If you’re a dog lover this story and the photographs are going to tear you up in a good way. Proceed with caution.
Duke Roberts is a black labrador retriever from Houston, TX that was adopted by Jordan Roberts about three years ago. Not very long after being adopted, Duke was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a cancerous bone tumor, and had one of his front legs removed. The tumor had spread and Jordan had to make the heart-wrenching decision to put down Duke so that he could be free from pain. Duke was put down on July 7 and his last day was documented and photographed by Robyn Arouty. Make sure you have tissues close by.
“I Died Today. By Duke Roberts.
And I ate a lot of hamburgers. We had a party.”
“And we laughed.”
“And I thought about how much I’m going to miss it here.”
“We told jokes.”
“We were serious.”
Kristen came to see me. She’s a hoot. She’s my groomer. And my buddy.”
“While we were waiting for the vet to come, Kristen said we were going for a walk. Then someone said, “How about a play in the water at the splash park down the street?” So off we went!”
“I need you to help me watch over my family.”
“Do you hear me? This is all I want!”
“We smiled today.”
“We broke the rules today.”
“I listened to the kids play off in the distance. And thought about my two babies at home. I loved protecting them.”
“I relaxed today.”
“I felt no pain. Even though the tumor grew so big.”
“I felt the love today.”
“I said goodbye to my beautiful friend Kira. She ‘saw’ me standing over everybody before the doctor said it was time. I was excited & jumpy & happy.”
“Well, I didn’t say goodbye. I said ’til we meet again.”
“God, I was lucky. Our time was short. But you both gave me a second chance & we lived it up together. You love when I look at you. I’ll never stop.”