Dog Was Labeled “Bad With Kids” And Thrown Out, But He Wants To Prove Them Wrong

Roberta Sá Griner and her family have fostered and rehomed over 90 shelter dogs – but Duke the American Bulldog will always be their most challenging case, writes ilovemydogsomuch

Duke belonged to a family who loved to tease him. They would tie his legs with fabric just to mock him while he struggled to move. This turned Duke into a compulsive and nervous dog, something which was going to haunt him for years to come.

In 2014, 3-year-old Duke found himself wandering on the freeway after his family abandoned him. He was picked up by the Greater Charlotte SPCA and placed with Roberta as a foster. But the traumatized dog turned out to be an absolute “nightmare” for his foster parents.

Duke had serious abandonment and anxiety issues. He was okay at home, but would go nuts every time he saw another dog or strangers outside. Combined with his muscular built and energetic demeanor, it was difficult to control him and keep him safe. He wasn’t exactly aggressive, but wasn’t scared to drag down “terrifying” humans either. An anxious Roberta reached out to a number of trainers to help him deal with his behavioral issues.

After a year of training, Duke had transformed into a well-behaved dog who got along well with kids and other dogs. He eventually found a loving home and it seemed like he had finally hit the jackpot. But just 3 years later, Duke’s regressed abusive scars reared its ugly head once again.

Duke’s new family noticed that the dog had become “over-possessive” of his toys and less tolerant of their little children. It was a tough choice, but they surrendered him back to the shelter. When the shelter informed Roberta of the situation, the woman knew she couldn’t foster Duke this time.

Roberta had just adopted 3 young girls, and seeing that Duke was now a “well-trained lunatic”, she didn’t want to risk the safety of her kids. But over the months, it became clear that Duke wasn’t going to have a future with his current unsettling behavior patterns. Roberta reluctantly took Duke back as a foster, but kept him leashed at all times to protect her girls.

Just when things looked bleak, a beautiful miracle changed everything. Veronica, Roberta’s youngest daughter, began bonding with Duke – and the dog surprisingly accepted the 6-year-old as his human! Veronica would always sneak in treats for him and even snuggle with him while napping. And just like that, Duke was back to being his friendly, harmless self!

Roberta feels that Veronica’s bossy yet affectionate personality makes Duke feel safe and protected. He has no behavioral issues now, and simply needs a home with a structured environment and attentive humans. A home without kids would be preferable so that he can seamlessly fit in without adjustment training.

It’s sad to think that a good dog like Duke has to endure so much unpredictability in his life due to his worthless past owners. He needs a family that understands him and gives him room to blossom. Let’s get the word out and help Duke find the happy ending that he deserves.

Click the video below to watch Duke’s emotional plea to find a forever home of his own.


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