Get your tissues ready and prepare for tears to be shed while you read this. We’re still wiping them from our eyes.
This is the story of Duke, a bosslike black Labrador, and his final day. He was the best dog a family could hope to have as a pet and deserved the very special send-off he received from the Roberts family.
A few years ago, Duke was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (the most common bone cancer in dogs) in his right front leg, which was removed. Unfortunately, the tumor had grown so big that it began to separate poor Duke’s ribs and often caused him great discomfort.
After consulting with Duke’s veterinarian, his owner Jordan Roberts made the decision to euthanize Duke in order to prevent this beautiful creature from suffering further. Before Duke was put to sleep, the Roberts family planned an incredibly special day for this boss dog.
Photographer Robyn Arouty, a family friend, was also invited to attend Duke’s special day and managed to capture the joyful and heartbreaking moments brilliantly. We will leave you with the original photographs taken by Robyn Arouty.
“I Died Today” by Duke Roberts

And I ate a lot of hamburgers. We had a party.

And I laughed.

And I thought about how much I’m going to miss it here.

We told jokes.

We were serious.

My friends from next door came to see me. They’re twins. When someone offered them one of my hamburgers, one said, “No thank you. I don’t want to take any from Dukey.”

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!

“You know I’m going to miss you, right?”

“And you too, right?”

“I need you to help me watch over my family.”

“Did you hear me? This is all I want!”

We got wet today.

We smiled today.

We felt grateful 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 & jumping & 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.

Always, Dukey.