For grins and giggles one day last week, I did a search on Google. My search words were, “Duke the dog homeless emergency project” and was surprised to see that my dog Duke was there with hits spanning two pages. Of course, not all the search hits were him on both of those pages, and some were because of his mention here on my blog, but I thought it was pretty cool much came up at all.
If you know me or are a regular follower of my blog, you know that my two dogs—Duke and Amore— have been such wonderful helpers, teachers and companions during their 12 years here on this planet with me so far.
Our story has been printed in the Tampa Bay Times, Dunedin and New Port Richey Patch, Project PUP’s newsletters, and the HEP newsletters. They are both painted on Murals for Mutts’ murals in St. Petersburg, Dunedin House of Beer and Skip’s. They are also supporting characters in my book, because they have been supporting characters in my life.
One of my dogs, Duke, has worked as a therapy dog since May 2010. We visit the Homeless Emergency Project and there, he has become somewhat of a rock star. Staff and clients keep treats handy for his visits, and he loves the attention and the treats.
Duke, unlike his brother, loves to have constant attention and he seems to know who needs him the most in a room full of people, so he goes there.
Because of my history with HEP as a homeless outreach therapist and resident, it is even more special to me that Duke and I go back there together. Because of my desire to make a difference in as much of my corner of the world as is possible in my lifetime, I love that Duke has touched so many lives during his working time.
While I haven’t mentioned much outside of walking my dogs in a power chair as I cope with my current situation, it goes without saying that my dogs continue to keep me grounded, sane and moving forward despite the challenges. My biggest concern with my decision for removing the pump was honestly my dogs. They motivate me to keep trying harder and inspire me to both move forward and be present.
Of course, they will live forever in my heart. But I was happy to have them painted on murals to immortalize them, and now it is even nicer to know that when the murals fade or business ownership changes, that they are also immortalized in cyberspace.
- Let Your Dog Pick Your Friends (thetawny.wordpress.com)