Happy Tail: Duke brings on the smiles

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Jodi and Al Schneider’s two German Shepherds, Gunny and Bruno, passed away within a year of each other, and the couple were heartbroken. It took awhile before they were ready to consider opening themselves to the joy.

Duke has a happy home to celebrate.

Duke has a happy home to celebrate.

Jodi came around first. She had one stipulation: she wanted to adopt from a shelter. “There are too many dogs in shelters who need good homes,” she says.

Her husband finally agreed it was time. He has his own requirements: the dog had to be a male and it had to be a German Shepherd, or at least part German Shepherd.

“The first thing the next day,” Jodi says, “I went on Petfinder and did a search within a 100-mile radius, and Duke was there! I was so excited.” Duke was listed on Petfinder by Pet Projects, based in Nerstrand, Minnesota.

Al was certain the dog would already be gone, but Jodi called the shelter and was delighted to learn that Duke was still more-or-less available; one couple had already inquired about adopting him. Nevertheless, the shelter staff interviewed the Schneiders.

Before the day was out, the other couple decided Duke was too young and would require more time than they had. The Schneiders were now at the top of the list, and they scheduled a meet and greet the next day.

“It was love at first sight,” Jodi says. “We scrambled to get all the necessary things.”

That was about two years ago. Duke, who was malnourished when he originally was turned in at the shelter as a puppy, now weighs in at a healthy 75 pounds. This charming dog keeps the Schneiders smiling.

“One of Duke’s most endearing habits is that he’s a talker,” Jodi says. “When he gets excited he howls with little barks between the howls. He will bark once to go out and lets us know with another bark he is ready to come in, and he likes to let us know if he is tired or just comfortable with big groans.”

Jodi says it seems as if Gunny and Bruno sent Duke their way because he is such a perfect combination of those two beloved dogs. The thought is as lovely as he is.