Prince Duke and His "Kids"
Duke was my gentle as a lamb Rottweiler. While coming home from work one evening, I saw a dead possum in the middle of the road. It had something crawling on it so I stopped to take a look. I found 13 teeny, tiny baby possums moving around on their deceased mother. She had been hit by a passing vehicle. The little ones miraculously survived the impact. I suppose it was from being well protected inside their mom's pouch.
I picked up the little critters and put them inside my lunch pail. They couldn't have been over two inches each. I took the possums inside and put them on the hassock. Duke came over to have a look. He sniffed them and I told him to take it easy. He looked up at me and cocked his head. "What are you doing with those things?" he seemed to be asking. "Don't worry, Duke, I am just helping them out. They lost their mommy and need someone to care for them."
After putting a towel inside a small box, I put the possums beside the heater and went to bed. The next day, I called the vet and he told me how to care for them. Duke helped. He was actually the babysitter sometimes. When the possums got bigger, they would climb all over Duke's back. He gave them a "possum back" ride. It was quite a sight, this 120 pound dog with little creatures crawling around on him. Sometimes the dog and the possums would nap together. Duke seemed to enjoy their company and the attention he got while being with them.
We found homes for all except two of the possums. Duke remained friendly with them for as long as they lived at our house. He loved to pose for the camera with them on his back. What an incredible dog!
Story sent in by Matthew Yates, Crescent City - proud to be Duke's dad.
Note: Tracy Yates, Matthew's brother, sent us another story about Duke - read "One Sick Puppy".