Farewell, ol' friend
Mayor Duke, the Cormorant pooch who made quite a name for himself in politics, went to doggie heaven Thursday.
After serving four terms (in dog years, that's about 28 terms) as Cormorant's honorary mayor, Duke retired last year due to failing health in his old age.
"He's 91 people age .... We don't think he's going to see winter," his adopted mother Karen Nelson told the Tribune last year, adding that he was on meds for arthritis, he's had lyme disease twice, and she and his owner Dave Rick suspected he had been hit by a car a couple years back.
Duke nearly pushed on through the winter, though, likely due to his relaxing retirement regimen. Nelson told the Tribune Duke would spend the rest of his days lying on the lawn and eating his favorite foods: cheeseburgers, jerky treats, and a little bit of sweet stuff.
Rick and Nelson were able to be with Duke when he passed Thursday afternoon. That evening Nelson announced Mayor Duke's passing on Facebook, saying he will be greatly missed.
"They're like your kids," Rick said, choking up. "I never had kids, so he was all I had."
Rick says it was great luck that he and Duke happened upon one another some 13 years ago. Rick was in touch with a couple who was selling dogs up by Devil's Lake, and he was all arranged to take a three-year-old from them, when someone returned little three-month-old Duke to the couple. Rick bought Duke then and there for $100, and the rest was history.
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