Duke

I had to of been 4 or 5 when my parents gave me the responsibility of raising a puppy.

I’ve always been comfortable around dogs so there was never a fear factor. I truly believe that dogs are angels and they were sent here to protect us.

I can’t remember why I chose the name Duke, who was a mixed breed, half Boxer, half Labrador Retriever, but that name fit him perfectly.

Every summer I was operated on to fix my birth defect and any time away from my puppy made it even worse.

I had to envision myself running in the fields with him so I could heal fast and go home. That was my secret, I used the power of positive energy.

That dog was my lifesaver, he had human traits, it’s almost like he understood what I was saying, I miss him dearly.

I taught him basic commands such as sit, lay down, and I even taught him how to shake hands with either paw, and he taught me empathy and kindness, yes Duke taught me those things.

Duke was my best friend, we had a bond that could never be broken, just the thought of him puts a smile on my face, I know he is still watching over me in doggy heaven.

Childhood Home

Believe it or not this was once a beautiful white farmhouse located on a nice spot of land in Edgefield County, South Carolina.

This is the home I was raised in.

This is my Great-Grandparents home, they past away years ago, and boy does it look totally different.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, well this one is worth 10X that 😥

Impact

I embrace being an introvert, I’m not loud but I am powerful.

Cleft Strong

I was born with a birth defect but I didn’t let it affect me negatively.

My Grandmother always told me that I had purpose, so I continued to build on that very thought.

Throughout my childhood I was bullied because I was very small but I hold no grudges towards anyone, it taught me how to get stronger mentally and physically.

Although I’m in my late 40s, I truly believe that I still have purpose like my Grandmother said.

So in closing I want to encourage you all to stay focused on the big picture and to never give up!

#CleftStrong