Monday, June 16, 2008

Old Duke and Me

I just finished listening to "Marley and Me." It's a book written by John Grogan a few years ago about his big old wacky dog. I really identified with this book because of the similarities between Marley and our dog Duke. Just after we were married, A lady gave Jilda and I a big goofy long-haired German Shepherd named Duke. Like Marley, Duke he was an eternal puppy, even when he got older.
Back in 1979 when Hurricane Fredrick hit Mobile, Alabama, the phone company sent me down to help put the phones back in order. I was down there for almost a year.
After a month or two, Jilda joined me in Mobile and she brought Duke with her. Together we lived in Howard Johnson's Motel in West Mobile.
The maids gave Duke a wide berth, but he was a fun loving dog that loved people. To keep hotel management from banning Duke from the motel, Jilda always took the dog out for a walk while the cleaning staff worked in the room each day. The maids always watched Soaps on the TV as the cleaned our room. One day Jilda came back a little too soon and as the woman laid sprawled across the bed engross in the "Days of Our Lives", Duke silently walked into the room ahead of Jilda and ran his cold snout up the dress of the large woman, and on up the inside of her thigh.
She screamed like she was being ravaged by the Hells Angels. "LORDY SWEET JESUS!!!!!" By the time she got through thrashing around, she had kicked over her cleaning cart and a lamp by the bedside. It's fortunate the door was still open, because I'm quite certain she would have taken it off the hinges.
The manager made an unscheduled visit to our room that evening and said Duke had to go. Sadly, Jilda packed up his food dish, his water bowl and all his toys in her little red Honda Civic and headed home with a front seat full of dog.
I have so many stories about that dog that I could have written a book myself. But I have to give Grogan credit, because he did his dog Marley proud.
Like us, he kept his dog Marley thirteen years and when the end came, it was like losing a child. Putting Old Duke down was one of the hardest things I ever did.
If you are a sucker for a good dog story, I highly recommend "Marley and Me."

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:53 AM

    I really enjoy your stories!!More!


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