My name is Duke and I was born on March 14, 1999. My mother is a Golden Retriever and my father is a Newfoundland.
In June 1999 a very sad lady came to the kennel where I was living. No one wanted me, because I was afraid of everyone around me and I always ran away when they tried to approach me.
All my brothers and sisters had found a home. I was three months old at the time. I ran away from this lady too, but there must have been something special about me, because she wanted me anyways.She had to hand feed me the first two weeks because I was afraid of my dish.
And then I found out why she was so sad. Her husband was at the Edmonton General Hospital because he had cancer. She took me there to meet him on July 1. I was allowed to lie beside him on the bed and he smiled and petted me and said that everything was going to be all right now.
The next day, my new mommy came home from the hospital crying because her darling had passed away. He was only 55 she said.
I have been a good buddy for her all this time and it didnít take long for her to realize that I was very special. She knows that I am very smart and that I lots of love to give.
She started to take me to school and I just loved it. Even my trainer said that there is something very special about my nature.
I have a buddy that lives with me also. His name is Macke and he is a big, black cat with an attitude. Good thing that I am nice, otherwise I would show him a thing or two!
But that it is not enough to keep me busy. I am very curious, in a gentle, quiet way and there is a big world out there that I still need to discover. So I decided to get a Job!
The reason I Joined the Pet Therapy Society of Northern Alberta, is because I love people and I just love being the center of attention. I do not approach people on my own, only when I am asked to. My mommy taught me good manners. What the people like about me the most, is the way I behave in public and the way my fur feels when they touch me. Besides that, my kisses are dry and not big old sloppy ones.
I met a young lady when we went for the Canadian Canine Good Citizen Test. Her name is Kizmet and she is a pure Golden Retriever. Kizmet's mom and mine immediately struck up a friendship and the four of us visit the Edmonton General at least once a week. My mom, and I also go to the Grey Nuns Hospital as well as St. Josephs Extended care center. I just love to help as many people as I can, and it makes me feel good to know that they feel better when I visit.
To be very honest, I guess the main reason why I like to do this type of work is to get my mom out of the house and allow her to give some of that love she has inside of her. She has had a lot of experience with the elderly and in palliative care. We are a great team!
Personally, I hope you never need my help, but if you do, I'll be there with a great big Kiss. (a dry one!)