Class 9 – English Literature Reader – A Dog Named Duke

‘A Dog Named Duke’ written by William D. Ellis is a story of struggle. Duke’ the dog, played an important role in this struggle and helped his master come out of a critical situation. Many people believe that the dog did it unknowingly but the author who witnessed the whole story believed that the dog knew what he was doing every step of the way.


Charles Hooper was a favoured young man. He had a smiling face and was a football player. He was the Zonal Sales Manager for a chemical company.
One day, he was hit by a car. This accident completely paralyzed his left side due to the haemorrhage in the motor section of his brain. Hooper was critical and remained so for a month. Some men from,his company came to the hospital to inform him that he should take leave for a year and a desk job would be created for him at the headquarters. He underwent physiotherapy for his paralysed arm and leg but it didn’t help much. Now he had to move on a wheel ¬chair.
After being discharged from the hospital, he was very depressed. His wife went to work and he had to stay alone in the house as their pet dog Duke was in the kennel.
To give him company Duke was called back from the kennel. When Duke saw his master after a long time, he was very happy. “He was a 23-kilo missile of joy”. Duke could not control himself and jumped on Chuck to show his happiness. Charles Chuck Hooper had to fight him to keep his balance. But that was the first and last time that he jumped on him. He never repeated it.
Chuck’s health worried Marcy also but she was helpless. She could do nothing but cry. Even the dog could not take the boredom that was settling in the, house sometimes he would ‘quiver with impatience’ but was calmed, down by Chuck .
One day, something unpredictable happened. Chuck idly hooked the leash on Duke’s collar. It was as, if the dog understood what he had to do. He forced his master’s, feet,,with,the help pf Marcy Check took some steps. Now this became a daily affair. Everyday Duke would help Chuck struggle put of his chair and walk a few steps. Gradually, they increased the steps and the posts. Then they began two trips a day by lengthening the targets.
On January 4, Hooper went to his office without the support of Duke, Everyone was amazed, In his office Hooper informed his manager that he would come down for an hour to the office and he stuck to his words. After a few months Hooper was perfectly alright and if the need ever arose, Duke was always there as a companion.
* In March 1956, i.e., after three years they shifted to a new place. Nobody knew the story of Chuck and Duke there In October 1957, Duke was hit by a car and taken to a hospital but he did not survive. Now Chuck had to walk alone. He missed Duke but carried on.
Duke had shown him the way to a successful life. He was promoted as the Assistant National Sales Manager. Chuck gave the credit of his success to Duke who was still a part of his life.