Duke's Adoption Story


DATE OF BIRTH: 3/29/19




We weren’t planning on going to the shelter the day we adopted Duke. It was a random Wednesday, it was an hour before they closed, and it was our third visit there in less than a week.

We‘d recently gotten back from a trip, and we were hoping a dog we’d fallen in love with before we left was still available. He wasn’t, but finding this out required multiple trips back and forth.

(What no one tells you about adopting a dog is that it’s like finding an apartment, you have to see a bunch before you find “the one”)

But on this day, Sean came home from work early because I was locked out of our apartment (classic key mixup). We were both in a fairly bad mood, and decided that looking at cute dogs would help.

So we to the West LA Shelter.

Most of the dogs we had seen before since we had just been there, but there were a few new ones, and just seeing the tails wagging and furry faces was already lightening our mood.

Then we got to Duke’s crate. There were three smaller dogs in it, and I saw his info card pinned to the fence before I saw him. I was surprised by it.

“Babe, look, there’s an 8 week old puppy in here!” (Puppies in shelters are super rare)

We looked in and saw the cutest ball of fur curled up trying to sleep away from staring eyes. We found a volunteer so that we could meet him. A super nice older lady came over, and when we asked about the little brown one, she immediately smiled and said, “oh him, he has a special place in my heart”.


Apparently the bigger dogs had been bullying him and he was terrified. I carried him over to the meet and greet pen, and he held onto my arm with both of his front paws. It was adorable, and I knew then that we’d be taking him home.

He started warming up to us as we sat on the ground with him, and the shelter volunteer told us he had been surrendered by his owner but didn’t know any other details. After about five minutes of playing, she asked what we thought. We looked at each other and there wasn’t much hesitation.

“We’ll take him!”

Because he was so young (only 9 weeks old!), he hadn’t been neutered yet, or gotten any shots. The shelter will only release dogs after the surgery, so they instructed us to come back the next afternoon to pick him up.

Elated, we left the shelter and went straight to PetsMart to buy food and a few other essentials. We honestly weren’t expecting to find a puppy, so had to do some serious googling as well to try and learn as much as possible.

The next day we picked up our new little dude. He was (of course) freaked out because he had just come out of surgery, but he pretty quickly curled up in a lap and slept. It took about three days of hanging out with him to come up with the name, but now that we have him, we are in love and couldn’t imagine life without our Duke!

Duke: 9 weeks