Our granddaughter called.

“I probably shouldn’t ask this, but I’m going to ask anyway. I’ve got friends who have to find a home for their dog. How do you feel about another dog?”

“Male? Female? How big? House broken? How old?” I think she knew she had a sale because I wasn’t flat-out saying “no.” I was negotiating.

“Small. Boston terrier maybe crossed with a border collie? Just about a year old.”

“I’m pretty sure I can give you a solid ‘maybe’ on that. Garry’s at the grocery store and I don’t think he wants another dog … but he’d say probably say yes if you ask. Because you’re you and he’ll do anything for you.”

“True,” she said. Garry’s feelings about Kaity are not a big secret.

Garry and the dog and dog’s parents all arrived at the same time.

Duke the First

We had some minor negotiations. A lot of running around and playing. Lots of tongues hanging out. Play positions, a bit of yapping. No biting, no sulking. He figured out the doggy door by following Bonnie through it.

Kaity said: “Grandpa, you should give him a name. He’s never had a real name.”

Garry went outside to clean up the walk and came in the house.

“His name is Duke,” said Garry. We were getting another dog.

Duke never had a name and has grown up inside a truck. He wasn’t confined to the truck. The family who owned him lived in the truck, too. Eventually they gave the dog up for adoption and the people with whom he was living liked him, but their dog really didn’t. They had had a week of growling and serious biting and felt it wasn’t working out. Unable to get in touch with the adoption people, there was Kaitlin. And then, there was us.

This is a dog who, like Gibbs, never had the room to just run around and be a dog. He looks more like a Cavalier King Charles or a Shih Tzu crossed with a border collie. He has a rather eastern dog-face.

Tom Curley believes that when you need a dog, a dog will be there. I had been thinking that both dogs were now past 10 years old as I was cooking supper. A dog appeared. Magic!

One ear up, one ear down. And I have a feeling he’s a barker.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

53 thoughts on “JUST CALL HIM DUKE”

        1. And he jumps. He’s actually pretty smart, though and I gave him a firm “no” on the jumping. He didn’t look happy, but he also didn’t jump.Meanwhile, I closed all the doors along the hall so even if he does get over the gate, there’s nowhere for him to go. No rooms to explore. I haven’t seen any sign of him being particularly destructive, but I don’t want to find out the hard way how wrong I might be. It has been 9 years since I had a young dog. One-year-old dogs are pretty peppy.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. As sure as the turning of the earth, Mrs. Swiss. Duke ensconced himself on the love seat last night between Marilyn and me. As for jumping, I’ve learned to protect the family jewels when he comes a-jumping on the love seat. He’ll do!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I hope they have worked out the pecking order without too many squabbles. It is a good thing, more work and more expense but as you say, you have two senior dogs and the past couple of years have been too sad losing the others . This little guy ought to be around fora while. Once he got a name he wasn’t going anywhere. I do see a bit of Cavalier King Charles around the eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He’s a jumper. We have had dogs in sizes up to and including a big Aussie Shepherd. NO ONE jumped the indoor fences He was up and over it in a nanosecond. Damn. So I sort of blocked it with a chair but he is going to have to get “no” really quickly. I think I forgot how active young dogs are.

      They haven’t worked out a pecking order except the whatever it is, Bonnie is at the top. But he’s got her beat on energy, so we are going to have to work out the sofa issue because he is bigger than they are. He’s not heavier. They are at least 5 lbs heavier than he is, but he’s longer and leggier, so he’s much quicker than they are.

      We are on a week’s test period. If it isn’t working, he will have to go back. This is just day one — actually 1/2 day. We’ll see. This was the one thing I could not foresee, whether or not WE can deal with that much energy.


      1. Oh yes, it is a shock to get a puppy and Duke is barely out of puppyhood, after years of living with older dogs. We found that out in 2006 when we got Cindy who was not only a lively puppy but way bigger than our previous dogs. Tessie was 12 when she died so we were really out of practice. I do hope it works out but he will take a lot more time and energy than the other two.


    2. Tas, as usual, you nailed it. Duke has already invigorated interaction between Bonnie, Gibbs and himself.
      It will probably be a while before he responds to “Duke” but I’m working on it. A dog has to know his name or he’s just another pilgrim.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. He’s a sweet boy. I just have to work that balance so the older dogs don’t feel neglected. The run-in with a new dog is always a bit delicate ๐Ÿ™‚ And while he easily jumped the indoor gates, I sure as hell hope he can’t jump the exterior gates!


  2. Duke seems to have quite the gene pool going on there! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hopefully that and his ‘irregular’ upbringing won’t have given him any bad personality traits – he looks pretty happy and well adjusted in the pics!

    Hope it works out well for all of you! ๐Ÿ™‚


    Liked by 1 person

  3. There will probably be a Dog Crisis among all of them, while they establish just where on the list Duke falls. And I suspect the other two, if he stays, will be teaching him their own brand of “get off my pillow” and No.

    A lot of that energy, it sounds like, is excitement–remember when Gibbs came, he ran and ran and ran and ran–just the sheer freedom of it all–terriers are barkers, border collies are always busy doing things, including herding sheep if they can find them. They are also extremely intelligent animals.

    I wish you well, and give him a hug for me.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Judy! Judy! Judy! You speak well for a woman. Seriously, fingers crossed this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship between Duke, Bonnie and Gibbs.


    1. “Room For One More” (RKO/’51/) Cary Grant, Betsy Drake, George “Foghorn” Winslow, Gigi Perreau and “Fluffy” as Fluffy.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good for you Marilyn! I know it’s hard to integrate a new dog into the family. But you just did it without even thinking twice. It sounds like Duke will be a great new addition to the household.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right now, all the dogs have gone into stupid mode. They were smart this morning, but now Duke and Gibbs are refusing to come into the house and are staying outside in the rain, moping. About each other, I expect.

      Bonnie is IN the house and SHE isn’t moping.

      Garry and I decided to leave them there. It’s not like they can’t come in whenever they want. They will get dinner late, after we get back from the doctor. If SMART is contagious, so is STUPID. Everything was fine. Some thought went through the two male dog heads and they turned dopey. They will be fine. Wet, but fine.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. He looks like maybe a Shih Tzu and some kind of retriever cross. He’s definitely got something like Cavalier in him. He’s got that Asian face — slightly flattened with the slightly bugged eyes and the smile. And a grin.


  5. What Tom Curley said about dogs works for cats too. Our family cat jumped in my big market bag while I was volunteering at my kids’ elementary school several years ago. I had been thinking of my childhood, surrounded by cats and bunnies and lambs and even a goat while my kids had no pets yet. So here was this sweetest stray cat fed by the cafeteria staff but looking for a home. I brought her to our home that day and we kept her for many years. She was the most adorable cat until her sudden accidental death (the mountains can be tough on pets).
    Duke is the most adorable too!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. When you typically go a day or two without reading posts and then go backwards through the reader, every once in a while you’ll come across something that makes no sense. I was wondering where Duke came from when I read the earlier….. er, later post you made. Now that I’ve made it back this far, I would like to welcome Duke into the fold! I feel even more sorry for all those poor chewy critters though now that the gang’s gotten bigger….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a dog that no one wanted enough to hang on to him. He’s cute, funny, smart and reasonably well behaved considering no one has trained him. People adopt pets with, I assume, the best intentions. But when the going gets tough, a lot of them give it up. At least they didn’t drop him on the street.

      In this case, I think he is much better here than he would have been where he was first and then next. He needs a stable home. Room to run. Toys to throw around. It’s a little bumpy right now for us because Gibbs is doing some serious, morose sulking because there’s (gasp) ANOTHER BOY IN THE HOUSE. Bonnie, on the other hand, is VERY happy.

      Dogs. They just behave like … y’know … dogs!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. So pleased I stumbled back onto your blog and am enjoying picking up on the arrival of Duke, who is sounding like a similar mix to our remaining dog, Lady. She’s Border collie x Ruby Cavalier but there was some talk of a bit of Blue Heeler as well. I found her online when my searches for border collies and cavaliers merged into her. We’d been wanting a dog smaller than our border collie and she seemed ideal. I put no thought into personality traits and she turned out nothing like our BC and very much a spaniel. Sounds like the BC traits are very much alive in Duke, meaning you have a very smart, energetic dog who loves chasing balls/sticks and is readily trainable.Spaniels have minds of their own. We have also noticed that she’s not as conventionally smart as our BC and can seem quite daft, but is very street smart and knows how to hunt, skin a rabbit etc. She is also the happiest dog I’ve ever seen. When she wags her tail, her whole body quivers. That’s been such a blessing to us and as the kids now enter the teenage years, they need that little black dog who’s always wagging her tail when they come home from school no matter what’s happened. Dogs are great like that!!
    We wish you well with Duke and I’m looking forward to catching up on your posts.
    Best wishes,


  8. Definitely looks like there some Cavalier King Charles in your Duke and the tail does suggest Shih Tzu. Along with the perkiness. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Good luck reliving your youth with a young pooch and kudos for rescuing him.


    1. I’m exhausted. Duke is showing the possibility of relaxing a bit, too. For example, he’s sleeping on his back, with he head propped on my handbag. Aww. I’m sure we’ll never know from which dogs he came, but there’s one of the Asian breeds in there. The slightly bug eyes and curvy smiling mouth, curled tails and that distinctive black and white exterior is a pretty good giveaway. I really wish I were young enough to run with him!

      Liked by 1 person

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