  He had fun no matter what.  He would 
tough it out, no problem.  He was absolutely laid back.  He loved all dogs, cats, birds, cows, rabbits.  All 
animals.  He loved life.  He is the only dog I can remember ever witnessing playing with the birds.  He 
would run and the birds would swoop down and play with him and he would play back chasing them.
You know, when he got to the states, he stopped walking one day.  Turned out those pins the Vet used in
Germany came loose and when removed were completely rusted!  But, Duke was a champ.  He came 
back again, healed and ran like the wind.  He had it tough, but it didn’t show.  And you know what, I think 
it was all ok as long as he was still able to love again.

It was a normal day like any other day, on October 22, 2009.  Duke greeted me at the door like he always
does along with Sueii of course.  He kissed me bunches.  Later that evening we played with a toy, 
romping and pulling and tugging.  He loved fetch.  He would always always bring back his favorite squicky
ball.  Well, that night was different.  It didn’t hit me until a couple hours after we had played with him that 
Duke hadn’t left the couch.  So, I went to him.  Listened to him.  A slow, sound of whisping under his 
breath, as if breathing was tough.  A hack, a kind of cough hear and there.  But, a steady, short breath.  
He wouldn’t come and join me where I was, which was unusual.  This was the day Duke got old.  

It was fast.  The years.  The time I recall without holding a tear back.  The relationships that I’ve been 
through; that my pets outlived.  That Duke outlived.  The Christmases.  The Birthdays.  It was too fast.  By
January 8th, 2010, Duke and I were on our last bit of hope.  We were seeing an internal specialist 
regarding his heart and esophagus.  He couldn’t breathe without panting hard, without hacking or 
coughing.  The specialist and her staff were sweet but something they said to me that day, opened a 
door I never thought I would have to open.  I remember the look on her face when she said that even her
staff, in the limited time they worked with Duke for a few xrays couldn’t believe how hard it was for him to 
breathe.  
I know since that day in October, Duke just got a little worse.  And a little worse, until the day we saw the 
specialist.  That was his worse day.  He sat on my lap on the way home.  He used to love that so much.  
He would sit on my lap for any car ride.  And if he couldn’t he would stand on the console until he could.  
He would rest his chin in the pit of my left elbow.  He sat in my lap an entire trip once, to South Dakota….
24 hours!  We had our last car ride that day.  Because I knew what I would have to do for my Little 
Dukester.  I would have to be his advocate in this most precious time.  This time he really needed me.  I 
was his mommy, the one that loves him the most and he needed me the most now.  And as I am bawling 
my eyes out writing you this, I must add, it was the HARDEST thing I’ve ever had to do in my life.  I cried 
that entire ride home.  And when I got home, I cried even more.  I didn’t let Duke out of my sight.

Over the months he had found a way to breathe while I was around.  He would distance himself and lay 
completely on his side to get air in and out without any abruption.  He couldn’t romp or play anymore.  He
couldn’t get near me without having trouble breathing.  It killed me to see him this way.  I knew I would 
have to make a decision for him.  

As I started looking for the place to bury him or the right place to cremate him, I couldn’t keep my 
composer.  Each phone call was a sobbing one.  Each thought was overwhelming.  After many calls I 
heard a voice, Kate with Beyond the Rainbow…her kindness on the phone at this time was so needed.  
And her services were exactly what any mommy would pray for their little baby.  Duke laying near me, I 
told Kate about our situation.  In tears I explained that Duke may need to go soon.  It was a Friday 
afternoon and what I thought we could plan for Monday, turned into Saturday.

Duke stayed in my sight that night.  He ate a distinguished meal with grilled chicken and carrots.  He got 
every snack in the house.  He used every bit of his strength to follow me around even into the bathroom.  
He slept at my feet all night, which he couldn’t do for months because he couldn’t get close to me.  But, 
even though he probably didn’t sleep all night cause he couldn’t quite breathe well, he gave me one last 
night by my side.  What I didn’t realize until later is that he was so kind to give me one last year of 
everything; Birthday, Christmas, Halloween.  I loved him more than ever that day and his last day. I gave 
him all the love I had for him.    

Kate and her staff of a Veterinarian and Technician arrived at my home Saturday January 9, 2010 where 
my family and I were preparing for our last moments with Duke.  Every last kiss I could get, Duke 
mustered up for me.  He was holding on for me because he loved me so much.

Duke passed away at 3pm on January 9th, 2010.  His little spirit left us while I held him in my arms in the 
comfort of his home with those that loved him the most.  I spoke to him all the way through until his last 
breath.  Oh how it was so hard.

My regular Vet, explains that we are privileged to be able to make a decision for the pets we love 
because we can’t do that for humans.  I can see that now.  We must love our pets so much that we have 
to love them enough to make that choice for them when they can’t make it themselves.  Duke loved me so 
much he held on to every inch of life for me and I know that and I had to be strong for him and I had to 
take away his pain for him.  Duke is no longer suffering.  And I can live with that.  And I will forever love 
my Duke.  

The next day, was horrendous still.  Sueii, was devastated.  He wouldn’t look at us as we cried.  Fearing 
he slipped into depression, I went over to him and touched him and found tears down his face, on his 
hair, in his eyes.  Such a moment will touch your heart that he shared the sadness too as we cried.  

On the third day that Duke was gone from us.  My family and I went to witness the cremation.  We saw 
Dukes remains one last time.  Sueii saw too, from the car.  Three hours later, as we all lay resting from 
the sadness and the heaviness of this time, the sound of Duke’s bark chimed loud in the air at 1130 
exactly (exactly when the cremation would’ve been complete)…Sueii tucked under my arm, Sally, our 
rescue dog, under the covers, Duke let me hear him.  He was free.  At 6pm, Kate brought Duke home.  
When she left, I shared Duke with Sueii.  We sat together and opened his box.  We smelled him and 
looked at him.  And Sueii was happy.  He romped and jumped.  And tore for his toy basket and grabbed a
toy and began to play.  And I was uplifted, in a startling happiness filled with tears, I was astounded.  My 
Duke is home.  He will forever be here with me.  

I wanted to share with you what I hope can help you in your journey with your pets.  It definitely doesn’t 
hurt to think ahead.  Duke couldn’t breathe because he had collapsed trachea, collapsed bronchia (in the 
lungs), enlarged heart, and more.  There are many things you can do now to change a lot later.  Sueii is 
still with me and we’ll celebrate his birthday on the 12th.  But, I have changed many things with Sueii.  I 
come to the front door instead of opening the garage door to cause less excitement.  Visit the your Vet 
regularly, 1 year is like 6 years in a dogs life.  From the type of leash to the type of collar.  From the type 
of food to the type of snacks.  All these things can play a role on how healthy they remain.  From the 
excitement your dogs go through to how rowdy you play and at what age.  Your pets may show coughing 
signs way early on and that could be a key in maintaining low energy levels and start monitoring their 
heart.  Duke and Sueii both started coughing when they were four or five only when they were excited; on
walks, playing.  Be your pets Vet.  Monitor them, watch them.  You are your pets advocate.  It is so hard 
on us humans because dogs don’t have our life span.  So, we have to do what we can to keep them 
around as long as we can.  I hope this story reminds you of how much you love your pets and that their 
lives are so precious and fast.  Take time for the ones you love.  If you’re like me, you’re busy.  I have 
learned with great heartache that life is so precious and I can stop my life everyday for the ones I love.  I 
stop and love Sueii everyday.  I stopped being in a hurry.  Give your pets a hug from me today.  Because 
I know how precious they are.   

If you ever need support, have questions, just give me a call.  817-676-1585.  I’m your Groomer and your
Friend.  

In loving memory to Duke.  

Welcome to My Favorite Groomer, I'm so glad you're here.