Duke: Volunteer Firefighter, Tutor, and Full-time Guard Dog
By S Baumann
Hi! I'm Duke. I am a three-year old Harlequin Great Dane. I live at home with my parents, three brothers, a sister, a fluffy serial killer named Nora, and a large mouse-like creature named Daisy that my mom calls a Guinea Pig. I think she's cute, but I'm not allowed near her cage anymore because the last time I went to say "Hello" she bit my nose and I cried hysterically for 3 whole minutes.
I used to be really small and I could fit anywhere. But then I grew. And grew. And grew. And now I am bigger than everyone in my family when I stand on my back legs. I weigh 150lbs and stand at 6'4". This comes in handy when dad forgets to put the box of pizza in the microwave because I can just walk right by the counter and eat it all up in one bite. My mom and dad get mad when I do that, but I just want to make sure that the food doesn't go to waste! I also thought about being an NBA player. I've seen the movie 'Air Bud' and I am WAY better than that guy at basketball. But I decided to stay home and help out there instead.
Since COVID began my mom has been working from home a lot. My brothers and sisters had to be home, too. They had to do their schoolwork online, so I made sure that I helped them. Whenever mom had a Zoom meeting, I made sure that I walked behind her and tried to lick her face while she was on camera. She likes when I do that. Her co-workers think its funny, too. They said I can come visit them in the office soon. I am so excited about that. I love meeting people and giving them kisses. I am pretty popular.
My mom really depends on me, especially since she lost Hunter. Hunter was my brother and he was a little 4-pound Yorkie. He died last year. She really misses Hunter and so do I. He was really small but he was my big brother and he taught me everything I know. That's why I always make sure that she is okay and I make sure to invade her personal space as much as possible. Mainly because I know she loves that.
I am also a volunteer firefighter. The fire department is on our street so we hear sirens a couple times a day. Every time the fire truck goes by with its sirens on I make sure I howl SUPER LOUD so that everyone knows there is an emergency. Mom usually yells at me to be quiet because she's working or on a Zoom meeting, but I have a job to do. Yeah. I'm pretty good at my job. I wonder when the firefighters will actually let me ride on the firetruck. That would be fun!
I also take the kids on walks. They need the exercise. They always enjoy it when I run super fast and pull them behind me. They yell and scream with joy. When I get home I am super tired so I usually take a nap. Sometimes I fart in my sleep and then everyone starts GAGGING and complaining. Hey, I can't help it if I fart every now and then. My brothers fart ALL THE TIME! I think they blame their farts on me.
Helping the kids, the fire department, and my mom all day is a really hard job. Plus I have to keep an eye out for murderers. Anyone could be a murderer. The mailman, the guy across the street, the little kid riding his bike, that mom pushing a stroller. Anyone. That's why I bark really loud so they know that I'm onto them. They can't fool me. I'm too smart. But that's why my mom nominated me as emPAWyee of the Month!