Local Man Reminisces on Late Canine's Love for Car Rides

“I bought this car 12 years ago. Not too long after, my wife and I bought our dog Duke. He was a little Rat Terrier that just loved going for rides. It’s a 1965 Chevrolet Impala Super sport Convertible, so the top goes down and boy did he love to feel that breeze.

When I purchased the car, it wasn’t in very good shape, so a lot of time and money went into making it look as good as it does today. We just love this thing, and Duke did as well. I couldn’t even get the garage door open before I’d hear him running out, ready to go.

He would sit in the backseat with his paws in the air. If dogs can smile, he did that. When we drove around, he could smell new things, see new people and places, and hear all kinds of sounds. He was in his element and at his happiest when he was riding around with us.

Toward the end, he got really sick. He stopped smiling on our drives and just lost his zest for life. Sometimes it’s hard to know when it’s time to say goodbye to your pet. There never is a good time, really, but when he stopped loving car rides, Lucille and I knew.

Losing him was so hard for us. He was a wonderful little dog and we miss him terribly.

Someday, maybe we’ll get another pup. But for now, it’s just me and Lucille. We take this car everywhere and go on grand adventures together. We’re headed to Bar Harbor this year. We’re going to ride up Cadillac Mountain with the top down and the breeze swirling all around us. There’s no better feeling than that.”

— Maine Coastal Cruisers Club member Del Lank at the 2022 La Kermesse Festival Car Show in Biddeford