The Life of Duke
A gentle, good-natured lab, Duke was a rescue, taken to his forever home by Alex in December 2014. He became her inspiration and she volunteered at the Dogs Trust in Manchester where she now works full time - her dream job! (It would be mine too.)
Duke's 6am wake up calls in his new home were soon replaced with leisurely lie-ins after a little training. He loved his walks in nearby fields with his canine friends but his passion for other dogs' tennis balls resulted in some cheeky ball pinching - very embarrassing for Alex! Another of Duke's tricks was to try and delay his humans from going out by asking to be let into the garden, refusing to come back inside and then hiding behind a tree and pretending he wasn't there.
In Spring of 2017 Duke had problems with his back legs and investigations revealed a disc problem. On the day of his operation in October 2017, a tumour was found in his lung and further tests revealed the devastating news that nothing could be done.
Alex says "It was on this day that I decided I wanted some professional photographs done; special photographs to keep forever and so that I could give my family canvas prints for Christmas. I wanted them done as quickly as possible while he was still relatively healthy and mobile as we weren't sure how long he had left.
Sadly, a few weeks after the session we lost him but for the three amazing years he was ours, he was the most loved dog on the planet!"
I first met Duke at his front door when he welcomed me with a toy in his mouth - his standard greeting for visitors. He proved to be the sweetest soul and I have to admit, I well-up a little when I work on his images or write about him. I am honoured that Alex chose me to do the photographs and I will never forget this gorgeous guy!