Duncan Alexandar was born November 30, 1991; we got him on my 12th birthday, February 7, 1992. My father got him for us and it was a very special ordeal because it was something him and I bonded over.

I loved this animal so much. He was instantly part of the family. Duncan fit right in with us. He was a beautiful dog, a blue merle pure-bred Shetland Sheepdog with gorgeous blue eyes. He was pretty small but not too tiny, just the right size at about 25-30 pounds as a healthy dog. He was nicknamed "Duncer-dooz" and "Dunc-eez" by my dad and I; he was a very loving animal who would hang out with me all day and night if he could. His favorite activities included frisbee, soccer, drinking water from the outside hose, chasing rabbits, barking at the mailman and UPS man, barking at anything and everything; licking the tuna cans, eating ice cream with my dad, and occasionally burning that off on walks with me.

Duncan got sick in the summer of 2000, so we took him to the vet. Dr Cunningham said it was stiff joints, he would be fine; later in October of 2000, Duncan had bowel troubles. He almost died that week because we didn't get him to the vet in time. Then he recovered at the ER vet. He came home with the diagnosis of possible cancer, but they wouldn't know unless he was cut open. We wouldn't allow that, so we brought him home and waited it out. Duncan hung in until after school let out for the fall, which was great. I think he knew deep down inside that he had to ride it out; then he could pass peacefully. He made it through the stressful holidays, and then one day in January 2001 he got sick again and didn't come back. He stayed his last night at the vet where they thought they could possibly save him and revive him, but he came home that evening and was just in too much pain to move.

I couldn't stand it any longer, so we took him to the ER vet and had him put to sleep. I've never seen my father cry before.

My best friend KJ and I held Duncan as we let him slip away. He was only 9. My bestest friend ever, who NEVER once judged me, who greeted me every single night but one night (the night he spent at the vet) at the front door with "open paws".

The dog was the best birthday present I ever recieved. I can't think of why God took him so soon, but at least I had him 9 years.

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