I Died Today – Duke’s Touching Story

A ‘Storybook’ Style Tribute of a Dog’s Last Day

This is the story of Dukey, a black Labrador, from Houston, Texas. His story is one that will captivate your heart, that’s for sure! If you don’t have a box of tissues handy, you might want to grab some.

Duke was diagnosed with a malignant bone tumor soon after his adoption. To try to stop the cancerous growth and give him a chance of survival, veterinarians removed one of his front legs. This was a last ditch effort to save his life, but the tumor had already spread and was causing him a lot of pain and discomfort. Doctors were afraid that the tumor would continue to grow, and that it could even possibly rupture. This was scary for Roberts, because she didn’t want Duke to be in pain but she also didn’t want to lose him. Making the choice to put your pet to sleep is never easy, but Roberts knew that it was her only option. She didn’t want her precious Duke to suffer any longer.

Knowing that she only had a short amount of time to spend with him, she wanted to make sure that the last day of his life was the best. After all, his whole little life wasn’t always a walk in the park. The gift that she gave Duke on the last day of his life was like nothing you have ever seen.

Roberts’ friend and photographer, Robyn Arouty, offered to help make his last day magical. She spent an afternoon with them, capturing memories that would last a lifetime, but it didn’t stop there. She used the photos to create a ‘storybook’ style tribute to Duke:

Although Roberts got to spend the day with Duke and show him a day full of love and fun, at the end of the day, she had to say goodbye- or as Duke would put, ‘until we meet again.’ Since putting Duke to sleep, there has been an outpouring of love and support from all over the world. When Duke’s story first hit the web, it instantly captivated the hearts of many. Even though they have a lot of support, they are still grieving their loss.

Roberts also has a two year old daughter that has been deeply affected by the loss of Duke. Roberts says, “She and Duke had a really special bond. She knows that he’s not coming back, but I think she keeps asking where he is to see if the answer will change. She gets it, but she just misses him. We all miss him.”

There are so many pets out there that seek adoption, but so many people just want puppies. In 2011, Jordan Roberts saw Duke’s adoption video and fell in love with him instantly. Just take a look at the video, and you are sure to see why!

Sadly, on July 7, he took his last breath. That was a day that his family and friends would never forget.



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I've been a dog lover since the day I was born but it's the current four legged love of my life, Phoebe who inspired me to create the Munch.Zone.

We moved together from Israel to New York in 2013, love hiking together, and never pass up a trip to the dog park. Watching her over the years sparked so many questions about dog behavior and health needs, and it wasn't always easy to find answers. Thus, the Munch.Zone was born.

On any given day you'll find me watching Netflix originals, eating popcorn, and thinking about how to get into house flipping.

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6 thoughts on “I Died Today – Duke’s Touching Story

  1. I’m in the feels now man. This was such a sad story, but I really felt this dog had a glorious last day. It’s interesting to see how happy dogs can be by simply being around people and having a fun day with walks and food. I’m for sure going to treat my dog like this on his final day if I ever have to put him down. Goodness, I never want to think of that.

  2. Oh wow I cried so much watching this. I had to put one of my dogs down in the past and this brought that up. I wish I gave my dog a last fun day like this, would have made the time so much easier. Anyways, I’m thankful this dog had one last fun day. It’s sad to have to put a pet, a part of the family, down, but if we can make our pets final day easier, then that makes the whole thing somewhat bearable I suppose. Goodness I’m still crying.

  3. I am literally in tears right now! I could tell by the title I would need a tissue or two, but I didn’t realize that I would need the entire box! This is an incredible story of love, and I cannot imagine having to put my dog to sleep. This must have been one of the hardest things for them, but it looks like Duke was truly loved!

  4. This story really hits close to home. We just said goodbye to our pup yesterday, and it was one of the saddest experiences of my life. I cried looking at these photos, because I know just how hard it is to lose a pet. My heart goes out to Duke’s family.

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