My Sweet Duchess Is Gone But Will Never Be Forgotten

Twelve years ago my husband, Jack, said I could NOT have a dog . . . but I kept begging for a maltese like my bestest friend, Lori Fowler. And finally he said “if we get a dog, we will get a real dog–not a yappie dog.” And I said, “I like real dogs.”

In November 2002, I decided to get Jack a “real” dog for his birthday. So I asked him if he wanted to go with me to pick out his birthday present, and he said “no, but if you get one, get a female.” I said okay–I like real dogs and I like female dogs–I am not picky–I just love animals. I want a cat too, but “his foot keeps coming down on that one, but I keep asking–one day, he will break!”

Anyway, I came home on November 3, 2002, with the most precious yellow lab and asked Jack what he wanted to name his new puppy; and he said “since you are the Princess, let’s call her Duchess.” I said “awwwwwwwwwwwww.”

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We fell in love with Duchess, and Duchess fell in love with us. We kenneled her one time, but never again. She did not like being away from us. So we took her everywhere we went. When the suitcases came out, she would go nuts; because she knew we were going somewhere. And when we got home, she did not want to get out of the car.


Duchess even went to play golf with us. Of course, she had to stay in the golf cart when we were putting. She was not allowed on the greens.


And she was definitely NOT allowed on the furniture–unless, of course, Jack was not home.


All of the kids loved Duchess. Even though Duchess didn’t particularly like kids, she tolerated them and let them kiss her, love her, lay on her, aggravate her, etc.


On Saturday, August 9, we had to say goodbye to our sweet Duchess–almost a whole year after our veterinarian and wonderful friend, Rosemary Branson, told us that Duchess had cancer and she would not make it through the weekend. I was definitely not ready for that, so we brought her home and gave her steak, chicken, hamburger, etc.–anything she wanted. She lived almost one whole year after that. Rosemary called her the “miracle” dog. Duchess was born on September 22, 2002, and lived 12 great years.

Duchess was the BEST dog ever. Even though I bought Duchess for Jack, Jack always said she was a “mama’s girl.” She followed me everywhere and hardly ever left my side. We will miss her, but she will be in our hearts forever!

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19 thoughts on “My Sweet Duchess Is Gone But Will Never Be Forgotten”

  1. Oh Robin…you know I know what you are feeling after saying goodbye to our two sweet Labs this summer. You were fortunate for the extra time with Duchess and she’ll always be in your hearts.

  2. I am so, so sorry for your great loss. We do not have “real” dogs, but our furry children are certainly part of our family. I hope your wonderful memories help to fill the empty place in your hearts.

  3. Oh, Robin…your sweet Duchess sounds like a wonderful companion and friend. It is heartbreaking to let go, but it sounds as though she fought to stay with you for a whole extra year. That’s love!

    • Thanks, Dara. I know you understand after losing your lab recently. I loved what you wrote.on your post.

      “Mum, there is going to be a new ocean tomorrow.”
      “Why’s that, T?”
      “Because of all the tears we’ve cried.”

  4. This is a very sweet write up on the passing of your beloved Duchess. My wife brought a cat into our lives; Delilah is sitting on the back of my chair as I type this note. Animals are so sweet and kind and really add wonderfully to our lives. Thank you for sharing your memories.

  5. We said goodby to our sweet 15 and 1/2 year old lab last month. Nova was such a good dog and so wonderful with our children. So loving and attentive to our younger children, my daughter thought of her as her nanny. We all miss Nova and she will live in our hearts forever. Whenever I think of her she is always smiling. I’ve never known anyone human or canine who ever smiled as much as she did. 🙂


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