Iowa woman reunited with dog she was forced to give up

The Waukon nursing home resident lost her husband, home and dog in a matter of days

WAUKON, Iowa (WKBT) — Animal lovers will tell you, their dog is a part of their family. Losing one can be just as painful as losing any other family member. What if you could spend one more afternoon with your dog?

If home is where the heart is, Pearl Martin feels like she’s been evicted twice — losing her husband, Ralph, and her dog, Duke.

“We had been married for 53 years. He was my best friend and we could talk about everything. And lose my dogs, yeah,” Pearl says

When Ralph passed away and Pearl moved into Good Samaritan Society nursing home, she had no choice but to give up her home and place her beloved Duke up for adoption. Losing the loves of her life in a matter of days.

He was my baby, but it was, Dukey got a good home,” says Pearl. 

But the lost can be found.

When David and Jackie Harris of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, adopted a sweet terrier, he came with a name and a story. “When we mentioned Pearl’s name to Duke, right away he sat up on the couch and he got these big, sort of teary eyes,” David says.

The Harrises made a plan and drove more than two hours north to Waukon to reunite best friends. “Who wouldn’t want to see their dog again, ” Jackie says.

Seven months apart did not break Pearl and Duke’s bond.

I think you’re witnessing that here,” says David. But this reunion was what Pearl needed to start to heal her broken heart.

“I’m happy for him. Well, I’m going to miss him because I miss home too. But at least I know he’s been very well taken care of and he is loved and that’s really important for everybody,” Pearl says.

The Harris family plans to visit Pearl again. They also write letters to Pearl from Duke, and Duke also has his own Facebook page so Pearl can check up on him virtually whenever she wants. 

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