After 11 years of life, two of which were spent fighting mast cell cancer, Mr. Dukes saw the ocean for the first time.
In a touching community post on The Dodo, Baltimore-based photographer Zhenia Bulawka shares the story of her American Staffordshire Terrier's only trip to the beach this past August.
He'd always loved their swimming pool, so Bulawka set her sights a little higher for Mr. Dukes' last adventure.
The emotional images, shot just one month before Mr. Dukes' death, show the excited dog racing through the sand with canine siblings Ruby and Violet.
Bulawka and her boyfriend, Christian, took the dogs on a rainy overnight stay to Assateague Island.
The photographer wore a custom bracelet depicting both Mr. Dukes and Ruby, a gift from Christian.
The family took a pensive moment to appreciate one another.
Mr. Dukes even got to chow down on a roast beef sandwich.
Ruby splashed in the waves.
Although the day was cloudy, all three dogs happily took in their new adventure.
As night fell, the couple took the dogs back to a canine-friendly hotel.
They took a night to relax and enjoy themselves.
And Violet was first awake the next morning, ready to take one last look at the beach.
Mr. Dukes was ready, too.
The trip was a fitting tribute to Mr. Dukes' life.
He'll be missed.