Duffy has lived at the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter for about six months and was recently diagnosed with a Grade 3 malignant sarcoma or mast cell tumor, a cancer that will likely be terminal.
8-year-old Duffy doesn’t know he’s sick. After surgery, he stood at the door of his kennel, waiting for the footsteps of his volunteer buddies Julie Ferrigno and Barbara Trevouledes. “Duffy lives in the moment,” explains Barbara, “without fear of the future.”
He was surrendered by his former owner through no fault of his own, and even when he found himself alone in a scary kennel environment, he still had faith in mankind. “He is the epitome of a gentle giant,” reports Barbara, who confesses that while she was initially intimidated by his size, she soon learned that Duffy wouldn’t hurt a fly.
Julie has always seen a human-like sorrow in Duffy’s eyes, but she has also seen something joyous and life-affirming. Says Julie, “It’s like he’s saying ‘I don’t know why I’m here, but I’m happy to be with you.’” Duffy is in need of a forever or foster home where he can live out the rest of his life with someone by his side. Staying in the shelter with cancer is no way to spend however much time he has left.
Although Julie and Barbara both have cried many times over Duffy’s diagnosis, it’s clear from speaking to them that Duffy’s story, at least to Duffy, isn’t a sad one. Duffy savors every day as it comes, and for him, cancer isn’t a death sentence.
If someone opens their heart and home to Duffy, their life together won’t be filled with tears and heartache. It will be overflowing to the brim with tail wags, doggie kisses, and walks through the neighborhood.
When asked what it would mean to see Duffy in a home, both Julie and Barbara grow silent before weeping simply at the thought of their dear furry friend in a bed of his own, with someone who loves him. “It would mean everything,” they both respond, “I’d do anything to see that.”
Says Julie, “It doesn’t happen very often, but every once in a while, a dog comes along who just grabs hold of your heart. Duffy is one of those dogs.”
If you are interested in adopting, fostering, or rescuing Duffy, please do not wait. Contact the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter at (516) 785-5220 or via email [email protected] or follow him on Facebook at Find Duffy a Home.
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