January 31, 2005 – The story I had
lined up for this week was scuttled (or more accurately, postponed)
due to some unanticipated interruptions that prevented me from doing
the necessary writing. So, it will have to wait until next week. Among
other things, we had yet another ice storm this weekend. Gee whiz!
Luckily it wasn't
as bad as the last three, but we've decided it's time to invest
a large generator to keep things running.
Last Friday Dr. Barnett
took new X-rays of Duke's front leg and reviewed them with Duke's
surgeon, Dr. Dudley. Based upon the rate of bone regrowth, Dr.
Dudley wants Duke to stay at Dr. Barnett's clinic for 4
more weeks. His future adopters
are very anxious to take him home, and at this point Duke is feeling
enough to have the same opinion, but Dr. Dudley is afraid he might
re-injure the leg if he goes home too soon.
Barnett reports that donations have now covered
all of her out-of-pocket expenses to date, though not much more. She's
amazed by the public's response (and grateful!) because she originally
expected she'd have to absorb the entire expense of Duke's treatment.
Linda Matthews is
a volunteer with the Central Texas SPCA, and it was Linda who actually
found Duke by the side of the road. She provided more details about
Duke's rescue. She says she
was driving down Nameless Road (yes, that's really its name – it goes
evening when she thought she saw
a dog head in the ditch. She turned around and went back, but couldn't
see anything. She decided her eyes were playing tricks on her, so she
turned back around and headed home. She immediately saw
it again as she passed,
so she turned around, and STILL couldn't see it. She did this three
times before deciding "this is silly!" She stopped to investigate.
is a narrow two-lane road, so when Linda pulled over, traffic was constricted.
Soon a few others who travel that road regularly stopped, too. Linda
Duke lying in the ditch with his front leg at an unnatural
angle and the bone protruding. Some of the other people who stopped
said they'd seen him there for a week or so and assumed he was dead.
Linda called her husband to come with blankets so they could wrap Duke
before trying to move him, in case he tried to bite due to his pain. One
of the women who stopped had some small sausages, so they fed them
to Duke to keep him
occupied while they wrapped him up and lifted him.
In spite of his injuries, he never cried out or attempted to hurt
any of them as they put him in Linda's SUV. He sure liked those sausages,
Linda called Dr. Barnett
on her cell phone so that she'd be ready, and hauled him to the office,
where Dr. Barnett and Monika Hill
waiting. You know the rest.
Here's the interesting
(and sad) twist. When Duke was found, he was down to 50 pounds. Dr.
Barnett was sure
he'd been out there on his
own for at least two weeks, scavenging not very successfully, then
injured. Linda called back to the CTSPCA office and asked whether anyone
had called looking for such a dog two weeks earlier. They found
a report from 01 Dec. Linda followed up and got the rest of the story,
though it took a couple of days of calling before she was able to get
"Jane Doe" owns
Duke's parents, one a purebred Dane and the other a mix. Duke was one
of a litter of 8, if I recall correctly,
and I don't
know whether the breeding was planned. The pups were all given away.
Duke went to a friend of "Ms. Doe," the sort of dog owner
who dumps a dog in the back yard, feeds it, and otherwise just wants
to be able to say he has a big dog. Duke escaped a couple of times,
but was always brought back.
This last time when
Duke escaped, he never showed back up. "Ms. Doe" heard
about it over Thanksgiving,
and started searching,
thus the report
at the CTSPCA on 01 Dec. We believe "Ms. Doe" tried very
hard to find Duke, driving around the area extensively, in addition
to checking the shelters.
Athough Duke was found with a tag on his collar that read, "I
love Duke," the actual owner never showed any interest in looking
for Duke. "Ms. Doe" will not divulge the original owner's
A special fund has been established
to help with Duke's ongoing medical expenses.
More information about Duke
and his story can be found at DaDane425.shtml