back to top

The Story Of This Dying Dog's Trip To The Beach Will Break Your Heart

Mr Dukes, an American Staffordshire terrier, loved swimming in the family pool but had never been to the beach before.

Posted on

Photographer Zhenia Bulawka has shared the heartbreaking story of her dog’s trip to the beach a month before he lost a battle to cancer.

Zhenia Bulawka

Writing for The Dodo, Bulawka said she and her boyfriend, Christian, took their three dogs on an overnight trip to Assateague, Maryland, last August.

The trip was for their 11-year-old American Staffordshire terrier Dyuki, aka Mr Dukes.

Bulawka said Mr Dukes was in the final stages of grade III mast cell cancer at the time of the trip.

Zhenia Bulawka

“His most favourite activity was swimming in our family pool, but until then, he had never seen the ocean," she said.

"It was a very special trip for us, and I'm so grateful we were able to make it happen.”


Bulawka also shared this image of a bracelet Christian had made for her that features Mr Dukes and one of their other dogs, Ruby.


Bulawka said Mr Dukes passed away a month after their trip to the beach.

Zhenia Bulawka

She wrote in the blog post: "Dukes was my best friend. He was also my muse, as his passion for life served as a constant source of inspiration to me."

"He was the smartest, funniest, most loyal, incredibly strong, yet equally sensitive dog — all wrapped into one perfect pittie package. He changed my life and I will miss him forever."

You can view more of Bulawka's photographs on her website and Facebook page.