On September 6, 2014, Dukes passed away.
It was especially tragic since, from the moment he'd entered their lives, he was a guardian of other dogs, according to Bulawka. Her mother found Dukes in Patterson Park in Baltimore in 2005. He was underneath a tree, "glued to the side of an old Labrador that was too dehydrated to get up," Bulawka explained. Her mother took home the Labrador, later named Big Boy, and she gave Dukes to Bulawka. Since then, the young woman and her dog were the best of friends.
When he left, so did that sense of happiness and excitement he brought into the home.