For Anyone Who Has Loved or Been Loved By a Dog

Dog's Last Day Alive Inspires Owners to Share Their Stories of Losing Pets
ROBYN AROUTY PHOTOGRAPHY

Every dog must have his day. For one black Lab, that day turned out to be his last.When the Roberts family found out they’d have to put their dog Duke down, they decided to make his final day the best one yet, complete with burgers, a trip to the park and more snuggles than any dog could ask for.The Robertses had adopted Duke three years ago, knowing he had terminal cancer. When the time came to say goodbye for good, they asked their family friend Robyn Arouty, a photographer who specializes in animal portraits, to create an unforgettable experience for Duke’s last day.

former psychotherapist, Arouty has often been asked to capture the final moments of a beloved pet. In 2011, she photographed a Rottweiler named Max as he passed away surrounded by his loving owners.

In a short essay titled “What I Learned About Doggy Death,” Arouty wrote that “Letting them go when it’s time is the most selfless thing you can do.”

Now that Duke’s story has gone viral, she says, pet owners are getting in touch with her to tell their own stories of saying goodbye.

“We didn’t realize it at the time, of course, but Dukey’s story has created this beautiful forum for people to share stories of their beloved pets who have passed away,” Arouty told The Huffington Post. “Photographing [and] documenting Duke that day has really empowered people to find a way to cope and ease the pain of letting a pet go by celebrating [them] while they are still here.”

See Duke’s final journey, below. The text was written by Arouty in the voice of Duke.

“I Died Today” by Duke Roberts

Photo Diary of Dog's Last Day Inspires Owners to Share Their Stories of Loving and Losing Pets| Animals & Pets, Dogs, Around the Web

ROBYN AROUTY PHOTOGRAPHY

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

And I laughed.

Photo Diary of Dog's Last Day Inspires Owners to Share Their Stories of Loving and Losing Pets| Animals & Pets, Dogs, Around the Web

ROBYN AROUTY PHOTOGRAPHY

We told jokes.

Photo Diary of Dog's Last Day Inspires Owners to Share Their Stories of Loving and Losing Pets| Animals & Pets, Dogs, Around the Web

ROBYN AROUTY PHOTOGRAPHY

We were serious.

Photo Diary of Dog's Last Day Inspires Owners to Share Their Stories of Loving and Losing Pets| Animals & Pets, Dogs, Around the Web

ROBYN AROUTY PHOTOGRAPHY

While we were waiting for the vet to come, Kristen [my groomer] 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!

Photo Diary of Dog's Last Day Inspires Owners to Share Their Stories of Loving and Losing Pets| Animals & Pets, Dogs, Around the Web

ROBYN AROUTY PHOTOGRAPHY

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

Photo Diary of Dog's Last Day Inspires Owners to Share Their Stories of Loving and Losing Pets| Animals & Pets, Dogs, Around the Web

ROBYN AROUTY PHOTOGRAPHY

We smiled today.

Photo Diary of Dog's Last Day Inspires Owners to Share Their Stories of Loving and Losing Pets| Animals & Pets, Dogs, Around the Web

ROBYN AROUTY PHOTOGRAPHY

I listened to the kids play off in the distance. And thought about my two babies at home. I loved protecting them.

Photo Diary of Dog's Last Day Inspires Owners to Share Their Stories of Loving and Losing Pets| Animals & Pets, Dogs, Around the Web

ROBYN AROUTY PHOTOGRAPHY

I relaxed today.

Photo Diary of Dog's Last Day Inspires Owners to Share Their Stories of Loving and Losing Pets| Animals & Pets, Dogs, Around the Web

ROBYN AROUTY PHOTOGRAPHY

I felt no pain. Even though the tumor grew so big.

Photo Diary of Dog's Last Day Inspires Owners to Share Their Stories of Loving and Losing Pets| Animals & Pets, Dogs, Around the Web

ROBYN AROUTY PHOTOGRAPHY

Well, I didn’t say goodbye. I said ’til we meet again.

Photo Diary of Dog's Last Day Inspires Owners to Share Their Stories of Loving and Losing Pets| Animals & Pets, Dogs, Around the Web

ROBYN AROUTY PHOTOGRAPHY

Always, Dukey.

Photo Diary of Dog's Last Day Inspires Owners to Share Their Stories of Loving and Losing Pets| Animals & Pets, Dogs, Around the Web

ROBYN AROUTY PHOTOGRAPHY

Have you had a special dog friend? Mine was Thelma. She was my dog, and I was her person . She loved to go “bye byes in the car”, and sleep on our bed. Her last night, she , all 85 pounds of her, could no longer get on our bed. We slept on the floor with her. The next day, I hand fed her roast beef during the ride to the vet. We knew it was time.  She hated going there  and always had,but we held her in our  arms as she peacefully  left us.  

 

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in Animals, Uncategorized, USA and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to For Anyone Who Has Loved or Been Loved By a Dog

  1. nupurpradhan says:

    I had tears in my eyes while reading. I have a 5 year Golden Retriever and I will give up anything to see the look on his face when I come back home in the evening or after he has met me after a long time. The moments I spend with him are priceless!

  2. Lovely dog, Duke. A fitting tribute for all our doggy friends.

  3. I read this on Facebook yesterday, just so lovely. I completely understand it, we lost our last dog a year ago and it’s still heartbreaking XX

  4. By force of habit, I read this and immediately felt I should not have done so. Too touchy..

  5. Made me cry. Same thing with my dog Sophie and her huge tumor. Very beautiful story.

  6. aaanchalk says:

    I can like this post over and over again. I love dogs, they are the best partners someone who ll never stop loving you.
    I used to have 4 dogs back In India, sadly dont have one at the moment coz we stay in a apartment. But i will have it back again when I get a house 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!!

    xx
    Aanchal

  7. We had our lovely Baby Doll for sixteen years when we saw her peacefully off three years ago. She was everyone’s best friend and an amazing soul. We still miss her happy little wiggle and bark.

    Beautiful tribute.

  8. Beautiful lovely last day but so heartbreaking. My own dog has cancer and this is something I’m going to have to do. I’m absolutely dreading that day…

    • annetbell says:

      My Thelma had cancer and I didn’t want to let her go, but after the last night, we knew it was time. You will not want your special friend to suffer! Enjoy her while you can. Dogs have a really high threshold of pain so when they are in pain , it is really bad. Blessings!

  9. Beautiful story, yet it is so sad that they had to put Duke to sleep. At last, Duke and the Robertses had a chance to say goodbye in a beautiful way..
    My dog died four years ago because of a car accident, we didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to him. I put a tribute for him on my photography website to remember him – http://indahs.zenfolio.com/replaymoby

    • annetbell says:

      Oh thank you so much for sending along your photos of your beloved dog! We have always had a special love for black dogs! We had a dog hit and mortally hurt by a car. I had to deal with the guilt that I let her out instead of walking her! The law here is dogs must be on leases. When I was a girl, dogs ran free all over! I appreciate the sharing!

      • I am so sorry to hear your loss..it was never easy to lose a dog 😦 Their memories always stay with us..I have a black lab-mix dog now, somehow he becomes our cure to the loss of Moby.

      • annetbell says:

        It is amazing that there is always enough love in our hearts for another dog! And their love helps heal us!

  10. shaunynews says:

    I am literally in tears here….

    wow… x

  11. Maryanne says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. My husband and I lost our cat last year (he was 19) and we’re still heartbroken over it. Animals are amazing. To love one, deeply and dearly, is the greatest gift.

  12. Peter Hatton. says:

    Gee Anne that really struck home. I actually got a bit misty over this one.

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