Monday, August 8, 2016

A Story of a Duke and His Duchess

The Duke and Duchess of Sleepy Hollow
By Janet Taylor

If you will all gather round and take a seat, I am going to tell you a story about a Duke and his Duchess. This Duke loved the Duchess with all his heart and they were blessed with many children. Life was not perfect and had, in fact, been very cruel, but it was what they knew. With their deep and abiding love, they had clung together for strength and support.

One fateful day, for reasons still unknown, the Duke, his Duchess and their children were delivered, with no opportunity to make their plea, to the gaol, awaiting imminent execution. Their world in turmoil, they were incarcerated separately -  to their utter despair. Fate stepped in, and a couple of magistrates from two distant villages saved them from execution. They would be transported together but later torn apart. The Duke was to go to one place and remain under house arrest. The Duchess, with their children, went to the other magistrate’s rule, to also be under house arrest. Bitter as was this betrayal, at least they would live to see another day.

I know little of the Duchess and her children during the time of her house arrest, other than they were well cared for. The magistrate went about finding good homes for each of the little ones. The Duke’s story, I can continue to relay. Although he lived and breathed, his heart was broken and he felt little reason to go on. His grief was overwhelming. He did not relish his meals and he only did what must be done. His heart and soul were in despair and there was little joy in his life.

The Duke was allowed some freedom during his days. His caretaker and other helpers would visit with him and allow him outdoors for fresh air and a little exercise. During one of those excursions with a helper, the Duke decided to make an escape. He hoped beyond hope his Duchess and children were somewhere nearby. That was not the case. They were quite a distance away in another village, and his search was in vain.

Roaming the countryside, the Duke pillaged food and water wherever he could find it, and received help and kindness from anyone willing to give it. Although he stayed out of reach and out of sight, as much as possible, he enjoyed the efforts of those few.

At last he was spotted by his caregiver, who had been diligently hunting for the Duke these many days. The caregiver began leaving food and water in the area where Duke was seen. Those efforts paid off! The Duke was drawn to the food, and lingered nearby. He remembered the kindness and growing love of his caregiver, but was not yet willing to go back to house arrest.

Finally, the magistrates from the two villages reached a settlement. It was decided to allow the Duchess to visit in the hope that the Duke would surrender. There had been four days of searching, before his Duchess finally arrived. The first evening was unfruitful as the Duke had already gone back into hiding. The next day was a different story. The Duchess was outdoors, walking with her temporary caregiver when the Duke spotted her. All fear of capture was gone! His only thought was to see and be with his Duchess, which brought about a deliriously happy and jubilant reunion. Their reuniting was so touching that the caregivers and all helpers were crying tears of joy for these two soulmates. It was unlike anything this narrator has ever witnessed. Telling about it these six sennights later, still brings tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat.

One issue still troubled the local magistrate. What if the Duchess had to be taken away again? What would that do to the Duke? How unfair and heartless would that be to use the Duchess to capture him only to have her stripped away again! This kind and gentle soul worked diligently to reach the other magistrate. Then wonder of all wonders, Duchess was released to the custody of the local magistrate. How amazingly marvelous was that decision and it was received with delighted cheers and many tears! The only condition was that the children stay behind, as continued house arrest was not a good option for them, and other arrangements were continuing to be made.

A surgeon and apothecary were summoned to see to the welfare of the Duke and Duchess. Special care was given to each and they have grown stronger and healthier. With time, trust will return too, as love is triumphant.

Most of the children have now found good and loving homes where they will be well cared for. As of the telling of this story, two are still awaiting their new family. It is hoped that their wait will not be long and that they will soon start the journey of their new life.

As for the Duke and Duchess of Sleepy Hollow, well, I can personally attest to their happiness. You see, I am their caregiver.


"Angelmama & Duke & Duchess of Sleepy Hollow"
written by Tomilyn Head

Song written
by Tommie Lynn Head
Timid & frail, poor boy been through Hell
Now he's the Duke of Sleepy Hollow
Ragged & thin, so excited to find a friend
Now she's the Duchess of Sleepy Hollow.

"Heartaches they've endured, I can't even fathom
Abuses they've suffered, I can't bear to imagine"

Well, the Good Lord did surely show mercy
He sent a bright Starr to save them
& guide them to sweet Angelmama
Angelmama of Sleepy Hollow

"Heartaches they've endured, I can't even fathom
Abuses they've suffered, I can't bear to imagine"

Within my heart they'll stay, Never shall I forget
Angelmama & Duke & Duchess
& the first day we met
Sweet Angelmama & Duke & Duchess
      Sleepy Hollow

  By Tommie Lynn Head 08/08/2016

The Duke and Duchess of Sleepy Hollow – The Rest of the Story

Duke, Duchess and their eight babies were surrendered to a Corpus Christi, Texas, kill shelter, no questions asked.  All were to be euthanized the next day. Thankfully, some of the people there try hard to save the fur babies that are brought in. One of them contacted Starr Lockwood, the Lago Vista Rescue Network. (I say, ‘the’ because Starr is it!) The male, a yellow lab, was tagged to go to Starr. The female and eight babies were tagged to go to another Rescue Network.

Corpus is a little over a five-hour drive from here and arrangements were made to get Duke to Lago. Starr called and asked if I would foster Duke. I readily agreed. Duke, Duchess and the babies began their long journey to new lives.

When Duke was separated from Duchess and his children, his heart broke. Everything was unknown and he was terrified. Although he had been badly abused and starved, it was what he knew and he had his family. Now all of that was gone and he didn’t know what to do. In the beginning, Duke was extremely fearful. He flinched involuntarily if anyone made an attempt to touch him. He only looked down with his head hanging and his tail fixed firmly to his tummy as if glued there. He was a pitiful sight, starved and dejected, with little will to live.

Eventually I could touch his head gently and then his shoulders but he would not accept touching of his back or flanks. He flinched and backed away- still terrified. As I worked with Duke, I tried to help him feel safe and secure. He began to allow more touching and I was able to pet and stroke his back. The flinch was still there but it was lessening in intensity.  He was beginning to realize I was okay and all humans were not mean. The biggest factor with Duke was his loss of Duchess. It was still great and he grieved much.

A couple of days later, one of my helpers was walking Duke. He bolted and pulled out of his collar, running into the woods, in search of Duchess. There was no catching him. He stayed nearby for a couple of days but would not let anyone come near. Everything was now on his terms. Any movement toward him and he would run. He ventured farther away but stayed in the general area. After four days of searching, sightings and many calls from neighbors, I spotted Duke. I started leaving him food and water in the area. He remembered me and my voice. He would come eat and drink, at a distance, but was still not ready to give up his search for Duchess.

Starr had been trying to reach the administrator of the other network, in hopes that Duchess would be allowed to come to Lago to aid in the rescue of Duke. An agreement was reached. Thursday, when Duchess arrived, Duke had already taken shelter for the evening. Duchess was allowed to walk around and leave her scent behind.  We prayed that would let Duke know she was close, thereby giving him hope and keeping him in the area.

Friday was the game changer. We got a call from Marie Schiller with a Duke sighting. I took off for the area and Duchess was brought in. Success! When Duke spotted Duchess, he went immediately to her. The reunion of the two was awesome. There were three grown women in tears at the sight of these two as they nuzzled and gave licks. They were ecstatic to be together again. Duke would have followed Duchess anywhere and he did! I led Duchess to the fenced yard of a nearby network member, Dana Herring. Duke followed. Once inside the fence and the gate closed, they were given food and water. The temporary foster of Duchess, Denise Simmons, was able to leash Duke. Hooray! Then after a bit, both were loaded into my car, with hesitancy on their parts, and taken to my place. Once we had them inside, we all rejoiced! It had been a long and hot five days!

The agreement was for Duchess to stay for the weekend. Then what? Would she be torn from Duke again- to break his heart a second time? That seemed so cruel and once again, Starr Lockwood began calling the administrator of the other network. On Sunday, care of Duchess was relinquished to Starr and the Lago Vista Rescue Network. I would be fostering both and they would be staying together at last! Wonderful news!

I continue to work with Duke and Duchess with the help of the Rescue Network member, Tomylin Head, who has been with me through thick and thin. She helps me walk them at least twice a day. She went with me to take them to the vet and pick them up again after their surgeries. I could not have done this without her help. Thank you, Tomylin. Thank you, Starr, for your support and for supplying all the food.

The story of Duke and Duchess captured the hearts of many in the area. Due to the generosity of some, both were able to visit the vet, be neutered and spayed, then get all their shots. They had a full checkup and healed without incident. To those that helped financially so Duke and Duchess could be vetted, I say a special thank you for allowing them that privilege. They needed the safe environment of a vet’s office. Thank you to Crossing Animal Clinic for providing it for them as well as the discounted services.

Duke and Duchess are beginning to fill out and look healthy and cared for- rather than starved, neglected and abused. They are eagerly sitting for their treats and learning a few basic commands. Their spirits are coming alive and their personalities are emerging. I am seeing a playfulness and liveliness in Duke that had not been evident since his arrival here and it is rewarding to see. Duchess has always had more spunk and exuberance than Duke. She is a lively playful girl. She is social and wants human contact. I think she needs it. She loves to be brushed and ‘loved on’. They are quite the pair.

These two dogs truly love one another and are extremely close companions. I recently read that dogs do fall in love. It is not real common as most people only have one dog. The article said that when there were two, they could and often did form a close bond, and even loved each other. That is truly the case with Duke and Duchess. They never want the other to be too far away. When we are walking them, if they are not walking side by side or one behind the other, they are looking around to be sure the other one is in sight! It has been amazing to witness their love.

Playing and hugging

As for the eight puppies of Duke and Duchess, six have found new homes. The other two are still waiting for theirs. If you are interested or know someone that might be, contact Amy Metz Stanton of Addicus’ Legacy. My hope is that they will find one soon.

The Lago Vista Rescue Network and Addicus’ Legacy are always needing fosters. If you or anyone you know can help, please contact Starr Lockwood at (512) and Any Metz Stanton at the number above. Financial help is also very much needed and appreciated. Starr runs her network by herself. There are members of her Facebook page but Starr is the network. People drop off money at City Hall for her or call her to arrange for donations. I know, personally, how much those donations helped with Duke and Duchess and their vet care.

Please consider being a foster or helping financially. There are many fur babies that need you.


Lago Vista Rescue Network Facebook Page:

Lago Vista Rescue Network is just that, a network of people who rescue animals, nurse them back to health and find forever homes for them. 
We who rescue these animals do so out of the kindness of our hearts for the love of the fur babies and out of our own pockets. We are dedicated to the welfare of all animals small and large and will do our best to find the forever homes they deserve. 
We welcome donations to help with veterinary care and for the spay and neuter expenses that we have with each rescue. You can private message me (Starr Lockwood) for details on how to donate. 
From all of us who give our time and money to care for these animals we thank you for your support. 
If you have an animal that you can no longer care for please message us so we can help. 
Thank you to everyone for sharing this group and helping us to care for our local fur friends.

Addicus’ Legacy:

Addicus was a beloved rescue dog and through her legacy we want to save and rehome as many adoptable dogs as possible! Please share this page or folow us on Facebook and encourage friends that are interested in getting a dog to adopt from a rescue and not support pet store puppy mills. There is an over population of dogs and we really do not need to be breeding more! Educate! Spay/Neuter! Rescue!
We save many dogs from incredibly high kill shelters, in some cities the crisis is so terrible, they euthanize 5,000 dogs a year!
Most of the dogs are adopted in Texas and in the New England area, but let us know if you fall in love with one you see online! We did the same thing, that's why we saved them!
Contact Information is on the websites above.
Special Thanks to:

10700 Anderson Mill Road
Austin, Texas 78750

Tractor Supply Company  (Miguel, Store Manager and Kevin, for giving us a discount on a kennel and donating dog food)
2000 North Bell Blvd.
Cedar Park, Texas 78613

Starr Lockwood
Tomylin Head (mommalin according to my youngest granddaughter)
Angela Livingston
Marie Schiller
Denise Simmons
Dana Herring
April Davis Urbanek
Karen Reeve and other neighbors who called with Duke sightings, many of whom are network members
My family, especially, Emily, and friends (Diane) who have helped
Brenda J Webb

Thank you to each of you who take the time to read my tale of 'The Duke and Duchess of Sleepy Hollow'.


  1. What a wonderful story about second chances and people who refused to give up on doing the right thing. And how fitting for all of your P&P fans!

    1. Thank you, Nicole. I'm glad you liked it. Yes, there are many people that helped us all get where we are now with these two, you included! :) I thought their story fit perfectly with my blog theme!

  2. Lovely puppy tale/tail. Yay for all the heroes!

    1. Thank you, Joy, and thank you for taking the time to read my tale and comment. I appreciate it!

  3. Ahhhh, this was a lovely story, Janet! My parents adopt the unwanted and abused ones like this and have done it for years and I've done it once. So rewarding!

    Thanks again for sharing about Duke and Duchess.

    1. Good for your parents and you! These babies need love and care too. I'm so glad you stopped by and read their story, Sophia. Thank you.

  4. It's a wonderful story, Janet, and beautifully told. I had tears in my eyes from both sadness and joy. How lucky are the Duke and his Duchess to have such wonderful people in their lives.

    I hope a good home is found for them and the remaining two of their babies.

    1. Thank you, Cassandra! You had already heard much about them, huh! :) I do hope that they can find a good home and stay together. They need to. I'm hoping for the babies too. The little blonde baby may have found a home but want to check on that.

  5. Thanks so much, Janet, for posting this beautiful story!! You said you were going to a while ago, and what a delight it is! Better than Regency Romance :) So happy for the Duke and Duchess after all they've been through, what a beautiful love story and such a stroke of luck that they came across you and all the other kind people who looked after them and brought them together again :)

    1. Thank you, Joana. I appreciate you taking the time to read it, especially knowing how crazy things have been for you right now.

      It has been such a joy to witness how much they love one another. Theirs is a sweet story.

  6. Thank you for making this heart-wrenching story into lyrical tale. I am so glad there is a happy ending!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read it. I thought this was the only way to write their story since it fit with their names! :) The real happy ending will be when they are ready to be adopted by a very good and kind person who will love them and treat them as they deserve.

  7. Because I know you, Janet, and all the time, attention, and love you devote to animals, I am positive that Duke and Duchess could not have fallen into better hands than yours. I have watched you literally "wear yourself out" (as we say in Texas) over caring and worrying for these two. You have truly taken them from abuse and neglect to absolute love. I hope the right person comes along to adopt them. I admire all these selfless people who give of themselves to needy animals, and I especially admire you.

    1. Thank you, Jan, for all that you said. It means much to me, more than you know. They have, most definitely, wormed their way into my heart. I'm so thankful that they are beginning to relax and feel loved. That is such a reward and makes all the efforts worthwhile.

  8. oh bless, that brought a tear to my eye. Thank you for sharing Janet, what a wonderful story :) what a great network of helpers, the world needs more people with caring and giving hearts.

    1. Tamara, thanks for stopping by and commenting. It is because of you that I wrote this story! Thank you for the inspiration.

  9. What a lovely story and a beautiful HEA (or mostly HEA; still needing a couple of puppy homes). Or have they been found? Any updates on Duke, Duchess, and the kiddos? G0d bless you all.