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I Died Today [Pic]

The Roberts family knew they had to put their beloved dog, Duke, to sleep after the cancer began to take over his body. So, they decided to make his final day on Earth his most special.

Duke, a black Labrador living in Houston, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his leg a few years ago, KSL notes. Osteosarcomais the most common bone cancer in dogs. The tumors associated with the illness are aggressive and readily metastasize. Duke had his front leg removed, but the tumor only grew bigger and ultimately started to separate his ribs, making him increasingly uncomfortable.

His owner, Jordan Roberts, scheduled his euthanizing with a Houston veterinarian for Monday, July 7, according to KSL. But before saying goodbye to Duke, the family decided to take him out to enjoy the finer things in life. Roberts asked her friend and animal lover, photographer Robyn Arouty, to capture the pup's final moments.

Duke ate hamburgers; he frolicked in a water park; he spent the day surrounded by the ones he loved most.

"It was beautiful, really. One thing just fell into the next," Arouty explained in an email. "[The day] started with the hamburgers, then the boys came over, then other friends, etc. The splash park was spontaneous. And then Duke walked under 'The Rainbow Bridge,' which is ironically also a term used for the place where pets go when they die. I felt honored."

After Duke's story was picked up, it went viral and inspired many to share their own pet-loss stories.

"Jordan told me the other day that she felt Dukey's purpose was to love and inspire and shes thrilled that he is still doing it. Understandably, they miss the heck out of him, but feel very strongly that he's still with their family in spirit. They never expected a response like this," Arouty told us.

"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," she said. "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."

Read the story of Duke's last day below from Robyn Aroutyand visit Robyn Arouty Photographyfor more.

  • "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 Im 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 didnt 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. Ill never stop.

Dog spends his last day on Earth having the best day a dog can have. *sniff*

submitted by: naravin
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I Died Today [Pic]. Dog spends his last day on Earth having the best day a dog can have. *sniff*
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Hits: 4522 | Favorites: 1 | Emailed: 3 | Rating: 2.3 | Category: Misc. | Date: 07/15/2014
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More Comments >

Male, 40-49, Midwest US
 668 Posts
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 5:22:18 PM
He looked happy enough to me. Not sure he needed to die this soon.

Male, 18-29, Southern US
 174 Posts
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 7:33:18 AM
gah, i'd rather be bored than this sad...

Male, 40-49, Western US
 3204 Posts
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 11:15:46 PM
why dose that dog only have three legs?
You can't eat a dog like that all at once.

Male, 40-49, Eastern US
 3042 Posts
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 8:07:25 PM
The one next to me in my avatar pic is the 14 year old, that photo was taken in 2007.

Male, 40-49, Eastern US
 3042 Posts
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 8:05:59 PM
I don't know why I read things like this...they remind of all of the faithful pets that have shared my 48 years on this earth... and also reminds me that one of my current dogs is 17, and one is 14...

More Comments >

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