Duke left us on 19 October 2006, three days after an operation to remove a tumour. It was an op I do not know if I should had let him undergo. A couple of weeks prior, I had noticed a lump at his groin. He was in no obvious pain for his appetite was good and he was his normal noisy and playful self. However, the lump was growing and I took him to the vet on 14 October 2006. I was hoping that it was nothing but I was wrong. The vet advised that Duke had testicular tumour due to an undescended testicle and it was suppressing his bone marrow's ability to produce blood cells. Had I gone any later, Duke would have bled to death for his PCV had dropped to a dangerous level. The best option for him was to go for the op and I consented.
The op can only be carried out on Monday, 16 October 2006 but we had to leave Duke at the vet to prepare him for his op. It was heart-breaking when we left him as he thought we were abandoning him. He barked so hard and loud for us to take him home. I turned back a couple of times to re-assure him that I'll be back for him. The times that Duke was there, he refused the food that the vet fed him and I had to bring from home his usual canned food and biscuits.
The op went on well as the tumour was found to be isolated to just the right testicle. His blood test showed no adverse results but neither was there any improvement despite being given a blood transfusion. The vet told me it was nothing to worry about as it usually takes 2-3 weeks before we can see results. Duke was subdued but happy when I went to see him. I was very careful not to hurt him when I carried him. The second day, Duke was showing signs of going downhill although he walked up to me to be cuddled. The third day, he just stayed in his cage and ignored us.
When I received a call from the vet at 11.00am on 19 October 2006, I knew I was going to lose Duke. I rushed to the vet from office and found Duke lying down in a daze. He took his last breath while I was stroking him and telling him what a wonderful dog he was and that I love him so much.