Pet Adoption Story: Duke Wellington

We had the pleasure of meeting ~11yr old Duke Wellington along with his furever parents Katie & Craig. When we met Duke, he walked into a Chicago coffee shop and sat right down at our table.  He was impressively polite and sweet.  Originally the interview was going to be about what it is like to have a senior dog and a pit bull.  However, Duke’s story is so beautiful that we wanted to feature him as a Pet Adoption Story.  Meet Duke!

Katie & Craig are regular foster parents.  They have had a series of foster dogs…until Duke.  Duke was their foster fail.



Duke is a senior pit bull mix or in Chicago, we refer to them as Chicago Dogs.

Duke started off as a breeding dog.  Katie & Craig weren’t too sure of his background or how he was treated, but they know it must have been rough.  He has callouses and a scar over one eye.  Duke now loves to look at everything, which makes sense as they think he spent much of his life in a cage.   When they received him as a foster, they were told that he wouldn’t live long.  He was an unhealthy 11yr old pup.  This didn’t scare Katie & Craig.  They figured they would give him the best life whether it be days, months or years.  As of publication, Duke has been a part of their family for seven months.


Craig and Katie spent a lot of time showing Duke love and teaching him.  Duke has proven that you can teach an old dog new tricks.  With training, he has changed.  He knows basic commands.  Duke now knows how to play with a ball (which is his fav!).  Most importantly, he learned from his people how to be a dog again.


From Katie: “Duke is the most gentle, loving creature I’ve ever met.  We are giving him all the kisses and snuggles he deserves.  His favorite pastimes are sleeping, snoring, barking at dogs he sees on the TV and tennis balls!  Duke now constantly has a big smile on his face or a tennis ball in his mouth.  He is truly appreciative, and I am so thankful we found this loving boy.”

From their experience, Katie & Craig feel that most pitties are loving & easy going.  Sometimes they take a bit to warm up, but isn’t that the case for people too? 😊  Duke eats out of their hand and LOVES children.  In fact, he warmed up faster to a 3yr old girl than to any adult.  One of their friends has a disabled child who loves Duke.  He is the only dog that can be around him because he is so gentle.  The boy loves to sit and hug Duke and Duke just can’t get enough.  Duke is so special that Craig’s dad, who was a skeptic, fell hard & fast in love with Duke.  They would catch his dad secretly petting Duke when he thought no one was looking.


Katie & Craig also love the fact that he is a senior pup!  He fits in perfectly to their lifestyle.  He is easy going and loves to just sit, people watch and eat treats.  Duke will even smile for a treat…He sure knows how to make friends and influence!!! Since they work a lot, he doesn’t need as much exercise as a younger dog.  All he wants in life is to be loved and the love he has been receiving has turned him into Benjamin Button.  He seems to get healthier and act younger every single day!


Katie & Craig would foster again.  They love the fact that they get to save two by fostering…the pup that they foster and the spot that opens up for another dog.  Plus, they are doing a service by working with homeless pets so they are ready for when their furever family comes to take them home.

Here are a few pictures of some of their previous foster dogs.  Meet Champ, Ranger & Rizzo.

Duke’s story should remind us all that whether a dog or cat is a senior or any breed, it is unfair to stereotype as a pet’s personality and ability to love will transcend exterior features and age.  Each pet has a unique personality and the beauty within their soul should be what counts.  We love you Duke and wish you the happiest life with your furever family.


Do you have a pet adoption story to share?  Send us a note at [email protected]

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