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  • Writer's pictureKathy Winkler Studio


Duchess was an absolutely, gorgeous yellow Labrador Retriever who came to us through my secretary shortly after we lost Pooh Bar. One day, Kim walked into my office and said she and her boyfriend had to move from the house they were renting into an apartment and they couldn’t take their dog. She thought I would make a good mommy for their pup. So, I said she could bring the dog over that Sunday. I told Jerry that we were expecting a dog to arrive, and only if she got along with the terror, Dusty.

So, on Sunday, in walked this 2 year old gorgeous dog. I had no idea what kind of dog she was bringing over. Duchess was an English Labrador Retriever, and weighed 104 lbs. and trim as can be. We had put Dusty on the deck before we let Duchess out to join him. Well, Dusty attacked her (all 30 lbs. of him) and she pinned him down so fast it made our heads spin. She wouldn’t let him up until he became perfectly quiet. I told Kim, she can definitely stay. Dusty had a couple of bloody spots but was none the worst for wear and tear. In fact, they went through that same drill for weeks until he got that she was always going to win. Finally, she would teach him a lesson about once a month, then it was every couple of months, until he learned to behave and listen to her teachings. That was just the most amazing thing to watch unfold.

Duchess always played a game with Jerry where she would stand at the top of the stairs like she was guarding entry to our main living area, and she would prance side to side as he was coming upstairs. He recalled her doing that on a Friday. The next day, she could not stand, so we took her to our vet. She was x-rayed and the vet found that she was full of cancer growth. We were grateful that she was so full of playfulness to the end.

Duchess lived to be 16 years of age. She was just the most amazing gift.


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