Duke in the story is a Doberman. Doberman is a big dog with strong jaws. An adult Doberman can be 24 to 28 inches in height. This dog is also known as the Tax Collector’s Dog. It is not the biggest dog, though. That honour goes to Irish wolfhound (30 inches to 35 inches). It is the war dog of Irish chieftains. Great Dane which is also called the Gentle Giant is nearly as big (28 inches to 32 inches).
Here are some other well-known breeds of big dogs with their nicknames given in the brackets.
Mastiff (War dog and Gladiator)
Greyhound (The fastest dog on earth)
Saint Barnard (The Saviour of lost travelers)
German Shepherd (The Alsatian Wolf dog)
Labrador Retriever (The fisherman’s friend)
Golden Retriever (The most popular dog in the world)
List of well-known small dogs
Chihuahua (the smallest dog in the world)
Pekingese (The lion dog)
Dachshund (the hot dog)
Pug (the dog of kings and monks)
2. Match the words in the boxes with their explanations given below.
a. This is another word for trembling – quivering
b. This is used for smile – grin
c. You call a person this if he/she has pale gold coloured hair – blonde
d. This is a quality which relates to high energy and noise – rambunctiousness
e. This is related to dancing or moving in a way that involves shaking your hips and shoulders – shimmied (shimmy – present simple)
f. This is to express a tendency to show violent and wild behaviour often causing damage – rampageous
g. We use it for a condition, which is serious, uncertain and dangerous – critical
h. This is a state in which one is forced to stay in a closed space – confinement
i. This is a medical condition involving bleeding in the brain – subdural haemorrhage
j. It is a loud, deep shout to show anger – bellow
k. This is a condition when the rope or leash is stretched tightly – taut
4. Based on your reading of the story answer the following questions by choosing the correct option.
(a) With reference to Hooper, the author says, ‘Everything was going for him’, What does it imply?
(i) he had everything a man aspires for
(ii) people admired him
(iii) he did what he wanted
(iv) he was capable of playing games
(b) Duke never jumped on Chuck again because …………………………
(i) Duke was paralysed and unable to jump.
(ii) Chuck was angry with Duke for jumping at him.
(iii) Duke realized that Chuck was not well and could not balance himself.
(iv) Marcy did not allow Duke to come near Chuck.
(c) The author says that Duke ‘knew his job’. The job was …………………….
(i) to look after Chuck
(ii) to get Chuck on his feet
(iii) to humour Chuck
(iv) to guard the house
(d) ‘……………… even Duke’s presence didn’t reach Chuck’ Why?
(i) Duke was locked in his kennel and Chuck couldn’t see him.
(ii) Duke hid himself behind the bed post.
(iii) Duke had come to know that Hooper was not well.
(iv) Hooper was lost in his own grief and pain
5. Answer the following questions briefly
a) In 1953, Hooper was a favoured young man. Explain.
Answer: He was a highly successful zone sales manager for a chemical company. Although he was competitive by nature, his always flashed a genuine smile on his face which made him likeable. Standing at six-foot-one, he had a robust frame and a talent for playing football. As someone who is healthy, successful and affable, Hooper had everything going for him.
(b) They said that they would create a desk job for Hooper at headquarters.
i) Who are they?
ii) Why did they decide to do this?
i) ‘They’ are some other people, probably his seniors, who work at his company. They asked him to take a year off and told him that they would create a desk job for him at the headquarters.
ii) Hooper was a salesman. The accident, however, paralysed him. Since a salesman has to move about a lot, the people at his company felt that he would no longer be able to do that job. So, they decided to create a desk job for him.
c) Duke was an extraordinary dog. What special qualities did he exhibit to justify this? Discuss
Answer: Duke was loyal, intelligent, loving, caring, understanding and persistent. When the dog saw his master after four months of confinement, he was so excited that he jumped on him. And when he saw his master struggling to keep his balance, he instinctively realized that his master was not well. Duke never jumped on his master again. He never left his master’s bedside. Later he took it upon himself the job of helping his master get back on his feet. He would encourage his master to stand up and walk by poking his nose under his elbow and lifting it. He would nudge, needle and snort. Then one day Chuck started walking again with the help of Duke who would pull his leash taut so that his master holding the other end of it can balance. Without Duke’s help, Chuck would perhaps have spent his entire life in the bed.
d) What problems did Chuck present when he returned to the company headquarters?
Answer: The people at his company were inspired by his fight for a comeback. They didn’t want to tell him that he could no longer handle his old job. On the other hand, they didn’t know what they should do with a salesman who couldn’t move around and who could work only an hour a day. They didn’t know that Chuck had set the target of returning to his regular work hours by March 1.
e) Why do you think Charles Hooper’s appointment as Assistant National Sales Manager is considered to be a tribute to Duke?
The dog had helped his master regain his ability to walk step by step. After returning to work Chuck demonstrated that he was still an able salesman and as recognition of his merit his company appointed him as Assistant National Sales Manager to advance their objectives step by step. Because of this reason, his appointment is considered as a tribute to Duke.
Exam oriented questions
1. Marcy didn’t like Duke when Hooper brought him home because ……………….
a) Duke was disobedient and rampageous
b) Pomeranian was her idea of the right size dog
c) Marcy didn’t like dogs at all
Answer: Pomeranian was her idea of the right size dog.
2. Do you think that Marcy warmed up to Duke in the end? Why?
a) Because she didn’t allow anyone else to carry the injured Duke to the vet
b) Because she had no issues with Chuck taking Duke out for walks
c) Because they took Duke with them when they changed homes
Answer: a) Because she didn’t allow anyone else to carry the injured Duke to the vet