Andrew wanted to tell the story of everything that he’s been through with Duke so we sat down with him a few weeks ago to give him the chance. They have both since moved into a place of their own but we didn’t want to miss the chance to tell you the story of our very special guest!
I’ve had Duke for nine years now and it’s been just the two of us for the last five and I’ve had him since he was a puppy. Originally he was a family dog but when my relationship with my wife broke down I had to move out and I took him with me. She got to keep the house and I got to keep Duke and had to find somewhere new for us to stay.
I didn’t become homeless straight away. I found somewhere for me and Duke to live for a bit but shortly after that our problems started. My landlord suddenly sold the house we were living in and we were put out on the streets without any warning.
That was five years ago now and I’ve been sleeping rough ever since. I tried to get into a few different hostels but I couldn’t find one that would take Duke in too and I didn’t want to lose him! Duke’s my best friend, he’s like family and we’ve been through so much together. He looks out for me and I look out for him.
Duke has always been a very happy dog. He is very loyal and very protective and I can safely say that he’s kept me going over these last few years! He’s always been in good health although he did once break his leg. I had no idea what I was going to do but thankfully I ran into some very kind people from St John’s Ambulance who took us both to the vet!
I’m very grateful for Action Homeless for taking us both in. I learnt that they don’t usually take in dogs so it was really special of them to reach out to us. I was starting to worry that Duke wouldn’t survive another winter on the streets and it has been life saving for us both! We’ve been here a few weeks now and things are going a lot better. All the staff and tenants at Mayfield House love him which is very important to me!
I’ve been given a great room for us to stay in and I’ve set up Duke’s bed close to mine. After so long on the streets sleeping in a bed was quite hard at first and it’d feel even stranger if Duke was outside or in a kennel. I’m just so used to having him sleep next to me! I love being so close to the park as it means I can take Duke for walks all the time.